It was a great win. I am really proud of these kids and their effort tonight. —Utah head coach Anthony Levrets
TUCSON, Ariz. — For the second time this season, the Utah women's basketball team came away victorious in overtime in Pac-12 play, defeating Arizona, 65-60 on Thursday evening.
In a tight second half that featured six ties and four lead changes and came down to the wire, the Utes (9-8, 2-4 Pac-12) were buoyed in the final minutes by Rachel Messer, who hit a three-pointer to tie the game at 51-51 with 1:20 remaining. Following an Arizona turnover, she again nailed a shot from behind the arc with 33 seconds left to put the Utes in the lead, 54-51.
After a timeout, the Wildcats Davellyn Whyte answered with her own three to again tie the game with 23 seconds left. The Utes took a timeout, and Janita Badon could not get off a clean shot as the buzzer sounded.
The overtime period started with missed 3-pointers for each team before Badon hit a layup to get the scoring started for the Utes. Although Arizona's Shanita Arnold answered with a jumper, Utah would score the next two buckets on layups from Badon and Taryn Wicijowski (who sunk her basket as the shot clock timer went off) for a four-point lead, 60-56 with 1:26 left.
The two teams traded baskets to keep Utah in the lead by four points. Arnold cut the lead to two, 62-60, with a layup with 29 seconds remaining, but with time winding down the Wildcats were forced into fouling the Utes. Badon hit two free throws and Michelle Plouffe was good on one of two, while Arizona missed two three's at the other end of the floor to clinch the victory for the Utes.
"It was a great win," Utah head coach Anthony Levrets said. "I am really proud of these kids and their effort tonight. They are an incredibly resilient group. When things are at their toughest is when we seem to find something and play our best. This group finds that extra something when times are tough. And now the challenge for us is to find that all the time."
Badon, who led Utah in scoring with 22 points, scored eight points in the extra stanza. Wicijowski and Plouffe each had double-doubles, Wicijowski with 16 points and 13 rebounds and Plouffe with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Utah was strong on the boards with a 46-37 advantage, including 19 offensive rebounds. Although Arizona shot 50 percent in the second half, they were held to just 33 percent shooting in overtime (3-of-9) while the Utes were 4-of-6 from the field in the OT period (67 percent).
Utah's first Pac-12 win also came in overtime, a 49-36 win over Washington.
Arizona was led by 32 points from Whyte.
Utah continues its road trip by traveling across the state to Tempe to face Arizona State on Saturday, Jan. 21.
BYU 72, LOYOLA MARYMOUNT 48: At Los Angeles, Kristen Riley's season-high 22 points led the BYU women's basketball team to its sixth-straight win in West Coast Conference play.
"I'm really happy with the win," BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. "It was a great team effort and a good win on the road. These guys are tough to play here. I think Riley played another great game. Defensively he did a great job on their top player. In the second half, I thought Lexi Eaton and Jennifer Hamson really gave us a big lift. Jen played very aggressive in the post."
Riley led the game in points and rebounds, securing her third double-double of the season and seventh of her career with 10 boards. Riley shot 9-for-13 from the field and had four assists. True freshman Eaton also had a stellar performance, tying her career high of 16 points and contributing two steals and three rebounds.
Hamson was close behind Riley in rebounding with eight boards and four blocks. Haley Steed, No. 1 in the WCC and No. 7 in NCAA Division I women's basketball for assists, had nine assists in the victory with four rebounds and three steals.
The Cougars (17-3, 6-1) had 13 turnovers to LMU's 17 and outrebounded the Lions 38-28. BYU shot 50.9 percent from the field and held LMU (4-14, 0-6) to 34 percent.
Fresno State improves to 13-2 against Utah State in 15 meetings.
For the second-straight game, Christensen scored at least 20 points. Senior forward Ashlee Brown was onepoint shy of her sixth double-double of the season with nine points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Sophomore guard Jennifer Schlott added 12 points, while senior guard Brooke Jackson scored 10 points, to go with three assists.
The Bulldogs had four players in double-digits, led by Taylor Thompson and Ki-Ki Taylor with 17 points apiece. Rosie Moult added 12 points to go with a team-leading 10 rebounds, while Blakely Goldberg tossed in 11 points.
NORTHERN ARIZONA 71, WEBER ST. 58: At Flagstaff, Ariz., the Weber State University women's basketball team shot just 27.6 percent from the field over the final 20 minutes, but four Wildcats reached double-figures scoring despite the loss, highlighted by junior forward Amanda Hughes' fifth double-double of the season with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
Junior guard Megan Patterson led Weber State with 14 points, including 12 in the first half as the Wildcats opened up a 6-point lead late in the period. Senior center Mikell Woodfield added 12 points and junior forward Shawnte Taylor had 11 for Weber State (0-6 Big Sky, 2-17 overall).
Northern Arizona (1-6, 6-13) was led by Caty Huntington's 11 points.
Weber State shot 51.6 percent from the field in the first half, and staked out a 29-23 lead, before Northern Arizona rallied to take a 38-36 lead at halftime.
The Lumberjacks opened up a 6-point lead early in the half and maintained the margin for most of the second half before pushing the lead to double digits late.
The Wildcats will return to action on Thursday, Jan. 26, against Sacramento State at the Dee Events Center. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
NO. 7 LEWIS-CLARK ST. 57, NO. 21 WESTMINSTER 50: At Lewiston, Idaho, the Griffins (11-7, 4-1) saw their six-game winning streak end.
Neither team would hold a lead of more than five points over the first 17 minutes of the contest. After Nicole Yazzie made a three to cut the deficit to 20-17 with 2:59 to play, LCSC (18-2, 4-1) finished the half on a 10-2 run that was sparked by eight straight points to lead 30-19 at intermission.
The first seven minutes of the second half was all Westminster. The Griffins outscored LCSC 16-4 during that time and a bucket from Dana Bates with 13:11 remaining put the Griffins on top 35-34. LCSC answered with seven straight points to open up a 6-point advantage and would never trail again. The Warriors went 5-of-6 at the foul line in the final minute to seal the victory.
LCSC is second in the nation in field goal defense and they showed it on Thursday. Westminster shot just 31.3 percent from the floor in the game. The Griffins entered 10th in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage at 35.4 percent, but they were just 6-of-32 (18.8 percent) on Thursday. They did finish with a 36-29 rebounding edge and they turned 16 offensive rebounds into 13 second chance points.
Bates led the Griffins in scoring with 17 points on a 6-of-11 shooting night. The senior also grabbed six rebounds and made two triples. Yazzie added 11 points and four assists with Allie Eastman adding nine points off the bench. Cydney Tibbitts grabbed a team-high 12 rebounds and scored five points.
Brittaney Niebergall led all scorers with a career-high 24 points for the Warriors. Kirsi Voshell added 14 points and 14 rebounds with Tasha Bishop chipping in 12 points.
Westminster will conclude the first half of the conference schedule with two road games next weekend. The trip begins on Jan. 27 against the University of Great Falls.