Focused would be one way to describe the Utes' play Thursday night, but that would be an understatement - they were more like possessed.
The Utes know they must win out in order to claim a chunk of the WAC women's basketball championship, and Wyoming was their first victim.For the first time in WAC play this year, Utah jumped out to a huge lead early. Usually the Utes like to toy with opponents early and never turn on the heat until the second half begins. But Thursday night was almost the opposite.
For the Utes, there was no relaxing, no easing into things and no showing of concern for human decency as they defeated Wyoming 75-62. Utah's Angie Thill scored 12 points in the game's first 13 minutes, leading Utah out to a 31-12 lead.
"We wanted to come out and kill them," Ute guard Alli Bills said. "This was the first time in forever it seems that we came out focused and together. Usually we start slow, but not today."
In fact, the Utes jumped out to such a big lead early, Utah coach Elaine Elliott didn't look like she knew what to do. In the first half, she started pulling starters and putting in reserves, who usually don't play until scrub time.
"It was nice to get up on them early," Elliott said. "Wyoming is so tough and scrappy, they do a nice job. We got a comfortable lead on them, which made it easier for us too shoot because the pressure was off early. This team was focused tonight."
Wyoming did make a run, cutting the lead to nine with just over five minutes to play. Lindsay Sodja and Amy Alcorn each connected on short shots in the lane, and Alcorn added a free throw to put the Utes back up 14, ending the Wyoming threat.
Julie Krommenhoek scored a game-high 21, including a pair of big three-pointers in the midst of Wyoming runs in the second half. Thill finished with 19 points and nine rebounds.
For Wyoming, Courtney Stapp led scores with 16 points.
Utah is now 18-3 and 8-3 in the WAC.