Utah freshman Deanne Hanchett scored a career-high 27 points Thursday night at Air Force.
Jan. 20, 2005
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The University of Utah women's basketball team scored the highest number of points it has ever scored in a Mountain West Conference game Thursday night. The Utes blew away Air Force by a final tally of 97-47 at Clune Arnea, en route to their sixth straight victory.
Air Force scored the first two points of the game, when Alecia Steele hit a pair of free throws 20 seconds into the contest, putting the Falcons up 2-0. That was the only lead Air Force would hold. Utah answered with a 13-0 run to take a double-digit lead.
Junior forward Kim Smith scored nine of her 18 points in the game-opening run. Air Force finally scored its first field goal seven minutes into the contest to make the score 13-4. Briana Thomas' jumper and a three-pointer from Andrea Taylor pulled the Falcons within seven, 14-7. That's as close as they would get.
Utah outscored Air Force 19-3 over the next six minutes, pushing its lead to 23 points, 33-10. Junior guard Shona Thorburn scored eight of her 13 points in that six-minute stretch. By halftime, the Utes had a 24-point advantage, 43-19.
The second half belonged to Deanne Hanchett. Utah's freshman center scored 19 of her career-high and game-high 27 points in the second half. Hanchett was 10-of-19 from the field for the game and converted 7-of-8 at the free-throw line. A Hanchett three-point play less than four minutes into the second half pushed the Utah lead to 32 points, 56-24.
Hanchett's bucket with nine minutes remaining in the game put Utah ahead by 40, 74-34. Sarah Red hit a three-pointer with less than a minute remaining to give Utah its biggest lead, a 52-point advantage. Brittany Dahlstrom scored the final bucket of the contest for Air Force, leaving the final margin of victory for Utah at 50.
In addition to Hanchett's 27 points, Smith and Thorburn each tallied double-doubles for Utah. Smith scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, while Thorburn tallied 13 points and dished out 11 assists. Thorburn's 11 helpers tied a career-high. It was Smith's third consecutive double-double, her eighth of the season and the 19th of her career. Steele paced Air Force with 11 points. She was the only Falcon in double figures.
Utah is in action again Saturday afternoon in a nationally-televised (College Sports Television) contest at New Mexico. Tipoff from The Pit is slated for 2 p.m.