Kim Smith led Utah over SDSU Thursday night. The junior forward scored a season-high 29 points in the victory.
March 3, 2005
SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- University of Utah junior forward Kim Smith scored a season-high 29 points Thursday night, leading the Utes to a 64-54 victory over San Diego State at Cox Arena.
Smith's season-high effort couldn't have come at a better time for Utah (22-6, 11-2 MWC). The Utes did not shoot the ball well, converting just less than 37 percent of their field-goal opportunities. Smith was 12-for-22 from the field, while her teammates were just 10-of-38 for 26 percent shooting.
Smith scored nine of Utah's first 12 points as the Utes jumped out to a 12-2 advantage. It looked as though the rout was on for Utah. San Diego State head coach Jim Tomey called a timeout and settled the Aztecs down.
SDSU (8-18, 2-11) then put together a 6-0 spurt and pulled back within four points, 12-8. Utah finally pulled away from the Aztecs a bit late in the first half. The Utes outscored San Diego State 8-2 over the final four minutes of the first half to take a nine-point advantage at the intermission.
Utah pushed its lead to 13 points three times early in the second half. But SDSU wouldn't go away. A Michelle Elliott jumper and a Michelle Strawberry three-pointer sparked an 11-5 Aztec spurt. That outburst pulled San Diego State within four points, 48-44, midway through the second half.
One minute later, the Aztecs were within three when Elliott hit a three-pointer. That's as close as SDSU would get, although Utah never managed to really pull away.
Lana Sitterud hit a three-pointer with 5:54 remaining to give the Utes an eight-point advantage, 57-49. From there, Utah hit just one more field goal. But the Utes converted five-of-seven from the free-throw line over the final 2:45 to escape with the 10-point victory.
Smith, in addition to her season-high, 29-point effort, reached the 1,500-point mark in the contest. She became just the fifth player in Utah history to reach that plateau. Smith now has a total of 1,511 points in her Utah career. Junior guard Shona Thorburn tacked on 17 for the Utes, including nine from the free-throw line.
Utah wraps up the regular season Saturday at UNLV in a 3 p.m. (PST) contest. The Utes can clinch at least a share of the Mountain West Conference regular-season championship with a win over the Rebels.