Kim Smith scored a season-high 29 points Wednesday night in the win over Eastern Michigan.
Dec. 21, 2005
YPSILANTI, Mich. - University of Utah senior Kim Smith led the No. 21/22 Ute women's basketball team to a 72-67 victory over Eastern Michigan Wednesday night at the EMU Convocation Center. Smith scored a season-high 29 points to hold off an upset bid from Eastern Michigan.
Smith scored 16 points in the first half, leading Utah (8-2) to a 34-32 lead at the intermission. In addition, Utah senior Julie Larsen recorded a rarity in the first half to help Utah to its two-point advantage at the intermission.
With Utah trailing 27-25 and three minutes left in the half, Larsen hit a three-pointer on the left wing to give the Utes a 28-27 advantage. With the ball in the air, Larsen was fouled by Eastern Michigan's Amy Freidenberger. The foul gave Larsen a one-and-one at the free-throw line. Larsen hit both free throws to complete the five-point play and put Utah up by three, 30-27.
Eastern Michigan (4-5) scored the first five points of the second half to put together a 10-0 run, going back to the end of the first half. Ryan Coleman's three-pointer at the 19:24 mark put the Eagles up 37-34. Smith answered with a triple for Utah to tie it at 37-37. Coleman hit another trey five minutes into the second half and the contest was still tied at 42-42.
Smith hit her third and fourth three-pointers of the game over the next two minutes. Those two triples sparked a 14-4 spurt for the Utes, which gave them a 56-46 lead with 8:20 to go. Eastern Michigan pulled back within five at the six-minute mark before Utah pushed the lead back to 11 when Shona Thorburn scored on a layup at the 4:15 mark to make it 63-52.
However, Utah only mustered nine points in the final four minutes of the contest. Those scoring issues allowed the Eagles to get back into the contest. Utah was 4-for-9 from the free-throw line from the 1:22 mark until there were 27 seconds left in the game. With 17 ticks remaining on the clock, Nikki Knapp hit 1-of-2 at the line to pull Eastern Michigan within two points, 69-67.
Jessica Perry scored a season-high 13 points for Utah. She scored the first four points of the game for the Utes, then added nine more in the second half. Larsen tacked on 10 points. Nikki Knapp led Eastern Michigan with 21 points, including 11-of-14 at the free-throw line. Coleman added 13 for the Eagles.
The Utes are now off until Dec. 30, when they wrap up non-conference play by hosting Southern Utah at the Huntsman Center.