Free Throws Sink the Cougs as Utah Rallies Late
PULLMAN, Wash. — In a game dominated by whistles it was no surprise that the contest would be decided at the free throw line as Utah (12-3, 3-1 Pac-12) hit a pair of freebies with 0.5 seconds remaining in the game to steal a win on the road against the Cougars (8-8, 1-3 Pac-12) Sunday afternoon at Beasley Coliseum.
Dominating for most of the game, the Cougs could never quite shake the hard-nosed Utes despite another huge scoring effort out of Borislava Hristova who scored a game-high 29 points and finished just one point shy of being the third Coug to ever record back-to-back 30-point efforts.
For three quarters, the Cougs shot the lights out of Beasley, pushing their lead to as much as 13 points late in the third before going cold in the game’s final period. Using a 14-2 run, initially sparked by the play of Daneesha Provo, between the end of the third and the start of the fourth to turn a potential blowout into a 69-69 tie with 7:37 to play.
Provo would score 14 of her 22 points in the second half before fouling out of the game 2:27 to go.
With Provo out, the Cougs would score five quick points to go up 77-72 with 2:03 to play only to be outscored 9-2 in the final minutes.
Alexys Swedlund would tie the game at 79-79 with the Cougs final points of the game from the line only to see the game slip away in the final second thanks to the two free throws by Tilar Clark.
Clark was fouled after collecting a pair of offensive rebounds when the Cougs forced an initial bad shot by the Utes with just :04 seconds to play.
Stat of the Game
The Utes hit 22-of-24 from the line including 7-of-9 in the final frame while the Cougs went 9-of-15 from the charity stripe.