Utah women's basketball: Washington takes out Utes from NIT

Published: Sunday, March 18 2012 6:19 p.m. MDT

SEATTLE — The Utah women's basketball team fell to Washington in the second round of the WNIT, 52-39.

Michelle Plouffe had her 11th double-double of the season with a team-high 16 points and 14 rebounds. The 14 rebounds tied her career high. Taryn Wicijowski also had her 11th double-double of the year, scoring 15 points with 11 rebounds. Iwalani Rodrigues had eight points and Rachel Messer had five rebounds, despite playing with an injured hand.

The Utes end their season at 16-16.

"It's always disappointing when your season comes to an end, but I am incredibly proud of this team and what they've accomplished through all the adversity that they have gone through," Utah head coach Anthony Levrets said. "We played our tails off today. We defended incredibly well, but we weren't able to make enough shots. Sometimes that happens on the road but we played as hard as we possibly could. We'll look back on this and realize how tough a year it was, and be proud of many of the things that we did."

Both teams struggled to score early in the first half. With the score tied at 7-7 with 12 minutes remaining, a 6-0 Washington run put the Huskies up 13-7 with eight minutes left. Washington slowly pulled away from there, as the Utes shot just 21 percent in the first half. Utah only had one field goal in the final five minutes of the first half. The Huskies led by as many as 15 points late in the half, but Wicijowski was 4-for-4 from the free-throw line in the final minutes of the first half to give Washington an 11-point lead at halftime, 28-17.

The Utes kept pace with the Huskies through the second half, but the first-half deficit was too much to overcome. Although Utah was able to cut the Washington lead to seven points, 30-23 with 15:20 remaining, Washington pulled ahead by as many as 16 points, 43-27, after an 8-0 run with 6:30 left in the game.

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