Utah Women Play Hard In Top-10 Showdown With UCLA, Come Up With Incredible Win

Jan 29, 2023, 2:06 PM | Updated: 4:22 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – The No. 9 Utah women’s basketball team played host Sunday afternoon to the No. 8 UCLA Bruins in another exciting Top-10 Matchup and walked away with the win in incredible fashion.

The game was fast-paced and physical from the start with neither side relenting till the very end. Ultimately, Utah prevailed, 71 – 69 after Alissa Pili hit a clutch three to tie the game with 33 seconds on the clock. Pili followed up that shot with the go-ahead layup with just 8 seconds left to play.

The Utes shot 38% from the field, 27% from the three, and 95% from the line.  Pili led the team in scoring with 23 points. 

Utah’s efforts from the three raised an additional $ 600 for Show Up Utah Special Olympics to add on to the $700 raised against USC on Friday night.

UCLA At Utah Quarter One

The Utes got off to a slow start against the Bruins early in the game struggling to get the shots to fall. UCLA got up 8-0 quickly, but a trip to the line for Jenna Johnson put point on the board for Utah with seven minutes to play, 8-2.

With about five minutes to play in the first quarter Alissa Pili landed a layup further cutting UCLA’s lead, 8-4. She followed it up with another and a trip to the line cutting the Bruin’s lead to one.

Dasia Young hits a layup and gives the Utes their first lead of the afternoon, 9-8 with under four to play in the first quarter, but UCLA answers right back with a three making the score 11-9. Issy Palmer hits Utah’s first three of the game, but the Bruins respond, and the score sits at 13-12 in favor of UCLA.

Utah and UCLA end the first quarter tied at 16 after continuing to trade shots back and forth as the quarter wound down.

Utes, Bruins Quarter Two

The Bruins started the second quarter on a 6-0 run, but Young put an end to that sinking her own three-point shot. Utah trailed 26-21 by the time the first media timeout of the quarter took place.

Teya Sidberry entered the game and not only had a great defensive stop at the basketball, but a cleanup of her own shot to put Utah within three. Palmer later took care of it with a three tying the game at 28 with under four to play.

Utah, UCLA Third Quarter

Utah came out of the halftime break with energy and regained the lead, 42-41, quickly over the Bruins. Later, Palmer threw an assist to Kneepkens who put the bucket away and built the Utes’ lead up to 44-41 at the seven-minute mark.

Pili continued the points pile up bullying in for a layup that extended Utah’s lead 48-43. UCLA answered back shortly with a three-point shot cutting the score down 48-46. The Bruins then regained the lead with another three-point shot, 49-48.

Ines Viera went to the line and alleviated some of the scoring woes for the Utes cutting UCLA’s lead to 56-50, but the Bruins turned right around and made it a six-point game again. A foul by the Bruins sent Palmer to the line and whittling down UCLA’s lead, 58-52.

Utes, Bruins Quarter Four

Young wakes the crowd up with a three-point shot, but the Utes still had some work left to do to clean up the 62-57 deficit they faced.

UCLA extended their lead with a three-point shot, but Palmer answered with a layup and free-throw shot to make it a 65-60 contest with six left to play. Pili further cut the UCLA lead with another layup making it a three-point game, 65-62.

UCLA took another trip to the line and missed both shots with under five minutes left to play keeping the score at 66-62. Pili gets a trip to the line that cuts the score down to 66-64 with under four to play.

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 Play Hard In Top-10 Showdown With UCLA, Come Up With Incredible Win