Utah Women’s Hoops beat Montana St. in WNIT 95-61

AQ0U7483SALT LAKE CITY — All 11 Utes who stepped on the floor scored points as the University of Utah women’s basketball team surged to a 95-61 win over Montana State in the first round of the WNIT on Friday in the Jon M. Huntsman Center.

Utah (17-14) shot 50.0% (35-70) from the floor and was 48.3% (14-29) from 3-point territory. The Utes held the Bobcats to 31.3% (21-67) shooting and Utah held a 49-40 advantage in rebounding.

Utah’s 95 points was its second-highest total of the season (the Utes scored 97 against CSUN in Salt Lake City on Dec. 3). The Utes owned a 32-18 edge in points in the paint as well as a 44-26 advantage in bench points.

AQ0U7467Junior wing Paige Crozon paced the Ute attack with 20 points off 8-of-13 shooting and was 4-of-8 from 3-point territory. This was the fourth time she has reached the 20-point barrier this season. The Humboldt, Saskatchewan native also snagged five rebounds.

Senior wing Katie Kuklok buried a season-high six 3-pointers off 11 attempts. She was 6-for-10 from distance and scored 18 points.

Redshirt sophomore forward Emily Potter recorded her 15th double-double of the season (19th of her career) as she registered a team-high 14 rebounds to go with 13 points off 6-of-9 shooting from the floor). She has 27 games with 10 or more points this season (46 for her career) and 15 games with at least 10 rebounds (21 career).

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Senior point guard Danielle Rodriguez dished out a game-high six assists and scored seven points.

Sophomore forward Joeseta Fatuesi tied her career high with 10 rebounds and she also gave out a career-high four assists and scored four points.

AQ0U6840Sophomore wing Malia Nawahine scored nine points to go with a career-high-tying four assists and three rebounds.

Freshman guard Erika Bean scored eight off a 6-for-7 effort at the foul line. She also grabbed four boards to go with three assists.

Redshirt sophomore guard Devri Owens turned in five points, making two of her four shots from the floor.

Sophomore guard Gabrielle Bowie tied her career high with six points and handed out a career-best three assists.

Freshman forward Jordanna Porter scored the first three points of her career, a 3-pointer in the fourth quarter. She also hauled down a rebound.

Tanaeya Boclair had six boards and dished out three assists.

AQ0U7206The Utes stormed out to a 7-0 lead and led by as many as eight (13-5) and Utah held an 18-14 lead at the end of the first frame. Utah made eight of 19 shots from the floor (42.1%) as Crozon scored nine and Potter had seven.

The Bobcats came back to tie the game for the first time at 18 points with 8:31 remaining in the second quarter. The Utes scored 12 unanswered to claim a 30-18 lead and would lead by as many as 16 (37-21) before taking 37-21 lead into halftime.

The Utes kept their momentum going as extended to a 26-point edge (57-31) midway through the third quarter and would lead by no fewer than 20 the rest of the way. Montana State (21-10) was led by 15 points and 10 rebounds from Peyton Ferris.

The Utes travel to Gonzaga for a Monday, Mar. 22 game at 6 p.m. PT in Round 2 of the WNIT.

Jakob Poeltl name PAC-12 Player of the Year

Jakob Poeltl PAC-12 Player of the year.

Jakob Poeltl PAC-12 Player of the year.

SAN FRANCISCO – Utah sophomore forward Jakob Poeltl was named Pac-12 Conference Player of the Year and senior guard Brandon Taylor was tabbed the league’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year, the conference announced on the Pac-12 Networks Sports Report Monday evening.

Poeltl, who was tabbed an All-Pac-12 First Team selection earlier today, becomes the first Utah player to earn Player of the Year since joining in the conference in 2011. He also becomes the first Ute player to be named a league’s Player of the Year honor since Luke Nevil was named the Mountain West Conference Player of the Year back in 2009.

“I am obviously honored,” said Poeltl. “I have always said that individual awards are not really what I am [playing] for and I am more about the team. I hope that our team is playing well, but being named the Pac-12 Player of the Year is a great honor.”

Brandon Taylor

Brandon Taylor

Poeltl led the conference with a .660 field goal shooting percentage, ranked second with 17.6 points per game and was third in the league with 9.1 rebounds per game. The Vienna, Austria native ranked second in both total field goals made (202) and total points (543), while also collecting the third-most double-doubles (14) in the league.

