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SALT LAKE CITY — The University of Utah women’s basketball team faced off against the No. 3 Oregon Ducks Thursday night at the Jon M. Huntsman Center.
Utah would fall to the Ducks 90-63.
The Utes jumped out to an early 5-0 lead off a Dru Gylten layup and Daneesha Provo 3-pointer. Oregon would tie the game and take the lead five minutes later when the Ducks’ Satou Sabally drained two 3-pointers in a row. The Ducks would continue to expand their lead through the first 10 minutes of play, leading by 15 at the end of the first quarter.
Utah’s luck wouldn’t be any better in the second quarter as they quickly fell into a 21-point deficit. Utes starting center Lola Pendande also got into some foul trouble, picking up her third halfway through the second quarter.
Local freshman Kemery Martin would give the Utes a bit of momentum with a three to bring the Utes within 20. Provo then brought the ball up the floor before scooping in a layup to add to the crowd's excitement. But it was all Ducks the rest of the half as Utah would head into halftime down 52-26.
If the game wasn’t out of hand before, it sure got out of hand in the third quarter. The Utes fell behind by 31 and struggled to make any sort of a comeback. Pendande fouled out with 4:55 left to play, which didn't help the Utes in their hopes of a comeback.
Martin was able to cause turnovers and reach double figures in points, while Kiana Moore came off the bench firing, especially in the second half.
"Taking on the guard role today was important," Martin said. "I’ve just been getting into the groove of playing in the Pac-12. I thought I knew what it was all about when I got here, but then I realized I didn’t. I’ve gained that confidence and I’ve put in a lot of work, so I’m becoming more comfortable."
Martin led the team with 15 points and three assists, while Maurane Corbin helped lead the way with seven rebounds.
Oregon's Sabally had 17 points at halftime and continued her dominance throughout the remainder of the night. The Pac-12 assists record holder Sabrina Ionescu had a great night for the Ducks as well, scoring 10 points and getting 10 assists.
Utah’s defense was non-existent. After the first two minutes of play, they backed off and allowed Oregon to have tons of room to score. The Utes also had several unnecessary fouls throughout the game and couldn’t be aggressive because of early foul trouble.
"We’re not going to hold Oregon from scoring. They’re going to get their shots," Utah head coach Lynn Roberts said. "What beat us was that we gave them easy shots in the first quarter. That's what put us in that hole that was too big to overcome."
Unfortunately for the Utes, the road doesn’t seem to get any easier as they will face the No. 10 Oregon State Beavers on Saturday afternoon. That game will tip at 12 p.m. at the Jon M. Huntsman Center.