Despite the Utah women’s basketball team hanging in for a little over two and a half quarters, the No. 10 Oregon State Beavers stifled any chance of an upset.
The Utes lost 77-65 to the Beavers on Saturday afternoon at the Huntsman Center. Utah has now lost three consecutive games, all to teams ranked in the top 10 of the Associated Press Top 25 women’s basketball poll.
“I’m sick of losing,” Utes coach Lynne Roberts said. “I think our team has potential we haven’t tapped yet. So we just have to keep grinding. Keep chopping wood, as I always say.”
Ute freshman forward Lola Pendande scored 17 points and didn’t miss one of her nine free throw attempts. Freshman guard Brynna Maxwell also had 17 points, while senior guard Kiana Moore scored 16 on 6-of-10 shooting, including 4 of 7 from the 3-point line.
Beavers senior guard Mikayla Pivec led all scores with 20 points on 46.7% shooting. She also added 12 rebounds and five assists.
The Utes (10-11, 3-7) went on a late run to make the final score respectable, but trailed by as many as 26.
The game was tied at halftime, and the Utes trailed by only two with just over five minutes left in the third quarter. But Oregon State (18-4, 6-4) got hot from the field and went on a 19-2 run to end the period, capped by Beavers senior guard Kat Turdor’s 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Utah made only seven shots in the second and third quarters combined and shot just 21.2% in that span.
“We just were struggling to score,” Roberts said. “Our shot selection wasn’t great. We took some rushed shots. And then defensively, they had kind of figured out our action and they were taking away what was there in the first half and we were still trying to shoot those shots.”
Moore said fatigue may have played a factor in Utah’s poor play after a strong first quarter.
“I think when we got up, I feel like we got a little tired,” Moore said. “So things started not going our way when we started to get tired.”
Moore came out on fire, making three 3-pointers en route to 11 first-quarter points. Utah led 24-16 after one quarter behind efficient perimeter shooting. She scored just five points the rest of the game.
The Beavers went on a 12-2 run in the second quarter to tie the game at 28 with less than three minutes remaining in the first half. The Utes went just of 3 of 17 from the field in the second quarter, which ended in a 32-32 tie.
Oregon State started the third quarter with an 8-0 run. Moore cut Utah’s deficit to 43-31 with her fourth 3-pointer of the game.