Short-handed Utah women lose to Stanford 69-42
STANFORD, Calif. – All of the momentum Utah built during its three-game winning streak has evaporated. Now the Utes are just struggling to make it to the end of the regular season.
Playing their second game since losing starting point guard Janita Badon to a knee sprain she suffered earlier this week in practice, Utah's problems were on full display against the second-ranked team in the country.
The Utes committed shot clock violations on their first two possessions, shot just 35.4 percent, committed 15 turnovers and had only six assists in a 69-42 loss to No. 2 Stanford on Saturday.
"Part of the problem is we're having a heck of a time running anything," Utah coach Anthony Levrets said. "When you don't execute great it's difficult for kids to make shots because they're not shooting from where they're used to shooting."
Taryn Wicijowski scored 15 points and Iwalani Rodrigues had 12 for the Utes, who trailed by as much as 27. Michelle Plouffe added nine points but no other Utah player had more than three.
Utah (13-14, 6-10) made one run and pulled within 50-34 when Wicijowski scored on a three-point play midway through the second half but wilted down the stretch and remained winless in 14 games against Stanford.
"Sometimes we get a little frazzled because people aren't in the right positions," said Wicijowski, who went 6 of 14 from the floor. "Sometimes we seem to get into a good flow but it's not continuous."
Chiney Ogwumike scored 16 points and had 12 rebounds, older sister Nnemkadi Ogwumike added 15 points and five blocks for No. 2 Stanford to give coach Tara VanDerveer her 700th career victory with the Cardinal.
The Hall of Fame coach is fifth on the all-time coaching list with 852 wins.
VanDerveer became just the seventh coach to win 700 games at one school with Stanford's 23rd straight victory this season. She joined a list that includes Tennessee's Pat Summitt and Connecticut's Geno Auriemma.
Even in the milestone victory — which came on Senior Day at Stanford — VanDerveer was her typical fiery self.
She yelled at her players for a mistake on an inbounds play with the Cardinal leading by 17 in the second half, then later shook her head emphatically as she questioned Nneka Ogwumike during a timeout.
VanDerveer was also the first to notice when the scoreboard malfunctioned with 3½ minutes remaining — only after a Stanford basket failed to register.
Joslyn Tinkle had 12 points and nine rebounds for Stanford, which won its 78th straight game at Maples Pavilion. The Cardinal (26-1, 17-0 Pac-12) led the entire way and ran their conference winning streak to 74 despite going just 2 of 12 on 3-pointers.
The Cardinal got their normal scoring from the Ogwumike sisters, who combined to go 12 of 23 from the floor. Stanford also got a big lift from freshman guard Amber Orrange, who had 12 points and four rebounds.
Stanford had no problem scoring against Utah and rode one of its best defensive efforts of the season to the lopsided win.
The Utes were called for shot clock violations on their first two possessions, made just five field goals in the first half and trailed 36-14 at the break.
Levrets, frustrated by his team's lack of offense, repeatedly yelled at officials throughout the first half and was whistled for a technical foul with 2:22 left.
Tinkle, who had six points during an 18-3 run, made both free throws to give the Cardinal a 35-10 lead. The Utes never got closer than 16 the rest of the way.