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Utah women's basketball is no one-woman show.
Getting a 24-point, 10-rebound performance out of junior wing Paige Crozon, late free throws from senior Katie Kuklok and a full-team effort on defense, Utah (10-3, 2-0) beat visiting Washington 88-83 in nail-biting fashion to stay perfect at home and in Pac-12 play.
While visiting Washington keyed on star sophomore center Emily Potter, the Utes showed they don't lack for weapons. And while maybe the rest of the league is reeling from Utah's unexpected start, the Utes themselves say they've been preparing for success.
"I think everyone else is surprised we're not," said Crozon, who set a career high in scoring. "We've worked incredibly hard all offseason to get to this point. I think hard work pays off, but that being said, I think we haven't even scratched the surface of our potential."
If that's so, the Utes could surprise more than they already have by winning more games under first-year coach Lynne Roberts than all of last season.
Utah handled another close finish with composure: The game featured 10 ties and 16 lead changes. Washington even led 77-76 with 2:33 to go.
But the Utes swung a late sequence their way. Crozon scored a go-ahead layup on a fast break, then hit a pair of free throws to give Utah a 4-point lead with 1:18 remaining.
Utah didn't trail again, but certainly had to work to seal the win particularly at the line. The Utes made 9 of their final 10 free throws, with Kuklok making 5 of 6 for their last five points.
Kuklok also came up with a key turnover with 10 seconds left. On a UW inbounds play, Dani Rodriguez and Tanaeya Boclair chased after the ball, which bounced loose and straight into Kuklok's hands.
"It was just right there," said Kuklok, who had 14 points and was one of four double-digit scorers. "Dani and Tay did a great job pressuring to get the turnover there."
The game was notable in that Utah won without getting much from Potter late. The Canadian center had 12 first-half points, but was locked down for most of the second half with only two points and three rebounds.
After Utah came out of halftime tied at 37-37, Crozon took advantage of her offensive matchup for 15 second-half points while shooting 5 for 8 from the field. Her aggressiveness helped get buckets inside the arc, and opened opportunities up for the rest of the team, which shot 44 percent for the evening.
Another Canadian who entered the program with high expectations, Crozon has been sidelined much of her career with various injury issues. Now Utah's second-leading scorer, the junior's revitalized career is a bit like the program this season they were down for a while, but they're charging back.
Utah was able to win despite a 35-point night from the Huskies' Kelsey Plum, the nation's leading scorer. Chantel Oshahor added 18 for Washington, but fouled out late in the game. Utah was able to outrebound UW 45-34.