Janita Badon hit the 500 assist mark for her career with four assists against WSU.
Jan. 5, 2012
PULLMAN, Wash - It was a tale of two halves for the Utah women's basketball team, as the Utes struggled to score in the second half in a 60-43 loss to Washington State on Thursday evening in Pac-12 play.
The Utes shot 50-percent in the first half and led by seven points at halftime but were unable to continue that in the second half, shooting just 27 percent from the field.
"We had another very disappointing stretch in the second half where we couldn't score," Utah head coach Anthony Levrets said. "We didn't finish off plays and they got some offensive rebounds and with long possessions they got some easy ones. After defending so well in the first half, we ran out of gas in the second half. We have to figure out a way to fix that."
Taryn Wicijowski and Michelle Plouffe each led Utah with 12 points and seven rebounds apiece. Janita Badon was also in double figures with 10 points. With four assists, she reached the 500 assist mark for her career. She currently has 502 career assists.
Utah got off to a hot start, taking a 10-2 lead before Washington State came back with a 12-4 run to tie the game at 14 with 10 minutes remaining in the first half.
The lead stayed close for the next several minutes before the Utes surged to take a seven-point lead at halftime, 28-21, after closing out the half with an 8-2 run. Utah held WSU to 27 percent shooting. Wicijowski led the Utes at the half with 10 points and six rebounds.
Utah led by as many as nine points early in the second half. With the Utes up by eight, 32-24, the team went cold from the floor and with a 23-0 run over eight minutes, Washington State took a 15-point lead, 47-32 with eight minutes remaining before Plouffe stopped the bleeding with a three-pointer.
The Utes struggled throughout the game with turnovers, with WSU scoring 21 points off of 26 Utah turnovers.
"This is a really important time for this young team," Levrets said. "We have to learn from each night and continue to get better and improve. We feel like we have a good group, we just are depleted in numbers. We have to tighten up the ship a little bit and figure out how to get through those tough stretches."
Utah continues its Pac-12 road trip on Saturday, Jan. 7, at Washington.