They’re really fun, just because so many people come out to see them, and it’s a huge rivalry. —BYU sophomore guard Brenna Chase
SALT LAKE CITY — On Saturday in Provo, Utah and BYU women’s basketball teams will clash for another meeting between the two rivals (2 p.m., Marriott Center, BYUtv). The Utes enter the matchup with a record of 7-1, riding a six-game win streak with their only loss coming at the hands of Alabama.
BYU, meanwhile, holds a 3-5 record and is on a four-game losing skid. In the last meeting between the two teams, the Utes defeated the Cougars, 77-60, at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City.
“They’re really fun, just because so many people come out to see them, and it’s a huge rivalry,” BYU sophomore guard Brenna Chase said on the BYU Women’s Basketball Show this week.
Cougars head coach Jeff Judkins added how important a win over an in-state rival can be.
“It’s really important because you’re recruiting sometimes some of the same players, and that can be used against you, if you lose and they say, ‘Well, they’re recruiting you, and we beat you, so we must have a better team,’” Judkins said of the program. “The other part of it is bragging rights, when you’re walking around, so it’s really important.”
Utah coach Lynne Roberts has coached the Utes for only two seasons prior to the 2017-18 campaign, but she has quickly grasped the intensity and importance of the rivalry between the two schools separated by just 49 miles along 1-15.
“I am sure they (the team) are excited. We have today off and then we will game plan and start getting ready for them tomorrow," Roberts said during her weekly press conference. "It is a fun game. They are a good program and they are very well coached. It is going to be a battle, it always is. Both teams are going to be amped up. It is a rivalry game for a reason and those are fun. They are fun to coach, fun to play in so I know we are going to be looking forward to that one.”
The Utes are led by senior Emily Potter, who leads the Utes in points per game (13.6), rebounds per game (7.6) and is tied for the team lead in blocks, with a total of 11 on the season. Utah is averaging 79.6 points per game and holding opponents to an average of 56.5 points. BYU is anchored by senior Cassie Devashrayee, who is averaging 19.8 points per game and 3.9 assists per game. The Cougars have scored an average of 69.4 points per game, and their opponents have scored 70.