Kim Smith was one of three Utes in double-figure scoring with 17 points at BYU.
Jan. 31, 2004
PROVO, Utah - The Utah women's basketball team remained unbeaten in Mountain West Conference play and extended its winning streak to five with a 66-62 victory over instate rival Brigham Young this afternoon. With the win, the Utes improve to 15-4 overall and 5-0 in MWC play.
Utah shot 44 percent (25-of-57) from the field on the game, while BYU connected on 23-of-52 of its shots. For just the second time all season, the Utes won a game in which they were out-rebounded. The Cougars won that battle 39 to 26. However, Utah countered that on the turnover front, committing just seven on the game and forcing 16 by BYU.
"I'm just glad to get a win," Head Coach Elaine Elliott said. "This game was so hard-fought that if you come out with a win, you have to be happy."
"I think turnovers made up for rebounding," she continued. "They gave us possessions that we weren't getting off the boards. You have to find ways to get the job done."
Sophomore All-America candidate Kim Smith led the Utes with 17 points and eight rebounds. Sophomore Shona Thorburn added 15 points and three assists, while senior Mandie Little finished with 12 points.
BYU's Ambrosia Anderson had 17 points in the first half, but was held to just five in the second. "We put Lana on Ambrosia in the second half," Elliott said. "If she'd have had a second half like the first, we wouldn't be smiling right now."
Little scored the first four points of the game but the Cougars answered with a 7-0 run to go up 7-4. After ties at seven, nine, 11 and 14, Utah built a four-point lead (20-16), but BYU came right back with seven straight points to take a 23-20 lead. Utah tied it again on a Wood trey, but the Cougars went on another 7-0 run for a 30-23 advantage. The Utes scored four straight to close out the half and head into the locker room down by three points, 30-27.
BYU built its lead to five (36-31) early in the second half before Utah tied it at 38 on a Smith three-pointer at the 15:35 mark. Both teams then battled back and forth before the Utes scored nine unanswered points to take a 52-46 lead. The Cougars slowly chipped away at the Utah lead, cutting it to one (63-62). Then, with the a chance to take the lead, Anderson threw the ball away, sealing the Ute win.
Utah shot 54 percent on the half, compared to the 46 percent of the Cougars. BYU out-rebounded the Utes 19-2 on the half.
The Utes travel to San Diego State and UNLV for games next Thursday and Sunday, Feb. 5 and 8. Thursday's game starts at 7 p.m. (PDT), while Sunday's game, which will be broadcast on Fox Sports Net, starts at 12 p.m. (PDT).