3 keys to Utah’s 78-56 loss in the NCAA Tournament to torrid-shooting Texas
Second-seeded Longhorns make 16 straight shots at one juncture of the game and rout the Runnin’ Utes on their home court
Utah’s remarkable turnaround season came to an abrupt end on Sunday afternoon in Austin, Texas, as No. 2 seed Texas routed the Utes 78-56 in an NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament Round of 32 game at Frank Erwin Center.
Texas (28-6) made 16 straight shots during one stretch of the game and finished shooting a season-high 64% from the field to make life difficult for the Utes, who fell to 21-12 overall after defeating Arkansas in a first-round game on Friday.
The seventh-seeded Utes were making their first Big Dance appearance since 2011, and trailed by just 19-17 at the end of the first quarter. But the Big 12 champion Longhorns went inside early and often in the second quarter to take a 44-30 halftime lead and kept their foot on the gas pedal well into the fourth quarter.
Here are 3 keys to Utah’s season-ending loss:
• Texas’ guards proved to be too quick and athletic for the Utes to handle on the perimeter, often driving to the paint and feeding bigs for easy baskets inside. The Longhorns scored 38 points in the paint and got 44 points from their bench.
• Kennady McQueen made three 3-pointers midway through the second quarter to keep the Utes in it, but eventually cooled off and got little help from her teammates. The North Summit High product finished with a team-high 18 points for the Utes, who shot 51% but struggled from deep.
• Utah handled Texas’ pressure reasonably well in the first quarter, finishing that frame with just one turnover. But the pressure eventually sped up the Utes, caused them to hurry shots, and they ended up with 19 turnovers and made just six 3-pointers after making 15 in Friday’s first-round win over the Razorbacks, Utah’s first NCAA Tournament win since 2009.