CORVALLIS, Ore. — Despite a late comeback, the Utah women's basketball team couldn't overcome a double-digit deficit for the second-straight game before falling to Oregon State, 62-49.
Michelle Plouffe led the Utes (10-12, 3-8 Pac-12) in scoring with 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Taryn Wicijowski also had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Oregon State (15-7, 6-5 Pac-12) led by four at halftime, 26-22, but pushed that lead up to 16 in the opening minutes of the second half with a 13-3 run over the first 6:30 of the half for a 41-25 lead.
With the Beavers leading by 14, 50-36 with eight minutes left in the game, the Utes began a 9-0 run that would see them cut the lead down to five points with 3:50 remaining, 50-45. Iwalani Rodrigues had a three-pointer in the run, while Plouffe went 4-for-4 from the free-throw line in the span.
Back-to-back layups for Oregon State put the lead back up to nine points, and the Beavers made free throws down the stretch to pull ahead in the final minutes.
Oregon State shot 52 percent compared to 31 percent for the Utes. Utah held a 37-33 rebounding advantage. The Beavers had 46 points in the paint. OSU was led by Earlysia Marchbanks' 22 points and 10 rebounds.
"It was obviously a difficult weekend," Utah head coach Anthony Levrets said. "We must remain positive, and understand that what we are going through is very difficult for everyone involved. We have to continue to strive to get better on a daily basis so that we are playing our best basketball at the end of the season."
OSU took an 8-0 lead through the first three minutes of the game, but the Utes scored the next five points to put the score at 8-5 before a six-point run for the Beavers pushed the lead up to nine, 14-5 with 12 minutes left in the first half.
Oregon State would lead by as many as 15 points in the first half, 26-11 with 7:20 remaining, before going cold from the floor and allowing Utah to go on an 11-0 run to cut the lead to four by halftime, 26-22.
Utah returns to the Huntsman Center this weekend for its second round through the Pac-12, facing Arizona State and Arizona beginning on Thursday, Feb. 9, at 7 p.m. MT.
NORTHERN COLORADO 70, WEBER STATE 57: At Greeley, Colo., junior guard Megan Patterson knocked down a game high-tying 17 points and pulled down seven rebounds, but the Wildcats fell short against Northern Colorado.
Lauren Oosdyke led the Bears with 17 points.
Senior guard Caela Mohre added 15 points and a pair of assists, going all 40 minutes, while junior forward Shawnte Taylor had nine points and six points for Weber State, which was reduced to just eight players in the game due to various injuries.
The Wildcats (2-21, 0-10 Big Sky) traded leads with the Bears (14-9, 6-4) five times in the opening half, but Northern Colorado edged away in the final moments of the first half to take a 41-33 lead into halftime.
The Bears pushed their lead into double figures early in the second half and maintained the advantage for the remainder of the contest.
Next up for the Wildcats is Eastern Washington on Thursday night in Cheney, Wash. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. MT.
SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 65, SUU 43: At Brookings, S.D., the Thunderbirds fell to 0-6 on the road in conference play. The Thunderbirds held the Jacks to just 38.3 percent shooting from the field in the game, but SDSU was able to pull away after scoring 27 points off turnovers.
SUU found itself in a 14-4 hole to start the game after recording just two field goals halfway through the opening period. A 10-5 run then helped the T-Birds pull within five as Andrea Jones hit a three to make the score of 19-14. The Jacks then outscored Southern Utah 11-2 over the final six minutes of the half to push their lead to 30-16 at the break.
SDSU was only able to convert seven field goals in the opening period, but four of those we from the three and the Jacks would add 12 more points from the free-throw line to build the early 14-point advantage. Ashley Eide collected nine first-half points for South Dakota State after going 4-of-4 from the charity stripe to start the game.
The Jackrabbits started the second half with a 10-4 run to increase the margin to 40-20 on a basket by Katie Lingle. Southern Utah then battled back with six straight points, including back-to-back layups from Torey Hill and Andrea Jones, but South Dakota State took control down the stretch.
SDSU demonstrated a balanced scoring attack as 10 different players recorded a score for the Jackrabbits. Eide would lead the way with 11 points while Jennie Sunnarborg had 10. Andrea Jones put up 13 for the Thunderbirds while DJ Norman came off the bench for 11.
NO. 19 WESTMINSTER 62, MONTANA TECH 48: At Salt Lake City, the Griffins (15-7, 8-1 Frontier) won for the ninth time in the last 10 games by shooting 47.1 percent from the floor. They made six treys on 15 attempts and were 8-of-9 at the foul line. The offense produced 16 assists on the 24 made baskets while scoring 32 points in the paint.
After finding themselves trailing 19-16 at the 9:23 mark of the first half, Westminster put together a 16-3 run to close out the period and take a 32-22 lead into intermission. The run was sparked by 15 consecutive points from the Griffins with Nicole Yazzie scoring six of those.
In the second half, the Griffins put an 11-2 run together to turn a 41-32 lead into the largest lead of the evening at 52-34 with 12:13 remaining. Cydney Tibbits scored nine of the Griffins 11 points during the four-plus minute stretch on her way to 15 points in the game. Tech would put together a 10-2 run over the next eight minutes to trail just 54-46 with 4:43 to play. However, Westminster got back-to-back hoops from Yazzie and then went 4-of-4 at the foul line to seal the win.
Shelby Ellsworth led the Griffins with 16 points off the bench. The freshman shot 6-of-10 from the field with two treys and seven rebounds. She also came away with two assists, three steals and one blocked shot. Tibbitts added four rebounds and one assists to her total with Yazzie also scoring 15. Dana Bates finished with nine points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
SLCC 57, COLORADO NORTHWESTERN 45: At Rangely, Colo., the Bruins (13-9, 4-5) were down two at halftime but held CNCC to just 20 percent shooting in the second half. Three Bruins finished in double digits with Fawn Brady scoring 13 points, followed by Diamond Marchant with 12 points and nine rebounds. Katie Walker added 11 points with four rebounds. The Bruin front court took care of the ball with a season low nine turnovers in the game.
The Bruins (13-9, 4-5) return home on Feb. 11 to host Snow College on Alumni weekend.
DIXIE STATE 89, BYU-HAWAII 72: At Laie, Hawaii, Becca Thomas posted 20 points and 13 rebounds, leading five Red Storm (14-5, 9-2) players in double figures.