The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Clearly Canadian

Kim Smith and Shona Thorburn were at it again Saturday afternoon in the Huntsman Center. The Canadian duo led the U women’s basketball team to a 65-53 trouncing of San Diego State to remain tied with New Mexico atop the conference standings.

Smith notched her 10th double-double of the season with 18 points and 12 rebounds. The two-time Mountain West Conference player of the year has been out-of-sync offensively in recent weeks. But Smith shot 58 percent from the field against the Aztecs.

“My shot felt really good today,” Smith said. “I have been passing up a few shots in the last few games, but I think I had a little more confidence today.”

U head coach Elaine Elliott said Smith can be a dangerous force when she’s making her shots.

“Kim came out and felt really good about her shot today,” Elliott said. “She always does everything else-playing great defense and rebounding.”

Thorburn, the MWC’s assist leader, put up gaudy numbers all over the stat sheet. She had 15 points, six rebounds, nine assists, five steals and the 6-foot point guard even recorded a block.

The Utes (17-5, 6-1) opened the game with a huge first half. They shot 61.9 percent from the floor to seize a 36-11 halftime lead. The Aztecs (6-13, 1-6) were limited to 22 percent shooting in the first half and scored only one bucket in the final 11 minutes of the opening period.

The dominance displayed in the first half catapulted the Utes to victory.

“We had a great first half,” Elliott said. “I thought the kids were pretty in tune to the game. They played good defense and the intensity was there.”

Elliott attributed the victory to the full-court press executed by the Utes’ early in the game.

“We pressed them in the first half, which allowed us to get a lot of steals and offensive opportunities,” Elliott said. “We like to come in and out of the press, which seems to be working for us. The defensive pressure gives us a lot of energy and it keeps the opponent off balance.”

The Utes let up in the second half and allowed the Aztecs to make the score appear respectable, but the damage had already been done in the first period.

“We might have lost a little focus in the second half,” Smith said.

“It’s disappointing-knowing we have grueling three-hour practices and then to lose focus in the last 20 minutes of a game.”

The Utes are in action again this Thursday in Laramie, Wyo., when they take on the Cowgirls of the University of Wyoming in a 7 p.m. battle.

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