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Utah Utes beat No. 21 Arizona State Sun Devils on Senior Day for Daneesha Provo, Kiana Moore

Utah Utes senior guards Kiana Moore (0) and Daneesha Provo (23) are recognized on senior day after the Utes beat the Arizona State Sun Devils at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020.
Utah Utes senior guards Kiana Moore (0) and Daneesha Provo (23) are recognized on senior day after the Utes beat the Arizona State Sun Devils at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020.
Ivy Ceballo, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Senior day is always bittersweet for a basketball program.

The seniors get to play one more game on the floor for the school they have called home for four years, but know the final time walking off the court will be their last.

“It’s always kind of a mixed bag of emotions. You’re happy for them, but there’s an awareness of an end of an era when you lose players,” Utah Utes head coach Lynne Roberts said.

The Utes sent seniors Daneesha Provo and Kiana Moore out the right way, knocking off No. 21 Arizona State 75-71 on Sunday afternoon. Utah, which trailed 42-35 at halftime, put together a great third quarter, outscoring the Sun Devils 26-15 — including an 8-0 run — en route to the win.

Andrea Torres and Brynna Maxwell led the way with 15 points each, while Provo finished with 12 points, two rebounds, two steals and an assist and Moore contributed nine points and a rebound.

“I’m so pleased and happy for these guys that we won today. It’s a fun way to remember your senior night when you win,” Roberts said.

Moore and Provo were two of Roberts’ first recruits when she accepted the job as head coach in 2015.

“These are our first two recruits, really. When I first got the job, we got on Daneesha. She was transferring form Clemson, so that was in the spring, and Kiana was our first high school kid we recruited and committed,” Roberts said. “I’ll always remember these guys as our first recruits here at the U.”

Provo averaged 8.2 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 1 assist through her career at Utah, which was prolonged after she hurt her ACL in what was her senior year and got another season of eligibility.

Provo thanked her teammates for helping her through her time at Utah.

“My teammates are kind of like sisters to us, everyone here. They get you going. When you’re at your lowest point, they’re there to pick you back up, especially with me going through an ACL injury. I feel like that’s the toughest time to go through anything, being so far away from home,” Provo, a native of Canada, said.

Provo has grown as a player and person since coming to Utah in 2015.

“That redshirt year was my hardest year mentality and physically, just not being able to play, not being able to travel, but I feel like it shaped me into who I am today. These last few years, working hard, coming to compete, basically just going out there and playing and doing what I can do to control,” Provo said. “Just trying to find that balance between the love for the game and also putting the work in for it.”

She credits her coaches for getting the best out of her.

“Coaches, getting the best out of you every day for the last four years, testing you. They know what you’re capable of, but they want you to prove yourself,” Provo said. “The atmosphere here, it’s not easy, but it’s worth it and it shapes you to who you are today.”

Moore played all four years at Utah and averaged 5.2 points, 1.1 assists and 1.8 rebounds per game. The 5-7 guard was a sparkplug off the bench for her entire career.

“I’ve definitely improved tremendously from freshman year to senior year. I took it day by day. I’m always ready, so whenever I had the opportunity to show what I got, I was always 100% ready and always gave 100% all the time. From then to now, my resiliency to keep fighting,” Moore said.

Like Provo, one of Moore’s most cherished parts of her time at Utah was spending time with her teammates.

“My teammates got me through the highs and lows. They really pushed me to be the woman that I am today,” Moore said.

Moore’s favorite memory at Utah was beating ranked teams, like Utah’s 75-68 win over No. 6 Stanford last season and 2018 and 2020’s wins against Arizona State, and Provo concurred.