Senior Day is always an emotional game, and that doesn't mean sadness. You put five years into this university and to play at this level it is so much time and commitment and blood, sweat and tears, literally. —Utah head coach Lynne Roberts
SALT LAKE CITY — The University of Utah women’s basketball team will close out its regular season home schedule by hosting a pair of teams from the Apple State, Washington (7-18, 1-13) on Friday and Washington State (10-16, 3-11) on Sunday.
The regular season home finale on Sunday will be emotional for Coach Lynne Roberts as the Utes will honor their four departing seniors Emily Potter, Wendy Anae, Tilar Clark, and Tanaeya BoClair on Senior Night.
“Senior Day is always an emotional game, and that doesn't mean sadness,” said Roberts, who will go for her 50th career victory as the Utes’ head coach in the penultimate contest on Friday. “You put five years into this university and to play at this level it is so much time and commitment and blood, sweat and tears, literally.”
Potter, a four-year starter, will be finishing her Utah career as one of the all-time greats in the program’s history.
Roberts, who is in her third season at the helm, spoke glowingly of her star senior.
“I think the word I would use to describe Potter is she just has 'presence.' It doesn't matter if she scored 25 or five, she is going to impact the game from the other team's standpoint because she has a presence.”
A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Potter has continued the Utes’ long tradition of recruiting Canadian star players. She has missed just one potential start in her four seasons at the U, en route to amassing over 1,500 points, nearly 1,000 rebounds and setting the program mark for blocks with 261.
The Utes are coming off a 84-73 loss to Cal in Berkeley. At one point in the second quarter, they trailed by as many as 20 points before battling back to make it a six-point game in the fourth. Utah was led by Megan Huff, who reached the 20-point mark for the sixth time this season with a career-high 27 points.
“She was just aggressive,” praised Roberts. ”She is really efficient as well. If you look at her numbers she is leading us in shots attempts but also leading us in field goal percentage, which is good and it is what you want. She is a tough guard.”
With the Pac-12 tournament just around the corner, the Utes know these final games — the two at home, and then the final two on the road against USC and UCLA — will have a major impact on how the seeding shapes up.
“It is so important to get a good seed for that tournament,” said Roberts. Right now we are battling for sixth through eighth. We play four really important games and we have to win more than we lose, but we just have to go one at a time.”
• • •
Washington (7-18, 1-13)
at Utah (15-10, 6-8)
Friday, 7 p.m.
TV: Pac-12 Network
Radio: ESPN 700