Even though her team has reeled off 10 straight victories, Utah women's basketball coach Elaine Elliott hasn't been overly pleased with her team's offense of late.

That was the case Saturday afternoon against Wyoming when the Utes shot only 39 percent and scored under 60 points. But thanks to the Utes' outstanding defense they were able to cruise to a 59-44 victory over the Cowgirls at the Huntsman Center."I like to put more points on the board, but I'm glad we made such a commitment to play defense," said Elliott. "I thought the defensive effort was not even questionable. We played hard for 40 minutes."

The Utes came up with 12 steals - four apiece by Amber McEwen and Alli Bills - and forced 25 Wyoming turnovers. Hilary King-Noel and Angie Bandy combined to do a number on Amy Burnett, last year's WAC player of the year and this year's leading scorer, holding her to just two field goals and 12 points total.

With Utah doing the job defensively, it didn't matter that leading scorer Julie Krommenhoek had one of her poorest games of the year with just 8 points on 3-of-15 shooting.

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The 6-foot-4 McEwen picked up the slack offensively and scored 20 points, while Andrea Herold contributed 10 points and 9 rebounds. Bills added 8 points and 8 assists.

The Utes jumped out to a quick 20-7 lead, but the Cowgirls cut the margin to four early in the second half at 32-28. But Bills and Krommenhoek hit back-to-back 3-pointers. When Herold sank a 3-pointer at the 8:24 mark, the Utes led 44-32 and kept a double-figure lead the rest of the game.

The Utes, 18-5 overall, have already clinched no worse than second place with their 10-1 WAC mark. If they win at Fresno State Thursday night, they'll have a chance to tie unbeaten San Diego State for first with a win at San Diego Saturday.

Utah concludes its home season March 3 against BYU and plays in the WAC tournament in Albuquerque the following week.

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