Utah cleans up in end-of-year Pac-12 awards after record season
Utah forward Alissa Pili was named the Pac-12 Player of the Year on Tuesday after helping to lead the Utes to a 25-3 record. Head coach Lynne Roberts was also named the league’s Coach of the Year for her part in what was the program’s first-ever Pac-12 regular season championship.
The league announced its end-of-year awards on Tuesday. Pili was also named to the All-Pac-12 Team alongside teammate Gianna Kneepkens. Jenna Johnson and Kennady McQueen each earned honorable mention nods from the conference as well.
And we’re just getting started 😤 #GoUtes pic.twitter.com/FnUFT4ha6n
— Utah Women’s Basketball (@UTAHWBB) February 28, 2023
It was a magical week for the program last week.
It opened with Utah rolling Cal in a 101-86 win on Feb. 23 at home. Pili scored 26 points in that contest.
Then, on Saturday in front of a record crowd at the Huntsman Center, Utah beat then-No. 3 Stanford 84-78 to win a share of its first-ever Pac-12 regular season crown.
It was the first time Utah had ever beaten a team ranked as highly as No. 3, and as a result, the Utes surged up to claim the No. 3 spot in the most recent AP poll for themselves — their highest-ever ranking.
Roberts is the first Utah coach to earn the Coach of the Year award in the Pac-12. In her eighth season at the helm, the Utes went 15-3 in Pac-12 play and closed out the regular season with nine consecutive weeks inside the AP Top 10.
Pili leads the Pac-12 in scoring, averaging 20.6 points per game. She also leads the league in shooting efficiency (59.9%), field goals made (223). A two-time All-Pac-12 selection now, Pili has scored 20 or more points on 16 different occasions this season — highlighted by a season-best 30-point outing at Oregon.
Utah is the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Pac-12 Tournament. It will await the winner of No. 7 Washington State vs. No. 10 Cal, with its second-round matchup set for 1 6 p.m. PT tip on Thursday, March 2.