Kennady McQueen had a season-high 21 points, Dasia Young and Matyson Wilke each made four 3-pointers and No. 16 Utah upended No. 2 UCLA 94-81 in overtime on Monday night.
“Normally, it’s Alissa (Pili) coming up in those huge moments but seeing her struggle, she knows that we’re more than capable. She was hyping us all up the entire time. Everyone else just stepped up individually tonight,” McQueen said.
Young and Wilke each had season highs of 16 points to overcome an off-game by Pili, who had 16 points on 4-of-15 shooting.
“(Pili) doesn’t care how many points she scores. She wasn’t mad … and wasn’t telling us, ‘Guys, I need the ball.’ She kept passing it when we were open and it just shows we love each other and we’re gonna do anything we can to win,” Wilke said.
Utah (14-5, 4-3 Pac-12) had never defeated a team ranked this high.
“We were sick of coming up short. So we have a bit of an attitude,” Utah coach Lynne Roberts said. Utah had lost to five ranked teams before breaking through in their last two games against top 10 teams Southern California and UCLA.
Gabriela Jaquez scored 21 points, Kiki Rice added 16 and Charisma Osborne had 14 for the Bruins (15-2, 4-2), who were outscored 22-9 in overtime after a remarkable fourth-quarter comeback.
“We showed a lot of guts to put us in a position to where I thought we should have won the game. We got to close that out,” UCLA coach Cori Close said.
In overtime, Pili finally made her mark with a rebound putback and two free throws on consecutive possessions to put Utah up 83-76 with 2:01 remaining. UCLA, which was outrebounded for the first time all season (38-35), never got close after that.
Utah’s Ines Vieira, who had 12 points, made a driving layup to send the game to overtime after Camryn Brown made a free throw with four seconds remaining in regulation.
“Ines’s layup — that wasn’t even the play — but she just made a read and it was perfect,” McQueen said.
The Bruins clamped down in the fourth quarter, forcing five turnovers and 1-for-9 shooting before Wilke hit her fourth 3-pointer of the game to make it 70-64.
“We didn’t win many hustle plays until the fourth quarter,” Close said. “We got stops, attacking in transition, getting second-shot opportunities.”
UCLA: With the height advantage they enjoy nearly every game, UCLA gave Pili problems but couldn’t cash in with many easy baskets on the offensive end. The Bruins defense couldn’t keep up as Utah generated wide-open 3s with their drive-and-kick offense. “We just couldn’t close the gaps quick enough,” Close said about Utah’s 3s.
Utah: The Utes take the vast majority of their shots around the basket or beyond the 3-point line, so when the 3s (13 of 28) are falling Utah’s offense really hums. Perhaps the keys was Utah’s all-out hustle with swarming defense and bodies on the floor nearly every play.
UCLA: Hosts Washington on Friday night.
Utah: Visits Oregon on Friday night for the first of four road games.
Reporting by The Associated Press.
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