Kalee Whipple had her fifth double-double of the season Thursday night.
Feb. 22, 2007
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - After a 60-52 victory Thursday night at Clune Arena, the University of Utah women's basketball team has still never lost to the Air Force Academy. The Utes never trailed in their 23rd straight decision over the Falcons, but they could never quite pull away either.
Utah (17-10, 10-4 MWC) built a 14-point advantage with just less than three minutes to go in the first half. The Utes had strung together a 12-2 run, capped by three-pointers from Joh-Teena Filipe (So., Salt Lake City) and Heidi Carlsen (Sr., St. George, Utah). But with Utah leading 27-13, the Falcons scored the final six points of the half and trailed by eight, 27-19, at intermission.
For the first seven minutes of the second half, the two teams basically traded buckets. Utah led by 10, 42-32, with 13 minutes remaining. But a bucket by Kim Kreke and a three-pointer from Brooke Cultra pulled Air Force (5-20, 1-13 MWC) within five, 42-37. It was as close as the Falcons had been since the 12-minute mark of the first half.
But Utah slammed the brakes on the Air Force momentum with a pair of triples. With Utah leading 44-39, Kalee Whipple (Fr., Hiko, Nev.) buried a three-pointer from the right corner and Filipe hit her second trey of the game on the next possession. The back-to-back bombs put Utah back in charge and on top by 11, 50-39.
Air Force never got closer than eight again. However, the eight-point victory was only the second single-digit margin of victory in the series for Utah.
The Utes were led by Filipe, Whipple and Morgan Warburton (Soph., Helper, Utah). Filipe scored a game-high 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Whipple recorded the fifth double-double of her young career with 13 points and 12 boards. Warburton scored 14 and tied her career-high with eight caroms.
With the victory, Utah moved within half a game of first-place BYU. The Cougars are 10-3 in Mountain West Conference play. The Utes and Cougars face off Wednesday in Provo with at least a tie for first place in the conference on the line. Tipoff for that game is slated for 8 p.m. at the Marriott Center.