A lengthy winning streak will be snapped tonight when Utah (16-3, 5-0) and 15th-ranked Wyoming (18-1, 6-0) square off in Laramie.

The matchup between the only two unbeaten teams in Mountain West Conference play pits the Utes' 11-game roll against the Cowgirls' 12-game run of success.

Something, obviously, has got to give.

"It's exciting for the fans," Utah coach Elaine Elliott said. "It's exciting for them to see who now moves into first."

However, she added, it's still early in the season and far from being a make-or-break game.

"It's the next one on the schedule. What a ridiculous way to look at it — as a make-or-break game — six games into a 16-game league schedule. It doesn't make any sense," Elliott said. "It's just an equal game to every other one that comes up until this thing is over.

"In the end we play again," she noted. "We all have another round to play — so much of it will still play out."

Even so, Elliott admits it would be big to breakthrough on the road.

Utah, which at one time had won 30 straight games against Wyoming, came close last season but wound up dropping a 56-55 decision in Laramie. The Cowgirls also wound up prevailing in Salt Lake City, 62-53.

This year's contests have a different flavor. The teams no longer mirror each other in terms of style.

Though Wyoming is still a pure motion team, Utah has altered its approach to capitalize on the talents of senior point guard Leilani Mitchell.

"It'll be interesting to see if it eliminates the factor that used to be of how familiar we were with each other," said Elliott, who knows Wyoming coach Joe Legerski well. They worked together at Utah from 1991-2003.

"They guy is just so quality. He does everything the way it should be done," Elliott said. "It's a given that he can coach. He knows the game. It's the other things that so matter. He's such a quality person. He's ethical. He treats his kids right.

"If I can't win something I just assume he be the one who did," she continued.

The defending WNIT champions are led by Hanna Zavecz, a two-time, first-team all-conference honoree who averages 14.7 points per game.

Utah counters with Morgan Warburton (17.4 ppg), Mitchell (17.3 ppg) and Kalee Whipple (14.4), the league's reigning player of the week.

On the air

Utah (16-3, 5-0) at No. 15 Wyoming (18-1, 6-0)

Arena-Auditorium, Laramie

Today, 7 p.m.

TV: None

Radio: 1280AM

E-mail: dirk@desnews.com