Utah Women Start Fast, Can’t Overcome Stanford Counter, Suffer Second Loss Of The Season

Jan 20, 2023, 9:00 PM

PALO ALTO, CA –Β The No. 8 Utah women’s basketball team is on the road this week in the Bay Area to take on their hardest challenge to date facing off with the No. 4 Stanford Cardinal, Friday night.

After a thriller in Salt Lake City against a ranked Arizona team on Sunday, Utah was unable to get it done against the Cardinal in Palo Alto, 74 – 62 constantly getting stuck in a 10-point deficit for much of the night against Stanford.

A fast start to the game for the Utes couldn’t overcome the Stanford attack forcing Utah to come to grips with their second loss of the season.

Utah Versus Stanford: First Quarter


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Lynne Roberts and her crew got off to a quick start against Tara VanDerVeer and the Cardinal after missing on their first series and the Utes capitalizing on a Gianna Kneepkens jump shot. Alissa Pili followed it up with another two before Stanford got on the board.

With five left to play in the first quarter, Stanford closed the gap and tied the game up at 12. On the next possession for the Utes they turned the ball and put the Cardinal in a position to go to the line for free throws.

The Cardinal pulled away a little building their lead up four before the quarter ended , but a trip to the line for the Utes cut it down to two, 24-22 in favor of Stanford.

The Utes In Quarter Two

The second quarter started with an offensive foul for the Utes that turned the ball back over to Stanford, but they were unable to capitalize on their first possession too. After Pili got called for another offensive foul that moved the ball back in the Cardinal’s possession, they regained the lead off free-throws, 25-22.

With under eight minutes to play in the second half, Stanford continued to gain a lead over the Utes, 29-22. While a little slow to start, the Cardinal seemed to gain confidence with every shot early on in the game creating a hole Utah needed to figure out how to get out of quickly.

Kneepkens gets a trip to the line that ended Utah’s scoring drought with just under five to play in the hald and cut the Cardinal’s lead, 34-26. Jenna Johnson earned a trip to the line about a minute later and made the score 34-28 after the Utes suffered a 12-point deficit.

Utah ended the half on a nine-point deficit after striking hot early on in the game. The Utes went into the break shooting 34% from the field, 23% from the three and 100% from the free-throw line. Pili was the score leader with 11 points for the Utes, while Johnson cleaned up with seven rebounds and two assists for a 41-32 score in favor of the Cardinal.

Third Quarter Utes

Utah continued to struggle a bit out of the half, but Pili pushed her way to four-points out of the gate helping the Utes to start chipping away at their deficit, 45-38. Pili would get a trip to the line but would only go one of two to make the score 45-39 with just over five minutes to play.

Kneepkens would get her own trip to the line cutting the score down to four with under five minutes to play, but Stanford got their own chance and extended the lead in their favor going one of two, 46-41.

Around the three-minute mark of the third quarter and momentum seemed to be swinging back Utah’s way just trailing the Cardinal by three, 49-46. A trip to the line for Stanford provided a two-point cushion, 51-46, but Pili took a charge and made up the difference at the line, 51-48.

Utah Fights Hard, Suffers Loss To Stanford In Final Quarter

Stanford came out hot out of the break extending their lead to 10 before Utah answered back with two to make the lead eight, 60-52. The Cardinal wasted no time making it a 10-point game again, but Pili went to the line narrowing the lead for Stanford back down to eight again, 62-54 with seven minutes left to play.

Utah would end the night shooting 34% from the field, 19% from the three, and 89% from the free throw line. Turnovers didn’t help the game for either team with both teams coughing the ball up 12 times a piece.

Pili led the team with 25 points, while Johnson continued to shine bringing in 12 rebounds and five assists.

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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Utah Women Start Fast, Can’t Overcome Stanford Counter, Suffer Second Loss Of The Season