SALT LAKE CITY (AP)Gianna Kneepkens hit five 3-pointers and scored 19 points to lead No. 7 Utah to a 92-69 victory over Washington on Friday night.
Kneepkens added a team-high six assists for the Utes (21-2, 11-2 Pac-12), who shot 51% from the field and made 16 3-pointers overall. Alissa Pili finished with 17 points and Lani White and Jenna Johnson added 11 points apiece.
The Utes finished with 25 assists on 31 baskets.
”Everybody has just bought into us winning,” Utah coach Lynne Roberts said. ”It’s not about me getting mine. They’re going to make the extra pass. They’re going to work for each other.”
Elle Ladine scored 18 points to lead Washington. Haley Van Dyke and Darcy Rees scored 10 points apiece for the Huskies (13-10, 5-8), who shot 44% from the field and never led over 40 minutes.
Utah overwhelmed Washington with its outside shooting in the first half. The Utes went 10 for 14 from 3-point range. Kneepkens led the way, knocking down four outside baskets.
”I think it’s always difficult when you can’t take away another team’s strengths,” Washington coach Tina Langley said. ”However, as a team, we want to stay consistent and focus on the next play regardless of circumstances. That’s something we will continue to grow in.”
The perimeter barrage was punctuated by Issy Palmer’s buzzer-beater from half court to end the half.
”That was a great moment, a great way to end the half and go into the locker room with some energy,” Roberts said.
The Huskies struggled to match Utah’s potent offense. Washington knotted it at 9-all on back-to-back baskets from Van Dyke and Lauren Schwartz. Kneepkens countered with back-to-back 3s to fuel a go-ahead 8-0 run for the Utes.
Utah broke the game open behind a 14-2 run in the second quarter. Kneepkens and Kennedy McQueen bookended the outburst with more 3-pointers. McQueen’s outside basket gave the Utes a 44-29 lead.
”I’ve never been a part of a team that’s so focused on the same goal and will do anything to play at our best,” Pili said.
Utah built a 30-point lead late in the fourth quarter when Johnson made a pair of free throws and a 3-pointer to put the Utes up 88-58.
Washington: Getting stops proved to be a chore for the Huskies. Washington shot the ball well early but struggled to match the offensive efficiency from Utah.
Utah: Rebounding ended up being a huge difference-maker for the Utes early. Utah outrebounded Washington 32-25 and had 14 offensive rebounds. The Utes had six offensive boards in the first quarter alone after holding the Huskies to four total rebounds.
Washington: At Colorado on Sunday.
Utah: Hosts Washington State on Sunday.
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