Kalee Whipple had a career-high 27 points against UCI.
Nov. 15, 2007
SALT LAKE CITY - The 2007-08 University of Utah women's basketball season got off to a solid start as Kalee Whipple's career-high 27 points powered the Utes to a convincing 91-50 win over UC Irvine here in the home opener this evening.
More impressive than Whipple's 27 points, perhaps, was the fact that the team shot a school-record 64.9 percent from the floor. The Utes hit on 37-of-57 shots for the game. The team started the contest on fire in the first half, connecting on 64.3 percent (18-of-28) of its shots. However, it didn't cool off at all in the second half. The Utes returned from the break to shoot even better at 65.5 percent (19-of-29).
Behind Whipple's 27 points, on 9-for-9 shooting, were three other double-figure point scorers. Newcomer Katie King proved to be a scoring threat from the post, hanging 17 points on the Anteaters. Morgan Warburton poured in 16 from the wing, while Jessica Perry had a double-double of 15 points and 10 boards.
Standout point guard Leilani Mitchell ran the offense in dishing out a game-high 13 assists. She also had five points and a steal. Mitchell only had three turnovers on the night.
Perry led all rebounders as the Utes held the 46-30 edge on the glass.
In addition to out-rebounding UCI, the Utes held it to just 28.1 percent (18-for-64) shooting, and they scored 26 points off of 19 Anteater turnovers.
No UCI cager had more than six points tonight. Miranda Forry, Desiree Strings and Rebecca Maessen all had a half-dozen points. Stephanie Duda and Kelly Cochran led the visitors with eight boards each.
It didn't take long for the Utes to establish control of the game. The home team started the game by racing out to 10-0 lead on UCI, and even held the Anteaters to just two field goals for the first 5:38 of the game. At that point, Utah held the commanding 16-5 lead.
Utah continued to dominate in the second stanza. A 16-2 run, sparked by Whipple's jumper at the 11:46 mark of the second half, allowed Utah to up its lead to 36 points, 71-35. The Utes saw their cushion increase to 40 points, 83-43, with 3:37 left, and managed to hold UCI at bay for the 41-point win.
The Utes return to action on Sunday when they host No. 5/5 Stanford. Tipoff in the Huntsman Center is set for 2 p.m.