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Utah’s Alissa Pili scores 37 points: ‘No doubt’ she can play in WNBA

Utah's Alissa Pili scored a career-high 37 points against South Carolina on Dec. 10. (Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

Utah may have lost to top-ranked South Carolina on Sunday, but Utes star Alissa Pili showcased why she could be a first-round pick in the 2024 WNBA draft.

Pili had a career game in Utah’s 78-69 loss to South Carolina, which was nearly a stunning upset from the Utes. She helped the team overcome an early 11-point deficit with a career-high 37 points, but while the Utes pulled within two points of the lead, the Gamecocks held on to remain undefeated.

On top of her 37 points, Pili went 15-of-23 from the field, with a team-high three 3-pointers. She also added three steals, two rebounds, one assist and one block.

“If I’m a WNBA GM, there’s no doubt in my mind that kid can play in the WNBA,” Utah associate head coach Gavin Petersen said. “She’s a winner, she’s an assassin in between the lines and she’s a great teammate.”

In the second period, Pili had 14 consecutive points for Utah before foul trouble put her on the bench. She finished the first half with 21 points.

“I’d much rather get the win and have Pili score 37 on us, then her score 37 with the win,” Dawn Staley told the Associated Press. “Now, that’s a little bit hard to swallow. But, utmost respect for Pili. I mean, Utah, I hope we don’t see them in the tournament and whoever does get to see them, good luck to you.”

If you ask Pili, her performance came down to sticking with what works.

“I just went out there and did my thing,” Pili said. “Let the game come to me. It’s better when I don’t think about it, because it just comes to me.”