COLLEGE BASKETBALL

No. 15 Utah Women’s Basketball Beats Rival BYU In Provo

Dec 10, 2022, 7:17 PM | Updated: 7:17 pm
Alissa-Pili-Utah-Utes-BYU-Cougars-Womens-Basketball...
Utah Utes forward Alissa Pili (35) goes to the hoop during a game against the BYU Cougars at the Marriott Center in Provo on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022. (Courtesy of Deseret News)
(Courtesy of Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – The University of Utah women’s basketball team remained undefeated as they beat the BYU Cougars, 76-59, in Provo in a game where the Utes never fell below a 10-point lead.

The Utes were led by the tremendous scoring of Alissa Pili. Pili scored 28 points on the night and came up with several key steals throughout the game to propel the Utes to victory.

Utah shot 55 percent from the field on the night, an insane clip. BYU also had an impressive shooting night putting up 40 percent from the field throughout the night.

Rebounding came out as a wash as BYU outrebounded Utah by 1 32-31. While BYU struggled with turnovers in the first half they limited them in the second half and both teams finished with less than 15 turnovers in what was a very cleanly played game by both teams.

BYU’s Nina Falatea had an impressive night, getting some very impressive scoring chances throughout the night. In the end, finishing with 18 points on the night. Lauren Gustin also posted 18 points for the Cougars in the loss.

Alissa Pili came out of the gates on fire to start the game, scoring 9 points in the first quarter of the game alone. Pili’s ability to drive the basket and establish position in the paint are unmatched on this Utah team and has bought a different element the team lacked last year.

Utah cruised out to an early 20-10 lead, propelled by the tremendous defense, especially in the BYU passing lanes.

RELATED: Local Programs Land In Top 20 Of Initial 2022-23 NCAA NET Rankings

A Gianna Kneepkins three in the second quarter pushed the Utes lead back up to 12. The Utes entered halftime with a 39-27 lead as the Cougars did an excellent job controlling a Utah offense that ranked number one in the nation coming into the game.

Alissa Pili led the way with 15 points going into the half while the Cougars leading scorer heading into the half was Nani Falatea with eight points.

The defensive fight from the Cougars in the first half was impressive, the Utes still shot an impressive 50 percent from the field in the first half while the Cougars shot 34 percent.

A major statistical difference at halftime was turnovers, BYU committed eight to Utah’s just three turnovers in the first half.

The Utes started strong in the second half on a nearly ten-point run that put the team up 49-34, punctuated by a diving Alisa Pili steal. The Cougar offense started the half on a cold street going 0-4 to start the third quarter.

Despite a rough night for BYU, Falatea was a bright spot for the Cougars throughout the game. Her ability to carve the defense and get to the basket were both on full display throughout the game.

The Utes took 16 point lead into the fourth quarter on another run going into the final frame of play. The story of the night was the inability of BYU to respond to Utah runs.

The Cougars did find a bit of footing late going on a 6-0 run to start the fourth and nearly cut the lead below ten.

The story down the stretch of the game though was Pili, who dominated in the paint and leveraged defenders. Pili adds a completely different aspect to Utah’s game that the Utes just didn’t have this year, the physical game.

Gianna Kneepkens opened up the three-point shooting for the Utes down the stretch, nailing five threes down the stretch to push Utah’s lead to 20 down the stretch. Kneepkens finished with 18 points on the night and was Utah’s second-leading scorer.

The Utes walk out of BYU with a 76-59 win over BYU. The sky appears to be the limit for the Utes but the tests start coming quickly. The Pac-12 is the best conference in college basketball from top to bottom and the Utes may be in the top tier of those teams now, we will see soon.

  • Utah Utes Scoreboard

  • Utah Utes Team Leaders

  • Utah Utes Standings

  • BYU Cougars Scoreboard

  • BYU Cougars Team Leaders

  • BYU Cougars Standings

College Basketball

Lynne Roberts - Utah Utes...
Michelle Bodkin

Lynne Roberts: My Job Is To Graduate Confident, Empowered Women

Utah women's basketball coach Lynne Roberts is proud her main job is to build confident, empowered women to be some of our next leaders.
18 hours ago
utah-state-maverik-stadium...
Brian Preece

Utah State Football Finalizes 2023 Signing Class

Utah State football officially adds 42 players in head coach Blake Anderson's third signing class with the program.
18 hours ago
Alissa-Pili-Game-Tying-Three-Point-Shot-UCLA...
Michelle Bodkin

Utes Bulletin: Things Happening In Utah Athletics (Week Of 1/30/23)

With football on a bit of a hiatus and several of the smaller sports in full swing having success, we put together a Utah Bulletin.
3 days ago
Dee Glen Smith Spectrum...
Brian Preece

Utah State Must Take Care Of Business At Home For NCAA Tournament Birth

Sitting at 17-5 and fifth in the Mountain West conference, the Aggies are well positioned to make a run over their final nine games.
3 days ago
Zach-Edey-Purdue-Boilermakers...
Dave Skretta, AP

Purdue A Unanimous No. 1 In AP Top 25; Volunteers Up To No. 2

Purdue became this season's first unanimous No. 1 team in the AP Top 25 men's college basketball poll Monday.
3 days ago
Abby-Brenner-Jillian-Hoffman-Hug-After-Vaults-At-Red-Rocks-Preview...
Michelle Bodkin

Role Players Shined Over The Weekend For Utah Women’s Basketball, Red Rocks

The Utes prevailed over the weekend thanks to some key performances from role players on both teams in a total depth chart flex.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.
Jordan-Clarkson-Utah-Jazz...
KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.
Football soccer ball on grass field on stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

Everything You Need to Know to Watch the 2022 World Cup

Find out where and when to watch the upcoming games and final match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including where to find live updates.
ksl sports logos...
KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.
jimmy-buffett-tour-art...
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Jimmy Buffett

Get your Hawaiian shirts ready.
Iron Maiden tour...
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden returns to Utah in 2022 with The Legacy of the Beast tour.
No. 15 Utah Women’s Basketball Beats Rival BYU In Provo