Game #13 (#16) Utah Utes at Wyoming Cowgirls
Game #14(#16) Utah Utes at Colorado State Rams
Utah Probable Line-Up: Pos No Name Ht. Yr. Hometown Statistics G 10 Alli Bills 5-7 Sr. Sandy, Utah 11.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 9.1 apg G 33 Julie Krommenhoek 5-9 Sr. American Fork, Utah 21.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.6 apg C 44 Kristi Rose 6-4 So. Palmdale, Calif. 8.6 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 1.9 bpg F 11 Amy Alcorn 5-8 Sr. Oregon City, Ore. 2.9 ppg, 1.0 rpg F 42 Angie Thill 6-0 Sr. Belt, Mont. 12.9 ppg, 8.2 rpg Off The Bench: Pos No Name Ht. Yr. Hometown Statistics G 14 Rosie Shelley 5-9 Jr. American Fork, Utah 1.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg F 15 Lindsay Sodja 6-1 Fr. Taylorsville, Utah 2.5 ppg, 1.0 rpg F 21 Kristina Anderson 6-1 Fr. Eugene, Ore. 3.2 ppg, 2.3 rpg G 22 Tiana Fuertes 5-3 So. Honolulu, Hawaii 1.3 ppg, 1.0 apg F/G 24 Amy Ewert 6-0 Fr. Vancouver, B.C. 2.7 ppg, 2.6 rpg G 25 ReShawnda Richardson 5-7 So. Long Beach, Calif. 1.3 ppg, 0.7 rpg G 30 Janna Whitman 5-10 So. Magna, Utah 0.3 ppg. 0.3 rpg F/C 35 Laura Ross Allen 6-2 Sr. Sparks, Nev. 5.6 ppg, 4.7 rpg
GAME DATA: Utah (12-0, 3-0 WAC), ranked 16th by USA Today/ESPN and 17th by A.P., plays its first two Western Athletic Conference road games of the season this week. The Utes face Wyoming (5-8, 2-2 WAC) on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. at the Arena Auditorium (15,028) in Laramie, Wyo. Utah then plays Colorado State (12-2, 3-1 WAC) on Sunday at 2:07 p.m. at Moby Arena (9,001) in Fort Collins, Colo.
ON TELEVISION: FOX Sports Net will televise the Colorado State game live on its Rocky Mountain, West and Southwest regional affiliates. Jeff Rickard (play-by-play) and Holly Rowe (color analyst) provide the talent.
ON RADIO: KALL-910 AM, the flagship station of the Utah Sports Network, will broadcast the Wyoming game tape-delayed at 10:30 p.m. following the Utah men’s basketball game. Mike Lageschulte (play-by-play) and Walt Bills (color) call the action. KALL will also carry the Colorado State game live, beginning with the pre-game show at 1:45 p.m. Lageschulte (play-by-play) and former Ute Reggie Wright-Jewkes (color) call the action. Each broadcast concludes with The Elaine Elliott Postgame Show.
A QUICK LOOK AT UTAH: The Utes, 12-0 overall and off to the best start in school history, are in sole possession of first place in the Western Athletic Conference Mountain Division with a 3-0 record. Last Saturday, Utah defeated in-state rival Brigham Young, 63-46, at the Huntsman Center. Senior guard and All-America candidate Julie Krommenhoek leads the Utes in scoring with an average of 21.3 points per game. Krommenhoek is also averaging a team-best 3.5 three-pointers per game and is shooting 44.7 percent from three-point range. Senior point guard and postseason honors candidate Alli Bills leads the team in assists (9.1 apg) and is third in scoring (11.3 ppg). Senior forward Angie Thill is the team leader in rebounding (8.2 rpg) and is second in scoring (12.9 ppg). Sophomore center Kristi Rose is fourth in scoring (8.6 ppg), second in rebounds (6.9 rpg) and first in blocked shots (1.9 bpg). Utah is outscoring the opposition 69.1 to 52.4 points per game and has a 37.0 to 33.6 advantage in rebounding. The Utes are shooting 46.6 percent from the field, 40.3 percent from three-point range and 73.2 percent from the free throw line.
