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Utah women to face Dixie State in preseason exhibition

By Brooke Frederickson

For the Deseret News

Published: Monday, Oct. 31 2011 11:12 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah women’s basketball team continues its preparations for the 2011-12 season this week by taking on Dixie State in an exhibition game on Saturday, Nov. 5, at 5 p.m. MT, in the Huntsman Center.

“This time of year you want a chance to judge yourself against another opponent to see where you are,” Utah head coach Anthony Levrets said. “I expect our team to come out and execute what we have practiced, and play incredibly hard. That’s all you can ask for this time of year.

“I am happy with where we are for this time of year, but for us to be the kind of team we can be by the end of the season we must continue to improve every day, every practice, every game. That’s our focal point, getting better every single day, and this is just the beginning.”

Utah, which was picked to finish sixth in the Pac-12 preseason coaches' poll, returns four starters from last year’s team that became the first No. 5 seed to win the Mountain West Conference Tournament and reached the NCAA Tournament. Among the returning players are MWC Tournament MVP Janita Badon, leading scorer Iwalani Rodrigues and 2011 MWC Freshman of the Year Michelle Plouffe. Also returning from a redshirt year is 2010 MWC Freshman of the Year Taryn Wicijowski.

Dixie State made its first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division II NCAA Tournament last season. The Red Storm finished their season with a 24-4 record and were ranked 17th in the USA Today/ESPN Division II Top 25 women’s basketball poll. Dixie returns three starters from that team, including second-team All-PacWest player Chanel Maxey and honorable mention All-PacWest honoree Sheila Adams.

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