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Kendall Smith | | February 25, 2023

No. 8 Utah earns share of Pac-12 title with upset of No. 3 Stanford

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Fresh off being named a No. 1 seed in the final in-season top-16 rankings from the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee, No. 8 Utah proved itself again on Saturday, taking down No. 3 Stanford 84-78. 

The win earned Utah (25-3 overall, 15-3 Pac-12) a share of the Pac-12 regular season title for the first time in program history. It was also just the second time the Utes have ever defeated Stanford — the Utes were 1-31 going into the game.


The Cardinal are a team that's flirted with defeat over its last two games, barely inching by No. 21 Colorado in a double-overtime win on Thursday. But a 28-point performance from Utah's Gianna Kneepkens was the breaking point.

Stanford (27-4, 15-3 Pac-12) outshot Utah 48.3 percent to 41.1 percent from the floor and finished plus-14 on rebounds, but Utah made 26 free throws to Stanford's 11 and committed 11 fewer turnovers.

The Cardinal jumped out to an early 9-0 run in the first three minutes of the game, but the Utes battled back, going on a 10-0 run themselves late in the first quarter. 

Things were knotted with six minutes to go before the half, but a Kneepkens 3-pointer with 5:44 left in the second quarter gave Utah a lead it would never give up.

The Utes led by as many as 12 points in the second half. Stanford cut the lead back down to four with 1:14 left in the game, but even a Cameron Brink double-double and 11 total blocks from the Cardinal was not enough to overcome Utah.

Next up both teams will head to Las Vegas for the Pac-12 tournament, which is scheduled for March 1-5 at the Michelob ULTRA Arena. 

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