Go Utes!
Go Utes!
Hot Second Half Leads Utah Women to 64-56 Win Over Washington

Utah's Shona Thorburn scored 16 points to lead her team over Washington Saturday afternoon.

Utah's Shona Thorburn scored 16 points to lead her team over Washington Saturday afternoon.

Dec. 4, 2004

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SALT LAKE CITY -- The University of Utah women's basketball team converted 61.1 percent of its second-half field goal opportunities in a 64-56 victory over Washington Saturday afternoon at the Huntsman Center.

Utah (5-2) held Washington to a paltry 23.3 percent from the field in the second half and 32.7 percent for the game. Meanwhile, the Utes converted eight of their first 10 field-goal attempts after the intermission and hit 13-of-14 from the free-throw line in the second half.

"Our defense was key tonight," Thorburn said. "They hit some big three-pointers, but we really did a good job containing them."

Washington (3-3) led 14-6 with 12:13 remaining in the first half. Utah picked up a traditional three-point play from freshman Marie Warner to pull within five, 14-9. Later, a three-pointer from senior Lana Sitterud and a jumper from junior Shona Thorburn jumper tied it at 19-19.

By the intermission, Washington held a 29-27 edge. But the Utes gained momentum just 16 seconds into the second period when junior Kim Smith hit a three-pointer. Smith's trey made it 30-29 and gave Utah its first lead since the opening minutes of the ballgame.

Utah took a six-point lead four minutes into the second half. The Huskies pulled back within one, 41-40, two minutes later when Nicole Castro hit a three-pointer. Washington had four opportunities to take the lead on its next possession, but Jill Bell missed three times and Emily Florence missed the mark on a layup. Sophomore Shauna Brouillard and Smith scored on back-to-back possessions for the Utes to push the lead back to five, 45-40, with 12 minutes to play.

 

 

The teams traded baskets for much of the next six minutes. Washington's Dominique Banks pulled the Huskies within two, 54-52, with a jumper at the 5:44 mark. But once again, Washington couldn't take advantage of an opportunity to take the lead. Brouillard hit a pair of free throws and Smith scored inside to push the Utah advantage back to six, 58-52. Utah attempted only one field goal in the final four minutes, but was six-of-six from the free-throw line to ice the eight-point victory.

"Guard play was excellent tonight, especially Shona (Thorburn)," Utah head coach Elaine Elliott said. "We have a really difficult schedule and this win was very big for us. This was a gutty game and we have a lot to improve on, but we are happy with the `W.'"

Thorburn led the Utes with 16 points, while Brouillard scored 12 off the bench and Smith added a dozen. Kayla Burt came off the bench to score a game-high 18 points to lead Washington.

Utah is back in action Thursday night in a road game at Weber State. Tipoff is at 7:05 p.m.

-UU-

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