U women had roller-coaster holiday season

Dec. 10, Salt Lake City

Utah 81, Gonzaga 54

Senior Shona Thorburn led the Utes to a commanding victory over the ‘Zags, scoring 22 points and a career-high 13 rebounds as the Ute offense shot 57 percent from the field. Kim Smith chipped in with 18 points and 11 boards.

Dec. 17, Las Vegas

Utah 73, N.C. State 62

In the first round of the Duel in the Desert, the Utes topped the ACC’s Wolfpack thanks to a combined 47 points from Smith and Thorburn. The teams were tied at the break, but thanks to an 11-0 second-half burst, the Utes pulled away for a victory.

Dec. 18, Las Vegas

Notre Dame 68, Utah 55

The Utes dropped their second game of the season, shooting just 31.6 percent from the floor. Smith and Thorburn were the only players in double figures for Utah and provided the only real spark. The Irish led by just one at the half but rode an 11-1 run to the double-digit victory.

Dec. 21, Ypsilanti, Mich.

Utah 72, Eastern Michigan 67

Utah continued its road swing against the Eagles and had to sweat out its eighth victory of the year. Eastern Michigan stormed back from a big second-half deficit to pull to within two in the final minutes, but the Utes, thanks to Smith’s season-high 29 points, were able to pull it off.

Dec. 30, Salt Lake City

Utah 79, Southern Utah 47

This end-of-the-year meeting was such a blowout that neither Smith nor Thorburn led the team in scoring. Senior Julie Larsen led the way with 18 points, connecting on five of six from beyond the arc.

Jan. 5, Albuquerque, N.M.

New Mexico 59, Utah 42

The Ute offense fell asleep at the Pit as the Lobos dominated a defensive showdown with Utah. Smith and Thorburn combined to shoot just 5-of-26, effectively shutting down the Utes as they dropped a pivotal conference decision.

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