Sisters clash in women’s basketball

By By Natalie Dicou

By Natalie Dicou

Fresh off a pair of single-digit defeats at the hands of Pittsburgh and Oregon, the U women’s basketball team (1-4) will try to creep closer to the .500 mark when they challenge Weber State tonight in Ogden.

Consistently being on the losing end is a situation that no Ute player has experienced in her career at Utah, be it long or short. In the past four years, the Utes have rolled over competition on their way to four straight Mountain West Conference championships.

This year they have yet to outscore an opponent in regulation. Their lone victory came over UVSC in double overtime.

Tonight, they’ll face a hot Weber State team that recently pounded Utah State by 17 points and annihilated Idaho 98-57.

Utah’s players believe it’s only a matter of time: The wins will come.

“We realize how much talent we have,” said senior guard Heidi Carlsen, the U’s only upperclassman starter. “We just know that as soon as we bring it all together, it’s going to be something great.”

And that’s the feeling you get when you watch the Utes play–that they are just one or two glitches away from being a very good team.

Case in point: Utah frequently suffers through scoring dry spells in which it won’t get a bucket for five or more minutes, but somehow manages to stay in the game–a sign that the Utes’ offense might not be flowing, but their defense is keeping them in contention. Once they get those shots to drop and gain confidence, they can win with such a young starting lineup–two freshmen, two sophomores and a senior–the Utes could very well be dangerous.

“We play and we just don’t know if we can win, but it shouldn’t be like that,” said sophomore guard Morgan Warburton, whose sister, Chelsey Warburton, starts for the Wildcats. “Deep down, we want to win so bad, but we just have to go out and do it. We can’t wait for it anymore.”

Morgan Warburton, who is averaging 16.6 points and five rebounds per game, will face her older sister, who’s having quite a year for the Wildcats with 15 points and 6.6 assists.

Chelsey Warburton, along with Sara Tuomi, who was recently named Big-Sky Player of the Week and averages 21 points and eight boards a contest, have led the Wildcats to a 4-1 record. Their only loss came in overtime against Western Carolina.

Trash-talking Warburton style is pretty mellow. “We want each other to do good,” Morgan Warburton said. “But at the same time, we want our team to win.”

The elder Warburton was recruited by Utah, but tore her ACL and ended up playing for Weber State.

Chelsey Warburton, like her younger sister, is not afraid to shoot the three and has already attempted 54 triples in five games, draining 17.

“They’re a really good team,” Morgan Warburton said of her sister’s squad. “It’s the same girls as last year, and we only beat them by seven last year.”

Speaking about expectations she has for her team, Morgan Warburton said, “I know we can go so far. It’s just frustrating, you know, when you can see something happening but it’s just not happening right now. We’re going to start winning. It’s not happening right now, but it will.”

The game is at the Dee Events Center in Ogden and begins at 7 p.m.

Kim Peterson

Sasha McKinnon shoots a 15-footer in a Nov. 13 game against Fresno State. The U women’s basketball team faces Weber State tonight in Ogden.