The University of Utah women's basketball team will have its hands full when it takes on 16th-ranked UNLV Wednesday night at the UNLV South Gym.
The Lady Utes, 24-5, and Lady Rebels, 25-6, will meet in an 8:30 p.m. MST contest. There will be no live broadcast of the game.In UNLV, Utah will be facing a taller team that features twins Pauline and Geannine Jordan. The 6-foot-3 Pauline leads the team in scoring at 18.2 ppg and rebounding at 12.8 ppg. Geannine (6-2) comes off the bench to average 10.8 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. The starting center for UNLV is Merlelynn Lange, a 6-6 freshman.
"They have good size and good athletes," said Utah Coach Elaine Elliott. "They won't be an easy match-up for us."
Utah has a well-balanced squad with about eight players who see substantial minutes. Gina Butters, who leads the team with a 14.3 scoring average, and Melanee Brooks are the starting guards, Stephie Watrin is the starting center and Cindy Lindsay and Brenda Alcorn are the starting forwards. Alcorn sprained her ankle last week against Colorado State and could be slowed against UNLV. Alcorn's sister, Karen, will see a lot of time of the bench along with Kristi Smith and Leslie Carpenter.
For the Lady Utes, it will be their first NCAA appearance in three years. While they are excited about being in the NCAAs and they weren't excited about the draw. The Lady Utes are only seeded 11th in the West out of 12 teams. That gave them the task of playing No. 6 seeded UNLV.
"The women's NCAA is done differently than the men's," said Elliott. "For instance, they put two teams from Ohio in the eighth and ninth seeds so they could play each other.
If the Lady Utes win, they'll play Saturday night against Colorado, the No. 3 seed, in Boulder. Earlier this year, the Lady Utes lost to Colorado 79-61.