Utah junior guard Julie Brosseau’s 4-for-4 shooting from 3-point range in Thursday night’s first quarter was not shocking, considering she once scored 29 points against Ohio State while playing for Maine.
The surprising part of the Utes’ 78-58 victory over Oral Roberts in women’s basketball at the Huntsman Center was how Brosseau and her teammates thrived from long range and struggled around the rim. Brosseau, guard Brynna Maxwell and forward Ola Makurat went a combined 9 of 10 on 3-pointers and 4 of 12 from inside the arc.
Those players were the most extreme examples on a night when the Utes went 11 of 18 from 3-point range, yet made less than 40% of their other shots. Brosseau finished with a season-high 14 points, while Maxwell added 13 and forward Lola Pendande had 11.
Brosseau is part of Utah’s second group of five players who generally work together in coach Lynne Roberts’ rotation. Ute forward Maurane Corbin, her high school teammate in Quebec, kept assisting her for those 3-pointers, behind Andrea Torres’ screens. “I didn’t do much; they just set me up for those shots,” Brosseau said.
After her team’s fifth straight victory, Roberts labeled the outside-inside shooting numbers “bizarre” and cited “a little bit of a lack of intensity” for the Utes’ failure to finish inside. That issue usually is associated with defense, but Utah (5-3) played solidly on that end — especially in the first half, when the Golden Eagles (4-6) experienced a similarly weird trend.
Oral Roberts shot 20% overall from the field in the half and trailed 45-23, while going 2 of 17 from 2-point range. Senior guard Rylie Torrey scored 18 of her 25 points in the first half for the Golden Eagles. Oral Roberts is picked to finish fourth in the Summit League; conference favorite South Dakota beat Utah in overtime Nov. 16.
“I think it’s a good problem to have, when you win by 20 and don’t feel like you played very well,” Roberts said.