Senior Kama Griffitts and junior Candice Warthen scored in double-digits, but Utah women’s basketball (9-10, 2-6) defeated Arizona (4-15, 0-8) in a 60-57 thriller in Salt Lake City on Sunday.
Griffitts led all players in the first half with 13 points, also adding five rebounds and one assist.
Warthen scored 10 of her 12 points in the second half, also adding three rebounds, one assist and one steal.
Freshman LaBrittney Jones led the Wildcats with six rebounds.
As a team, Arizona outscored the Utes in the paint, 32-22, scored six fast break points to Utah’s zero and earned 15 points from bench players to Utah’s 10.
“We allowed them to go on a run and defensively we weren’t in position and didn’t get the stops that we needed,” Arizona Head Coach Niya Butts said. “They were able to make some plays. The difference in the game was three-pointers. They made seven and we made three. We made more shots than they did, the rebounding margin was close and we only had 11 turnovers.”
Arizona scored the first points of the game, but Utah went on a 9-2 run and led by nine points with 5:03 left in the first half. The Wildcats ended the half on a 13-4 run to tie it up at halftime.
Utah then scored the first four points of the second half, but UA went on a 16-5 run and led by as much as six, but the Utes hit back and took a five point lead with four minutes left in the game.
Layups by Warthen and Jones pulled the Wildcats to within two, but Arizona could not close the gap completely in the last minute of the game.
“I am disappointed, because today I thought we did enough to get the win,” Butts said. “We’ve got to take it back to Tucson, regroup and get ready for Oregon.”
“We started to get a little hesitant, but ultimately, we just didn’t get enough stops and didn’t make enough plays. We need to put ourselves in better positions.”
Senior Michelle Plouffe led the Utes with 20 points and 13 rebounds.
Arizona will return home to host Oregon at 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 31 and Oregon State on Sunday, Feb. 2 at noon. Sunday’s game will be televised live on the Pac-12 Networks.