March 25, 2013
SALT LAKE CITY - The Utah women's basketball team defeated San Diego, 61-50, in the second round of the WNIT on Monday evening.
Utah (20-13) will travel to Pacific (27-7) in the third round. The Utes will face the Tigers on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. PT.
With the victory, the Utes reached the 20-win plateau for the first time since the 2009-10 season.
"Very pleased with our performance tonight," Utah head coach Anthony Levrets said. "Offensively, I thought we executed in everything that we did, whether it was full-court press attack, half-court offense, out of timeouts - I thought we did a great job offensively. San Diego is a good basketball team. You don't get to 22 wins by accident. Really pleased with our effort and coming out of here with a win."
Utah was led by 23 points from Taryn Wicijowski, who reached the 20-point plateau for the fifth time this season. Michelle Plouffe had her 10th double-double of the season with 21 points and 15 rebounds.
"It's the first time we haven't seen double team in the post in a long time, and they decided to play our bigs one-on-one," Levrets said. "We thought if they kept doing that, we would have an advantage. As it turned out, Taryn and Plouffe ended up with 23 and 21 [points]. If we see man [defense], and that's what we get, we're pretty happy with that. I'm always surprised when Taryn and Plouffe don't get doubled because they get doubled almost every night we play."
Utah shot 51 percent from the floor while holding San Diego to 34 percent shooting. The Utes also held an advantage in free throws, going 16-of-19 from the charity stripe while the Toreros shot under 40 percent, going 7-of-18.
Utah took an early five-point lead, 11-6 through the first five minutes. However, the Utes went over nine minutes without a field goal during the first half, allowing San Diego to tie the game at 16-16 with 6:30 remaining. Utah stayed in the game by shooting 54 percent in the first half compared to 31 percent for San Diego, while the Toreros were able to take advantage of seven first-half turnovers by the Utes, leading to eight points. Utah took a slight lead at the end of the first half, and led by three at halftime, 30-27.
San Diego kept the Utah lead in single digits through the second half, but were unable to come any closer than five points. After coming within seven points, 53-46 with five minutes remaining, San Diego would make just two more baskets the remainder of the game.