3 keys to Stanford’s 73-48 Pac-12 women’s basketball championship win over Utah
Brynna Maxwell came off the bench to score 16 points for the Utah, but the Utes’ sensational freshmen were shut down by the defending national champions in Las Vegas
Utah’s magical run to the Pac-12 women’s basketball championship came up just short, as No. 2 Stanford throttled the Utes in the second half and rolled to a 73-48 win at Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas Sunday in the title game.
Shorthanded Utah played without injured starting center Peyton McFarland and with an ailing Giana Kneepkens, but made it a competitive game the first three quarters.
Stanford stretched a 32-30 halftime lead with a 20-13 edge in the third quarter and cruised in the fourth to repeat as Pac-12 champs.
Brynna Maxwell came off the bench to lead the Utes (21-10) with 16 points, while Haley Jones had 19 for Stanford (28-3), the likely overall No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Here are 3 keys to Utah’s 73-48 loss Sunday afternoon at the Mandalay Bay Events Center:
• Utah struggled from 3-point range, going 8 of 24 from beyond the arc, and coach Lynne Roberts’ team had to settle for the runner-up trophy after winning three games to get to the final for the first time in program history.
• Utah trailed by just three, 39-36, when Brynna Maxwell made a pull-up jumper with 6:42 left in the third quarter. But Stanford answered with a 8-0 run to start pulling away. The Cardinal led 52-43 heading into the fourth quarter, then opened the final frame with a 10-2 run to put it away.
• The Utes fell behind by 12 toward the end of the first quarter, 21-9, before scoring on five straight possessions in the second quarter to get back in it. Dasia Young scored the last seven points of the first half for the Utes to cut Stanford’s lead to 32-30 at the break, but didn’t score in the second half.