Taryn Wicijowski had her fifth double-double of the year in the win.
March 28, 2013
STOCKTON, Calif. - Michelle Plouffe and Taryn Wicijowski combined for 49 points and 32 rebounds as the Utah women's basketball team defeated Pacific in overtime, 60-55, on Thursday evening in the third round of the WNIT.
Utah will travel to Saint Mary's for the quarterfinals of the WNIT. The Utes face the Gaels on Saturday, March 30, at 2:00 p.m. PT.
Utah rallied from a six-point deficit with six minutes remaining, and the Tigers led by four points with under 1:30 left in the second half. Pacific led by three, 48-45 with 25 seconds remaining in the second half after a Tiger free throw, and Plouffe nailed a three-pointer on the other end of the floor to tie the game with 14 seconds left on the clock. Pacific was unable to connect on two shots in the final seconds, pushing the game to overtime.
Free throws and solid defense led the Utes in overtime. Pacific's Kendall Kenyon hit a jumper with two minutes left to tie the game at 55-55, and the Tigers were held scoreless the remainder of the way. Wicijowski made a heavily contested layup with a minute left to give the Utes the lead for good, and Pacific would miss three field goals and two free throws in the final minute of the half. Plouffe went 3-of-4 from the free throw line in the final 20 seconds of the game.
Plouffe had her 11th double-double of the year with 26 points and a career-high 19 rebounds. Wicijowski recorded her fifth double-double of the season with 23 points and 13 rebounds.
The Utes were buoyed by free throws, going 21-of-26 from the charity stripe. Utah outrebounded Pacific, 55-36, and held the Tigers to a season-low 26 percent shooting. Pacific took advantage of Utah turnovers to stay in the game. The Tigers converted 22 Utah turnovers into 28 points.
"I am really proud of our team," Utah head coach Anthony Levrets said. "We played an exceptional game tonight. The numbers say that Taryn and Plouffe had a great game, and they made some big plays down the stretch, but this was a team win. Every single person did their job at both ends of the floor. While those two had the numbers, everyone else did a great job. It's a great team win.
Utah started off the game strong, taking a 16-6 lead through the first seven minutes of the first half. Pacific didn't score its first point until four minutes into the game, and went six minutes total without a field goal. Utah led by as many as 11 points in the first half, 19-8, before the tide turned in favor of the Tigers, as they closed the half on an 11-0 run to tie the game 19-19 at halftime. Plouffe had a double-double by the first half, scoring 13 points with 12 rebounds. Wicijowski played just eight minutes in the first half due to foul trouble.
In the second half, the score was tied six times with seven lead changes. Pacific held its largest lead of the game with six minutes left in the second half, a six-point lead of 43-37.