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SALT LAKE CITY — The University of Utah women’s basketball team started the year a bit shaky before going on multiple win streaks to put themselves in a position to have a winning season.
Over the past week, the Utes picked up wins on the road at Washington and Washington State, which helped them move into seventh place in the Pac-12 standings.
"We are coming off of a great weekend on the road and got two wins against two competitive teams," head coach Lynne Roberts said. "We needed to get those wins to separate us a little bit there in the conference standings, which is good.
"It certainly feels good to win, but I think the best part is that we're playing better, and we're playing well, and there seems to be no secret in the locker room, huddles, practice, on the airplane, that there's some good momentum happening right now which is great."
The Utes are on a good path, having won five of their last eight games, for a 12-11 overall record and 5-7 record in the Pac-12.
Senior’s Daneesha Provo and Kiana Moore have stepped up in their leadership roles to get the Utes into a good position at this point in the season. Provo, who returned after sustaining a season-ending injury last season, leads the team on defense, and her play continues to get better as the season moves along.
"Her defense gets her going, and then that gets us going, too," Roberts said about Provo. "The more she has focused on her ability to be that kind of defensive linchpin for pulling it out there, the better she is on both ends of the floor."
Provo and Moore aren’t the only playmakers on the floor; in fact the Utes are as talented as they’ve ever been, Roberts said. With six players younger than or barely into their sophomore season, the Utes are poised to build on their talent for years to come.
"Right now we have the most talent in the locker room we've ever had. We're just really young. But every year we've gotten better," Roberts said. "We have a top 20 recruiting class coming into 2020, another one that we can't say anything about yet but we'll sign in April that's really gonna help us boost our recruiting class to be even better."
The Utes return home for their next four matchups, including matchups against No. 8 Stanford, California, Arizona and Arizona State. Utah opens up its four-game home stand on Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. against Stanford.