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No. 12 Utah takes down BYU 87-68

Dec 2, 2023

SALT LAKE CITY  The No.12 Utah women's basketball team's hot shooting from beyond the arc led the Utes to an 87-68 takedown of rivals Brigham Young University. 

Kennady McQueen set the tone for the game by knocking down a three from the corner just 45 seconds after tip-off. Utah jumped out to a 10-point lead thanks to a made three by Jenna Johnson with 4:27 remaining in the first quarter. Utah didn't let up and maintained the 10-point lead as the first quarter ended. 

Utah captured the momentum in the second quarter going on a 15-5 run. With 1:37 remaining in the half, McQueen hit her fourth three in the half. Gianna Kneepkens followed that up with a three to give Utah a 22-point lead with one minute remaining in the half. Utah maintained and had the 52-32 lead going into the half. 

The Utes and BYU started the second half evenly matched with BYU having a 13-7 edge on Utah. Both teams then went scoreless for two minutes before BYU broke the drought. Utah quickly answered and went on a 8-2 run. Despite BYU outscoring Utah, 19-18 in the third, Utah had a 70-51 lead going into the final quarter of play. 

Utah stepped up the pace in the fourth quarter knocking down four from beyond the arc. The Utes finished out the game with an 87-68 win over BYU. 

Utah had four players score in double figures and were led by Alissa Pili who had 23 points going 9-12 from the field and posted a career-high five made from beyond the arc. McQueen had 18 points for the Utes including four made from three. Kneepkens had 17 points while Jenna Johnson added 13 including three from beyond the arc. 

Ines Vieira had double digit assists for the third time this season dishing out 12. 

Utah ended the game shooting 53.4 percent from the field, 50.0 percent from beyond the arc, and 72.7 percent from the free throw line. Utah pulled 32 total rebounds and had 26 assists and 11 turnovers. 

BYU shot 43.8 percent from the field, 37.5  percent from the three and 75 percent from the free throw line. The Cougars ended the game with 34 rebounds, 19 assists and 15 turnovers. 

Lynne Roberts, Head Coach

Opening statement…
"Good win for us. We led the whole time, but BYU certainly made their pushes. We were a little sloppy there in the third quarter, but we shot the ball well from three. We're hard to guard when we're spread out like that. I thought both teams played their tails off and you can see why this game means more, even though it's just another game of our 30 games scheduled, but it does seem to bring out the emotion, and I thought we had an incredible crowd. I appreciate everyone that came out, that was just amazing. It felt like the end of last year in terms of energy and crowd engagement. I think our marketing team does a tremendous job, and game ops of getting that atmosphere. My vision and goal and hope has been to create an atmosphere that is one of the best in the country for women's basketball and we're on our way, which is great. So, good win for us, I'm proud of our team, and we move forward."

Ines Viera, #2, Guard
On posting 12 of the team's 26 assists…
"I think they trust me a lot, so I find them everywhere. I feel like one of my biggest goals is to make the team go and play, and just keep them going."

Kennady McQueen, #24, Guard
On the rivalry with BYU…
"Being from Utah, it's just so huge. I grew up in a big Utah house and I absolutely love that rivalry. I grew up watching it, attending every football, men's basketball, and women's basketball game. Of course I always cheered for the Utes but just playing in it now, it's pretty crazy. It's a full circle moment for sure. I think everyone gets pretty excited to play, the rivalry is still there and that comes back next year."

The Utes are now 7-1 overall on the season and 5-0 in the Jon M. Huntsman Center. Utah is on a 21-game win streak when playing at home. 

Utah knocked down 17 made three-pointers, this is the fourth game this season Utah has hit 17 or more threes in a game. 

The Utes now have assists on 75 percent of all field goals made (219-290) this season and have 25 or more assists in six games this season. 

Utah will hit the road to take on Saint Joseph's on Dec. 7 before playing in the Basketball Hall of Fame Showcase at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn. where the Utes will take on No. 1 South Carolina. Pac-12 action is set to start Dec. 30 at Colorado.  
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