SALT 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.
Junior 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).
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.
Sophomore 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.
The 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.