Utah's Shona Thorburn scored 16 points to lead her team over Washington Saturday afternoon.
Dec. 4, 2004
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.
"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.