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Utah women's basketball: Utes blow out Oregon

Published February 8, 2013 10:13 pm

Women's basketball • After bad start, Utah runs over Oregon.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

After playing seven ranked teams in a stretch of 10 games, the Utah women were in need of a breather.

Welcome struggling Oregon.

The Utes started slowly — Utah coach Anthony Levrets used a timeout following the Ducks' first possession — but eventually ran away with a 67-47 Pac-12 victory Friday night in front of 1,064 fans inside the Huntsman Center.

Now, with Oregon State coming to town Sunday afternoon and a favorable schedule the rest of the season, the Utes (12-10, 3-8 Pac-12) are in a position to make a run at an NCAA Tournament berth.

The players understand what's in front of them.

"We just have to win a bunch of games now," said Utah center Taryn Wicijowski, returning after missing three games with a torn meniscus. "So we have to approach these games as if we're in a tournament right now. We have to win every single game."

And, excluding the opening four minutes, which saw Oregon (3-20, 1-10) grab nine offensive rebounds, including three on its first possession, the Utes dominated. They took the lead midway through the first half and eventually opened a 27-point margin with four minutes to play.

Utah won by forcing the Ducks into a halfcourt game and spreading around its offense. Michelle Plouffe, Iwalani Rodrigues and Wicijowski combined to score 42 points, but the Ute subs contributed 17 points. Also, at least six players had two or more assists, including Rodrigues with five.

Utah converted 14 Oregon turnovers into 18 points.

"It was nice to get home and play — after we got through that first four minutes — a really solid basketball game," Levrets said. "It was great to have everybody contribute to a really good team win."

Utah led by 12 at the half, then opened the second 20 minutes with a 16-5 run.

"We have to learn to get ourselves ready to play the game in the beginning," Rodrigues said. "As soon as I heard that timeout [following the opening possession], I knew, 'Oh man.' "

Getting Wicijowski back was also important. She had surgery last week, but was cleared to play, saying afterward that the right knee was a little sore but OK.

"She's tougher than hell," Levrets said. "To get her back this quickly is remarkable."

martyr@sltrib.com

Twitter: @tribmarty —

Utah 67, Oregon 47

Oregon (3-20) • Love 4-9 0-0 9, Brenner 5-10 1-3 11, Delgado 1-7 1-4 4, Loera 0-9 0-0 0, Alleyne 3-11 1-2 7, Miley 0-1 0-0 0, Carpenter 3-5 0-0 6, Iamaleava 2-4 0-0 5, Galland 2-8 1-1 5. Totals - 20-64 4-10 47.

Utah (12-10) • Wicijowski 5-12 3-4 13, Plouffe 6-16 2-2 15, Rodrigues 6-9 0-0 14, Crozon 2-8 0-0 4, Rodriguez 1-2 2-3 4, Brodgewater 3-4 0-0 6, Dunbar 1-1 0-0 3, Wilson 3-8 0-0 8. Totals -27-60 7-10 67.

Halftime - Utah 35-23. 3-point goals - Oregon 3-23 (Love 1-3, Brenner 0-1, Delgado 1-6, Loera 0-5, Miley 0-1, Carpenter 0-1, Iamaleava 1-3, Galland 0-3), Utah 6-17 (Plouffe 1-5, Rodrigues 2-3, Crozon 0-4, Dunbar 1-1, Wilson 2-4). Fouled Out - None. Rebounds - Oregon 36 (Brenner 15), Utah 32 (Wicijowski 8). Assists - Oregon 10 (Loera 3), Utah 17 (Rodrigues 5). Total fouls - Oregon 11, Utah 15. A - 1,064. —

Highlights

O Utah began the second half with a 16-5 run, opening a 23-point lead.

• Iwalani Rodrigues scored 14 points with five assists.

• Utah's bench contributed 17 points, six assists and nine rebounds.