SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Senior forward Kalee Whipple hit five of six free throws down the stretch to help the Utah women's basketball team clinch a 59-54 victory over Santa Clara.
Utah held a slight lead through most of the second half, taking its largest lead of the game, 52-40, with four minutes remaining. Up by 10 points, 54-44, after a pair of Halie Sawyer free throws with 2:11 left, the Broncos went on a seven-point run to cut that lead to three, 54-51, with 49 seconds remaining.
Holding Santa Clara 0-2 from the field, including a missed free-throw, over the next 24 seconds, the Broncos started to foul the Utes with 25 seconds left. Whipple hit her first two free throws to push the lead back up to five, 56-51. SCU's Alyssa Shoji cut that lead back down to two with 19 seconds left with a three-point basket before Whipple closed out the game by making 3-of-4 free throws for the Ute win. Utah also out-rebounded Santa Clara down the final stretch, 4-2.
Taryn Wicijowski led all players with 21 points while Whipple had 18. Whipple also added seven rebounds. Janita Badon was also in double figure scoring for Utah with 10 points, along with five steals. Sawyer had a team-high nine rebounds.
Lena Gipson led Santa Clara with 17 points and 12 rebounds.