Taylor becomes the first player from Utah to earn Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete Player of the Year honors after boasting a cumulative 3.4 GPA throughout his four years on campus. The Los Angeles native was also named an All-Pac-12 selection earlier today, earning Honorable Mention accolades. Taylor ranked ninth in the conference with 3.9 assists per game, while his 120 total assists were eighth-most in the league. His 1.5 steals per game average ranked fourth-best in the Pac-12.

Three Utes Named to Pac-12 All-Conference Teams

Jakob Poeltl PAC-12 Player of the year.

Jakob Poeltl

SAN FRANCISCO – Three University of Utah players earned spots on the 2015-16 All-Pac-12 Men’s Basketball teams, the league office announced Monday afternoon. The all-conference teams were voted on by the league’s 12 head coaches.

Sophomore forward Jakob Poeltl earned a spot on the 10-person All-Pac-12 First Team, while senior guard Brandon Taylor and senior forward Jordan Loveridge were both named All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention selections.

Poeltl is the third straight Ute to earn first team all-conference honors, following Delon Wright who was tabbed a first team honoree in 2014 and 2015. Meanwhile, Taylor earned his second all-conference honor after being named a second team selection last year. This is the first all-conference honor for Loveridge.

Jordan Loveridge

Jordan Loveridge

Poeltl led the conference with a .660 field goal shooting percentage, ranked second with 17.6 points per game and was third in the league with 9.1 rebounds per game. The Vienna, Austria native also ranked second in total field goals made (202) and total points (543). He finished the regular season with 14 double-doubles. After leading the Utes and ranking fourth in the league with 50 total blocks on the season, Poeltl was also named a Pac-12 All-Defensive Team Honorable Mention selection.

Taylor ranked ninth in the conference with 3.9 assists per game, while his 120 total assists were eighth-most in the league. After earning Pac-12 All-Defensive Team Honorable Mention honors last season, the Los Angeles native found his way to the first team in 2015-16, finishing fourth in the conference in both total steals (47) and steals per game (1.5).

Brandon Taylor

Brandon Taylor

Loveridge was one of the league’s most lethal shooters from downtown this season, finishing the 2015-16 campaign ranked third among players in the Pac-12 in three-pointers made (79), three-pointers made per game (2.55) and three-point field goal percentage (.407).

Utah Football Defeats Michigan, 24-17, to Open 2015 Season

University of Utah vs Michigan on 09-03-2015 at Rice-Eccles Stadium. The Utes defeat the Wolverines 24-17. ©2015 Bryan Byerly

University of Utah vs Michigan on 09-03-2015 at Rice-Eccles Stadium. The Utes defeat the Wolverines 24-17. ©2015 Bryan Byerly

SALT LAKE CITY — Three interceptions and a defensive touchdown was the difference as the Utah football team opened its 2015 season with a 24-17 victory over Michigan on Thursday evening in front of the largest crowd in Utah history (47,825).

Utah’s three interceptions came from Justin Thomas, Cory Butler-Byrd and Marcus Williams, with Thomas capping Utah’s scoring with a 55-yard touchdown return in the fourth quarter.

Travis Wilson went 24-for-33 for 208 yards at quarterback. His one interception of the game came on a jump ball at the end of the first half.

Travis Wilson

University of Utah vs Michigan on 09-03-2015 at Rice-Eccles Stadium. The Utes defeat the Wolverines 24-17. ©2015 Bryan Byerly

Devontae Booker led Utah with 124 yards of total offense, which included 69 yards rushing (22 carries) and 55 yards receiving (seven catches).

Britain Covey was strong in his first career game, catching five passes for 58 yards. He also had a 14-yard punt return. Wilson found eight different receivers on the night.

Michigan had 355 yards of total offense to Utah’s 337 yards, and each team came away with two offensive touchdowns and a field goal. Eighty of Michigan’s yards came on its final drive of the game, and the Utah defense held the Wolverines to just 76 yards rushing.

Photo Rob GrayGionni Paul led Utah with 14 tackles, tying his career high. Tevin Carter had nine tackles with a team-high 1.5 tackles for loss. Carter also had a pass breakup.

Utah is 3-1 all-time against Michigan and has a three-game winning streak in the series.

