NEW ORLEANS — The Utah women’s hoops team will try to avoid a season-ending 0-2 start Saturday against Virginia Tech when it plays a game without three of its top scorers.
Utah defeated the Hokies 74-68 on Saturday, but the Jazz were already without starting forward Ashley Kuechly and starting point guard Kaleb Cazzie.
The Jazz are now 3-6 since Kuechesis return to the lineup, but they have not lost consecutive games since a 5-0 start to the 2014-15 season.
Utah coach Kim Bokova acknowledged Saturday that it would be difficult for the Jazz to get back to the top of the Big Dance without Kuechels return.
But she also said that her team will not be afraid to try to get it done.
“We’re not going to give up on the next step,” Bokova said.
“I think that the next year and a half we’re going to get there.
It’s just going to take time.
It takes us a while to get to that place.
But it’s a goal, a goal we’re working towards.”
The Jazz have won eight of their last 10 and are 5-3 against Virginia Commonwealth in the series.
Kuecheners absence has made life harder for Cazzies team, which has lost seven of its last eight.
Kavli Harris scored 15 points and had 12 rebounds.
Virginia Tech coach Steve Wojciechowski said Saturday that his team is ready to play for its spot in the tournament.
“Our goal is to play Virginia Tech, but I also believe we have a chance to play with Virginia Tech,” Wojcik said.