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Moving On! Utah downs Arkansas in First Round of the NCAA Tournament

Mar 18, 2022

AUSTIN, Texas – For the first time since March 22, 2009, the Utah women's basketball program has claimed a victory in the NCAA Tournament. On Friday, the Utes earned a 92-69 victory over the 10th-seeded Arkansas Razorbacks at the Frank Erwin Center. 
The Utes (21-11) set multiple program records in the win. Utah scored 92 points and hit 15 threes in the win, and both are the most in a single game in the NCAA Tournament for Utah. Kennady McQueen led the team with 20 points, has she hit six three-pointers in the game. The six threes are the second-most by a single player in Utah history for an NCAA Tournament. 
Gianna Kneepkens scored 16 points, Jenna Johnson added 12, and Kelsey Rees rounded out the double-figure scorers with 11 points. Rees led the team with ten rebounds for her first double-double of the season. Dru Gylten tied the program record for assists in an NCAA game with a season-high 11. The Utes defense held Arkansas (18-14) to 17 percent shooting from deep. 
The Utes came out on fire as they scored the game's first ten points. Gianna Kneepkens scored five of the ten points during the run, and Kennady McQueen hit a three-pointer. Utah's shooting remained hot, and the lead grew to 11, 15-4, after a three by Brynna Maxwell. Arkansas slowly mounted a comeback as they had the Utes lead down to seven, 17-10, but the Utes answered back on a Jenna Johnson layup. After the first quarter of play, the Utes led by eight, 20-12. 
Utah and Arkansas traded baskets to open the second quarter, and with a pair of free throws by McQueen, the Utes extended their lead to 11, 27-16. The Utes continued to increase the lead, and after a fast break three-pointer by Dasia Young, the Utes grew to 19 points, 35-16 with 5:33 left in the quarter. Utah would stretch its lead to 20 in the first half. Arkansas would slowly cut the lead down, but a layup by Isabel Palmer at the buzzer sent the Utes to the locker room with a 44-27 lead. 

Opening the second half, the Razorbacks started mounting a comeback and had the Utes lead down to 10, 50-40, with 5:46 left in the third quarter. The Utes responded and extended the lead to 19 points, 68-49, after an Inês Vieira three. The Utes shot 50 percent from the floor in the third quarter and were 4-of-7 from deep. Utah led 68-52 after three-quarters of play. 

The Utes shooting stayed hot in the final frame as they shot 47 percent from the floor in the contest. Utah continued to extend their lead, but the Razorbacks continued to chip away, and it was down to 11, 72-61, with 6:36 left in the game. Over the next four minutes of the game, the Utes went on a 20-1 run, as they hit four three-pointers in the stretch. Following a McQueen three, Utah led by 30, 92-62. Utah earned a 92-68 victory over Arkansas to advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. 

"As this team has done all season, they stayed steady and just answered the bell. Obviously, this was a great shooting night for us. I thought we turned it over a little too much, but still, to win and do so the way we did, I'm proud of our team and proud of our program, and excited that we get to stick around in Austin for a couple more days."
92 – The 92 points the Utes scored in the first-round matchup against Arkansas are the most scored in an NCAA Tournament game in program history. 
15 – The Utes hit 15 threes in the win over the Razorbacks on Friday afternoon. In program history, the 15 threes are the most by a Utah team in the NCAA Tournament game. 
The Utes will face second-seeded Texas in Austin, Texas, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Tipoff will be announced at a later time. 
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