IN THE POLLS: Utah moved into the top 20 in both the USA Today/ESPN and Associated Press polls for the first time in school history this week. Utah has also become the highest ranked Western Athletic Conference team ever. The undefeated Utes (12-0) are ranked No. 16 by USA Today/ESPN with 516 votes, moving up from 22nd last week. Utah is also ranked No. 17 in the A.P. poll with 301 points, moving up from 22nd last week. The highest Utah had been ranked in any previous season was 27th by A.P. on Dec. 4, 1995. The highest any WAC team had previously climbed in the polls was San Diego State, which climbed to No. 21 in the A.P. poll during the 1994-95 season.
HOOPS U.: Entering this week, the University of Utah is the only NCAA Division I athletics program to have both an undefeated women’s and men’s basketball team. The Utah men’s team is 13-0 and ranked No. 4 in both this week’s USA Today/ESPN and A.P. polls.
TRAVEL PLANS: Flight Plans: Jan. 14 - Depart Salt Lake City at 11:20 a.m. (United #2456) and arrive in Denver at 12:30 p.m. Jan. 18 - Depart Denver at 9:25 p.m. (United #1167) and arrive in Salt Lake City at 10:48 p.m. Accommodations: Jan. 14-15 - Holiday Inn/Laramie (307-742-6611). Jan. 16-17 - Marriott/Fort Collins, Colo. (970-226-5200).
COMING UP: Utah returns home to the Huntsman Center next week to host Air Force next Thursday (Jan. 22) at 7:00 p.m. and UNLV next Saturday (Jan. 24) at 3:00 p.m.
UTAH VS. WYOMING PREVIEW
SCOUTING THE COWGIRLS: Wyoming is 5-8 overall and 2-2 in Western Athletic Conference play after losing two league games on thr road last week. The Cowgirls fell to UTEP, 74-64, last Thursday and lost to New Mexico, 72-45, on Sunday. Senior Courtney Stapp ranks eighth in the WAC in scoring (16.2 ppg), 17th in field goal shooting (.389), eighth in three-point field goals per game (1.8) and 18th in assists (3.2). Junior Rebecca Tomlin is 11th in the conference in rebounds (8.1) and 10th in free throw percentage (.741). Tomlin is also UW’s second-leading scorer, averaging 10.6 points per game. Wyoming ranks eighth in the WAC in scoring (65.8), eighth in scoring defense (52.4) and fourth in rebounding (40.6). The Cowgirls are shooting 38.5 percent from the floor and 30.3 percent from three-point range.
WYOMING HEAD COACH CHAD LAVIN... has a 170-153 record in his 12th year at Wyoming and a 252-185 mark in 16 seasons as a collegiate head coach. Named the Western Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 1987 and 1990, Lavin is the winningest coach in school history.
SERIES NOTES: Utah and Wyoming meet for the 44th time on Thursday with the Utes leading the all-time series, 37-6. Utah has won 16 of the 21 games played in Laramie, Wyo. The two teams did not meet last year after having played at least once every year since 1975. The U. has won the last 14 games in the series.
LAST MEETING: Utah defeated Wyoming, 59-44, on Feb. 15, 1996 in Laramie, Wyo. Amber McEwen had a game-high 20 points, making all 10 of her shots from the field to tie the school single-game record. Julie Krommenhoek scored 15 points and had five rebounds. The Utes outshot UW 44.4 to 29.1 percent from the field.
UTAH VS. COLORADO STATE PREVIEW
SCOUTING THE RAMS: Colorado State, ranked 28th in the A.P. poll and 33rd by USA Today/ESPN, is 12-2 overall and 3-1 in Western Athletic Conference action after splitting two games on the road last week. The Rams beat New Mexico, 66-63, at The Pit on Friday and lost to UTEP, 69-62, in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday. The Rams feature two of the top three offensive players in the WAC. Junior Becky Hammon leads the league in scoring (23.8 ppg), is ranked fifth in field goal percentage (.545), fourth in three-point field goal percentage (.435), third in three-point field goals per game (2.9), first in free throw percentage (.871) and second in assists (6.5). Junior Katie Cronin is third in scoring (20.2 ppg), eighth in field goal percentage (.507) and seventh in three-point percentage (.386). Cronin also ranks 13th in the WAC in rebounds (7.2). As a team, Colorado State is first in the WAC in scoring (80.7 ppg), second in field goal percentage (.474) and eighth in rebounds (39.6).
