Utah guard Gianna Kneepkens out for season with foot injury

Utah Utes junior guard Gianna Kneepkens is out for the remainder of the 2023-24 season after suffering a right foot injury Saturday against BYU that will require surgery, the program announced Monday.

"Our entire program is devastated for Gianna," Utah coach Lynne Roberts said in a statement. "No one works harder and competes to win like she does. I know she will attack this like she does everything else and come back better than ever. While this is adversity for our program, I believe in our players and know that we'll persevere and our goals are still achievable."

Kneepkens previously won Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and is a two-time first-team honoree in the conference. She was second on the team in scoring this season behind senior forward Alissa Pili, the reigning Pac-12 player of the year, with 17.8 points per game, while serving as Utah's top 3-point shooter with 27 3s on the season on a 54% clip from the arc.

She was also a WBCA honorable mention All-American last year.

The Utes, who were picked to finish first in the Pac-12 preseason poll, were one of the few top-25 teams to return all five starters from last season's squad, which fell to eventual national champion LSU in the Sweet 16. However, Utah has also been without senior guard Isabel Palmer for the past five games.

Utah is ranked No. 11 in the country, sitting at 7-1 with its sole loss to No. 10 Baylor, and faces top-ranked South Carolina on Sunday at the Basketball Hall of Fame Women's Showcase.