Utah's Shona Thorburn scored a game-high 18 points and dished out eight assists against Wyoming Thursday night.
Jan. 13, 2005
SALT LAKE CITY -- The University of Utah forced 23 turnovers against Colorado State Thursday night at the Huntsman Center. The Utes took advantage of those turnovers, en route to a 68-50 victory in the Mountain West Conference opener for both squads.
Utah (12-4, 1-1 MWC) outscored the Rams 32-16 in points off turnovers and also held Colorado State (9-5, 0-1) to just 34 percent from the field. Four Utes reached double figures in the contest, with Shona Thorburn leading the way. The junior point guard scored a game-high 18 points and also dished out eight assists.
Utah's Kim Smith tallied her sixth double-double of the season, scoring 15 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Meanwhile, Lana Sitterud tallied 12 points and nabbed a career-high seven assists. Jessica Perry scored 10 points and grabbed nine rebounds.
The first half was tight for the first 13 minutes, with Utah leading 21-20. A three-pointer from Thorburn and a trey from freshman Marie Warner pushed the Utes' lead to seven, 27-20, with 5:47 remaining in the first half. Utah led 30-24 with 4:16 left until halftime when Melissa Dennett scored for Colorado State. The Rams would not score again in the first half. Sitterud took advantage of that scoring drought, hitting two of her three three-pointers in the final two minutes of the half to push the Utes' lead to 12 points at the intermission, 36-24.
Colorado State scored the first three points of the second half on a traditional three-point play from Lindsay Thomas. That pulled the Rams back within nine, 36-27. But Thorburn answered with a three-pointer and Utah's lead never dipped back into single digits. Leading 39-29 just two minutes into the second half, the Utes outscored CSU 15-2 over the next seven minutes to grab a 20-point advantage, 54-31.
With the win, Utah moves to 6-0 all-time in Mountain West Conference openers. In addition to the four Ute starters who scored in double figures, freshman Marie Warner came off the bench to tally eight points for Utah. Colorado State was paced by Thomas, who scored 12 points. The only other Ram in double figures was Dennett, who tallied 10.
Utah is back in action again Saturday afternoon in an MWC tilt with Wyoming, which defeated BYU in Provo Thursday night. Saturday's contest with the Cowgirls is slated for 3 p.m. at the Huntsman Center.