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Lady Utes fall at Creighton

Utes run out of gas in Omaha as Creighton pulls away for the win in second half.

University of Utah Athletics - Bryan Byerly

The Lady Utes lost a hard-fought game against the Creighton Bluejays Thursday night in Omaha. The loss drops the Utes to 1-1 with No. 16/15 Nebraska coming up on Sunday. The Utes face an uphill battle now if they want to come back to Salt Lake with a winning record.

Despite 20 turnovers, the Utes were able to keep the game close, out shooting the Bluejays from the field 40% to 35% and especially from beyond the arc where the Utes shot 50% on the night. Taryn Wicijowski scored 14 points going 5-16 from the field to go with 13 rebounds and two assists. Freshman Tanaeya Boclair stepped up in her first road contest, netting 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting. Pac-12 freshman of the week Joeseta Fatuesi was held in check all game only scoring two points, coming with a lay up in the first minutes of the game and finishing with four rebounds.

The Bluejays capitalized on the Utes mistakes, scoring 20 points off turnovers and also were provided boost from 14 points from the bench. Marissa Janning led the Bluejays scoring with 15 points while MC McGrory scored 11 points to go with six rebounds and four assists.

The Utes started cold out of the gate going 1-for-8 from the field. Wocijowski was able to steady the ship for the Utes however scoring six early points to keep pace with Creighton. The Utes would pull ahead by as much as five as the first half neared it's end leading by as much as 21-16. The Bluejays would close the half out in a flurry however, going on a 7-0 run to take a lead into half.

The Utes came out firing to start the second half. Sophomore forward Paige Crozon began the half by grabbing an offensive rebound and laying it in to tie the game at 23-23. The Bluejays then went on a run to lead 31-25 and appeared to be taking control of the game. The Utes responded once again to go on a 9-0 run keyed by 3-pointers by Malia Nawahine and Danielle Rodriguez to take a 37-33 lead.

Creighton would not be denied on their home court, however, and used a 7-0 run to regain the lead. After that, the Bluejays never looked back, and the Utes did not have enough in the tank to come back, falling by eight points for a final score of 64-56.

It was a mixed performance for the Utes. Wicijowski continued to look like the best player on the court, and freshman Tanaeya Boclair had a breakout game. However Joeseta Fatuesi took a step back on the road and was a non-factor after a big game at home, and the Utes turned the ball over too many time to win. It will be a struggle for the Utes, especially on the road, while the young talent continues to mature into playing the game the college level and the roles within the team develop. The Utes played hard coming back several times on Creigthton's court but just didn't have enough for a late game comeback.

The Utes will need to play even better to have a chance at winning when they take on No. 15/16 Nebraska at 12 p.m. MT on Sunday.