Utah's Julie Wood grabbed a career-high five rebounds in Saturday's win at Loyola Marymount.
Dec. 18, 2004
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The University of Utah women's basketball team held Loyola Marymount to just five points over the first 12 minutes of the second half Saturday at LMU's Gersten Pavillion. The Utes used that stifling defense to take a 56-33 victory over the Lions.
Utah's second-half defense was so overwhelming that LMU didn't even reach double figures in the second half, scoring just nine points in the second stanza. Utah (8-2) outscored Loyola Marymount (4-5) 16-5 to begin the second half and break open a game that was tight in the first half.
The Utes led 29-24 going into the second half. Julie Wood opened the second half with a three-pointer for Utah, followed by a jumper from Kim Smith, quickly pushing Utah's advantage to 10, 34-24. Loyola Marymount trimmed their deficit to single digits, 38-29, on a Bianca Ziemann three-pointer with 13 minutes remaining. Utah's Lana Sitterud answered with a three-pointer of her own 34 seconds later and the Utes' lead remained in double digits for the remainder of the contest.
Sitterud's trey capped a 10-2 spurt, which was capped by a Shona Thorburn three-pointer, and gave Utah a 17-point lead with seven minutes remaining in the contest. Loyola Marymount's Jevay Grooms scored with 6:50 remaining in the contest. But that was the last time the Lions would find the basket. LMU suffered through two streaks of more than five minutes in the second half, including the final 6:50 of the contest.
Utah held Loyola Marymount's leading scorer Jacquelyn Woods scoreless in the contest. Woods came into the contest averaging 11.3 points per contest.
Both teams struggled to score early in the first half. Utah converted the first bucket of the game 15 seconds into the contest. Neither team scored for the next three minutes.
The Utes, who were shooting just 25 percent at one point in the first half, converted on six of their last seven field-goal attempts. The improved shooting and a traditional three-point play from Thorburn with four seconds remaining helped Utah extend its advantage to five points, 29-24, at the intermission.
Smith led Utah with a game-high 18 points and pulled down eight rebounds. Meanwhile, Thorburn was in double digits with 14 points and also pulled down a game-high nine rebounds. Thorburn also dished out five assists. Wood grabbed a career-high five rebounds in the contest, helping the Utes to a 40-27 advantage on the boards.
Rachael Ziemann's 13 first-half points were all she could manage for the game, but ended up being a team-high total for Loyola Marymount. Only five Lions even managed to score in the contest and three of them were held to four points or fewer.
Utah is back in action again Tuesday night at the Huntsman Center. The Utes will host Oklahoma in their final action before Christmas. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m.