Box Score |
March 11, 2005
With today's win, Utah advances to the final of the MWC Championship where the Utes will play No. 1 seed New Mexico in a rematch of last year's final. No. 1 seed New Mexico defeated No. 2 Utah last season, 71-50 to win the title. Utah is now 9-4 all-time in the MWC Championship, while BYU drops to 10-5. The overall series between the two teams in the tournament is now tied at two apiece.
Utah's Kim Smith came into today's game averaging 15.5 ppg in two contests this year vs. BYU. She nearly got her average in the first half with 15 points and scored 19 points total on the afternoon. Smith had a double-double with 10 boards. She has now scored in double-figures in 36 straight games.
Utah's Kim Smith started the game perfect, making her first four field goal attempts, including three treys, and her first two free throw attempts for 13 points in the game's first 15 minutes. She then missed two shots on the same possession.
With today's tournament win, Utah beat BYU three times this season. The last time the Utes defeated the Cougars three times in the same season was 1996-97.
Utah did not commit its first turnover until there were 15 minutes gone in the opening half. It came on a shot clock violation. It was the Utes' only first-half turnover. Utah committed just six turnovers on the day, a season-low mark this season. The Utes' previous low was eight vs. Utah Valley State, Dec. 2.
Shona Thorburn averaged 23.0 points in two games vs. BYU this season but scored just five points, including one point in the first half. Thorburn missed her first six field goal attempts before draining a three-point bucket about 14 minutes into the second half. Thorburn did have seven assists and three rebounds.
Utah improved to 21-0 this season when leading at halftime and is now 21-2 when scoring more than 60 points.
Utah's Camie Allen came into today's game averaging 3.4 points and 2.2 rebounds a game, but scored nine points and grabbed eight boards on the afternoon.
After Utah scored the game's first bucket, BYU rattled off seven straight points to go up 7-2 with just under 17 minutes to play in the first half. Utah answered with a 24-5 run of its own to build a 26-12 advantage. BYU went scoreless for over four minutes during that stretch. BYU's last lead of the game was 9-7 just a little more than five minutes into the game. Utah jumped ahead on a three-point basket, 12-9, by Lana Sitterud and never trailed again.
Utah ended the first half with just one field goal in the last 7:25 of the first half to cut a 15-point lead to eight at the half, 35-27. The Utes' built a 15-point lead twice in the opening half at 29-14 and 31-16.
Today's semifinal session attendance of 4,929 ranks second all-time for the semifinal session of the MWC Championship. The 2001 tournament was the only semifinal session over 5,000 with 5,242 fans. The 2003 semifinals were third with 4,795 fans.