Shona Thorburn, Heidi Carlsen, Lana Sitterud and Kim Smith pose for a photo on the canals of Aveiro, Portugal.
May 27, 2005
With just seven players in uniform, the University of Utah women's basketball team won all three of its games on its recent trip to Spain and Portugal. But the experiences of the trip were just as important to the squad.
"It was a really nice trip," Ute head coach Elaine Elliott said. "We saw some great places, spent some real quality time together away from the glare and intensity of the season. Memories of a lifetime were formed."
Senior-to-be Shona Thorburn echoed her coach's sentiments.
"We had an amazing time visiting all the local attractions in Madrid, Spain and Porto and Lisbon, Portugal," Thorburn said. "They are truly beautiful countries and I am glad I had this opportunity to visit them with my teammates and coaches. It was fun to experience different cultures, food, art and, of course, the night-life."
The Utah players and coaches toured the Royal Palace and took a sight-seeing tour to Toledo, while staying in Madrid. During their time in Spain, the Utes were slated to play two games. Only one of those games took place, after their first opponent was a no-show.
Following their time in Madrid, the Utes boarded a bus headed for Portugal. They visited Porto en route to Lisbon, touring a winery, a museum and other local attractions. The team made sight-seeing stops in Aveiro, the Venice of Portugal, and Coimbra, known as the intellectual and spiritual center of Portugal.
Upon arriving in Lisbon, the team toured the Royal Palace of Sintra and spent time in the beach city of Cascais. While in Lisbon, the Utes played two games against the Portuguese National Team.
Utah defeated the Portuguese National Team 84-63 in the first meeting between the two squads. Senior-to-be Julie Wood exploded for 22 points in the contest, including 6-of-8 shooting from behind the three-point arc. Thorburn scored 19 points and pulled down 10 boards. Shauna Broulliard added 14 points and Hanchett tacked on 11.
In game two with Team Portugal, the Utes took a 68-42 victory. Wood led the team once again, scoring 19 points. She hit 3-of-4 from three-point range. Thorburn tallied 18 points and Perry scored 10.
"It was a great experience to visit other countries and play against teams who have a slightly different playing style than we do," Thorburn said of the games.
The Utes were 26-8 last season, won a share of the Mountain West Conference regular-season championship and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.