SALT LAKE CITY — The University of Utah’s women’s basketball team showed promise early but fell to the No. 10 Oregon State Beavers 77-65 at the Huntsman Center on Saturday.
The Utes outplayed the Beavers in the first quarter, but it went Oregon State’s way the rest of the game as the Beavers outscored the Utes 61-41 after the opening 10 minutes. Saturday’s game didn’t feel like the loss to Oregon game on Thursday though, as the Utes showed a lot of heart and effort. That heart and effort just wasn’t enough to top a talented Oregon State team.
"We’ve got to just play basketball and not let other things get to us," Utah senior Kiana Moore said. "I think that when we got up, we got a little tired and things started to not go our way. We needed to execute a lot more. We kept in the fight as much as we could."
The Utes showed controlled aggressiveness with tight defense and a fast-paced offense helping them to take an early lead on Saturday afternoon. An 11-4 run early in the game helped Utah to take a 24-16 lead into the second quarter. Oregon State didn't stay down for long, going on a 12-4 run to help tie the game 32-32 at halftime. Both teams had trouble finding the bottom of the net, as Oregon State’s 39% shooting from the floor wasn’t much better than Utah’s 31% in the first half.
Utah struggled after halftime. In fact, the Utes were easily outmatched and outplayed the remainder of the game. Oregon State went on an 8-0 run to open the half and go ahead 40-32 before Utah’s Lola Pendande broke the streak with a layup. The game continued to spin out of control with the Utes finding themselves down by 19 at the end of the third quarter. Utah attempted to climb back into the game, going on a 16-2 run in the fourth but it wasn’t enough to beat the Beavers.
"We were struggling to score, our shot selection wasn’t great," Utah coach Lynne Robert said. "We took some rushed shots and then defensively they figured out our action and took away what was there in the first half. We were taking contested, not great shots and they were converting them into points. Against a top 10 team you can’t do that."
Pendande and Brynna Maxwell led the team with 17 points apiece while Dru Gylten had a team-high five assists.
Next up for the Utes is a road trip to the state of Washington. Utah will take on the Washington Huskies at 8 p.m. on Feb. 7, and then the Washington State Cougars at 1 p.m. on Feb. 9. Both games will be televised on Pac-12 Networks.