Nov. 28, 1997
SALT LAKE CITY -- Angie Thill tossed in a career-high 23 points and grabbed a game-high eight boards to lead Utah to a 71-56 win over UC Irvine on Friday night at the Jon M. Huntsman Center.
Ute Senior point guard Alli Bills also had a great all-around game, scoring 15 points and dishing out 11 assists with no turnovers. Bills went 5-of-6 from the floor and 3-for-3 from three-point range.
Julie Krommenhoek also had 16 points for Utah. Kristi Rose added nine points and eight boards. Chelsea Mackey posted a career-best 21 points and eight rebounds to lead the Anteaters.
Sabrina Roberson had 11 points. Megan Staford scored 10 points and went 2-for-4 from behind the arc.
Thill, who had 15 points at halftime, went 8-for-11 from the floor and 2-for-3 from behind the arc in 27 minutes of play. The senior forward, who hadn't started a game since her freshman year until this season, bettered her career-best scoring output by 13 points.
"Elaine (Elliott) and Joe (Legerski) said that I needed to look to score and be more offensive minded," said Thill. "I just went at it. It's being drilled into me to score, score, score."
"We talked about Bills and Krommenhoek, and we wanted everyone to be aware of those two," said UC Irvine head coach Mark Adams. "But, we also talked about not letting someone else go off for a career night, and that's what happened."
With Utah leading 42-31 at the half, the Utes increased the lead to as much as 15 points on two occasions in the second half before UC Irvine charged back to make it an eight-point game, 56-48, on a free throw by Kirsten Cappel with 8:40 remaining.
Thill then sparked a 7-2 Utah run with a three-pointer and two layups, putting the Utes back in front, 63-50 with 4:29 remaining. Utah outshot UCI (1-1) 48.2 to 41.5 percent from the floor.
The Utes also had the edge on the boards, 34 to 29.
"This was a good game for us to have at this point in the season," said Elliott. "They gave us some things to deal with in terms of the plays that they ran and some good execution in some areas. It was also an up-and-down game where a lot of kids played a lot of minutes, that helps our conditioning."
Utah (2-0) hosts Bradley (3-1) on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. at the Huntsman Center. The Braves defeated Weber State on Friday, 85-71.