Janita Badon had a career-high six steals against Saint Mary's.
March 21, 2010
MORAGA, Calif. - A late surge lifted the Utah women's basketball team to a 66-53 victory over Saint Mary's in the first round of the WNIT on Sunday afternoon.
With the win, the Utes play at California on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. PT (8:00 p.m. MT).
With the game tied for the eighth time, 47-47 with 6:42 left in the game, Utah (23-11) surged in the late minutes with a 15-0 run over the next 5:30 to take a 62-47 lead with a minute left in the game. Janita Badon started the surge with a steal and a layup and Taryn Wicijowski had eight points of the run for the Utes. The deficit was too much for the Gaels to overcome as the clock ran out.
Wicijowski led Utah with 21 points while Kalee Whipple scored 17. Badon scored 12 points, including going 2-for-3 from three-point range. She also had a career-high six steals. Halie Sawyer had a team-high 12 rebounds.
"It was a very competitive game," head coach Elaine Elliott said. "Saint Mary's is a good team. Our kids made some plays late in the game, we got some turnovers and some steals and got the win. It was a good game and a good win."
The game went back-and-forth in the early minutes. Saint Mary's took a 7-2 lead in the first two minutes before Utah pulled ahead with a four-point advantage, 20-16 with 11:39 to go in the first half. Both teams went long stretches late in the first half without scoring before Jasmine Smith gave the Gaels a one-point lead at halftime, 32-31, on a three-pointer with seconds left.
Utah only had seven turnovers compared to 20 for Saint Mary's. The Utes turned 13 steals into 19 points.
Louella Tomlinson led Saint Mary's with 13 points and 11 rebounds.