UTAH UTES

Utah Women’s Basketball Focused On Themselves Ahead Of Gonzaga Matchup

Mar 25, 2024, 10:19 AM

SPOKANE, WA – Utah women’s basketball has the potential to make the Sweet 16 for a second straight year, but first they have to get past the Gonzaga Bulldogs Monday night.

In order to do that, the team says they need to just focus on themselves and play their brand of basketball.

Naturally, there are some nerves with so much on the line, but mostly excitement for a team that has had to face a lot of adversity to get to this point.

Lynne Roberts Says Prepping For Gonzaga Is Like Looking In A Mirror

Head coach Lynne Roberts talked to the media Sunday afternoon before the Zags and Utes square off Monday night at McCarthey Athletic Center. Roberts noted some eerie similarities between the two teams that has made the prep work for the game rather interesting.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by KSL Sports (@kslsports)

“They are similar in that they have a post player that is really hard to defend one-on-one,” Roberts said. “She’s really good. It’s like us with Pili, right? It’s a risk to go one-on-one with Pili. Then, they have great shooters as well, and move the ball and run their stuff well. It’s like, if we hop off, we might give up threes, if we stay at the three-point line we might give up- you know? It is a little bit of looking in the mirror in that way as far as game planning. Trying to figure out what we could be most effective in defensively that might give them the most trouble.”

Utah Knows What They Need To Do To Try And Advance

For senior leader Alissa Pili, their second-round matchup with the Bulldogs will come down to the Utes keeping their composure and playing to their strengths.

“Just stay poised and true to who we are,” Pili said. “Hone in on what we are good at and focus on us- being the best versions of ourselves. I think if we do that then we are pretty hard to stop.”

Junior Kennady McQueen agreed with Pili, noting both sides will be trying their best to take away each other’s strengths which will likely make for a great game.

“I think what is comforting for us is nothing changes,” McQueen said. “We’ve just got to show up and play Utah basketball. Whether we are at home or on the road- our game stays the same. They are a great team. We’ve followed them this season. They are a great team- we’re just trying to take away what they are good at, and they are going to scout us and do the same. It’s going to be a great basketball game.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by KSL Sports (@kslsports)

As for playing in a packed arena? Junior Jenna Johnson says Utah is used to that from playing in the Pac-12, so to them, it’s another element that makes the game exciting rather than intimidating.

“I’m excited,” Johnson said. “We’ve been playing in packed gyms all year in the Pac-12. There are sellouts every single weekend it seems like, so I think we are ready for that. Gonzaga is a great team- they have a very veteran lineup and play together so it is going to be a good matchup.”

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

Are you on Threads yet? Let’s connect, give us a follow @kslsports

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s sports leader. You can stream live radio, video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.

  • Utah Utes Scoreboard

  • Utah Utes Team Leaders

  • Utah Utes Standings

Utah Utes

wilguens-exacte-jr-plays-in-utah-basketball-game-2023...

Michelle Bodkin

Report: Runnin’ Ute Forward Wilguens Exacte Enters NCAA Transfer Portal

The Runnin' Utes now have two players in the NCAA Transfer Portal after reports surfaced that forward Wilguens Exacte entered.

9 hours ago

Cam Rising and Brant Kuithe - Utah Utes vs. Southern Utah...

Michelle Bodkin

How To Watch Utah Football’s 22 Forever Spring Game

Fans have an opportunity to get a little glimpse into what Utah football has been working on in their 22 Forever Spring Game on Saturday.

14 hours ago

Lynne-Roberts-Alissa-Pili-Embrace-After-Big-Win-At-Huntsman-Center...

Michelle Bodkin

Utah Women’s Basketball Star Alissa Pili Heading To Brooklyn For WNBA Draft

Utah women's basketball star Alissa Pili is heading to Brooklyn, New York as part of the 2024 WNBA Draft next week.

1 day ago

Cam Rising and Micah Bernard - Utah Utes vs. Ohio State - Rose Bowl Game...

Michelle Bodkin

Micah Bernard, Cam Rising Discuss Using An Injury Year To Get Better

Two Utah football stars discuss using an injury year to better prepare them for what could be a big season for the Utes in 2024.

1 day ago

BYU Baseball - Miller Park...

Brian Preece

Locals In MiLB: 28 Beehive Locals Join Minor League Teams For 2024

From Cache to Washington Counties and everywhere between, 28 local athletes litter minor-league baseball rosters at the pro level.

2 days ago

Britain-Covey-Philadelphia-Eagles-NFL Utah...

Chandler Holt

Eagles WR Britain Covey Speaks On Love For State Of Utah

Eagles wide receiver and former Utah Ute Britain Covey joined the KSL Sports Zone to talk about his NFL career and what's on the horizon.

3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

ksl-sports-newsletter...

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.

...

KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

Follow @kslsports...

The Road Home Mediathon 2023

The KSL Sports Zone and KSLSports.com are proud to support the all-day Mediathon 2023 at the Road Home, an annual tradition to raise money and other essential items for the Road Home, a Homeless Shelter.

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

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.

Utah Women’s Basketball Focused On Themselves Ahead Of Gonzaga Matchup