Shona Thorburn and her Ute teammates will face Maryland Monday night in the Eliite Eight.
March 26, 2006
University of Utah (27-6) vs. Maryland (31-4)
5:04 p.m. Monday, March 27, 2006 - The Pit/Bob King Court (18,018)
Radio: Hot Ticket 700 AM
Audio Stream - www.UtahUtes.com
Utah to Play for Final Four Berth
The University of Utah women's basketball team made history Saturday night by advancing to the Elite Eight for the first time in school history. The Utes have a chance to add to their historical season Monday.
A win over Maryland would put Utah in the Final Four next weekend in Boston. In order to get there, the Utes will have to get past the No. 2 seed in the Albuquerque Region, the Maryland Terrapins.
Maryland enters the game with a 31-4 overall record and winners in nine of their last 10. The Terrapins, currently ranked No. 3 in both major polls, four losses have all been to teams ranked in the top five. Maryland los ttwice to Duke, once to North Carolina and once to Tennessee.
All five of the Terrapins' starters average in double figures. Maryland is paced by Crystal Langhorne, who averages 17.2 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. She scored 34 and pulled down 15 rebounds in the Terrapins' 81-63 victory over defending national champion Baylor Saturday.
Utah and Maryland have never met on the hardwood.
Utah Fast Breaks
Utah is making its 14th appearance in the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship tournament.
This is the Utes' first-ever trip to the Elite Eight.
No current Mountain West Conference team had ever been to the Elite Eight, prior to Utah's qualification for the regional final Saturday night.
Utah is 2-0 this season against teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Utah's 57 points against Boston College Saturday was its lowest scoring output in a victory this season. The Utes are now 3-4 when scoring less than 60.
The Utes also boast one of the top defensive numbers in the MWC. Utah has traditionally been one of the top defensive teams in the country. Through 33 games, Utah has allowed an average of just 55.6 points per game, ranking No. 2 in the MWC. The Utes ranked No. 17 in the latest NCAA statistical report.
The Utes led the nation in scoring defense in three of the past six seasons (1999-2000, 2000-01, 2002-03). They have ranked in the top 10 in five of the last six years. Last season, Utah ranked second in the Mountain West Conference and 27th in the nation in scoring defense, allowing 55.7 points per game.
Senior forward Kim Smith ranks in the top 15 in 10 of 12 statistical categories released by the Mountain West Conference. She is the only MWC player to rank in 10 categories. Smith leads the league in scoring (19.3 ppg) and is second in rebounding (8.0 rpg).
Smith's 25-point effort against Arizona State on Monday marked the 17th time this season she has scored more than 20 points. For her career, Smith has reached 20 points or more 40 times. She tallied her seventh double-double of the season against Air Force on 3/18 with 29 points and 13 rebounds.
Utah's only two players to come off the bench against Boston College on Saturday were freshmen Joh-Teena Filipe and Morgan Warburton. The duo combined to score 16 points. Filipe and Warburton's bench production led the Utes to a 16-14 advantage in bench points in the win over the Eagles.