SALT LAKE CITY -- Claiming a win at the Huntsman Center for the first time in seven years, the BYU women's basketball team defeated in-state and conference rival University of Utah, 46-41, in front of 2,405 fans Saturday afternoon.
The Cougars had not beaten the Utes on their home court since exactly seven years ago, on February 26, 1993. It was head coach Trent Shippen's first win against Utah in Salt Lake City.
"Obviously this is an exciting win for the BYU women's basketball program," Shippen said. "This was one of our best defensive efforts of the year. That was one of our goals going into the game, to not have too many letdowns on defense."
A defensive contest it was, as BYU sophomore Lisa Osguthorpe was the only player on both teams to score in double figures with 10 points. Both teams shot under 30 percent, but the Cougars came away with 15 steals, the most this season, and battled under the basket for 47 rebounds, the team's second-highest total of the season.
BYU freshman Jennifer Leitner was the only player on both teams to rebound in double figures, ending with 10 boards. Forward Kristina Andersen led the Ute effort with eight points and five rebounds.
The Cougars upped their record to 18-7, 8-4 conference, while the Utes fell to 18-7, 9-3. Utah came into the game ranked first in the conference ahead of Colorado State, and BYU fourth behind New Mexico. However, it was the day for upsets, as New Mexico defeated Colorado State, 67-59, setting the stage for a key conference showdown between the Lobos and Cougars Saturday at the Marriott Center. BYU will face Air Force Thursday before taking on the Lobos Saturday at 4 p.m.