Historic Night in the Huntsman as Utes Dominate No. 16 Oklahoma
SALT LAKE CITY – The University of Utah women's basketball team had a historic night in the Jon M. Huntsman Center on Wednesday night in a 124-78 victory over No. 16 Oklahoma. The 124 points in the contest tied for the most points in school history.
The Utes had three players score 20 or more points in a game led by Gianna Kneepkens with 24 points. Kennady McQueen and Alissa Pili followed with 21 points each. The Utes shot 54.9 percent from the floor, and made 13 three-pointers in the win.
The Utes came out with a fast start as they scored the game's first six points. Kneepkens, McQueen, and Pili all had layups for the Utes in the first 1:30 of the game. The lead grew to 9-1 after a three by McQueen. Oklahoma continued to battle and trimmed the lead to eight, 17-9, after a Skylar Vann jumper. Utah again extended the lead to double-figures, but the Sooners continued to come back and cut the lead down to four, 24-20. Utah went ahead by six, 26-20, after one-quarter of play.
Utah's lead was down to three points, 26-23, early in the second quarter, but a Kneepkens three-pointer got Utah's offense clicking again. Following her three, McQueen came back and had six straight points, and the Utes were ahead by 10, 37-27. Utah stretched the lead to as many as 18, 51-33, after a three by Dasia Young. Utah took a 15-point lead into halftime.
The offense was on fire in the third quarter as they shot 70 percent (14-for-20) from the floor and were 5-of-8 on three-pointers in the quarter. The team scored a program-record 41 points in the third quarter. Within the first three minutes of the start of the third quarter, Pili hit a layup extending the lead. The lead continued to grow as they hit a three to 35, 81-46, after a Dasia Young thing. Utah's offense went to 38, 95-57, to head into the fourth quarter.
In the first minute and a half of the fourth, a layup by Pili tied the season high for points in a game with 99 as she increased the lead to 38 points. A Kneepkens three put the Utes over 100 points for the first time this season with 6:49 left in the game. Utah did not let the Sooners get closer than 30 points for the rest of the game. With the Utes chasing the school record, a Teya Sidberry steal and layup put the Utes up to 111 points, the second most in school history, but they were not done. Isabel Palmer scored seven of nine Utah points putting Utah at 120. Utah scored four more points, tying the school record for points in a game, and they came away with a 124-78 victory over No. 16 Oklahoma.
— Utah Women's Basketball (@UTAHWBB) November 17, 2022
Three Utes led the way in the victory against No. 16 Oklahoma as Utah finished the game with three players over 20 points. Gianna Kneepkens led the way with 24 points, and Kennady McQueen and Alissa Pili followed with 21 points each. Inês Vieira had a career night, grabbing eight rebounds, tying her career-high, and dishing out nine assists, marking a new career high.
TALKING ABOUT THE GAME: HEAD COACH LYNNE ROBERTS
"What a game. I am incredibly proud of our team and how we played for 40 minutes. Oklahoma is a really good team, I have so much respect for their program, and Jennie Baranczyk, their head coach, is a phenomenal coach and human being. We could win and were competing to win, but I don't know that we saw this coming. But we earned it. We talked about our tenacity on defense to beat Oklahoma. We had to take care of the ball and rebound to give ourselves as many chances to score as possible. We had eight turnovers, outrebounded them by 20, and then the unselfish play with 33 assists on 45 baskets; that's tough. Everyone out there was unselfish, and when you have a group that's playing as hard as we did, as unselfish as we did, I couldn't be more proud. It was a great crowd. We appreciate everyone that came out, that was awesome, and it matters. It's a great night to be a Ute."
The point margin between the Utes and the No. 16 Sooners on Wednesday night was 46 points, the most in school history against a ranked team. Previously, the record was held during the 2004-05 season when Utah took down No. 20 BYU by 24 points.
The Utes totaled 124 points tying the school record for most points in a game since the 1978-79 season when the Utes defeated Northern Arizona in the Jon M. Huntsman Center.
Utah returns to action on Monday, Nov. 21, when they open up play at the Baha Mar Hoops Pink Flamingo Championship. Utah will take on Alabama on Monday at 12:30 p.m. MT from the Bahamas. Tyson Ewing will have calls for the two contests from the Bahamas. Live Stats can be found at UtahUtes.com.
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