Utah Women’s Basketball Gets Off To Fast Start In Exhibition Game

Nov 2, 2022, 11:03 AM
Gianna Kneepkens hold's form after taking a shot against 
UCLA on February 20, 2022. Thanks to Becc...
Gianna Kneepkens hold's form after taking a shot against UCLA on February 20, 2022. Thanks to Becca Jonas & UCLA Athletics

SALT LAKE CITY- There are positive vibes around the Utah women’s basketball team, and for good reason. They return most everyone involved with last season’s team that far-exceeded expectations by making it to the Pac-12 Championship Game against Stanford and going to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in eleven years. It’s also important to note they did this in a conference that is arguably the best in the country when it comes to women’s hoops.

Last night, in exhibition with Westminster, the Utes proved why the resounding optimism for continuity in the 2022-2023 season is warranted. The women beat the Griffins in convincing fashion, 99-52 while showcasing a deep roster when it comes to shooting.

Everybody Gets A Three

Perhaps the most impressive stat of the night for Utah women’s basketball was the rate at which they shot the three. The Utes sank 12 three-point shots in their win over Westminster. Seven total players on Utah’s squad hit a three in last night’s win, with five players hitting a three twice in the game (Gianna Kneepkens, Jenna Johnson, Isabel Palmer, Dasia Young, and Ines Vieira).

Leaders Of The Pack

Leading the charge on the dominating performance was sophomore guard Gianna Kneepkens who was 6 of 11 from the floor for 16 total points in 19 minutes of play.

Freshman forward Teya Sidberry impressed earning a double-double with a team high 10 rebounds along with 10 points.

Meanwhile, junior guard Isabel Palmer led the Utes in assists with six total in the game.

Assessing The Team With Head Coach Lynne Roberts

Like any good coach, Lynne Roberts was pleased with the progress of her team, while also critical of the things that still need to be improved moving forward into the regular season.

“This was a good win, and this is why you play these exhibition games,” Roberts said. “You get the good, the bad, and the ugly, and there was some good today. We were much better in the first quarter of this game than in the first quarter of the last game. There were a lot of good things and things we got to continue to fix. We shot the ball better tonight, but we still turned it over a bit too much. We missed some free throws, but other than that, we did a pretty good job. I’m happy with our team, and now you know the next time we do this is for real, we will be 1-0 or 0-1. That’s why we do these: to gear up, get ready, and test-run everything. We have things we can clean up, but we won by 47.”

Roberts and the Utes will be turning their attention to Idaho next Monday, November 7, when the regular season begins. The game will be played at the Huntsman Center with a 5:30 p.m. MT tipoff. You can also watch the game live on the Utah Live Stream at UtahUtes.com.


Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @BodkinKSLsports

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