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Utah Overpowers SDSU Women's Basketball, 78-43

Michelle Strawberry scored in double-figures for the 17th time this season.
Michelle Strawberry scored in double-figures for the 17th time this season.

Feb. 11, 2006

Box Score

SALT LAKE CITY - Three-time MWC player of the year Utah's Kim Smith scored a game-high 26 points, including 20 in the first half, as the second place Utes handed the San Diego State women's basketball team a 78-43 loss Saturday at the Huntsman Center. The Aztecs, playing their second road game in the last four days, fell to 3-18 overall and 0-11 in conference play, while the Utes improved to 17-5 and 8-3 in league action.

SDSU senior Michelle Strawberry (Corona, Calif.) returned to double-figures after a one-game absence, recording 22 points with 15 of those coming on a career-high five three-pointers. Strawberry was 5-for-9 from beyond the arc and was one of three Aztecs with a team-high four rebounds. Sophomore Erin Jackson (Sparks, Nev.) scored in double-figures for the fifth time in the last six outings with 10 points, while Desiree Johnson (Kahuku, Hawaii) added six points and Shanna Demus (Palmdale, Calif.) had four blocks and three steals in 25 minutes.

The Aztecs played without starting point guard Tamika Lipford who injured her right knee in practice on Friday before the team traveled to Salt Lake City. Lipford will undergo tests on her knee early next week. The freshman also missed three games earlier this season with a sprained MCL in the same knee.

SDSU scored the first basket of the game on a Johnson lay-up, for what would turn out to be their lone lead of the afternoon. The Utes' first bucket was of the three-point variety by Julie Larsen to start a 10-0 run for the home team. A Strawberry three-pointer ended the streak at the 15:07 mark and the score 10-5, but Utah resumed their hot shooting with another 12-0 run capped by a Smith three to go up by 17 at 22-5.

The Utes would outscore the Aztecs 21-12 the rest of the half to go into the locker room up 43-17.

SDSU came out of the half with two three-pointers sandwiching a Utah lay-up to cut the deficit down to 22 at 45-23, but that would be as close as the Aztecs would get as the Utes led by as many as 39 points before claiming their 17th straight in the series, 78-43.

In addition to Smith's 26 points, Larsen added 18 points and Shona Thorburn had 11 assists and was a perfect 6-for-6 from the line.

SDSU heads back home for a Wednesday night conference contest with UNLV beginning at 7 p.m. at Cox Arena.