Adam Fondren, Deseret News
Utah Utes forward Tanaeya Boclair (32) drives past Purdue Boilermakers guard Tiara Murphy (3) as the University of Utah hosts Purdue University at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake on Monday, Nov. 20, 2017.
If we want to get to the top half of the Pac-12, we have to continue to want to get better. —Utah head coach Lynne Roberts

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah women’s basketball team had a lot to be thankful for at the team's Thanksgiving dinner.

In a video posted on Twitter, the players each offered something — or someone — they were grateful for while enjoying a feast with all the traditional trimmings. The gathering was in the basement of the practice facility after the team’s final prep before hosting Incarnate Word at 3:30 p.m. Friday at the Huntsman Center.

“Basketball is one of the sports where you are competing through both semesters, so you don’t really get that down time as a student athlete,” said Utah head coach Lynne Roberts. “You kind of give up holidays, and that is one of the sacrifices. You don’t get time off for Thanksgiving, and you only go home for about three or four days for Christmas, which is unique to the average college student.”

Because students get homesick, Roberts said they try to create “a family atmosphere” around the program so players can enjoy the holidays, as well as create stronger bonds with one another.

The Utes are coming off two big wins, including Monday’s impressive victory over Purdue.

“I was really proud of our game on Monday,” Roberts said. “We beat a good Purdue team; that is an NCAA team. They are a really good team and I have a ton of respect for how they play, how they are coached and their tradition.”

The Utes hope to take momentum from the Purdue win into their game against Incarnate Word, and that will require focus.

“I think the key right now coming off a big win like Purdue is not to relax,” she said. “I think that is the next phase in building your program. If we want to get to the top half of the Pac-12, we have to continue to want to get better.” She said she feels this year’s team is hungry to continue pushing themselves.

“I am sensing from my team that they are not satisfied with one win, so we are just going to keep getting better,” she said. “It is a young season. We are only four games in, and there is a lot of basketball left to play.”