COLORADO STATE HEAD COACH TOM COLLEN... has a 12-2 record in his first season as a collegiate head coach. Collen came to CSU from Arkansas, where he was an assistant coach for two years and an assistant head coach for his last two seasons with the Lady ‘Backs. He was also an assistant coach at Utah, Purdue and Miami-Ohio.
SERIES NOTES: Utah and CSU meet for the 46th time on Sunday. The Utes lead the all-time series, 38-7, and have a 16-4 edge in games played in Fort Collins, Colo. After the the Utes won 24-consecutive meetings from 1983-94, the two teams have split the last eight games. Last year, Colorado State won, 68-79, in triple overtime on Feb. 8 in Salt Lake City and Utah won, 68-59, on Feb. 26 in Fort Collins.
LAST MEETING: In last year’s regular-season finale, Utah avenged its only loss of the WAC season with a 68-59 win in Fort Collins, Colo., on Feb. 26. With the win, the Utes capped off the best conference season (15-1) of the Elaine Elliott era and the second-best in school history. Alli Bills posted the first triple-double in school history with a career-best 14 rebounds, 13 points and 10 assists. Julie Krommenhoek had 15 points for the Utes. Katie Cronin led CSU with 19 points. Utah led by as many as 13 points with 11:35 to play before CSU came back within three points with 2:00 left. Bills and Krommenhoek made five of six free throws in the final 38.2 seconds to hold off the Rams.
UTAH TEAM NOTES
RECORD-SETTING START TO SEASON: Utah, 12-0 following its win over Brigham Young last Saturday, is off to the best start in school and Western Athletic Conference history. The Utes’ previous all-time best start was 6-0 during the 1976-77 season. Utah went 5-0 to begin the 1988-89 campaign. The all-time best start to a season by a WAC team was 9-0 by New Mexico last season.
UTES EQUAL THIRD-LONGEST WINNING STREAK: With its win over Brigham Young last Saturday to improve its season record to 12-0, Utah equaled the third-longest winning streak in school history. The Utes also won 12 games from Dec. 20, 1996 through Feb. 6, 1997 and from Jan. 20 through March 3, 1989. The second-longest winning streak in the Utah record books is 15 games during the 1980-81 season.
The longest winning streak in both Utah and Western Athletic Conference history is 18 games. The Utes set the school record during the 1976-77 season and San Diego State established the conference mark in 1994-95.
HOME SWEET HOME: Utah has won all six of its home games this season and eight in a row dating back to last season. The Utes’ last loss at the Jon M. Huntsman Center was on Feb. 8 to Colorado State, 79-68, in triple overtime. The Utes have won 36 of last 37 home games since a loss to Western Athletic Conference rival San Diego State on Jan. 12, 1995.
FROM THE TRAINING ROOM: Sophomore forward Lori Red will sit out this season with a medical redshirt and return next season with three years of eligibility remaining.
GAME #12 RECAP: Julie Krommenhoek had a game-high 19 points and Kristi Rose contributed 10 points and nine rebounds as Utah defeated Brigham Young, 63-46, last Saturday afternoon at the Jon M. Huntsman Center.
Krommenhoek shot 6-for-12 from the field and 5-for-8 from three-point range in 39 minutes. Alli Bills dished out a game-high 11 assists and had six points. Senior forward Angie Thill, in her first game back after sitting out two contests with a knee injury, had nine points and eight boards. Amy Ewert went 3-for-5 and scored nine points in 19 minutes off the bench.
BYU had a balanced attack with Angela Burgess scoring nine points. Kari Gallup and April Hayes each had eight points. Utah outshot BYU 46.0 to 35.8 percent from the field for the game, cooling off from a 53.8 percent clip in the first half. The Utes also had the edge on the boards, 44 to 26. The Cougars doubled-up the Utes in steals, 16 to eight.
As par for the course this season, Utah opened the second half with a 7-0 run to turn a six-point halftime lead into a 41-28 advantage at the 16:21 mark. Krommenhoek hit a three-pointer from the from the top of the key in the middle of the run at the 17:08 mark. Utah's lead grew to 19 points (54-35) as Bills found Krommenhoek wide-open for a three-pointer with 7:38 to play in the second half. Thill then scored on a lay-up to make it a 21-point advantage.
