One of the Utah women's basketball team's best halves of the season made the Utes feel better about the end of their nonconference schedule and allowed coach Lynne Roberts to celebrate her 300th career victory.
Utah pulled away to a 75-46 win over Weber State on Friday afternoon at the Huntsman Center, where the players lifted Roberts off her feet at midcourt and later posed for a team photo with cards spelling out “3-0-0” and “W-I-N-S.”
“It's just kind of humbling,” said Roberts, whose record is 300-233 in 18 seasons at Chico State, Pacific and Utah. “I don't love attention on myself, but I'm proud of the teams I've coached.”
Roberts is 79-58 in five seasons with the Utes, who missed their first shot at her 300th win Monday in a loss to Providence.
UTAH 75, WEBER STATE 46
• Utah women’s basketball coach Lynne Roberts collects her 300th career victory, 75-46 over Weber State at the Huntsman Center.
• Ute freshman forward Lola Pendande scores 16 of her 18 points in the second half.
• The Wildcats shoot 25% from the field and commit 29 turnovers, leading to 42 points for Utah.
The Utes' second-half showing Friday featured freshman forward Lola Pendande's scoring 16 of her 18 points, after they led 32-22 at halftime. Sophomore forward Niyah Becker finished with a career-high 18 points for Utah (7-4) and sophomore guard Dru Gylten posted eight points, nine rebounds and five assists in 28 minutes. Liz Graves led Weber State (2-7) with 21 points, making 12 of 13 free throws.
Utah is 49-6 all-time against Weber State, and this was “a good game to get our confidence up, get our defense ready — kind of springboard us into the Pac-12,” Gylten said.
The Utes open conference play Dec. 29 vs. Colorado. The Buffaloes (9-0) were picked to finish last in the Pac-12, but are one of five unbeaten teams in the league — and that’s not counting No. 3 Oregon.
“I think when we get there, we'll be ready,” Gylten said of Pac-12 play, “but it's always going to be a shock at first.”
The Utes, who went 11-0 in nonconference play last season, have played inconsistently in November and December, as they blend together and Roberts keeps looking for the right combinations. She started Becker and Andrea Torres in the second half Friday, when the Utes went to Pendande inside in the third quarter and heated up from outside in the fourth period.