Hey, here comes another ranked opponent. What else is new? That goes without saying; the sun came up. Yeah, we know. It’s what it is. —Utah head coach Lynne Roberts
SALT LAKE CITY — The Pac-12 is so loaded with ranked teams the Utah women’s basketball team doesn’t even discuss it as part of their preparation.
“I think at this point, February 15, we are done talking about ranked opponents,” said Utah head coach Lynne Roberts. “Hey, here comes another ranked opponent. What else is new? That goes without saying; the sun came up. Yeah, we know. It’s what it is.”
Utah had mixed results last week, so they are both confident and searching for answers.
“We got a great win at California last Friday,” Roberts said. “I thought we played really, really well. We didn’t play perfectly, nobody does but the things, in terms of executing, and what we wanted to do, on both ends of the floor we did. Then we played No. 9 Stanford on Sunday and didn’t really play well. It’s kind of been how the season’s gone this whole conference season. We play well, look great then we take a step backward. We have been a little inconsistent with that. I’m not sure what that is about. “
Utah will face Oregon Friday, a game that will be a “Pink Out” to raise awareness about breast cancer, and then play No. 11 Oregon State Sunday at 2 p.m.
They played 10th-ranked Stanford last weekend, and they will finish the season at No. 9 Washington. The Utes are looking forward to hosting Oregon this weekend.
“I think Oregon is very talented,” Roberts said. “They are young. Their best players are young. Hopefully, we can show up with the competitive intensity that we showed up with Friday against California. Having a home-court advantage with the elevation (should help). We will see. It will be tough. We lost against Oregon earlier in the year.”
Roberts said the players are motivated for every game, even when they struggle. She isn’t sure what happened at the start of the Stanford game.
“I don’t know what it was,” she said. “I wish I knew. Friday’s win put a little wind in our sails. You could just tell how the players were acting and approaching the game plan for Stanford.”
The Utes are looking forward to a chance to avenge that earlier loss to Oregon.
“Tanaeya Boclair went down in the first half (against Oregon) with a really bad ankle sprain,” Roberts said. “We missed her down the stretch. She’s obviously back. We are just going to have to play really well. We aren’t talking about the fact that once again, we have two really good opponents coming in. That goes without saying in the Pac-12.”
Because Friday night’s game is a Pink Game, the first 500 fans get pink Utah water bottles and a pink stick flag, as well as free admission for those fans who wear pink.