Big Third Quarter Propels Utah Women’s Basketball To Pac-12 Championship Game

Mar 4, 2022, 11:38 PM
Kennady McQueen - Utah Utes vs. Oregon Ducks - Pac-12 Tournament...
(Photo courtesy of the Pac-12 Conference)
(Photo courtesy of the Pac-12 Conference)

SALT LAKE CITY – In a game of runs, the Utah women’s basketball team made the last run that gave them an 80-73 win over Oregon in the semifinals of the Pac-12 Tournament.

Utah women’s basketball will appear in their first-ever Pac-12 tournament title game after a strong performance on both ends of the floor. Four Utes scored in double figures, led by Gianna Kneepkens with 24 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Kelsey Rees scored a career-high 14 points, while pulling down eight rebounds.

Kennady McQueen and Jenna Johnson added 13 points apiece.

Utah Women’s Basketball Takes Down Oregon In Pac-12 Semifinals

Entering the game, Utah head coach Lynne Roberts told the Pac-12 Networks that they needed to hit a lot of three-pointers in order to beat the Ducks. It was a solid start by taking a 7-2 lead. Then, Oregon went on a 14-0 run, finishing the first quarter with a 25-14 lead.

Sedona Prince led the Ducks with eight points in the opening period. Gianna Kneepkens had five points for Utah.

The Utes were able to chip away at Oregon’s lead in the second quarter and outscored the Ducks 18-12. Oregon had a 37-32 lead at the break. With Utah shooting just 4-of-14 from the three-point line in the first half was something to remain optimistic about, trailing by five points.

Nine Utes played in the first half and eight of them scored. Gianna Kneepkens led the way with seven points.

Utah started the third quarter strong on a 12-4 run with all 12 points coming from the three-point line. It was a 14-4 run that led to Oregon calling a timeout with Utah holding a 46-41 lead with 5:36 remaining in the third.

The Utes had their largest lead of the night to that point when Brynna Maxwell hit a three-pointer to put them up 51-41 with under three minutes left in the third. That was a 19-4 run.

Oregon climbed their way back to taking a 66-65 lead with over two minutes remaining. Then, Oregon’s best player Nyara Sabally fouled Kennady McQueen on a three-pointer. Sabally fouled out and the Ducks’ head coach was given a technical foul. McQueen made four of the five free throws to put them up 69-66.

The Utes knocked down free throws to seal the win.

Utah will advance to the Pac-12 Championship game and will face No. 2 Stanford on Sunday, March 6 at 4 p.m. MT on ESPN2.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com, Co-Host ofΒ Faith, Family and Football podcastΒ with Clark Phillips III and host of theΒ Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter:Β @TrevorASports.

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Big Third Quarter Propels Utah Women’s Basketball To Pac-12 Championship Game