HEAD COACH ELAINE ELLIOTT... is the winningest coach in Utah women’s basketball history. Elliott, now in her 15th season as Utah’s head coach after spending four years as an assistant coach at the U., could record her 300th career victory this season. Elliott has 293-127 career record and a 141-38 mark in conference games entering this weekend. Her number of career wins and winning percentage (.698) is the best of any coach in the Western Athletic Conference. Her coaching tenure is also the longest among the league coaches. She has had nine 20-win seasons and three 19-win campaigns, averaging 20 wins in the 14 previous years at the U. Elliott was named the WAC Mountain Division Coach of the Year last season after guiding Utah to the Mountain Division title. Utah won the WAC regular-season title under Elliott in 1995-96 and the WAC Tournament championship in 1995. Elliott has coached teams to a total of four regular-season conference crowns (1986, 87, 89, 96), one divisional title (1997) and four league tournament championships (1989, 90, 91, 94). Seven of her teams have advanced to the NCAA Tournament (1986, 89, 90, 91, 95, 96, 97).
KROMMENHOEK SECOND IN CAREER SCORING: Senior guard Julie Krommenhoek continues to climb the Utah and Western Athletic Conference career charts, solidifying herself as one of the all-time best players in both school and conference history. Krommenhoek moved into second place in career scoring in the WAC against Brigham Young last Saturday. She is also in second place in career scoring at Utah. With 1,797 points entering this week’s game, Krommenhoek needs 278 more points to take over the career scoring mark at Utah. She needs just 51 more to claim the top spot in the WAC.
Krommenhoek already tops the Utah and WAC career charts for three-point field goals made (306) and attempted (703), and owns the top three single-season marks in both three-point categories. She set school and conference single-season records last season with 103 three-pointers made and 233 attempted. The American Fork, Utah, native has also already set the all-time steals mark at Utah (225) and ranks fifth in the WAC.
KROMMENHOEK SHOOTING FOR ALL-AMERICA HONORS ONCE AGAIN: Julie Krommenhoek, a Kodak honorable mention All-American the past two seasons and a District VII All-American in ‘94-95, is once again one of the top players in the country in ‘97-98. Through the first 12 games, Krommenhoek has already had six 20-point games. She missed her career high by two with a season-best 33 points against No. 24 Arkansas on Dec. 21, going 11-for-19 from the field and 6-for-9 from three-point range. She also had 29 points against UTEP on Jan. 1 and at Idaho State on Dec. 9., and tossed in 25 against Wisconsin-Green Bay on Dec. 5. Krommenhoek has scored in double figures in every game, averaging 21.3 points per game to rank 19th in the nation. She is also averaging 3.4 three-pointers per game to rank fourth in the NCAA rankings released on Jan. 6. Krommenhoek is also shooting 44.7 percent from behind the arc.
BILLS UTAH CAREER ASSISTS LEADER: Senior point guard Alli Bills is the Utes’ all-time leader in assists, posting 509 in essentially two and a two-thirds seasons after missing the last 20 games of her sophomore year with a torn ACL. She took over first place from Karen Alcorn (1988-92), who had 440 career assists. Bills has averaged 9.1 assists in the first 12 games this season, and ranked second in assists in the NCAA rankings released on Jan. 6. Bills set the Utah career assists record by dishing out 10 against Kansas State on Dec. 6 in the championship game of the Commerce Bank Wildcat Classic.
The Sandy, Utah, native is second in the Western Athletic Conference career assists, needing 15 more to take over the top spot from Dee Dee Dominguez of Colorado State (1993-96).
Bills also owns two of the top three single-season assists totals in school history. She dished out 160 assists, the third-most in the Utah record books, as a freshman in 1994-95. Bills ranked first in the nation with 7.6 assists per game in 1996-97, recording a school record 213 on the season.
BILLS CONTENDING FOR POSTSEASON AWARDS: Alli Bills has had a solid first one-third of her final season as a Ute. Bills has posted three double-doubles, most recently getting 11 points and 10 assists against then-No. 24 Arkansas on Dec. 21. She also posted 15 points and 11 assists against UC Irvine on Nov. 28 and 10 points and 10 assists, to go along with seven rebounds, against Kansas State on Dec. 6. Bills has scored in double figures in nine of the first 12 games. She has had double-figure assists in five games and posted a season-high 12 against Idaho on Dec. 29. She had 11 assists against Brigham Young on Jan. 10.
