To be down 19 and come back in the second half on the road against a ranked opponent shows what we've been looking for, which is that toughness. —Utah head coach Lynne Roberts
BERKELEY, Calif. — Emily Potter scored a pair of baskets late and Utah overcame a 19-point third-quarter deficit to take an 84-79 victory over No. 21 California on Sunday.
"I'm really proud of our team," Utah head coach Lynne Roberts said. "The one thing we keep talking about is toughness. Showing toughness, learning what it means to play with toughness. To be down 19 and come back in the second half on the road against a ranked opponent shows what we've been looking for, which is that toughness."
Cal had a 75-73 lead when Malia Nawahine lobbed a pass to Potter who scored underneath. Then, following a block by Erika Bean, Nawahine passed again to Potter for a layup and the lead with 1:29 left.
A baseline 3-pointer by Katie Kuklok in the final minute made it 80-76 and Potter and Kuklok both added two free throws.
Kuklok had five 3-pointers and 22 points. Potter added 20 points and nine rebounds and Nawahine 18 points for the Utes (11-4, 3-1 Pac-12), who shot 53 percent.
"Katie came off the bench and was big for us," Roberts said. "Joeseta Fatuesi also made a big impact that may not show up in the stat sheet. She helped change momentum in both halves."
Utah snapped a nine-game losing streak to the Golden Bears (10-5, 1-3) and beat a ranked opponent for the first time since March 2, 2008 against No. 24 Wyoming.
Cal's Kristine Anigwe had 23 points and 11 rebounds. Mikayla Cowling added 14 points, Gabby Green 12 and Asha Thomas 10.
"Cal is a very good team," Roberts said. "They are extremely talented. This is a really good win for our team. The biggest thing for me is that I just want to see us keep improving. We improved from Friday's game at Stanford, and thats the most important thing."