Ute women try to redeem themselves at Air Force

By By Natalie Dicou and By Natalie Dicou

By Natalie Dicou

It’s anybody’s guess as to which U women’s basketball team will show up on any given night. Will it be the mistake-prone squad that turns the ball over 26 times? Or will it be the group that plays strong-team defense and stays mentally tough through adversity?

At one point this season, the Utes were 7-0 in league play and at the pinnacle of the Mountain West Conference standings. But then something broke.

Utah (16-10, 9-4 MWC) has lost four of its last five games with its lone victory of the stretch coming over Colorado State. Just prior to playing the Utes, the Rams lost four players who were suspended indefinitely after setting off a chemical bomb outside a teammate’s door.

Last Sunday, the Utes were on the road at TCU playing in Fort Worth, Texas, at the Daniel-Meyers Coliseum, which has proven to be the toughest venue in the MWC for opponents this season. The Lady Frogs have been demolishing conference foes by an average of 22 points per contest at home.

The Utes fared even worse than the norm as TCU held Utah’s Morgan Warburton to 13 points and crushed the Utes by 24. Warburton averages 16.2 points a game.

But the Utes have a chance to get back on the winning track when they face Air Force (5-19, 1-11 MWC) tonight in Colorado Springs, Colo. Air Force has never beaten the Utes in 24 tries.

Until Feb. 15, the Falcons were winless in league play. That is, until they crossed the path of the San Diego State Aztecs (12-11, 5-7 MWC), whom they beat 60-52.

“Every team in this league is a contender,” Marie Warner said of not looking past Air Force to the upcoming BYU rematch. “But we are really excited for the BYU game, of course.”

Next week, Utah is slated to face BYU in Provo. The Utes beat the Cougars by 10 at the Huntsman Center earlier this year but are being careful to take care of the business at hand before turning their focus to the rivalry match.

“We can’t look at (Air Force) like an underdog team,” Warburton said. “We’ve lost some games that we shouldn’t have (thinking that way).”