Nov. 5, 2012
Utah vs. Denver (Magness Arena)
Saturday, Nov. 10, 4:00 p.m. MT
Radio: 99.1 FM/www.Rock991.com (Play-by-Play Rick Bouillon)
SALT LAKE CITY - The Utah women's basketball team opens up its 2012-13 campaign on the road against Denver on Saturday, Nov. 10.
"The first game of the season is always difficult because you don't have any current film, so it feels like you are going in blind," Utah head coach Anthony Levrets said. "Denver is a very good basketball team, so we just need to continue to stress the things that we feel are going to make us good, and continue to get better at all of our base. Hopefully we've covered everything that we need to cover so that when we get there we are prepared for whatever we see."
Levrets is stressing the importance of playing hard and putting in 100-percent effort to his players this season.
"We feel like we play hard, but we need all of us, on every single possession, to play as hard as we possibly can at both ends of the floor," Levrets said. "When you watch us play, I want you to be able to see how hard we play. I want us to become a unit. That's what defines us, is how hard we play."
Utah returns four of five starters from last year's team, most notably junior honorable mention Associated Press All-American Michelle Plouffe and junior first-team all-conference selection Taryn Wicijowski. Also returning are senior Iwalani Rodrigues, who holds the Utah record for three-pointers in a season, and senior Rachel Messer, who has started 66 games during her Utah career.
The Utes defeated Concordia (Ore.), 90-36, in exhibition on Nov. 1. Plouffe had a double-double with 12 points and 19 rebounds, while Rodrigues scored 21 points.
Utah was picked to finish seventh in the Pac-12 coaches poll.
Denver lost two players from a team that went 19-12 overall last season. Senior guard Emiko Smith was a Preseason All-WAC selection. The Pioneers were picked to finish third in the WAC preseason poll.
The Pioneers defeated Grand Canyon in exhibition, 74-68.