Go Utes!
Go Utes!
Utah Women's Basketball Notes

Freshman Kim Smith has reached double figures scoring in all 25 games this season, an MWC record.

Freshman Kim Smith has reached double figures scoring in all 25 games this season, an MWC record.

March 4, 2003

SALT LAKE CITY -

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COMING UP:
The No. 25 Utes (21-4, 11-1) travel to Albuquerque, N.M., this Thursday, March 6, for a 7 p.m. game against the New Mexico Lobos (17-8, 7-5). The Lobos are tied with BYU and UNLV for second place in the MWC with two games remaining.

A QUICK LOOK AT UTAH:
No. 25 Utah clinched the regular-season Mountain West Conference championship outright Saturday afternoon with a 71-66 win over in-state rival Brigham Young. The Utes, who went a perfect 13-0 at home this season, shot 43 percent from the field on the game, compared to the 53 percent of the Cougars. But Utah out-rebounded BYU 34-25, including 13-3 on the offensive end, which resulted in 23 second-chance points for the Utes and just two for the Cougars.

Freshman Kim Smith led a group of four Utes in double figures scoring with 18 points. Sophomore Shona Thorburn added 16, and juniors Carley Marshall and Kelsy Stireman had 13 and 10, respectively. Thorburn and Marshall each pulled down a team-high eight rebounds, while Marshall and sophomore Lana Sitterud dished out four assists apiece.

Utah opened the game on fire, jumping out to a 5-0 lead. After BYU tied it at five, the Utes scored 19 straight points to take a commanding 24-5 advantage. The Cougars then outscored the Utes 24-18, including a 9-0 run, for the remainder of the half, and Utah went into the locker room up 42-29. BYU chipped away at the Ute lead in the second half, bringing it to as little as three (67-64) with 1:18 left in the game, but with 25 seconds remaining, Cougar senior Lisa Hansen was called for an intentional foul, sending Thorburn to the free throw line and essentially sealing the Utah win.

On the season, Utah is led by Smith, who averages 17.2 points and 6.8 rebounds, while Thorburn adds 15.2 points and a team-high 3.3 assists.

SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION:
New Mexico senior Jordan Adams scored 18 points and hauled down a career-high 15 rebounds to lead the Lobos to a 64-46 victory over San Diego State last Saturday. Adams scored six straight points to cap an early 10-0 run that provided the Lobos with a 22-10 cushion. Six more points by Adams pushed UNM's halftime bulge to 37-20. Senior Chelsea Grear scored the Lobos' first seven points of the second half as they built a 44-25 lead. UNM maintained its double-digit advantage the rest of the game.

Grear added 13 points while fellow senior Cristal Garcia chipped in with 10. New Mexico shot 49 percent from the field on the game, while the Aztecs hit just 29 percent (16-of-55). Adams helped the Lobos to a 39-33 rebounding advantage.

Adams leads the Lobos on the season, with 15.5 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game. Grear adds 11 points, while guard Mandi Moore dishes out 6.6 assists per game.

SERIES SHORTS:
* Utah leads the all-time series with the Lobos 38-10. In their last meeting on Feb. 8, 2003, Utah won 64-61 in overtime. The Utes are a perfect 25-0 at home, 12-10 away and 1-0 at a neutral site vs. New Mexico.

QUOTING HEAD COACH ELAINE ELLIOTT:
"We will prepare to play New Mexico and Air Force the same way we have all season. We'll play to win. Just because we've won the championship doesn't mean we'll approach it any differently."

MWC STANDINGS

                  Conference        Overall
                 W   L   Pct.     W   L   Pct.
UTAH            11   1   .917    21   4   .840
New Mexico       7   5   .583    17   8   .680
BYU              7   5   .583    16   9   .640
UNLV             7   5   .583    16   9   .640
Wyoming          6   6   .500    16   9   .640
Colorado State   6   6   .500    15  11   .577
San Diego State  3   9   .250     9  15   .375
Air Force        1  11   .083     7  18   .280

