The University of Utah women's basketball team jumped to a 10-0 lead and never looked back en route to a 92-54 win over Wyoming in the HCAC Tournament championship game Saturday night.
Utah (24-5), which gained the HCAC's automatic NCAA Tournament bid, avenged its only conference loss of the season. Wyoming handed Utah a 77-75 defeat in the Utes' final regular-season game. The Lady Utes will learn today who they'll meet in the first round of the NCAAs, and the site of the game.Guard Gina Butters, named the tourney MVP, scored six of Utah's first 12 points and finished with 18 points. Butters also had four assists and four steals. The Lady Ute bench, which accounted for 47 points, was led by freshman Karen Alcorn with 16 points and Tanya Zachary with 15. Senior forward Cindy Lindsay, who led Utah with nine rebounds, was named to the all-tournament team.
"We obviously played with a great deal of intensity and desire," said Ute Coach Elaine Elliott, the HCAC Coach of the Year. "The words on the blackboard in our locker room before the game said it all: `All or nothing.' What a great team effort. We got so much support off the bench, which helped our starters play even better. I said before the tournament that we needed a great weekend from our three seniors (Butters, Lindsay and Stephie Watrin) and we got it."
After cruising to a 41-23 first-half lead, Utah saw Wyoming come within 13 points two minutes into the second half. An aggressive fullcourt press put the Lady Utes back up by 20, three minutes later. Wyoming (18-14) got 22 points from all-conference guard Christine Fairless, who overcame Butters' outstanding defense. The Cowgirls shot 33 percent from the field.