Kim Smith's 21 points led Utah to a 59-51 win over UNLV Saturday night. (Photo by George Seeley)
Jan. 22, 2006
LAS VEGAS -- The University of Utah women's basketball team scored the first seven points of Saturday night's game with UNLV at Cox Pavillion. The Utes never trailed, en route to a 59-51 Mountain West Conference victory over the Lady Rebels.
Utah (13-4, 4-2 MWC) opened with a 7-0 run when Heidi Carlsen hit a jumper and Kim Smith scored five straight. Utah couldn't use that opening spurt to pull away, however. UNLV (11-5, 3-2) briefly pulled even at 17-17 with 5:20 to go in the first half. But the Utes' Morgan Warburton answered with a three-pointer, helping Utah to a 22-19 advantage at the intermission.
The Utes and Lady Rebels traded buckets for the first five minutes of the second half. But Utah opened a nine-point advantage, 34-25, with 13 mintues to go, when Smith scored on a nice feed from Heidi Carlsen. UNLV responded with a seven-point run, to pull within two, 34-32.
Utah answered that UNLV spurt with a 9-0 outburst of its own. Carlsen got the run started with a trey from the left side. Smith, Thorburn and Carlsen each hit a pair of free throws over the two minutes, leaving Utah on top 43-32 with eight minutes remaining.
Utah still had a double-figure lead with 3:30 remaining, 48-38. A traditional three-point play from Sherry McCracklin pulled UNLV back within seven, 48-41. The Rebels would pull within seven again twice more over the remainder of the contest. But Utah would not allow UNLV to get any closer. The Utes hit seven-of-eight from thre free-throw line over the final 2:31 to ice the eight-point victory.
Smith scored 21 points to lead all scorers. She also tacked on six rebounds, two assists and two steals. Thorburn scored 16 points, including 11-of-12 shooting at the charity stripe. Carlsen recorded 12 points with three assists. Utah shot 40.9 percent from the field and 46.2 percent from three-point range. The Utes converted 79.2 percent (19-of-24) from the free-throw line.
Utah will be back in action again next Saturday (Jan. 28), when the Utes travel to Fort Worth, Texas to face the TCU Lady Frogs.