Bills, who was named to the Western Athletic Conference all-defensive team in 1996-97, posted 10 assists or more seven times last season. She had the first triple-double in school history against Colorado State on Feb. 26, with 13 points, a career-best 14 rebounds and 10 assists. She narrowly missed her second career triple-double against UTEP on Jan. 1 with 15 points, nine assists and nine rebounds.
NCAA INDIVIDUAL STATISTICAL RANKINGS
(Released Jan. 6):
Scoring Julie Krommenhoek 19th (21.5)
Assists Alli Bills 2nd (8.9)
3-Point Field Goals Julie Krommenhoek 4th (3.4)
Blocked Shots Kristi Rose 15th (2.1)
NCAA TEAM STATISTICAL RANKINGS (Released Jan. 6):
Scoring Defense 2nd (53.0)
Free Throw Percentage 9th (75.7)
3-Point FG Percentage 8th (40.7)
3-Point FG Per Game 20th (6.0)
WAC TEAM STATISTICAL RANKINGS (Released Jan. 12):
Scoring 7th (69.1)
Rebounds 14th (37.0)
Scoring Defense 1st (52.4)
Opponents’ Rebounds 1st (33.6)
Scoring Margin 2nd (16.7)
Rebound Margin 3rd (3.4)
Field Goal Percentage 3rd (46.6)
Blocks 5th (3.2)
Field Goal Pct. Defense 2nd (36.6)
Steals 10th (9.5)
3-Point FG Percentage 1st (40.3)
Turnover Margin 7th (-2.8)
3-Point FG Per Game 4th (5.9)
Free Throw Percentage 2nd (73.2)
WAC INDIVIDUAL STATISTICAL RANKINGS (Released Jan. 12):
Julie Krommenhoek 2nd (21.3)
Angie Thill 19th (12.9)
Field Goal Percentage
Angie Thill 4th (54.8)
Julie Krommenhoek 12th (46.4)
Julie Krommenhoek 3rd (44.7)
Free Throw Percentage
Julie Krommenhoek 8th (77.5)
Angie Thill 10th (8.2)
Kristi Rose 16th (6.9)
Alli Bills 1st (9.1)
Kristi Rose 3rd (1.9)
Julie Krommenhoek 6th (3.3)
Alli Bills 9th (2.8)
3-Point Field Goals
Julie Krommenhoek 1st (3.5)
UTES UPEND TWO NCAA TOURNAMENT TEAMS FROM A YEAR AGO: Utah’s non-conference schedule was highlighted by two match-ups against NCAA Tournament teams from last year. Utah defeated Kansas State, 68-57, on Dec. 6 in the championship game of KSU’s tournament. The Wildcats, members of the Big 12 Conference, were a 10th seed in the NCAA East Region last year with a 19-11 record. Utah also beat Montana, 65-52, on Dec. 13 in Missoula, Mont. The Lady Griz earned a ninth seed in the NCAA West Region last season with a 25-3 record.
UTES FIRST WIN OVER RANKED TEAM IN TWO YEARS: Utah’s win over then-No. 24 Arkansas on Dec. 21 was its first victory over a nationally-ranked team since downing 14th ranked Western Kentucky, 83-77, on Nov. 27, 1995.
UTAH PREDICTED TO WIN WAC: In a preseason poll of the Western Athletic Conference coaches, Utah was selected as the favorite to win the Mountain Division for the second-consecutive year and capture the WAC championship.
Utah collected 12 of the 16 first-place votes and 117 points in being predicted to win the division. The Utes garnered 11 of the 16 votes as the favorites to win the WAC Tournament championship game over Colorado State (3 votes) and Hawai’i (2).
Colorado State was picked to finish second in the Mountain Division, collecting 108 points and the remaining four first-place votes. The coaches picked New Mexico to place third (90 points), followed by Brigham Young (77), Wyoming (65), UTEP (50), UNLV (39) and Air Force (22).
