The standards are becoming higher for the Utah women's basketball team. The Utes led Idaho State by 21 points in the late stages of a 74-60 victory Monday night at the Huntsman Center, yet the performance left coach Lynne Roberts unsatisfied.
The Utes' 4-0 start of the season has come with inconsistency in every game, and that was especially true in this case. Roberts labeled the effort “our least inspired game” and was unhappy with a lack of focus and cohesiveness, issues that “will your get your butt kicked in the Pac-12,” she said.
Against a Big Sky Conference opponent, Utah got away with it. The Utes will visit another Big Sky team, Eastern Washington, on Wednesday. That's partly why senior forward Megan Huff played only 27 minutes Monday, posting 17 points and seven rebounds. Utah outscored ISU (1-3) by 28 points when Huff was on the court, and senior guard Erika Bean was another steadying influence with eight points and seven assists. Forward Grace Kenyon scored 17 points for the Bengals.
Overall, this was a night when Roberts had to remind herself that her team won the game and Bean acknowledged the Utes “were not at our best.”
Bean played well, the problem being that the seniors were far too distinguishable from Utah’s vital freshmen, although reserve Andrea Torres scored 11 points. Dru Gylten, the team’s best passer, had five turnovers in the first half. Dre’Una Edwards, named the Pac-12 freshman of the week for the second week in a row, made less impact than usual with six points and one rebound.
The consolation was that even after missing their final five attempts, the Utes went 11 of 22 from 3-point range after going 18 of 64 in the first three games. “Thank heaven,” Roberts said.
After playing at EWU, the Utes will have the weekend off and launch a four-game homestand next Monday against Seattle of the Western Athletic Conference.