The teams traded field goals early before the Utes took their first lead of the game, 10-3, with Booker scoring his first touchdown of the season on a one-yard run after an 11-play, 75-yard drive. Booker had 19 yards of the drive while Covey’s first career catch went for 20 yards in the drive. Covey also had an eight-yard reception that was just shy of the end zone.

Photo Rob GrayThe Utes picked off the Wolverines twice in the first half. Michigan’s first offensive drive of the game ended when Buter-Byrd, making his first career start, had his first career interception. Marcus Williams had his second career pick in the second quarter for a 10-yard return. Utah held Michigan to just 25 yards rushing in the first half.

Michigan came out of the locker room after halftime energized and put together an 11-play, 49-yard drive over 5:02 that ended in a missed field goal.

University of Utah vs Michigan on 09-03-2015 at Rice-Eccles Stadium. The Utes defeat the Wolverines 24-17. ©2015 Bryan Byerly

University of Utah vs Michigan on 09-03-2015 at Rice-Eccles Stadium. The Utes defeat the Wolverines 24-17. ©2015 Bryan Byerly

Utah responded with a long drive of its own, going up 17-3 after a 14-yard touchdown rush by Wilson with 5:49 left in the half following a 10-play, 74-yard drive over 4:09. Harrison Handley’s 18-yard catch — his first career reception — brought Utah inside the red zone and Covey had a 15-yard catch during the drive.

Michigan scored its first touchdown of the game on its next drive following a 12-play, 75-yard drive over 5:03 for a 19-yard TD pass with 46 seconds left in the third quarter and bringing Utah’s lead within a touchdown, 17-10. The Wolverine drive got new life following a Utah personal foul penalty on third down just before the touchdown.

Photo Rob Gray

The Utah defense got into the scoring in the fourth quarter, as Thomas picked off a pass with 7:58 left in the game and returned it 55 yards for a touchdown, giving Utah a 24-10 advantage. It was his first career interception and first career touchdown. Utah’s defense again came up big on Michigan’s next drive, holding the Wolverines on fourth down at the Utah 35-yard line.

Michigan scored with 54 seconds remaining in the game after a nine-play, 80-yard drive over 1:52. Utah came up with the subsequent onsides kick.

Utah returns to action on Friday, Sept. 11, against Utah State. Kickoff is at 7:00 p.m. MT on ESPN2.

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Utah survives Stanford with big second half winning 80-56

Delon Wright drives in matchup with Stanford (Photo: Bryan Byerly)

Delon Wright drives in matchup with Stanford (Photo: Bryan Byerly)

Utah survives Stanford with big second half winning 80-56 led by Delon Wright scoring 20 points and Jordan Loveridge adding 18.  The No. 17 ranked Utes ran away from Stanford in the second half after trailing by five at half time 39-34 in the Pac-12 quarterfinals Thursday night.

Utah (24-7) had a few offensive problems in the first half, but found a rhythm in the second.  The third-seeded Utes hit 14 of 28 shots in the second half and were 12 of 19 from 3-point range overall to earn a spot in Friday’s semifinals against second-seeded Oregon.  The other matchup of Friday night will be nations 7th ranked Arizona Wildcats taking on the Bruins of UCLA.

Utah bench celebrate basket against Stanford (Photo: Bryan Byerly)

Utah bench celebrate basket against Stanford (Photo: Bryan Byerly)

Stanford (19-13)  advanced to play the Utes Thursday by knocking off Washington in opening round with a last second 3-point shot by Senior guard Chasson Randle winning 71-69.  The Cardinal was led in the matchup with the Utes by Randle who had 22 points and Stefan Nastic added 11.  Stanford only scored a total of 17 second-half points.

The Utes won the lone meeting between these teams by 16 on Feb. 12 after holding Randle to 10 points.

Delon dunks in second half action against Stanford in PAC-12 tournament (Photo: Bryan Byerly)

Delon dunks in second half action against Stanford in PAC-12 tournament (Photo: Bryan Byerly)

Utah will face Oregon in the semifinals Friday night.  Photos provided courtesy of Bryan Byerly.  See more of his photos at http://www.bbsportspics.com

Oregon advanced to the semi-finals by knocking off Colorado 93-85.  The Ducks are led by PAC-12 player of the year Elgin Cook who scored 20 on Thursday night.  Other Oregon players to watch are guard Joseph Young who scored 30 against the Buffs and Dillon Brooks with 8 rebounds.