Colorado Win A ‘Confidence Confirmer’ For Utah Women’s Basketball

Feb 16, 2024, 10:30 PM | Updated: Feb 17, 2024, 2:38 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – No. 22 Utah women’s basketball team was determined to take down No. 8 Colorado on Friday night in the Huntsman Center and they did just that.

The Utes built up an 18-point lead in the first half that the Buffs evaporated in the second half and eventually took over with 19 seconds left to play.

Utah didn’t flinch.

Instead, they answered back in the most poetic way possible- Dasia Young, who had missed the past four games with an undisclosed injury hitting a layup as time expired for a 77-76 victory.

Head coach Lynne Roberts called the win a “confidence confirmer” during postgame as the Utes now turn their attention to two more Top-10 matchups next week in Los Angeles.

Utah’s Tough Road In 2023-24

Before the season started Utah looked every bit the part of a Final Four team. Then the injuries came.

The Utes have still won a lot and currently sit at 19-7 on their season and 9-5 in Pac-12 play. It hasn’t been as easy as it could have been.

Roberts and the Utes don’t care though because they know no one else does either, so they’ve made the best of what they had available and sit in good position because of it. They control their own destiny despite the obstacles put in their way.

“This league pushes you and tests you in every way,” Roberts said. “We’ve been tested this year and pushed, but we are 19-7 and won our last nine. We’re doing well and I have so much confidence in these guys, so to win like that- I have much respect for Colorado- they battled back. That was a heckuva heavy weight bought in that fourth quarter, but we made the last play.”

Despite how great the feeling of taking down the No. 8 team in the country is, Utah knows the work isn’t over. They have two tough matchups next week on the road against No. 9 UCLA and No. 10 USC who likely haven’t forgotten what they Utes did to them back in January. Once again, it doesn’t matter to Roberts.

“I have so much confidence in our group, so I don’t think this is a confidence booster, it’s confidence confirming,” Roberts said. “I believe in this team against anybody in the country, so I don’t need to be boosted. I know what I see. I know what I believe in. I know what they are capable of- this is just confidence confirming of their ability and what our potential is.”

Utah Women’s Basketball Welcomes Back, Dasia Young

Young was huge off the bench for the Utes in her return to the court accounting for 13 points including the game winner, five rebounds, and one block.

“Before I even scored the game winning shot- it just felt so good to be out there,” Young said. “When I was sitting on the bench- I mean, I love to watch them play. I love watching my teammates move the ball- make shots, make threes. I love celebrating, but it’s just different when you are out there with them. Since this is my last year, I want to play with them as much as I can so sitting there on the bench was kind of nerve-wracking. I trusted them and they trusted me to take as much time as I needed to heal up and get back out there and play the way I did today.”

Young was not the only one who was lights out for Utah either.

Alissa Pili was her typical self, leading the team in points with 18. (Fun aside, she is one point away from hitting 2000 career points.)

Jenna Johnson was also solid with 14 points on the night while Maty Wilke and Kennady McQueen chipped in eight points apiece.

However, Ines Vieira may have been the most impactful of all defending Jaylyn Sherrod while adding 16 points including two clutch free throws down the stretch, eight rebounds, seven assists, and two steals to the stat sheet.

“I’ve been working on my free throws,” Vieira said. “I started the season kind of bad from what I used to be, and I’ve been focusing more on that because I know there are going to be moments like this where I have to make them. I think it was more like confidence- I didn’t really think about it.”

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 XInstagram, and Threads: @BodkinKSLsports

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Colorado Win A ‘Confidence Confirmer’ For Utah Women’s Basketball