LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The Utah women's basketball program came away with a 74-58 win over the Florida Gators today in the Duel In The Desert Tournament, improving to 10-0 on the season. The Utes will now play Hawaii tomorrow, Dec. 21 at 3:30 p.m. MT.
The Utes have now scored 70-plus points in all 10 games this season, but it was a defensive win today inside Cox Pavilion against the Gators. The Utes held Florida to just three made three-pointers and 13 attempts when they came into the game averaging 8.2 made per game.
"I thought our defense won the game," head coach Lynne Roberts
said. "Offensively, our execution wasn't exactly sharp at all times, but defensively we were good. Florida is a three-point shooting team and rely on it heavily. We held them to three and they were all in the fourth quarter, so defensively I thought we were pretty dang good."
Utah had four players reach double-digits today with Megan Huff
pouring in a game-high 21 points along with seven rebounds while Daneesha Provo
added 18 points. Dre'Una Edwards
chipped in 12 points, eight rebounds and two blocks with Erika Bean
throwing up 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting.
also put together a complete game away from the scoreboard, adding five rebounds, seven assists and a career-high four steals to the Utah stat line.
After Florida got on the scoreboard first, the Utes exploded for a 14-0 run in the first quarter after Provo scored eight straight points to give them a 14-2 lead. It was a seven-point game with less than two minutes to play in the quarter, but the Utes were able to head into the second with an eight-point advantage.
Florida quickly made it a six-point game to start the second quarter, but back-to-back paint points from Kiana Moore
and Bean made it 30-20 with 8:04 on the clock. The quarter turned into a shootout as the Utes and Gators traded baskets down the stretch, but Utah was able to take an 11-point lead heading into halftime on a last second shot by Edwards.
The runs continued for the Utes in the third as they started on a 7-0 scoring streak capped off by a three from Huff to give Utah a 51-37 lead with 7:16 remaining. Florida continued to press the Utes though, edging back to within seven points to end the quarter.
The Utes went on to outscore the Gators 20-11 in the fourth quarter, including scoring the first 10 points of the period to take a 64-47 lead with 6:05 left on the clock. Back-to-back threes from Florida cut the Utah lead to 10, but that would be the closest they would come as Utah went on to cruise to its 74-58 win.
Utah will play in the championship game of the Rebel bracket tomorrow against Hawaii. The game is set for a 3:30 p.m. MT tip at the Cox Pavilion and will be streamed on FloHoops.com.