Smith, Thorborn back to anchor Utes

Updated: October 18, 2005, 9:14 AM ET
Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah was the overwhelming pick to win the Mountain West Conference in the league's preseason women's basketball poll released.

The Utes, who have won a share of the last three MWC regular-season titles, received 23 of the 26 first-place votes Thursday from the league's nine coaches and members of the media who cover the conference.

Utah seniors Kim Smith and Shona Thorborn, who shared MWC player-of-the year last season, were all-conference picks along with UNLV guard Sheena Moore, New Mexico forward Dionne Marsh and Colordo State forward Melissa Dennett.

Smith was voted top returning player and UNLV freshman Faye Mueller the top newcomer.

New Mexico, which won the last three MWC tournaments, was second, followed by TCU. UNLV was picked fourth, followed by Colorado State, BYU, Wyoming, San Diego State and Air Force.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press