After opening the season with a 91-50 victory over UC Irvine, the University of Utah women's basketball team faces a greater degree of difficulty — much greater.

The Utes (1-0) host fifth-ranked Stanford (2-0) today at 2 p.m. in the Huntsman Center.

"I'm so excited. It'll really show us our weaknesses as well as our strengths at this time," Utah junior Morgan Warburton said. "They're a big team, a good team, but we're not afraid to play them."

The Cardinal opened the season with a 100-44 win at Yale and a 60-58 upset victory at No. 3 Rutgers. The latter ended with Candice Wiggins making the game-winning free throws with one-tenth of a second remaining.

"They're a great team. I respect them but I'm ready," said Kalee Whipple, who led Utah with 29 points in the season opener. "I think our team is very, very excited to play a very good team — to show what Utah really has to offer."

Utah coach Elaine Elliott considers it a "fantastic" opportunity for her team. However, she was concerned that the Utes allowed the Anteaters to grab 15 offensive rebounds on Thursday,

Stanford, she explained, is a much bigger team physically.

"We gave up too many offensive boards," Elliott said. "If we don't win that (Sunday), Stanford will crush us."

The Cardinal, who are coached by veteran Tara VanDerveer (690 career victories) are 9-0 all-time against the Utes — including a 74-47 win last season.

Michelle Harrison, the former Mountain View High star and Deseret Morning News Ms. Basketball honoree, will not play. She tore her ACL and sprained her MCL in the first half of Stanford's season-opening victory at Yale and will miss the rest of the season.

As a freshman, Harrison averaged 3.5 points and 1.9 rebounds for the Cardinal.

Utes on the air

No. 5 Stanford (2-0) at Utah (1-0)

Huntsman Center

Today, 2 p.m.

TV: The Mtn. Radio: 700AM

E-mail: [email protected]