Women’s Hoops: The ‘Queen’ reigns

By By Cody Brunner and By Cody Brunner

By Cody Brunner

LAS VEGAS — The U women’s basketball team did everything but bow down and hail Colorado State’s Amaka Uzomah on Wednesday night.

The self-proclaimed “Queen” proved to be the difference in the game, grabbing 15 rebounds — 12 of which were in the second half — and the Rams snuck away from the Thomas & Mack Center with the biggest upset of the conference year.

“I was hoping to get 18, but a couple of them slipped,” Uzomah said. “What can I say? I guess I’m just the rebounding queen.”

The Utes were able to keep Uzomah off the glass in the first half, holding her to only three rebounds while her counterpart on the Utah side, Katie King, pulled down seven boards of her own.

The second half, however, was a different story. King was only able to pull down one rebound, and the 6-foot junior Uzomah bullied the Utes up and down the floor, snagging four offensive and eight defensive rebounds in the latter half to ensure the upset.

“When I got into the locker room and looked at my stats and saw that I only had three rebounds, I was like, ‘I got to come out and rebound,'” Uzomah said. “I just kept telling myself, ‘Don’t get into foul trouble, go to the boards hard and rebound the heck out of it like you know how.'”

Uzomah was most effective down the stretch, pulling down six rebounds in the final five minutes of the game. Seemingly every time Utah needed a defensive rebound to preserve the comeback attempt, the junior would pound her way to the offensive glass and the Rams would score a crucial field goal.

“She’s a really good player, and she showed a lot of intensity tonight,” Utah guard Morgan Warburton said.

The undersized Utes could literally only watch as Uzomah played the carom time and time again. Utah head coach Elaine Elliott would often put two or three Utah bodies on the junior and she would still pull in the board.

“You mean put three to (box) her out, we should have used 10 to (box) her out,” Utah head coach Elaine Elliott said. “She was just a horse. She did a great job on the boards. All of the credit is hers.”

Uzomah was the colossal reason behind the Rams’ 24-14 rebounding advantage in the second half. Utah forward Kalee Whipple was able to pull down 11 rebounds and King finished the game with eight, but no other Ute finished the game with more than two boards.

If nothing else, the Rams exposed a glaring weakness in the Ute defense — the inability to cover a big body in the post.

“Towards the end, when it was time to make plays, I think they made more plays than we did,” Utah guard Leilani Mitchell said. “And they did a good job on the boards. You know, they were aggressive. I think we kind of shied away from that.”

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Tyler Cobb

CSU’s Amaka Uzomah had a total of eight points and 15 rebounds during the game against the Utes Wednesday night. Uzomah. Although Colorado held a 0-16 record in conference play, the Rams beat the Utes 60-52.