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BYU, UTAH WOMEN OPEN WAC HOOP SEASON

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Both BYU and Utah women's basketball teams open the Western Athletic Conference season Thursday night on the road.

Utah, off since an 85-47 win over Idaho on Jan. 4, opens against San Diego State and follows with a game vs. Fresno State on Saturday.The Utes, 3-8, will be without the services of starting freshman forward Hilary King, who is out for a month with a stress fracture.

Utah leads the series with San Diego State, 5-4, but has never won in San Diego. The Aztecs open WAC play with an 8-3 record. Utah is 1-1 all-time against Fresno State, which starts the week with a 7-5 mark.

"I think we're beginning to understand what it's going to take for us to be successful offensively," said Ute coach Elaine Elliott.

After an erratic preseason that left it with a 5-7 record, BYU has a chance to wipe its slate clean when it opens WAC with Fresno State Thursday.

Junior center Debbie Dimond tops the Cougars in scoring (15.3 ppg) and rebounding (7.6 per game). She hit all-time bests in scoring (26 points), rebounds , and assists last week to move senior guard/forward Nikki Eyre into the No. 2 scoring spot (11.9 ppg). Junior guard Thais Kidd is close behind at 11.8 ppg.