Kim Smith scored 20 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in Saturday's win over Hawaii.
Nov. 27, 2004
HONOLULU, Hawaii -- The University of Utah women's basketball team muscled through a 25.5-percent field-goal shooting performance Saturday afternoon in a 52-45 victory over Hawaii in the Rainbow Wahine Classic at the Stan Sheriff Center.
The Utes led by as many as 11 points in the first half. But Utah went stone cold from the field late in the first half. Hawaii took advantage of that poor shooting to get back into the contest. The Utes led 24-13 with 4:01 left until halftime, but didn't convert a field goal until halftime, allowing the Rainbow Wahine to pull within three points, 24-21, at the intermission.
The drought continued for the first 2:41 of the second half. Meanwhile, Hawaii was able to grab a 26-25 lead. Julie Wood finally broke through with a Utah field goal for the first time in 6:20, hitting a three-pointer to put the Utes back on top, 28-26.
By the 12:54 mark, the contest was tied 33-33. Hawaii's Jade Abele hit a three-pointer at that point, sparking a 7-1 Wahine spurt to put the home team ahead 41-34 with 7:50 remaining.
"I didn't think there was much I could do," Elliott said of the Utes' cold-shooting. "We knew we were going to get shots, we were getting shots. We were just missing shots. I knew somebody was going to need to step up and make some plays. We go the ball to Kim (Smith) down the stretch. That was important."
Utah chipped away at the deficit by getting to the free-throw line. Smith, who recorded her third double-double in four games, knocked down four straight from the line to get Utah within striking distance, 41-38. After a Hawaii bucket, Smith hit a three-pointer to get the Utes within two. Wood then buried her third trey of the contest to put Utah back on top, 44-43, with four minutes to play.
Smith scored one minute later to push the Ute advantage to three. One-of-two at the free-throw line from Smith gave Utah a 47-43 lead and capped a 13-2 Utah run. Utah converted five-of-six free throws over the final 1:10 to hang on for the hard-fought, seven-point win.
"This game was just a tough-it-out kind of thing," Elliott said. "We found a way to win in the end. But it wasn't pretty."
Smith scored 20 points and pulled down 14 rebounds to lead Utah (2-2). Deanne Hanchett was the only other Ute in double figures, scoring 11. Abele paced Hawaii (0-2) with 18.
Utah will now face Idaho at 4:10 p.m. (MST) Sunday in the fifth-place game of the tournament.