Dec. 13, 1997
MISSOULA, Mont.- Montana native Angie Thill led four players in double-figures scoring with 18 points, as Utah routed Montana 65-52 in Dahlberg Arena. A senior from Belt, Mont., Thill shot 8-of-13 from the field and pulled down eight rebounds, as Utah improved its undefeated record to 7-0.
Senior All-American candidate Julie Krommenhoek scored 15 points, seven under her season average, as she was held to 2-of-7 from the three-point line. Other Utes scoring in double figures were senior point guard Alli Bills with 12 points and senior Laura Ross Allen with 11.
Montana was led by sophomore forward Lauren Cooper, who had 13 points, while junior forward Krista Redpath scored 12 points to go along with her game-high 10 rebounds. UM sophomore Linda Cummings got her first start as a Lady Griz in place of the injured Angella Bieber, who sat out with a sprained ankle.
Utah jumped on the Lady Griz early, taking off to a 10-0 lead in the first four minutes. The Utes took a 31-19 lead into the locker room at halftime. Montana pulled within five points (53-48) with 3:56 remaining in the game on a Cooper layup, However, the Utes responded with five consecutive points, keyed by a three-pointer from the left wing by Bills, to keep the Lady Griz at bay.
Montana out-rebounded Utah 38-36, but the Lady Griz committed 19 turnovers and could not shut down the Ute offense, which shot 46 percent from the field.
With the win, Utah is off to the best start in school history, eclipsing the 6-0 start to the 1976-77 season.
Montana lost its third game in the last four outings and dropped to 5-3 on the season. The Lady Griz are off for the next two weeks and will host Princeton, Niagara and UMKC in the Lady Griz Holiday Tournament December 27-28.
"We knew they would come out and play zone, and they did a nice job of keeping Julie (Krommenhoek) in check," said Ute head coach Elaine Elliot. "But, our inside players really did a nice job of picking up the scoring, particularly Angie Thill and Laura Ross Allen. We looked tired at times. This was our forth game on the road in nine days. But, we hit some big shots when we had to in order to hold them off late in the game."
Utah heads to fort Worth, Texas, next weekend, to take on 24th-ranked Arkansas December 21.