Utah Women’s Basketball Opens Regular With A Win Over Idaho

Nov 7, 2022, 8:38 PM
Lynne Roberts - Utah Utes...
University of Utah Utah women's basketball coach Lynne Roberts during practice in the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019. (Steve Griffin, Deseret News)
(Steve Griffin, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY– It wasn’t the prettiest Utah women’s basketball Lynne Roberts’ crew ever played, but they got the job done against Idaho 88-63.

After a slow start, Utah kicked it into gear according to Roberts and now it’s on to the next one.

“We looked jittery,” Roberts said. “I thought defensively we came out and were a little sluggish- doing things we hadn’t been doing. Kind of just first game stuff. We didn’t shoot well at all from the three. For Gianna and Kennady to go 1 of 9 from the three is uncharacteristic. What we do have is post play if we aren’t shooting well.”

Utah Women’s Basketball Leaders

Despite some of the early issues, there were some players who stood out for Utah and helped to eventually put some distance between them and Idaho.

USC transfer Alissa Pili was brilliant for the Utes leading the team in scoring with 27 points. She also accounted for seven rebounds and one assist.

“Alissa is really good when she gets going like that,” Roberts said. “There is not much you can do as the opposing team. It’s nice to be on this side of the fence with her. It was brutal when she wasn’t wearing the Utah red.”

Jenna Johnson was a force rebounding and assisting for Utah with 13 rebounds to her name, five assists and 10 points.

“I thought Jenna was great today,” Roberts said. “She was really active and a double-double for her. Great first win and we’ll learn from it and clean things up. We got a convincing win and it was a good day.”

Finding Her Groove Again

Pili said when she left USC she wanted to go somewhere where she would feel at home. She says she found that with Roberts who keeps it real with her and the Utes.

“I decided to come here based on if I was happy at a place,” Pili said. “I was pretty miserable in the past and I just wanted to be somewhere where I could really prosper and achieve my goals. That’s why I’m here. Coach Lynne keeps it real with me, she knows my strengths and weaknesses and she knows what I need to work on.”

Pili noted it was nice to go out and play her game again. Hopefully something that continues to grow for her and the Utes as the season progresses.

“I think I just found my groove again,” Pili said. “I felt like the old me out there. It’s been a while since I had a game like that and it just felt good. Once I got going, I didn’t want to stop.”


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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