Jessica Perry scored nine points in Utah's loss to BYU Saturday. (AP Photo/Steve C. Wilson)
Jan. 7, 2006
SALT LAKE CITY - Brigham Young University's Mallary Gillespie was in the right place at the right time Saturday afternoon at the Huntsman Center. Gillespie snagged an errant shot and was able to tip it in just before the final buzzer, lifting BYU to a 61-60 victory over No. 22 Utah.
A back-and-forth second half saw the lead change 12 times. In the last four minutes of the game, the lead changed hands eight times. But it was the final lead change that gave the Cougars their first victory at the Huntsman Center since 2002.
With just less than two minutes left, BYU's Jennie Keele hit a three-pointer to put her team on top 57-55. Utah's Julie Larsen buried a trey from the left wing with the shot clock expiring to give Utah a 58-57 advantage with 40 seconds remaining. Ambrosia Anderson put the Cougars on top 59-58 just 11 seconds later with a short jumper.
With seven seconds remaining, Larsen took a 12-footer from the left of the lane. The shot missed, but Larsen was fouled by BYU's Dani Kubik. Larsen calmly sank two free throws and put the Utes on top 60-59. Following a Utah time out, BYU got the ball to Anderson, who took it the length of the floor. Anderson threw a shot up against strong defense from Utah's Shona Thorburn and missed badly.
However, Gillespie was able to pull the ball out of the air and re-direct it off the backboard. The ball dropped through the basket as the buzzer sounded, giving the Cougars the one-point victory.
BYU built a nine-point lead midway through the first half. But Utah responded with a 13-3 run to take a one-point lead with two minutes left in the half. The teams traded buckets for the remainder of the half, with the Cougars holding a 32-31 edge at the break.
Utah's Kim Smith led all scorers with 14 points. She also grabbed eight rebounds and dished out five assists. Thorburn had a game-high 10 assists and also led Utah with nine rebounds. Larsen scored 11, while Morgan Warburton came off the bench to add 10 for Utah.
Utah is back in action again Wednesday. The Utes travel to San Diego for a matchup with San Diego State University. Tipoff is slated for 8 p.m. MST. -UU-