MARCH 4, 2003 USA TODAY/ESPN COACHES POLL

Rank  School              02-03   Total  Last
      (1st-place Votes)  Record  Points  Week
   1  Connecticut (40)     28-0   1,000     1
   2  Duke                 28-1     954     2
   3  Tennessee            26-3     924     3
   4  Kansas State         27-2     875     5
   5  LSU                  24-3     814     4
   6  Louisiana Tech       25-2     745     6
   7  Texas                21-5     715    10
   8  Stanford             23-4     667     9
   9  North Carolina       25-4     644     7
  10  Texas Tech           23-4     628     8
  11  Mississippi State    22-6     581    11
  12  Purdue               23-5     527    12
  13  South Carolina       21-6     479    13
  14  Minnesota            23-4     457    14
  15  Penn State           23-7     427    15
  16  Vanderbilt           19-8     360    18
  17  UC-Santa Barbara     21-4     314   19t
  18  Villanova            21-5     298    17
  19  Georgia              19-8     295    16
  20  Rutgers              20-5     208    23
  21  Arkansas             20-9     203   19t
  22  Wisconsin-Green Bay  24-3     178    22
  23  Boston College       19-6     147    21
  24  Arizona              20-7     121    24
  25  UTAH                 21-4      84    25

Others receiving votes: Liberty (23-3) 77; George Washington (21-6) 46; Chattanooga (23-4) 35; Washington (21-6) 22; Virginia Tech (18-8) 21; Maine (21-4) 17; Ohio State (18-8) 15; Colorado (20-6) 14; DePaul (21-8) 14; Tulane (19-8) 14; Georgia Tech (18-9) 10; Virginia (15-12) 9; Western Kentucky (18-8) 9; Pepperdine (20-7) 8; Austin Peay (23-3) 7; Charlotte (20-7) 6; Cincinnati (21-6) 5; Florida State (16-11) 5; N.C.-Wilmington (22-4) 4; Oklahoma (18-10) 4; Notre Dame (17-9) 3; Holy Cross (21-7) 2; New Mexico (17-8) 2; UCLA (17-10) 2; Harvard (20-4) 1; Saint Joseph's (18-9) 1; Western Michigan (15-11) 1; Xavier (19-8) 1.

MARCH 3, 2003 ASSOCIATED PRESS TOP 25

Rank  School              02-03   Total  Last
      (1st-place Votes)  Record  Points  Week
   1  Connecticut (44)     28-0   1,100     1
   2  Duke                 28-1   1,048     2
   3  Tennessee            26-3   1,019     3
   4  Kansas State         27-2     958     5
   5  Texas                21-5     867    10
   6  LSU                  24-3     865     4
   6  Louisiana Tech       25-2     865     6
   8  Texas Tech           23-4     756     7
   9  Stanford             23-4     674     9
  10  Mississippi State    22-6     673    11
  11  North Carolina       25-4     653     8
  12  Purdue               23-5     638    12
  13  Minnesota            23-4     547    13
  14  Penn State           23-7     519    15
  15  Vanderbilt           19-8     449    17
  16  South Carolina       21-6     443    16
  17  Georgia              19-8     371    14
  18  Rutgers              20-5     352    20
  19  UC Santa Barbara     21-4     346    19
  20  Villanova            21-5     273    18
  21  Wisconsin-Green Bay  24-3     200    22
  22  Arizona              20-7     157    24
  23  Arkansas             20-9     146    21
  24  Boston College       19-7     100    23
  25  Washington           21-6      79    25

Others receiving votes: UTAH 69, Ohio State 44, DePaul 21, George Washington 20, Colorado 12, Austin Peay 8, Liberty 7, Charlotte 6, N.C.-Wilmington 4, Cincinnati 3, Notre Dame 3, Creighton 2, Chattanooga 1, Oklahoma 1, St. Francis (Pa.) 1.

MWC LEADERS:
As a team, the Utes lead the conference in six statistical categories: scoring defense (49.8), scoring margin (+16.3), free throw percentage (.761), rebounding defense (33.0) turnover margin (+4.60) and three-point field goal average (7.2). Utah ranks second in field goal percentage defense (.366), steals (9.8) and assist/turnover ratio (0.97), and third in three-point field goal percentage defense (.287), three-point field goal percentage (.351), rebounding offense (35.9) and rebounding margin (+2.8).

Individually, freshman Kim Smith leads the conference in three-point field goal percentage (.436), ranks third in scoring (17.2), rebounding (6.8) and three-point field goal average (2.3), fifth in offensive rebounds (2.5), sixth in field goal percentage (.470), seventh in defensive rebounds (4.3) and free throw percentage (.798) and 12th in blocked shots (0.4).

