PROVO, Utah (AP) -- Kim Smith and her Utah teammates were anxious
to have another shot at BYU after dropping a heartbreaking 61-60
game to the Cougars at the Huntsman Center on Jan. 10.
The one-month wait was worth it as the Utes jumped on No. 18 BYU
(19-2, 9-1 Mountain West) early and didn't let up until Utah (16-5,
7-3) had handed BYU its first conference loss and captured a 70-52
upset win Wednesday night in the Marriott Center.
Smith's 21 points and 11 rebounds led the Utes.
"She's money," said Utah coach Elaine Elliott. "To do what
she's done for four years is just special."
Smith scored seven points during a crucial 14-3 run midway
through the first half after BYU had cut its deficit to 38-34. The
stretch pushed the Utes' lead to 37-52 with 7:38 left. The Cougars
got no closer than 11 after that as the Utes hit their free throws
down the stretch.
"It feels good," said Elliott. "These games are important to
make our case and show that we're a top team."
Smith's effort helped Utah overcome a 24-point, nine-rebound
performance by BYU's Ambrosia Anderson.
"Sometimes those games can define a season for a team," said
Elliott, referring to the disappointing loss at home in January.
"Fortunately, we didn't let that game define us."
The Cougars struggled from the field, shooting 27 percent in the
second half and 36 percent on the night. They were 3-of-19 on
Utah shot 39 percent, but made 79 percent of its free throws to
BYU's 53 percent.
Anderson scored seven points to help BYU take a 12-3 lead.
However, Utah used a 26-6 run to go ahead 30-20. BYU held Utah
scoreless over the final 2:25 of the first half while Anderson
converted two shots from the field and Jennie Keele added a free
throw to pull the Cougars to within 33-28 at halftime.
Shona Thorburn had 13 points and a game-high eight assists for
the Utes. Morgan Warburton added 12 points and Heidi Carlsen 11.
"Morgan did a nice job off the bench for us," said Elliott.
Lauren Riley had 12 points and a game-high 12 rebounds for the
Utah finished with a slight 39-34 rebounding advantage on BYU.
"We rebounded better than we did in the first game," said
Elliott. "We didn't give them second chances."
BYU committed one more turnover than Utah who held a 15-14
advantage in the end, but the Utes took advantage by outscoring BYU
20-11 off those turnovers.