Final Stats |
March 9, 2005
After tonight's victory, Utah has won three of its past four MWC Championship games. The Utes won their first two games last year before falling in the championship, and then won their opening round game in 2005.
Air Force's leading scorer Alecia Steele, who came into today's game averaging 11.3 ppg, went 0-for-7 and did not score on the night. Her previous season- and career-low was four points, also against Utah, Feb. 19. Steele did have five rebounds.
Utah's Kim Smith tallied 19 points and nine rebounds, just one board shy of a double-double. She has now scored in double figures in 35 straight games dating back to last year. Smith also had two three-point buckets and has hit a trey in 11 straight contests.
Lana Sitterud of Utah was 3-for-5 from three-point land and has now made a trey in 26 straight games.
Utah's Shona Thorburn scored 15 points, including 11 in the second half. She also had nine assists, just one shy of a double-double, and seven boards.
Of Air Force's 33 rebounds, 14 were offensive but the Falcons could only muster five second-chance points. Utah pulled down 35 boards, including 12 offensive, and scored 18 second-chance points.
The two teams combined for just seven made free throws on 16 attempts for the game, including just two made free throws on three attempts in the first half. Air Force's free-throw woes continued as the Falcons shot just 28.6 percent (2-for-7) for the game. The Falcons have shot 50 percent or more from the line just once in the past five games (vs. UNLV). Tonight's total was a season-low mark as the previous season-low was 44.4 percent (8-for-18 vs. Wyoming).
Air Force scored the first point of the game on a Lauren Henderson free throw and a Henderson bucket tied it at three points in the first three minutes, but the Falcons would never lead again. Utah went on a 12-0 run to open up a 12-point lead and the Utes never looked back. Utah made its first four treys of the game.
Jacki Novak had six of Air Force's 18 first-half points. She also added eight of the Falcons' 16 rebounds. As a team, Air Force shot just 27.6 percent (8-for-29) in the opening stanza, compared to Utah's 52 percent (17-for-31). Novak finished with eight points and 10 rebounds.
Utah's Kim Smith (12 points) and Camie Allen (six points) combined for 18 points in the opening half, which equaled Air Force's entire first-half total as a team.