Nov. 29, 2009
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SANTA CLARA, CA - Utah needed 21 points from 6-foot 3-inch center Taryn Wicijowski and some late free throws by Kalee Whipple to escape Santa Clara's Leavey Center with a 59-54 victory over the Broncos.
Whipple finished with 18 points, making five free throws in the closing 25 seconds to allow the Utes to hang on for the win. Utah (2-3) - two-time defending Mountain West Conference champs - rebounded from recent losses to UCLA and Stanford.
Santa Clara (1-4) was hosting the first of four straight home games. The Broncos will next play UC Davis Thursday, December 3 at 7 p.m.
Gipson had 17 points and 12 rebounds - the 21st double-double of her Bronco career. Shoji scored 14, matching a career-high by making four 3s.
With Utah leading 40-38 midway through the second half, Wicijowski and Whipple combined for all of Utah's points during its 12-2 surge. Whipple's traditional three-point play with 6:49 remaining put Utah up by seven. Wicijowski banked-in a layup to extend the lead to 52-40 with 4:02 on the clock.
Wicijowski, a true-freshman center from Saskatchewan, had her way in the paint, sinking 9-of-14 shots.
On the ensuing Ute possession Santa Clara's full-court press generated a steal and basket by Gipson to cut the lead down to three. Another Utah miscue dealing with the pressure gave SCU a chance to tie with 40 seconds left. A three-point attempt by Ashley Armstrong just missed.