Elaine Thompson, AP
FILE: Utah head trainer Lynne Roberts directs her staff in opposition to Washington in the primary part of an NCAA faculty basketball sport Friday, Jan. five, 2018, in Seattle.
SALT LAKE CITY—Coming off their first-ever street sweep as participants of the Pac-12 Conference ultimate weekend, the Utah Utes had momentum but additionally a large problem in entrance of them because the 14th-ranked UCLA Bruins got here to the city for a Friday evening tilt on the Huntsman Center.
The Utes indubitably caught with the Bruins in a sport that used to be shut during and trailed by means of just one at 67-66 with four:49 last earlier than faltering down the stretch and dropping 81-74.
“I hate losing,” Utah head trainer Lynne Roberts stated. “I’m bummed we lost. You have to give UCLA credit. You can tell they have a roster full of seniors, and they just made plays and we didn’t.”
More in particular, the Bruins gave themselves 2d possibilities again and again with offensive rebounds, particularly with the sport shut in the fourth quarter. In all, UCLA received the offensive rebounding statistic 20-7, leaving Roberts along with her fingers on her head in frustration when the Bruins grabbed every other one with just over a minute last to drain extra clock and seal the deal.
“We got crushed on the O-boards, and that’s why they won,” Roberts stated. “It’s easy for me in a suit and heels to say, ‘Go get the rebound’ from the sideline. I know how hard it is out there. UCLA is so aggressive and so big and athletic that it’s easier said than done, but just a couple offensive rebounds away down the stretch there, because I felt like we had a little bit of momentum.”
Although the Bruins have two avid gamers who Roberts feels might be in rivalry for National Player of the Year in guard Jordin Canada and ahead Monique Billings, freshman Michaela Onyenwere stood out for UCLA Friday, completing with 20 issues and 11 rebounds, six of which got here at the offensive finish.
Canada additionally had 20 issues to move at the side of 8 assists and iced the sport with six loose throws in the overall 33 seconds. For the evening, the Bruins made 23-of-27 loose throws whilst Utah attached on just 15-of-24 from the charity stripe.
“I think we’ll probably kick ourselves over that, because we’re a good free-throw shooting team,” Roberts stated.
Despite the 2 transparent shortcomings from the Utes, they discovered themselves down by means of just 4 at 42-38 at halftime after which charged again from a seven-point deficit in the 3rd quarter to take their first lead of the evening at 53-51 with Three:06 last in the body.
Utah took the lead once more at 57-56 on a Three-pointer from freshman guard Tori Williams with nine:29 to move in the sport, however UCLA’s Kennedy Burke responded with a Three-pointer and the Utes couldn’t catch up from there regardless of preserving inside of hanging distance till within a minute to play.
“I think we were just really calm and collected,” stated Utah ahead Megan Huff about how the staff used to be in a position to keep shut with the Bruins. “Throughout the whole thing, everyone was just encouraging each other, just ‘Next play, next play ’ I think that’s the biggest thing, just answering back. I think a few plays we weren’t able to answer back because of the offensive rebounds.”
Huff led a balanced Ute scoring assault with 17 issues, whilst Daneesha Provo and Emily Potter every had 16 and Williams added 10.
Although happy with her staff, Roberts desires to be in a position to destroy thru with a victory in opposition to one of the most Pac-12’s elite groups.
“I hesitate to use the term moral victory,” Roberts stated. “I think we’re past that as a program. I really do…we need to start winning them. We need to win one.”
Utah has a snappy turnaround, as it’ll play USC Sunday afternoon on the Huntsman Center.
Tipoff is scheduled for 12 p.m. MT.