Dec. 21, 1997
FORT WORTH, Texas- Utah kept its perfect season rolling with a 73-64 win over No. 24 Arkansas on Sunday at the DMC Holiday Shootout at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.
The win could vault Utah, ranked No. 28 in the USA Today/ESPN poll last week, into the top 25 for the first time in school history. Arkansas, now 8-2, was ranked 24th by A.P. last week and 26th by USA Today/ESPN.
Julie Krommenhoek led the way with a game-high 33 points, missing her career high by just two points. She scored 22 of her points in the second half, helping to bring Utah back from a 31-28 halftime deficit. Krommenhoek went 11-for-19 from the field and 6-for-9 from three point range, playing the entire 40 minutes. Utah's other senior guard, Alli Bills, also went the distance. Bills posted a double-double with 11 points and 10 assists, doing a yeoman's job against Arkansas' full-court pressure defense. Angie Thill also has a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
"This was a great win for this team," said Utah head coach Elaine Elliott. "The key to the game was tempo and our ability to protect the ball. We did a great job in both areas in the second half. We really got after it."
In terms of getting Utah ranked, Elliott, who's had great teams shunned by the polls before, didn't want to make a big deal over perhaps finally getting a Ute team into the Top 25.
"We've beaten some ranked teams and some great teams before, and have never cracked the Top 25. We've had a solid program for over 20 years now. i'm just going to look at this win in terms of what it does for this team. This win allows us to keep a great roll going."
Utah continues its school-record breaking start to improve to 8-0. Five of those wins have come on Utah's recent road trip.
Utah charged out with a 21-11 lead 12 minutes into the game only to see Arkansas make a 20-7 run to end the first half. The game was tied for the last time at 49-all with 9:34 to play.
The Utes took control of the game from that point on. A layup on the baseline by Krommenhoek at the 8:34 mark, and three-pointers by both Krommenhoek and Bills spurred a 10-point Ute run over the next two and a half minutes. Utah built the lead to 14 points (69-55) on a jumper by Krommenhoek with 1:48 to play.
Karyn Karlin led the Razorbacks with 16 points and 6-for-10 shooting.
Utah outshot Arkansas 53.8 to 44.2 percent for the game. The Utes shot 62.1 percent (18-for-29) in the second half. Utah also had the edge in rebounding, 30 to 28.
Utah returns to action after Christmas, hosting Idaho at the Huntsman Center on Dec. 29 at 7:00 p.m.