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How Utah women’s basketball rewrote its record book in a night full of 3s

Behind the numbers of the Utes’ school-record 21 3-pointers in a blowout win over South Carolina State

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Utah guard Isabel Palmer (1) brings the ball up court against South Carolina State on Nov. 9, 2023, in Salt Lake City.

Utah guard Isabel Palmer (1) brings the ball up court during a college basketball game against South Carolina State on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2023, in Salt Lake City.

Rick Bowmer, Associated Press

The Utah women’s basketball team lived up to the phrase “take what the defense gives you” on Thursday night in a 108-48 win over South Carolina State at the Huntsman Center.

The Utes set a school record by hitting 21 3-pointers in the blowout win, their second straight game scoring 100-plus points to start the season.

Utah coach Lynne Roberts attributed the high number of 3-point attempts, 53, to the type of defense SC State was playing.

“I mean, they played zone for 40 minutes and our players are programmed to shoot the 3 if they’re open, and they were obviously clogging (up the paint),” Roberts said. “So, of those 53 attempts, I think they were all good shots, and if those are the shots that we’re given, we’re going to take them.”

How did Utah set the record on a historic night?

By the numbers

  • How many 3-pointers Utah shot: Almost 62% of the Utes’ 86 total shots from the field came from beyond the arc, as Utah made 21 of 53 3-point attempts in the game.
  • 3-pointers by quarter: The Utes’ best quarter shooting the 3 came in the third quarter. A breakdown by quarter: Q1 — 7 of 16 made; Q2 — 4 of 10; Q3 — 7 of 12; Q4 — 3 of 15.
  • Streaks, part I: Utah made 7 out of 9 during one stretch in the first quarter, helping bump its lead out to 31-7.
  • Streaks, part II: After missing its opening 3-point attempt of the third quarter, Utah made 7 of its next 11 to balloon the lead from 32 points at halftime to 40 by the end of the third.
  • Assists: Utah had 31 assists in the game on 39 made field goals, and that percentage increased on 3-point makes. Of the Utes’ 21 made 3-pointers, 20 were assisted.
  • Offensive rebounds: Utah, which had 30 offensive rebounds in the game, scored six of its 3-pointers off of second-chance efforts, including three in the first quarter.
  • What they said: “Offensive rebounds are the best time to shoot a 3. Again, we’re programmed to do that too. We get an offensive board and we’re always looking to the kickout 3,” said Roberts, whose team scored 28 second-chance points.

What players hit 3-pointers?

  • Top shooter: Isabel Palmer led the way for Utah, making 7 of 10 3-pointers on the night to score a game-high 21 points. Her previous high for made 3s in a game was three against Cal-State Fullerton two years earlier. She also hit three 3-pointers in a game for Texas as a freshman before transferring to Utah.
  • Other top performers: Gianna Kneepkens made 4 of 7, Kennedy McQueen 2 of 4 and Wisconsin transfer Maty Wilke hit 3 of 7 for her first points as a Ute.
  • Who else hit 3-pointers: Alissa Pili, Inês Vieira, Lani White, Dasia Young and Alyssa Blanck all made one 3-pointer each.
  • What they said: “We’re not forcing anything. If we’re open, just let it fly,” Palmer said. “I think that’s what she harps on in practice, we do a lot of shooting. Some people might think we do too much but I think it’s awesome. If we can shoot the ball more open, then why not?”