Utah loses second half of home-and-home

S-Woops-cropped Colby Patterson

What goes around comes around.

Utah, who beat Colorado last week at home, struggled on the road against the Buffaloes Sunday, losing 61-45. The Utes (10-11, 3-7) struggled to sink any shots while Colorado (13-8, 3-7) outplayed Utah and kept them to its second-lowest scoring game of the season.

As a team, the Utes made 14-of-54 shots, connecting on only 3-of-21 beyond the three-point line. Head coach Anthony Levrets said he cannot explain why, but he feels like the team did not bring its best game out in Boulder.

“It just did not feel like we were all there today,” Levrets said. “Sometimes that happens. I do not know why it happened. It could have been how we started or could be playing them twice within a week, it could be many things. We just did not play well.”

Utah was outscored in the first half 33-16 after falling behind by seven early in the game. By the beginning of the second half, the Utes found themselves in a twenty-point differential that they would never overcome.

Colorado held Utah’s dynamic duo of Michelle Plouffe and Emily Potter to a combined 11 points. Buffaloes sophomore forward Arielle Roberson had a game high 18 points and eight rebounds. The Utes were outrebounded, 51-35.

Utah’s only bright spot was from guard Danielle Rodriguez, who had 11 points — the 12th time this season that she has scored in double digit figures. Junior guard Cheyenne Wilson delivered nine points and a vain effort to narrow the gap. Rodriguez says that the struggles for them were on both sides of court.

“We struggled offensively and defensively,” Rodriguez said. “We could not get into a rhythm. Some of the shots were there but they were not falling and we could not transition to the defensive part of the floor. We have to learn if shots are not going down on offense we got to get back and start playing some defense.”

Levrets said that at this point in the season, struggling teams such as Colorado and themselves see that desperation begins to set in and really turns teams into competitive ones. He still finds comfort in the fact that despite the loss, it is not a time for Utah to be panicking. Levrets felt like the loss is something that is going to help the team, especially the younger players, learn and grow significantly to teach them how to fight on as the season nears the end.

“We will get over this,” Levrets said. “I told my team I am not mad, I am just disappointed. Our ultimate goal is to get into the postseason and I think that this team does have a chance to do that. But we have to learn and we got to make sure that we do not allow these things to happen again. We were 2-8 last year [in conference play] and we are 3-7 now and just have to play better in the next game.”

b.barlow@chronicle.utah.edu