Utes storm past Baden Sports: Kim Smith and Heidi Carlsen lead Utah to exhibition win

The U women’s basketball team used strong defense and precise shooting early to knock off Baden Sports Tuesday night, 92-71.

Senior Kim Smith scored 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds, and junior Heidi Carlsen came off the bench to chip in 16 points on a perfect shooting night, going six-for-six from the field, including four three-point shots.

“(Carlsen) played really well,” U head coach Elaine Elliott said. “She’s had a great preseason. She has probably been one of the best of our returners in terms of improvement and what she’s done in practices.”

The Utes came out with a strong defensive presence early, as Smith took two charges and added a powerful block, and senior Shona Thorburn snatched two Baden Sports passes.

By the half, the Ute defense was able to hold Baden Sports to 25 percent shooting, helping the Utes to a 51-21 halftime lead.

Stacy Clinesmith and Elizabeth Cansdale each hit two three-pointers, leading a Baden Sports charge early in the second half, taking advantage of a young Ute lineup.

Baden Sports matched its first-half total with 13:46 remaining in the game, pulling to within 23 points of Utah at 65-42.

But it wasn’t enough, as Carlsen and a good mix of Ute underclassmen helped Utah maintain the lead and hold off Baden Sports 92-71, while Smith and Thorburn sat out nearly the entire second half.

“After the last game, we wanted to improve on defense,” Carlsen said. “If you can get your defense going, it helps the offense.”

Marie Warner and freshman Joh-Teena Filipe also had strong performances in the victory.

Warner scored 10 points while shooting 80 percent from the field, and Filipe recorded a double-double, scoring 10 points and collecting 11 rebounds.

The Utes shot an impressive 57.4 percent from the field (35-of-61), and out-rebounded Baden Sports 56-19 to close out their preseason in impressive fashion.

“I think we need to start (the season),” Elliott said. “It’s time to settle in on exactly what we’re doing and who we’re going to do it with, and get the season rolling.”

Utah opens up regular-season action next Saturday, Nov. 19, when the team hosts the Gamecocks of Jacksonville State at 3 p.m.

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