McQueen, Pili lead No. 11 Utah women past Washington State

December 31, 2022 GMT

PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Kennady McQueen scored 20 points, Alissa Pili added 18 and No. 11 Utah held off Washington State 71-66 on Friday night after blowing a 16-point halftime lead.

Utah’s 38-22 halftime lead was erased with 2:22 remaining in the game when Washington State’s Ula Motuga hit a pair of free throws to cap a 16-5 run that tied the score at 62. Pili made two free throws for a 68-66 lead with 35 seconds remaining, then WSU missed a 3-pointer, Utah’s Isabel Palmer made one of two from the line and Motuga missed a potential tying 3-pointer with three seconds left. McQueen added two free throws for the final margin.

Bella Murekatete led Washington State with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Astera Tuhina scored 12 points and Motuga had 11.

Utah led 19-15 after the first quarter in which the Utes shot 57% and the Cougars 54%. In the second quarter, the Cougars had seven turnovers, shot 2-for-14 from the field and missed all seven of their 3-point tries. Utah outscored WSU 19-7.

The nation’s second-highest scoring team, the Utes (13-0, 2-0 Pac-12) are one of six undefeated teams in the nation and have established their best start since joining the Pac-12. At No. 11 in the AP poll, Utah has matched the best ranking in program history, last reaching No. 11 on Jan. 26, 1998.

The Cougars (10-3, 0-2) saw their eight-game home winning streak come to an end.


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