Round one to Utah: Women knock off Falcons in opening game

So far so good. The No. 2-seed U women’s basketball team took a step forward in its quest to win the MWC title, as it defeated the No. 7 seeded Air Force Falcons 63-42.

The Utes were expected to win and they proved why they were one of the top-seeded teams in the conference with its suffocating defense and explosive offense.

Air Force never had a chance, as the Utes quickly jumped out to a 15-3 lead, which comprised of four three-pointers, a jumper and a free throw.

While the Utes were flourishing offensively with six three-pointers in the first half along with a 52-percent shooting percentage, Air Force was having trouble getting the ball in the bucket.

The Falcons shot only 27 pct. from the field in the first half and only made one free throw and one three pointer, which led to an abysmal 18-point first half.

Things didn’t get much better for the Falcons in the second half. The Utes extended their lead and took a 21-point lead with about 15 minutes left in the half. Utah then put it on cruise control and coasted to the 21-point victory.

The usual suspects led the Utes in the win. Kim Smith dominated with 19 points and nine rebounds, while Shona Thorburn had 15 points and nine assists.

The Falcons only had one player in double figures in Lauren Henderson, who scored 14 points. Jacki Nocak was second on the team with eight points.

The Utes will not have a much tougher challenge as they get set to face third-seed BYU in the MWC semifinals on Friday.

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