No. 7 UCLA advances to Pac-12 semifinals with 67-57 win over No. 22 Utah


LAS VEGAS — Angela Dugalic tied a career-high with 17 points and No. 7 UCLA downed No. 22 Utah 67-57 in a Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinal game on Thursday night.

Charisma Osborne added 16 points while Kiki Rice had 13 for the Bruins (25-5).

“Our team is so deep,” Dugalic said. “All 12 players, you have to guard us. We all have different things that we’re really good at. You take away one thing, we’ve got another thing.”

Alissa Pili led the Utes (22-10) with 16 points, while Kennady McQueen added 14. Ines Vieira had 11 and Matyson Wilke contributed 10 points and seven rebounds.

“What a hard-fought game,” Utah coach Lynne Roberts said. “Incredibly physical. I think that’s the most physical game I’ve ever been a part of. They made plays. I felt like we were right there. They hit a couple of big shots. They play hard. They’re disciplined. They’re the whole package. And they have the ability to win a national championship for sure. So a lot of respect for them.”

UCLA outscored the Utes in each quarter, and finished the game hitting 25 of 52 (48.1%) from the field including 47.1% (8 of 17) from 3-point range.

Utah shot just 35% in the game, connecting on 21 of 60 shot attempts. The 57 points were the fourth-fewest scored by the Utes this season.

The Bruins improved to 16-0 all-time in the Pac-12 Tournament when holding an opponent to under 37% shooting from the field.

Osborne paced UCLA in the first half with 12 points, helping the Bruins to 44.8% (13-of-29) shooting.

Leading by two after the first quarter, the Bruins shot 50% in the second frame behind 7-of-14 shooting for a 32-27 halftime lead.

Utah stayed within striking distance, despite poor shooting in both quarters, hitting just 38.5% (5 of 13) in the first quarter and 35.3% (6 of 17) in the second. The Utes struggled from distance in the first half, hitting just 4 of 14 (28.6%) from 3-point range.

“I think we’re built on the right things, even though I would like to see us play a little more fluid offensively,” UCLA coach Cori Close said. “Our defense has been number one in the Pac-12. Our rebounding has been pretty unflappable for the most part. We didn’t start out the third quarter very well rebounding the basketball. But I think we did a great job.”

BIG PICTURE

Utah: The Utes came into the game ranked 19th in the country with a plus-18 rebounding margin, in part to 27.2 defensive rebounds per game (60th). But the Utes were outrebounded 42-27.

UCLA: The Bruins ranked 22nd in the nation with 78.3 points per game during the regular season, but have averaged 62.7 points over their last four games.

UP NEXT

Utah: With this week’s NET rankings placing the Utes at No. 9, they should expect an invitation to the NCAA Tournament.

UCLA: Will meet USC in Friday’s semifinal round.

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