No. 25 Utah Women’s Basketball Sends Message Dismantling No. 16 Oklahoma
SALT LAKE CITY- Utah women’s basketball coach Lynne Roberts has been battling for eight years to get the No. 25 Utes to a place of prominence and it appears they are well on their way. Last season, Utah reached new heights going to the Pac-12 Championship Game and making their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 11 years. Wednesday night the ladies took one more step forward by absolutely dominating the No. 16 Oklahoma Sooners 124-78– tying a school record.
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) November 17, 2022
While the young season cannot be defined by this one game as Roberts said in her post-game press conference, it certainly sent notice to the rest of the women’s college hoops world that Utah isn’t playing around.
“What a game,” Roberts said in her opening statement. “I’m so proud of our team- the way we played for 40 minutes. Oklahoma is a really good team and I have so much respect for their program and Jenny, their head coach, is a phenomenal coach and human being. I thought we could win and we were competing to win, but I don’t know that we saw this coming.”
A Full Team Effort
As with any game there are always the players who particularly stood out, but Utah’s domination of Oklahoma truly stemmed from a full team effort.
As a team, the Utes shot 55% from the field, 33% from the three and 70% from the free throw line. They also took advantage of 15 Oklahoma turnovers and turned them into 25 points. The Utes were fantastic rebounding bringing in 51 balls from the glass and they were unselfish setting up plays with 33 assists.
Utah is BULLYING Oklahoma right now and they just don't have an answer. When the Sooners have pushed back, the Utes have pushed back harder. This is a great game early on. Utah leads 42-29 with 4:39 left in the half. #GoUtes
— Michelle Bodkin (@BodkinKSLsports) November 17, 2022
Leading the charge in points was Giana Kneepkens with 24. Kennady McQueen and Alissa Pili were also forces in the points department with 21 a piece, while Isabel Palmer added another productive 17 points to the mix.
McQueen was the team leader in rebounds with nine and Ines Vieira set the Utes up with nine assists.
“Our tenacity on defense- we talked about to beat Oklahoma we have to take care of the ball and rebound,” Roberts said. “Give ourselves as many chances to score as possible. We had eight turnovers and we out-rebounded them by 20. Then the unselfish play. 33 assists on 45 baskets. That’s tough. Everyone out there was unselfish and when you’ve got a group playing as hard as we did, as unselfish as we did- I just couldn’t be more proud.”
Other Standout Stats, Tidbits
Utah handily beat Oklahoma by 46-points which is the largest margin of victory in school history against a ranked opponent and is nearly double the old record. The Utes beat up on No. 20 BYU in the 2004-2005 season by 24 points.
The last time Utah scored 124 points was in the 1978-1979 season against Northern Arizona, also in Huntsman Center.
Coming Up Next
The Utes will have a little break in play till Monday, November 21 when they travel to the Bahamas to compete in the Baha Mar Hoops Pink Flamingo Championship. They open play against Alabama at 12:30 pm MT.
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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