Go Utes!
Go Utes!

Jan 1, 1998

Utah Opens WAC Season with Win

Julie Krommenhoek.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah -- Julie Krommehoek exploded for 29 points to lead No. 25 Utah to a 70-58 win over UTEP to open Western Athletic Conference play on Thursday night at the Jon M. Huntsman Center.

Krommenhoek, who scored 22 of her points in the second half, went 12-for-15 after missing her first six shots. She also went four-for-nine from three-point range in 37 minutes of play.

"Julie's really a feel shooter," said Ute head coach Elaine Elliott. "For her to go 40 minutes without getting a good feel just doesn't happen."

Alli Bills just missed her second career triple-double with 15 points, nine assists and nine rebounds in 39 minutes. Bills shot six-for-nine from the field and three-for-five from behind the arc. Kristi Rose and Laura Ross Allen, starting in place of an injured Angie Thill, each accounted for seven points and six rebounds. Kristina Anderson scored six points, making two of three 3-point field goals, off the bench.

Kanequa Chancellor had a double-double with 21 points and 13 rebounds to pace the Miners. Brenda Atwater scored 19 points and Kiana Taylor added 11.

The win improved Utah to 10-0 overall and 1-0 in WAC play. UTEP fell to 5-5 and 0-1. Utah, off to the best start in school history, is the only undefeated WAC team.

Utah led just 29-25 at the half before going on a 12-2 run over the first 4:12 of the second half. Krommenhoek capped off the spurt with a three-pointer from the right wing. The Utes built the lead to 19 points (66-47) with 3:55 to play.

"We struggled with rebounding and their quickness in the post, but neither one hurt us enough to really cost us," said Elliott. "We pushed the ball up the floor and had a lot more energy in the second half. That early spurt set the tone for the rest of the game."

The Utes outshot UTEP 50.9 to 39.7 percent for the game and 56.7 to 48.5 percent in the second half. Utah also had a 36 to 31 edge on the boards.

Utah hosts New Mexico (11-2, 1-0 WAC) on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. The Lobos only two losses this season have come to Top 20 teams.

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