Sophomore Shona Thorburn is third in assist/turnover ratio (1.86), fourth in three-point field goal average (2.3), assists (3.3) and defensive rebounds (4.7), fifth in scoring (15.2) and free throw percentage (.806), 11th in three-point field goal percentage (.339) and rebounding (5.6), 14th in steals (1.4) and field goal percentage (.384).

Junior Carley Marshall is fifth in blocked shots (1.1), sixth in free throw percentage (.803), seventh in rebounding (6.2) and defensive rebounds (4.3), ninth in field goal percentage (.463), 11th in offensive rebounds (1.9) and 17th in scoring (10.4).

Point guard Kelsy Stireman is sixth in assist/turnover ratio (1.4), steals (1.9) and assists (3.0). Meanwhile, junior Mandie Little ranks fourth in offensive rebounds (2.8) and ninth in rebounding (5.8).

Sophomore Lana Sitterud is tied for 12th in steals (1.5) and 15th in three-point field goal average (1.0), while freshman Julie Wood is fourth in three-point field goal percentage (.404) and 12th in three-point field goal average (1.1).

In conference-only statistics, as a team, Utah leads the conference in four categories and ranks in the top four in 13 others. Individually, several Utes rank in the Top 5: Smith is third in scoring and three-point field goals made, fourth in rebounding and fifth in free throw percentage; Thorburn leads the conference in defensive rebounds, is fourth in scoring, assists and three-point field goals made, and fifth in assist/turnover ratio; Marshall is third in rebounding, free throw percentage and defensive rebounds, and fourth in blocked shots; Stireman is third in steals; and Little is fourth in offensive rebounds.

NEW MWC FRESHMAN SCORING LEADER:
In Utah's win over UNLV on Feb. 22, freshman Kim Smith became the Mountain West Conference freshman scoring leader with 431 points. Smith, who leads the team in scoring, rebounding, field goals made, three-point field goals made, free throws made field goal percentage and three-point field goal percentage, is the only player in the conference to score double figures in every game with a MWC-record 25 straight.

RANKING NATIONALLY:
Utah, currently ranked 20th in the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) RPI, leads the nation in scoring defense, and ranks 12th in scoring margin and 20th in average margin of victory. Individually, freshman Kim Smith is tied for 12th nationally in three-point field goal percentage in statistics through Feb. 24.

DEFENSIVE DOMINANCE:
Utah has held all but four of its opponents this season under 60 points. The Utes, who are shooting 41 percent from the field this season, have only allowed six opponents (New Mexico State, Mississippi State, Weber State, New Mexico, Wyoming and Brigham Young) to reach that mark.

HOME SWEET HOME:
The Utes, which boasted a perfect 13-0 record at home this season, have the longest home winning streak in the Mountain West at 16 straight. The last time Utah lost in the Huntsman Center was Jan. 31, 2002, when the team fell to UNLV 79-71.

THORBURN MWC PLAYER OF THE WEEK JAN. 12-18:
Sophomore Shona Thorburn was named MWC Player of the Week for Jan. 12-18, marking her first career award. A 5-10 guard from Hamilton, Ontario (Westdale HS), Thorburn recorded a career-high 29 points in a 73-50 victory over Colorado State last Saturday, including 7-of-15 from three-point range. She also grabbed four rebounds and four steals vs. the Rams. Thorburn scored a game-high 19 points in the 63-47 conference opening win over Wyoming, while connecting on 6-of-9 field goals. For the week, Thorburn averaged 24 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.5 blocks per game, while shooting 50 percent from the field (15-of-30) and 42 percent from beyond the arc (8-of-19).

ELLIOTT JOINS 400-WIN CLUB:
Head Coach Elaine Elliott became just the 38th Division I women's basketball coach to reach 400 career victories with a win over Wyoming on Jan. 16. Elliott has averaged better than 20 wins a year in her 20 seasons.

UTES ON THE RADIO:
Utah's game against New Mexico will be tape delayed and broadcast on Thursday night at 10 p.m. on KALL 910-AM. The game will be called by Chris Tunis, who has been selected as Utah Sportscaster of the Year seven times by his peers.

UP NEXT:
The Utes close out the MWC regular season at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 8, at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.

 

 

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