Hawai’i was chosen as the preseason favorite in the Pacific Division with 110 points and 10 first-place votes. The remainder of the Pacific Division was predicted as follows: San Diego State (100), Rice (95), SMU (86), TCU (68), Fresno State (50), San Jose State (31) and Tulsa (28).
This season the WAC schedule with feature a 14-game format. Each school will play a cross-over series with a team from the other division—Rice in Utah’s case—but the two games will not count in the WAC standings as opposed to last year. The 1998 WAC Tournament will feature 12 teams—the top six from each division—and will be contested March 2-7 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
WAC’S TOP PROGRAM: Utah, in its 24th season, is the most successful program in the history of the Western Athletic Conference. The U.’s 479-191 (.715) overall record, 79-22 (.782) mark in league games and eight NCAA Tournament appearances are all top marks in the WAC. Utah’s two conference championships, including the 1997 Mountain Division title, rank second to San Diego State’s three WAC titles.
FOUR RECRUITS SIGN EARLY WITH UTAH: The Utes signed one in-stater in 6-3 forward Erin Hansen from Mountain View High School in Orem, Utah. A preseason honorable mention All-American by Street & Smith's this year, Hansen was a second-team all-state selection in 1996-97, averaging 8.9 points, 7.9 rebounds and 3.4 blocked shots per game.
In addition to landing one of the top high school prospects in the state of Utah, the Utes have also signed the reigning Player of the Year from Nevada and Idaho. Lauren Beckman, a 6-2 forward/center from Elko, Nev., was named the 1997 Nevada Gatorade Player of the Year as a junior. A first-team all-state selection the past two years, Beckman averaged 20.3 points and 10.7 rpg in 1996-97. She is also a two-time academic all-state selection.
Utah also signed the 1997 Gatorade Player of the Year in Idaho, Lindsay Herbert. The 5-11 guard/forward from Lake City High School in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, averaged 14.8 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.4 assists last season on her way to earning first-team all-state recognition for the second-consecutive year. She is a 1997 preseason honorable mention All-American by Street & Smith's.
Utah signed its second Canadian in as many years in Erin Gibbons, a 5-9 guard from Salmon Arm Secondary school in British Columbia. Gibbons averaged 20.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 10.4 assists per game as a junior. She was the MVP of the Western Canada Championship and a second-team all-star in 1997. Gibbons comes into the Utah program as a shooting guard, but will also likely play some at point guard.
EUROPEAN VACATION: Utah got a head start on the 1997-98 season by playing five games against European professional teams during a 10-day trip to France and Switzerland last summer. The Utes went 4-1 on the tour. The team left for France on Aug. 15, spent the first four days in Paris, toured Switzerland for three days and went to Nice, France, for the last three days of the trip before returning home on Sept. 5. Senior Julie Krommenhoek averaged 18 points a game to lead the team in scoring. Sophomore 6-2 center Kristi Rose averaged 15 points and 15 rebounds a game.
UTAH ON TELEVISION: The Utes will make at least three appearances on television this season. Utah game with Colorado State on Jan. 18 at 2:00 p.m. (MST) will be televised regionally on Fox Sports Net. The contest is part of an eight-game Western Athletic Conference Game of the Week package—the first of its kind in conference history. Fox Sports Net will also televise the WAC Championship game on March 7 tape-delayed at 6:00 p.m. (MST).
Utah will also make at least two appearances on local television. The Utah/Brigham Young game on Jan. 10 at the Jon M. Huntsman Center was televised by KJZZ-TV (Ch. 14, TCI 3). KJZZ is also tentatively scheduled to telecast either the Utes’ quarterfinal or semifinal game in the WAC Tournament on March 4 or 6. The Utah/Brigham Young game in Provo, Utah, on Feb. 4 at 7:00 p.m will be televised by KBYU-TV (Ch. 11).
UTES ON RADIO: Once again this season, KALL-910 AM in Salt Lake City will be the radio home for Ute women’s basketball. All of the remaining regular-season games and all postseason contests will be carried live or tape delayed when they conflict with Utah men’s games. KALL-910 AM Sports Director Brad Stone and Utah Assistant Sports Information Director Mike Lageschulte will share the play-by-play duties. Former Ute Reggie Wright-Jewkes will be the analyst for home games and select road games.