The Washington women’s basketball team was no match against a stifling Utah defense in a 74-65 defeat Friday night at Alaska Airlines Arena.
The last time the Washington women’s basketball team faced Utah, Kelsey Plum scored 57 points during an unforgettable win at Alaska Airlines Arena when she became the NCAA’s all-time scoring leader.
The two teams met Friday night on the same court, and this time the Huskies were no match against a stifling Utes defense that held them scoreless for several long stretches in a 74-65 defeat.
Not even Amber Melgoza, who scored a personal-best 31 points in her last outing and averaged 23.8 points in the past five games, could keep Washington (6-8, 0-3 Pac-12) from its third straight loss.
“We weren’t being ourselves,” said the sophomore guard who finished with 21 points — four more than her scoring average. “We weren’t being who we are and what we are as a team. We weren’t really playing together, and that kind of showed.”
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Washington struggled most of the night to find open looks against a formidable Utah defense that entered the game ranked third in the Pac-12, allowing 58.5 points per game.
The Utes held the Huskies to 3 for 13 on three-pointers, 35.9 percent shooting from the field and just five assists.
“We didn’t space the floor well enough, and we didn’t move the ball as well as we had been doing,” Washington coach Jody Wynn said. “You credit their defensive pressure certainly. … We just didn’t move the ball. We put our head down and crossed over two or three times and tried to go one-on-one and that’s not how we’re going to win basketball games.”
Senior guard Jenna Moser tied the score 14-14 with a layup before UW’s offense went cold and never truly thawed for the rest of the game.
The Huskies missed their next six shots and converted just one basket for the rest of the quarter while being outscored 17-2.
Utah, which led 31-16 after the first quarter, continued to build its lead as Washington missed 11 of its first 12 shots to start the second quarter.
The Utes capped a 26-2 run when they went ahead 40-16 with 6:56 left before halftime. The Huskies trailed 46-26 at the break.
“Utah came out and we battled for a few minutes there and…