Utah Utes forward Tilar Clark (24) lays up the ball past the defense of Purdue Boilermakers guard Andreona Keys (10) as the University of Utah hosts Purdue University at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake on Monday, Nov. 20, 2017.
SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah women’s basketball team isn’t quite ready for Pac-12 competition, but they are making strides every day.
“I think we are much improved offensively from last year,” said Utah head coach Lynne Roberts as the Utes prepared to host the West Coast Conference’s St. Mary’s on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. “Just statistically alone if you have never watched a game, our numbers are better. But it’s a work in progress. We certainly aren’t Pac-12 ready, and we are still in November form (with) so much to improve on.”
Still the fact that the Utes have more versatility offensively and more depth defensively has them in a better position than this time last season.
“I think the fact that we have balance, legitimate post play, great guard play, we have kids who can shoot it, and if you have those three things, then you’re tough to stop,” Roberts said. “I thought against UTA offensively we weren’t very good. We were just kind of sputtering. We were doing so well defensively that we would get out and run and try to force things, and we just weren’t executing to the level that I expect. But we still scored 71 points. I think with that said, we are scoring the ball pretty well, even when we aren’t executing at the level we need to be successful in the Pac-12, which is a good sign.”
The Utah women, who are undefeated at home (4-0) will welcome the Gaels to the Huntsman Center at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. St. Mary’s only loss is to another Pac-12 team — Cal. The Gaels have beaten Washington State and Indiana in preseason play.
“They are big,” Roberts said. “I was in that conference for years so I know that team and I know the staff pretty well. They are very well coached and they do a good job. It is going to be a test rebounding-wise, they rebound hard. They are big, physical, strong and relentless, so we are going to get tested there. That is going…