The University of Utah Womens' basketball team had upset on its mind for 28 minutes of its season-opening game against Western Kentucky, but fouled it up in the stretch run. The Utes fell to the heavily-favored Ladytoppers, 79-77 in their first game of the Times-Wahine Classic, Friday, after leading by as many as 12 points three times in the game.
When Karen Alcorn made a driving lay-up, was fouled and hit the ensuing free throw with 11:53 remaining, Utah held a comfortable 60-48 lead. Then the foul derby began. Utah was called for six fouls in the next seven minutes, and WKU went 11 for 12 from the free throw line, helping the Lady Toppers to a 2-point lead with 4:43 left in the game."The second half was called differently (by the referees) and we didn't adjust," said Ute Coach Elaine Elliott. "The tempo of the second half was of no benefit to us. We were forced into a half-court game because of the fouls, and we were very ineffective at it."
Alcorn finished the game with a team-high 23 points. Kristi Smith added 18 points for the Utes, who trailed just twice in the first half and took a 41-31 lead at halftime.
Utah will play the loser of the late game between Hawaii and Arizona at 12:15 p.m. Hawaiian Standard Time, today. The tournament runs through Sunday.