"Sometimes, the rest away from conference season can be good," Utah coach Lynne Roberts said. "I feel like there's great energy with the team right now. I think they're really excited to keep playing, so we'll have to see how it goes."
Roberts knows Utah's upcoming opponent well. The Big West regular-season champion Aggies (23-7) were a prominent rival when she coached at Pacific. They run a Princeton-style offense that probes for weakness and repeatedly exploits the matchup they want.
This is not some pushover first-round opponent. UC Davis is one of the best in the country at taking care of the ball (1.23 assist-to-turnover ratio, No. 20) and is near the top in field goal percentage (44.1 percent, No. 42) and shooting defense (36.1 percent, No. 29). While the Aggies lost both games it played to Pac-12 teams this season against Stanford and Oregon State both wound up being top-two seeds in the NCAA Tournament.
"I think they do a good job of teaching their players how to read defenses, and they're very deliberate in what they do," Roberts said. "They try to get the look they want to get, and they have all smart players who can shoot the 3. We need to defend the 3-point line well."
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UC Davis at Utah
WNIT first round, Huntsman Center
Tipoff • 6 p.m.
Radio • ESPN 700 A.M.
Tickets • Fans can get free admission for up to six people by going to utahutes.com, printing a family pass coupon and presenting it at the door on game night.