Go Utes!
Go Utes!
Women's Basketball Falls Late at Seventh-Ranked California, 71-54

Cheyenne Wilson shoots over California's Layshia Clarendon.

Cheyenne Wilson shoots over California's Layshia Clarendon.

Jan. 27, 2013

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BERKELEY, Calif. - The Utah women's basketball team couldn't overcome a late California rally as the Utes fell to the seventh-ranked Golden Bears, 71-54.

Michelle Plouffe led Utah with 19 points and eight rebounds, while Paige Crozon tied her career high with 13 points and Iwalani Rodrigues was also in double-figure scoring with 12 points.

Although Utah shot 52 percent, the team couldn't overcome a season-high 21 turnovers.

"Really proud of our team's effort," Utah head coach Anthony Levrets said. "With everything that we've been through this weekend, with the flight being cancelled in Salt Lake City to losing a really good player against Stanford and the effort that we played with tonight, I couldn't be prouder of our team. But it was a disappointing couple of stretches that cost us the game."

Both teams were missing a key player, with Utah's Taryn Wicijowski and Cal's Gennifer Brandon each sidelined due to injury.

After trading buckets in the early minutes, Cal threatened to pull away after a 9-0 run to take a 10-point lead, 23-13 with 8:30 left in the first half. Danielle Rodriguez responded at the other end of the floor with a layup, and the Utes answered each Cal basket through the remainder of the half. Crozon, who was perfect in the first half going 4-for-4 from the floor (including 3-for-3 from three-point range) and 2-for-2 from the free-throw line, nailed her three-point attempt with seconds remaining in the first half to cut the Golden Bear lead to four at the break, 32-28. Crozon scored all 13 of her points in the first half for the Utes.

Rachel Messer started the Utes off strong in the second half with a three-pointer as part of a 7-2 run that saw Utah take a one-point lead, 35-34 over the first three minutes of the half.

With the game tied at 43-43 after a Rodrigues bucket, Cal took control with a 15-2 run, taking a 58-45 lead with just under eight minutes remaining in the game. The Utes had six turnovers during that span.

"They came out and pressed us," Levrets said. "We turned it over six out of seven possessions. Normally a strength of our team is our assist/turnover ratio. [Cal is] a very talented and athletic basketball team but we were tired. We played too many minutes. When you are tired like that sometimes that can overwhelm you and it did tonight. That was critical point in that game."

The Utes continue on the road next weekend, taking on USC on Friday, Feb. 1, and playing UCLA on Sunday, Feb. 3.



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