SALT LAKE CITY, UT – Despite a spirited effort, No. 14 Arizona Women’s Basketball (14-4, 4-3) couldn’t complete the upset of No. 10 Utah (15-1, 5-1), losing 80-79.
After falling to Colorado on Thursday evening, No. 14 Arizona Women’s Basketball was back in action on the road on Sunday afternoon, this time taking on Pac-12 foe, No. 10 Utah in Salt Lake City, hoping to salvage the week.
Taking on a skilled and well-coached Utes team, the Wildcats fell behind early and couldn’t recover, losing to Utah 80-79 despite a spirited effort and some questionable calls at the end.
Arizona’s offense was more efficient in this one, shooting a combined 52.4 percent from the field, including 30.8 percent from three. Unfortunately, Arizona has some missed opportunities at the charity stripe converting just 9-16 attempts (56.3 percent).
The Wildcats also had a hard time avoiding foul trouble, totaling 23 fouls as Arizona’s Shaina Pellington, Cate Reese, and Esmery Martinez all fouled out in this one.
Arizona did have four different players finish in double-figures, but unfortunately, it wasn’t enough as the Wildcats were unable to come away with the win on the road.
Trailing by two at halftime, No. 14 Arizona Women’s Basketball tried to rally, the but Cats ultimately came up short against the Utes.
Hoping to rebound from their loss to Colorado, No. 14 Arizona was back in action, looking to pick up the win against No. 10 Utah on the road.
Unlike their game against the Buffaloes, the Wildcats brought the intensity and effort on offense from the start, scoring 22 points in the first quarter. Unfortunately, Utah’s offense was just as impactful, finishing the quarter with 25 points thanks in large part to some big shots made.
Hoping to continue their offensive momentum in the second quarter, the Wildcats’ offense would continue to look sharp, scoring 18 points as the defense stood firm, holding Utah to seven points and cutting their deficit to just two points at the half as Utah led 42-40.
Needing to tighten things up, both teams came out a bit sluggish in the third period as neither offense could find much of a rhythm.
Luckily, Arizona would keep things close, but after three, Utah extended its lead to 56-53.
Needing a big fourth quarter, the Wildcats would come alive! Exploding in the quarter for 26 points, Arizona would keep pace with Utah, but unfortunately, it was the defense that couldn’t make enough plays in the end.
Granted, Arizona did have a chance to win at the end, and what looked like a clean block from Martinez was instead whistled a foul by the all too inconsistent Pac-12 refs. Utah’s Alissa Pili was sent to the line with 00:00.3 left, where she sank both free throws and helped to deliver the 80-79 win.
With the loss, the Wildcats now fall to 14-4 (4-3) on the season and will resume basketball action next Sunday when they take on rival Arizona State in Tempe. Tip-off against the Sun Devils on Sunday is set for 3:00 PM MST.