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Utes lose 2nd game in a row

It appears that opponents may finally have found the Utes' weak spot - their bench.

For the second straight game, foul-plagued Utah unexpectedly lost a WAC road game. This time it was UTEP getting the win, 50-46.Cold shooting, terrible post defense and foul problems were the problems this time, but the bench didn't help much either.

Kristi Rose and Angie Thill, Utah's two starting big women, each had to sit the bench much of the second half with foul trouble. Utah coach Elaine Elliott was forced to put in Laura Ross-Allen and Kristina Anderson for several clutch minutes, even though neither had much experience at crunch time.

Allen is a senior but has never played big minutes. Anderson, on the other hand, is just a freshman.

That didn't bode well, especially going up against UTEP's all-WAC performer, Kanequa Chancellor.

Chancellor ate up Allen and Anderson, scoring at will from the post. By the time Thill and Rose came back, Chancellor had so much momentum not even a moun-tain could stop her from barreling to the hoop. She scored 18 points in the second half after managing only four points in the first.

Meanwhile, Utah's shots would not fall. Julie Krommenhoek shot only 3-of-16 for 11 points, while no other Ute posted double figures. As a team, Utah shot only 29 percent - its lowest total of the season.

UTEP punished the Utes with its interior defense. Unable to establish any sort of post game, the Utes settled for long jumpers and impromptu Alli Bills drives to the hoop. When you shoot well, this offense is fine.

The story, though, was Chancellor. Against Thill, she struggled through a terrible first half. But once Thill hit the pine, Chancellor hit the boards, grabbing 13 rebounds and scoring 22. Most of her work came against the U. the subs.

Utah drops to 16-2 and 7-2 in the WAC, creating jam at the top of the Mountain Division. Utah, New Mexico, Colorado State and UTEP are all tied at the top. Utah is finished playing New Mexico and UTEP and now must win out, hoping that both the Lobos and Miners lose.