Dec. 15, 2012
SALT LAKE CITY - Three players scored in double figures as the Utah women's basketball team defeated Houston Baptist, 71-33, on Saturday afternoon.
Taryn Wicijowski and Michelle Plouffe each scored 16 points. Plouffe had a team-high eight rebounds with four steals, two blocks, and a career-high seven assists. Wicijowski pulled down seven rebounds. Danielle Rodriguez was in double figure scoring for the second time in her career with 10 points.
Utah was coming off the university's finals week.
"I have been coaching for 16 years in college and I've never seen a good first half after finals," Utah head coach Anthony Levrets said. "I don't think that people realize how hard it is to be a student-athlete, but this week is the hardest. I was really proud of how we went in at halftime and came out with so much more energy defensively and played the way that we can play defensively, which translates for us into offensive production, pace and movement. Give Houston Baptist credit, they did a good job in the first half, but I've never seen a good first half after finals."
Both teams went through long stretches without scoring in the first half. The Utes led by three points with 6:20 remaining in the half, 18-15 after a Houston Baptist layup. It was the last points of the first half that Utah would surrender to the Huskies as the Utes closed out the first half on a 10-0 run to take a 28-15 lead into the locker room. Houston Baptist's 15 first-half points is the lowest halftime output for a Utah opponent this year.
Houston Baptist went over 11 minutes without a field goal between the first and second halves. Utah forced the Huskies into 21 turnovers, recording 11 steals.
The Utes had 11 players that saw minutes in the game.
"We have four new freshman and a junior college transfer and we're trying to find a role for everybody," Levrets said. "We've struggled in the past because of a lack of depth, and during this nonconference season we've been trying to increase our depth and get more people comfortable playing so that if something happens, that we're able to be a little bit deeper and give more people more opportunity to play."
The Utes take on UC Irvine on Thursday, Dec. 20, in their next game. Tip is at 7:00 p.m. MT.