Taryn Wicijowski led Utah with 22 points and nine rebounds against Washington State.
Feb. 24, 2013
SALT LAKE CITY - The Utah women's basketball team closed out its home regular-season schedule with a 59-47 win over Washington State.
Utah struggled early in the first half, turning the ball over seven times and giving Washington State an eight-point lead. WSU held a 20-12 lead with seven minutes left in the first half before the Utes found their rhythm with a 9-0 run to take a 21-20 lead with three minutes left in the half.
With the score tied at 24-24 with 1:30 left in the first half, a Rodrigues layup and three-pointer just before the buzzer from Rachel Messer gave the Utes a five-point lead at halftime, 29-24. Utah shot 50 percent from the floor in the first half while Wicijowski led the Utes with 11 first-half points.
Utah took control of the game in the second half. Holding a four-point lead, 36-32 with 15 minutes left in the second half, the Utes went on a 19-4 run over the next 11:30 to take a 17-point lead, 55-38 with 3:30 left in the game.
"I think we played better offensively," Utah head coach Anthony Levrets said about Utah's improvement throughout the game. "They play matchup-zone [defense]. They are the only true matchup-zone team that I know of in the country, and they fly around, and it's so visually different than anything else we see. Visually, it takes a little while and you just can't prepare for it, especially in 36 hours, for what you are going to see. I think it took our kids a little while to see where we could attack them, and when we did we were better offensively, which led to us not allowing them to have transition baskets."
"It's something that we stress and it's been difficult in this league," Levrets said. "Over the years we've rebounded well, but night-in and night-out we're not the bigger, stronger, faster team. A lot of rebounding is about athleticism, and effort, and we work hard, but sometimes other kids are quicker to the ball. We really work the technique, getting better at it, and I think it's paying off. Defending and rebounding is something that you have to do every night. We talk about how defending travels and rebounding travels and sometimes your offense doesn't always travel. Those two things can [travel] and hopefully that will continue for us."
Utah hits the road for the final weekend of the regular season, playing Oregon State on Friday, March 1, and Oregon on Sunday, March 3.