SALT LAKE CITY — The University of Utah women’s basketball team fell to UCLA, 49-46, in its Pac-12 Conference home opener on Friday in the Huntsman Center.
Utah (6-8, 0-3 Pac-12) was led by senior forward Taryn Wicijowski, who came up just one rebound shy of her sixth double-double. She scored a team-high 14 points to reach double-figures in points for the 10th time this season. She also pulled down a game-high nine rebounds. The Regina, Saskatchewan native also tied for team-high honors with four assists.
Freshman forward Tanaeya Boclair had eight points after shooting 3-of-6 from the floor, including a 2-for-3 mark from 3-point territory. She also came up with an assist and a block.
The Bruins scored the first five points of the contest before a Nakia Arquette jumper lifted the lid for the Utes.
UCLA extended to an eight-point advantage at 12-4 but the Utes came back and kept things close throughout the half.
Utah ended the first half on an 8-1 run, with Boclair and Arquette hitting 3-pointers to give Utah its first lead of the contest, 23-21.
The Utes had been 4-0 this season when leading at the half, but the magic wouldn’t last this time.
Utah extended the advantage to 31-26 early in the second half before a UCLA rally would knot that game at 33-all.
UCLA then used a 9-2 run to claim a seven-point lead at 42-35.
Utah cut the lead twice in the final minutes to within two, the last at 48-46 after Wicijowski hit two free throws with 43.9 seconds left. The Bruins made 1-of-2 at the line to grab a 49-46 lead, but Utah could not get any closer on its final possession.
UCLA (6-9, 2-2) was led by a combined 31 points by Jordin Canada (16) and Kari Korver (15).
Utah next plays USC on Sunday at noon at the Huntsman Center.