Are you wondering who might have the best women's college basketball team in the state? It could be the University of Utah.
After a slow start at the Huntsman Center, the hot-shooting Utes took apart Utah State, 70-38. Utah coach Elaine Elliott was a little upset at her team's defensive effort early on but, after some quick adjustments, the Utes rolled from there.
Utah sharpshooter Kalee Whipple went four-of-eight from 3-point range and hit three-straight bombs to close out the first half. Whipple's triples helped turn a three-point Utah lead into 31-17 halftime lead.
"We did a nice job of taking outside shots when we had them. We're good shooters, so it puts a lot pressure on them when we can make them," Elliott said.
Ute point guard Leilani Mitchell scored 12 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out seven assists. Ute guard Morgan Warburton also came up big, leading the team in scoring with 21 points and grabbing six rebounds. Forward Katie King chipped in 10 points and three boards. For Utah State, Danyelle Snelgro made seven-of-14 shots from the field for 17 points.
In the second half, Utah pushed the ball for easy baskets and expanded the lead. With Mitchell distributing the ball to multiple players, Utah State's defense got picked apart. Midway through the second half, Warburton nailed a three pointer and Mitchell made a steal and lay-up to complete a 9-1 run, giving Utah a comfortable 46-22 lead.
"The pressure is not on me," Warburton said. "A lot of last year, I had more pressure on me. But now, with (Mitchell) on the court, more people have to worry about her."
Everyone who paid to see the men's basketball game at noon could have stayed to watch the women's game at 3 p.m. but few fans did."We have a great product and we've got to push this thing out there and get the community more knowledgeable and that's our fault," Elliott said.