Nicolle Ford (pictured) and Kristina Baskett had big nights.
Feb. 9, 2007
LOGAN, Utah -
Utah head coach Greg Marsden wanted to get his freshman class more playing time, but he has to be questioning his all-or-nothing approach after a 196.575-194.325 win over Utah State. Although it was Utah's second-best score of the year -- and it came without defending NCAA runner-up Ashley Postell in the lineup -- a celebration was not in order after Utah stumbled to the finish line.
Utah blasted out of the gates, scoring a season-best 49.55 on the bars and following with a 49.125 on vault for a 98.675 mid-point total. But freshmen would account for two of Utah's three falls in the second half, while another scored a fall-like 9.575. Of the six-member rookie class, only Stephanie Neff, who is awaiting results of a mono test, did not compete in a scoring capacity.
With Postell taking the night off, freshman Jamie Deetscreek took advantage of her first start. Deetscreek opened with a 9.775 on the bars and got the Utes off to a 9.75 start on the balance beam. Daria Bijak put up a career-best 9.875 on the bars, and Annie DiLuzio (9.80) and Sarah Shire (9.775) impressed on vault.
The trouble began in the third rotation, where freshman Beth Rizzo produced a career-best 9.875 score in her second routine to count, but found it sandwiched between falls by junior Jessica Duke and Bijak. In fact, Bijak fell twice and stepped out of bounds as Postell's substitute. Postell is ranked No. 2 in the nation on the floor exercise and had won the previous four competitions with a 9.90 each time. It took career-bests from Rizzo, DiLuzio (9.90), Nicolle Ford (9.95) and Baskett (9.925) to push Utah to a respectable 49.050.
Baskett and Ford split the individual titles, with the former taking vault (9.95) and bars (9.95) and the latter sweeping the second half with a 9.925 on beam and 9.95 on floor.