Kim Smith scored 26 points Thursday night against Wyoming. (George Seeley photo)
Feb. 2, 2006
SALT LAKE CITY - University of Utah senior Kim Smith (Mission, B.C.) was nearly unstoppable Thursday night at the Huntsman Center. Smith scored 26 points on 11-of-15 shooting, leading Utah (14-5, 5-3 MWC) to a 55-47 win over Wyoming (14-5, 4-4).
Smith scored the first basket of the night off a feed from fellow senior Shona Thorburn (Hamilton, Ont.). Smith scoring and Thorburn dishing out helpers turned out to be the theme of the night for the Utes. Thorburn recorded 10 assists in the contest to go along with Smith's big night.
Although Utah never trailed in the contest, Wyoming never went away either. The Utes took an 11-5 lead early in the contest when Thorburn tallied a traditional three-point play. When Wyoming's Erin Hicks hit a three-pointer with 3:26 left until halftime, the Utes led by just one, 19-18. Thorburn and Smith scored the last four points of the half and Utah held a 23-18 advantage at the intermission.
The Utes outscored Wyoming 10-5 over the first five minutes of the second half. Smith scored on a layup to cap a 6-0 spurt, which put Utah on top by 10, 33-23. But the Cowgirls clawed their way back within five, 35-30, midway through the second half.
Freshman Morgan Warburton (Price, Utah) then hit one of just two Utah three-pointers in the contest to give her team a 38-30 lead. The two squads traded baskets for the better part of seven minutes. But back-to-back scores from Smith and senior Julie Larsen (Logan, Utah) put the Utes up by 10 again, 50-40.
Once again, Wyoming refused to cave. Rebecca Vanderjagt banked home a three-pointer and Zavecz scored on a tip-in to make it a two possession game, 50-45, with 1:25 to go. But that was as close as the Cowgirls would get. Utah junior Heidi Carlsen (St. George, Utah) scored on a pair of breakaway layups in the final minute against Wyoming's press to seal the Ute victory.
Utah will be in action again Saturday. The Utes host nationally-ranked New Mexico in a 3 p.m. tipoff at the Huntsman Center.