Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Kim Raff | The Salt Lake Tribune) University of Utah player (left) Paige Crozon grabs a rebound from Stanford player Mikaela Ruef during a game at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on January 6, 2013. Stanford went on to win the game 70-56.
Women’s basketball: Stanford beats Utah, 70-56
Pac-12 » Utes fall to 0-2 in the conference but take pride in putting up fight.
First Published Jan 06 2013 05:32 pm • Last Updated May 05 2013 11:32 pm

Utah’s women’s basketball team stuck to Stanford like the inversion is hanging onto the Wasatch Front. The Utes never really let the Cardinal breathe easily in Sunday’s Pac-12 matchup at the Huntsman Center.

Unfortunately for the Utes, Stanford had enough firepower to elevate itself out of Utah’s grasp, taking a 70-56 victory in front of 1,191 spectators.

At a glance

No. 4 Stanford 70,Utah 56

In short » Utah stays close to the Cardinal but never leads after the first minute. Key moment » Stanford’s Amber Orrange makes two free throws with 4:30 remaining to put the Cardinal ahead 60-50.

Key stat » Utah’s Taryn Wicijowski and Michelle Plouffe combine to shoot just 7-for-25.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The Utes (9-4, 0-2 Pac-12), who were coming off a 55-50 loss to No. 7 Cal on Friday, played the No. 4 Cardinal (13-1, 2-0) closer than many probably expected, with Utah within single digits of Stanford for much of the contest.

But in the end, forward Chiney Ogwumike proved too much for the Utes.

She finished the game with 20 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks and 2 steals.

It was the second big game in a row for Ogwumike, who posted 20 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks in Stanford’s 57-40 victory over No. 20 Colorado on Friday.

Utah forwards Michelle Plouffe and Taryn Wicijowski, who are tied for fourth in the Pac-12 averaging 16.3 points a game, had a rough day going up against Stanford’s sizable lineup. Wicijowski finished with nine points and Plouffe had 10.

Guard Iwalani Rodrigues led the Utes with 21 points.

Rather than being dejected with the back-to-back losses, the Utes were encouraged by their play against the ranked teams.

"We had two tough games this weekend with Cal and Stanford, but it’s only the beginning," Plouffe said. "It’s a good start for us. We know we can compete with these teams. We came out and did that, and it will give us some confidence going into the next week’s play."

story continues below
story continues below

The Utes play at Colorado on Tuesday, prompting Utah coach Anthony Levrets to joke that "someone must not like Utah," due to the rigorous schedule.

"I am proud of the team’s effort this weekend," he said. "I don’t think the score is indicative of what that battle was today. Two things we have to understand is we can’t have moral victories anymore. We have to put some wins together. But we also have to understand the conference schedule is two months long, not a one-week deal, and it will balance out. It’s never easy, but we have to keep our heads up and continue to get better and it will balance out."

Utah’s last gasp with the Cardinal came when Plouffe made a 3-pointer with five minutes to go to cut Stanford’s lead to 56-50. Ogwumike drove hard to the basket at the other end to put the Cardinal ahead 58-50 with 4:58 remaining. The Cardinal finished the game on a 14-6 run.

As good as Ogwumike was, Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer credited Sara James for being the difference in the game. James finished with 18 points, shooting 6-for-8 as she filled in for Toni Kokenis, who missed the game due to illness.

"Every team we play gives us their best effort, and Utah has a nice team with good inside and outside presence," VanDerveer said. "But for us, when I watch the highlights, we depend on Amber Orrange and Chiney, but Sara James really made the difference."

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.