Cougars comeback falls short in Utah

Utes outscore WSU by eight points in final 20 minutes of action Sunday after game was tied at halftime



Freshman forward Shir Levy attempts to dribble past a Colorado defender during a game Friday at the CU Events Center in Boulder.

DYLAN GREENE, Evergreen deputy sports editor

WSU women’s basketball dropped its final road game of the season 75-67 to Utah on Sunday in Salt Lake City.

The Cougars (9-18, 4-12) were tied with the Utes (20-7, 9-7) at halftime but a 24-point third quarter allowed Utah to pull away for the win and hand WSU its second straight loss.

“It’s not anything other than we have got to be better,” Head Coach Kamie Ethridge said. “Transition they killed us, and it was the difference in the game.”

The game started out close as WSU was able to keep up pace with Utah. With 3:22 left in the first quarter, the game was tied 9-9.

The Utes then went on an 8-2 run to take a 17-11 lead with just under two minutes remaining. The Cougars were able to close the gap by the end of the first quarter, trailing by only two points.

The second quarter saw WSU heat up on offense, helping the Cougars build a 31-26 lead with 2:57 remaining in the half. Utah fought back, though, thanks to a pair of jumpers from senior forward Megan Huff and a three-pointer courtesy of redshirt freshman Dru Gylten to tie the game 33-33 at halftime.

WSU shot 51.7 percent from the field in the first half while Utah hit just 38.2 percent. Freshman forward Ula Motuga led the Cougars with nine points in the first half. Huff had 13 points and eight rebounds for the Utes at the break.

The Utes came out strong in the third quarter, knocking down a trio of three-pointers to help build a 50-41 lead over the Cougars with just over three minutes remaining in the quarter.

WSU heated up by the end of the third quarter but Utah didn’t let up and clanged to a 57-50 lead after 30 minutes of play.

The Cougars jumped on the Utes early in the fourth quarter to pull within two points with 7:06 left. The two teams would continue to trade baskets in the final frame and WSU pulled within one point. However, Utah never surrendered the lead in the final 10 minutes and pulled away for an eight-point win.

WSU only scored one basket in the final 3:16 of the game. The Cougars shot better from the field and behind the three-point line than the Utes in the game, but Utah attempted eight more shots and converted two more baskets.

Redshirt junior forward Borislava Hristova led WSU with 22 points and five rebounds and junior guard Chanelle Molina added 14 points and four assists.

The Cougars return home for their last two games of the regular season and take on No. 7 Stanford 7 p.m. Friday at Beasley Coliseum.