Go Utes!
Go Utes!
Utah Women's Basketball Downs Utah Valley, 81-70

Emily Potter blocked six shots and tied her career high with 16 points during Tuesday's win over Utah Valley.

Emily Potter blocked six shots and tied her career high with 16 points during Tuesday's win over Utah Valley.

Dec. 11, 2013

SALT LAKE CITY - Freshman forward Emily Potter swatted six shots, scored 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead a balanced University of Utah women's basketball team to an 81-70 non-conference win over Utah Valley on Wednesday in the Huntsman Center.

Utah (4-4) poured in a season-high 81 points on a 41.3 percentage from the floor to go with a 35-30 edge in team rebounding. Twenty-one of Utah's 26 baskets were assisted and was 17-of-19 from the free throw line. The Utes had 21 assists with only seven turnovers, while forcing 14 Utah Valley turnovers. Utah was opportunistic as it had 19 points off turnovers and 17 second-chance points in the contest to go with a 13-2 edge in bench points.

"Obviously, I am happy that we won the basketball game," Utah Head Coach Anthony Levrets said. "I give Utah Valley a ton of credit, but we have to get better defensively."

Potter hit three of her first four shots and ended 7-of-14 from the floor for her 16 points, which tied her career high that initially came against Denver in the season opener on Nov. 8. Potter has reached double-digits in points in three straight games and five times this season. She also grabbed five defensive rebounds and four rebounds for nine total. The Winnipeg, Manitoba native had five blocks in the first half alone and her six blocked shots for the contest equaled her output for the season entering tonight's game.

Senior forward Michelle Plouffe turned in her fifth double-double of the season with a team-high 21 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. She reached double-digits in points for the eighth time in eight games this season and has had 10 or more rebounds five times in 2013-14. She also came up with a season-high four steals.

 

 

"There is a reason why she is an All-American," Levrets said. "She can do so many things and have so much of an impact on the game. The biggest stretch of the game, before she got her third foul, was her taking [Utah Valley's Katie] Kuklok out of the first part out of the second half. Plouffe shut her down and that was probably the most important thing that she did tonight. That stretch that allowed us to get that cushion."

Freshman guard Malia Nawahine scored a career-high 11 points after making four of her seven shots (including her first two 3-point field goals). This was the second double-digit-point outing of her freshman campaign. She also had three assists and was 3-of-6 from 3-point territory.

Sophomore guard Danielle Rodriguez had a game-high six assists to go along with 11 points, which was her fourth double-digit-point outing of the year and was 5-of-6 from the foul line. Senior guard Ciera Dunbar tallied nine points on the strength of a 3-for-6 effort from long range to go with three assists. Junior guard Cheyenne Wilson hit a pair of 3-pointers and equaled her season-high with three assists.

UVU jumped out to a 5-0 lead and two of its first four 3-point attempts before Utah launched a 13-3 run to gain a 13-8. UVU hit three of its first four field goal attempts and its first two 3-pointers. Nawahine then hit her first two 3-point attempts and Plouffe drained a mid-range jumper to tie the game for the second time at eight points apiece and a lay-in by Potter. The Wolverines came back with a 5-0 stretch to tie the game for the third time at 13 apiece. The Utes then took 12 of the next 16 points to leap out to an eight-point edge (25-17). UVU tied the game for the fifth time at 26-26 via a 9-1 run (26-26). There would be two more ties (28, 30) before the Wolverines earned a 33-30 edge. Plouffe's first 3-pointer of the contest knotted the game for the seventh time at 33 all. This was the first time this season that Utah was tied at the half as the Utes had 11 assists on 13 made field goals. Potter came up with a season-high five blocks in the first half in addition to 10 points on a 5-of-7 effort from the floor to go with four rebounds. Plouffe pitched in eight points and four rebounds, while Dunbar handed out three assists and Nawhine, Owens and Rodriguez were each credited with two assists apiece.

A Nawahine lay-in and three straight Plouffe free throws after being fouled on a 3-point shot gave Utah a 38-33 lead early in the second half. The Utes would go on to extend their lead to as many as 14 (70-56) en route to an 81-70 victory. Utah outscored UVU 48-37 in the second half and shot 40.6 (13-32) from the field, while the Utes made six of their 14 3-point attempts (42.9) in the second half. Plouffe scored 13 points in the last 20 minutes, including a 7-for-7 effort from the free throw line, to go with nine rebounds. Rodriguez added eight points and four assists.

Utah Valley (1-9) was led by a 34-point, five-rebound performance by Kuklok.

The Utes play BYU in the Deseret First Duel on Saturday, Dec. 14 at 2 p.m. MT in Provo, Utah. The game can be seen live on BYU-TV and Rick Bouillon on the play-by-play call.

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