Go Utes!
Go Utes!
Utah Women's Basketball Wins Fourth Straight, Beats Samford 69-49

Emily Potter had 18 points in 15 minutes during Saturday's win over Samford.

Emily Potter had 18 points in 15 minutes during Saturday's win over Samford.

Dec. 21, 2013

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SALT LAKE CITY - In 15 minutes of action, freshman forward Emily Potter tied her career high in points to help the University of Utah women's basketball team to a 69-49 win over Samford on Saturday in the Huntsman Center.

Utah (6-4) turned in a season-high 54.2 (26-48) shooting percentage, while holding Samford to a 38.8 (19-49) clip. The Utes outrebounded the Bulldogs, 36-18, and were 10-of-14 from the free throw line, compared to just five free throw attempts for Samford.

The Utes had three players in double-figures, led by Potter's 9-for-13 shooting percentage from the floor that tied her season high with 18 points for the second consecutive game. The Winnipeg, Manitoba native also had five rebounds and blocked a shot. This was Potter's fifth consecutive game with 10 or more points and her seventh in 10 contests this season.

Freshman guard Malia Nawahine tied Potter with a career-high 18 points off a 6-of-8 shooting performance. She hit all 3 of her 3-point attempts and was 3-for-3 from the foul line in addition to grabbing four rebounds and handing out a pair of assists.

"They are both really talented players," Utah Head Coach Anthony Levrets said. "We have a talented young group." Rodriguez joined Potter and Nawahine in double-figures as she turned in 11 points after hitting four of her eight shots. She hit her first three shots for seven points before the first media timeout of the game and also ended up with five rebounds and three assists.

Redshirt freshman Nakia Arquette made her first career start and contributed nine points to go with a new career high of two steals.

Junior guard Cheyenne Wilson dished out a career-high five assists and added six points to go with three rebounds. Freshman guard Devri Owens added three points and set a new season high with five rebounds. Redshirt freshman Ariel Reynolds equaled her career high and set a new season-best mark with four rebounds.

Rodriguez started the game with an old-fashioned 3-point play and lay-in for a personal 5-0 run. Nawhine the converted a four-point play to give Utah a 9-3 lead and would lead by as many as seven (13-6). The teams traded 5-0 runs and the score stood at 18-11 in favor of the Utes, but the Bulldogs were able to come within two once again (18-16) after another run of five unanswered points. Utah pushed back to a 24-18 lead, yet Samford came back with another 5-0 stretch to cut its deficit to one, 24-23. Utah inched out to a two-point lead (29-27) before scoring seven consecutive to extend to a 36-27 lead. Utah hit six of its first seven shots and ended the half with a 54.5 (12-22), compared to 40.0 (8-20) for Samford. Nawahine was 4-for-5 for 11 points. Rodriguez had seven first-half points and Potter had six, while both were 3-for-6 from the floor in the first 20 minutes. Reynolds tied her career high with four rebounds in the opening half.

The Utes hit three of their first four shots in the second half and began with six straight scores by Utah to open up a 13-point advantage (42-29). Three consecutive lay-ins by Potter gave Utah a 19-point lead (63-44) before going on to the 69-49 victory. The Utes limited the Bulldogs to a 37.5 (9-24) shooting percentage in the second half, while shooting 52.4 (11-21).

"The one thing that we wanted to do [in the second half] was take away [Samford's] 3-pointers. They were 5-for-15 in the first half, which wasn't a great percentage, but they made five. That felt like too many and they only got one in the second half and that was a big key. I felt like if they didn't get threes they wouldn't get enough twos to beat us, and we did a really good job of stopping them."

"We didn't try to do anything above and beyond what we usually do," Potter said. "We just needed to play our best. We started a little slow and got into some foul trouble, but we had a really good start to the second half. We came out and felt confident."

Samford (3-8) was led by nine points from Brittany Stevens.

The Utes host UC Santa Barbara in its non-conference finale on Monday, Dec. 30 at 7 p.m. MT. Rick Bouillon will have the play-by-play call for ESPN700 and the live stream will be available at pac-12.com.

 

 

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