Cougars Fall in MWC Semifinal

Senior Danielle Cheesman scored eight points and pulled down 10 rebounds Friday against Utah. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

DENVER -- Despite a strong start, BYU could not recover from a big first-half run by the University of Utah as the Cougars fell to the No.2-seeded Utes, 64-48, Friday at the Mountain West Conference Women's Basketball Championship in Denver.

With the MWC semifinal loss, BYU now hopes its 19-10 record qualifies the Cougars for their sixth postseason invitation in seven years. Utah, 24-6, will take on top-seed New Mexico Saturday for the MWC's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

"You have to give Utah credit -- they don't beat themselves," BYU coach Jeff Judkins said. "They have smart players and they are very well coached."

After getting off to leads of 7-2 and 9-4 in the game's first three minutes, BYU was outscored 22-3 over the next nine minutes as the Utes built a 26-12 advantage. Utah scored 11 straight points during the run until BYU freshman Mallary Gillespie finally added to the Cougars' scoring column with a nice spin move to the middle to just beat the shot clock. Gillespie's bucket was the start of a 15-9 BYU run that reduced Utah's lead to eight at the break, 35-27.

During the run, BYU was able to score in the key thanks to some nice passing. Dani Kubik scored both of her first-half buckets and Danielle Cheesman converted a bucket and then made a nice assist to Ambrosia Anderson for another score in the paint. Chessman and Anderson led the Cougars with six points in the opening half.

When Cougar point guard Julie Sullivan opened the second half with back-to-back field goals, BYU appeared ready to make the final 20 minutes a battle, trailing by only four points at 35-31. But BYU would not get any closer as Utah continually hit shots to kill any Cougar momentum.

Utah's big weapon on the night was its three-point shooting. The Utes made 11-of-24 (.458) long-range bombs to make up for 34 percent shooting overall from the floor. BYU outshot the Utes, converting on 44 percent of its attempts, but the Cougars made only two treys and were outscored at the free-throw line 13-4.

Sullivan led BYU with 10 points before fouling out with 6:07 remaining. Anderson, Cheesman and Kubik each added eight points for BYU. Cheesman grabbed 10 rebounds and Melinda Johnsen contributed five assists to lead the Cougars.

"Julie (Sullivan) got in foul trouble, which put her in a tough situation," Judkins said. "She just wanted it so bad she didn't let the game come to her. I'm proud of our team. We've had a great year. We thought we could get this one but sometimes you want something too bad and you try too hard."

Utah was paced by MWC Co-Player of the Year Kim Smith, who tallied 19 points, including 3-of-6 shooting from behind the arc. Lana Sitterud also made three treys for the Utes on her way to 10 points, while fellow conference Co-Player of the Year Shona Thorburn dished out a game-high seven assists.

Official Basketball Box Score

Brigham Young University vs University of Utah

03-11-05 2:35 p.m. at Denver, Colorado (Pepsi Center)

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VISITORS: Brigham Young University 19-10

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN

32 KOZLOWSKI, Kristen.. f 3-8 0-3 1-2 1 1 2 3 7 2 0 0 0 26

35 JOHNSEN, Melinda.... f 1-6 0-4 0-0 1 0 1 2 2 5 3 1 0 28

51 CHEESMAN, Danielle.. f 4-8 0-1 0-0 3 7 10 3 8 3 2 0 0 29

14 SULLIVAN, Julie..... g 4-5 0-0 2-2 0 1 1 5 10 2 4 0 0 20

30 GILLESPIE, Mallary.. g 2-4 1-2 0-0 1 3 4 3 5 1 1 0 0 19

01 SELJAAS, Nancy...... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1

10 STRATTON, Laura..... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1

13 GOOLD, Tiari........ 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 2 0 4 0 0 0 22

25 TAYLOR, Kali........ 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 3

33 ANDERSON, Ambrosia.. 3-7 1-3 1-2 1 5 6 0 8 1 0 1 1 26

45 KUBIK, Dani......... 4-9 0-1 0-0 0 4 4 2 8 0 2 0 0 23

50 ABELL, Mary Martha.. 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

52 RILEY, Lauren....... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

TEAM................ 1 3 4

Totals.............. 21-48 2-14 4-6 8 26 34 21 48 18 14 2 1 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 11-28 39.3% 2nd Half: 10-20 50.0% Game: 43.8% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 2-9 22.2% 2nd Half: 0-5 0.0% Game: 14.3% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 3-4 75.0% 2nd Half: 1-2 50.0% Game: 66.7% 1

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HOME TEAM: University of Utah 25-6

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN

04 SMITH, Kim.......... f 5-13 3-6 6-6 6 4 10 1 19 1 0 0 2 39

45 PERRY, Jessica...... f 3-7 0-0 2-2 1 6 7 0 8 2 1 0 1 25

23 HANCHETT, Deanne.... c 1-3 0-1 0-2 1 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 13

01 SITTERUD, Lana...... g 3-6 3-5 1-2 0 1 1 4 10 3 2 0 1 18

10 THORBURN, Shona..... g 1-9 1-4 2-6 1 2 3 1 5 7 1 0 0 39

05 CARLSEN, Heidi...... 2-6 2-5 0-0 0 2 2 1 6 0 0 0 0 22

12 BROUILLARD, Shauna.. 1-3 1-1 0-0 1 1 2 3 3 1 0 0 0 14

21 WOOD, Julie......... 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2

24 ALLEN, Camie........ 3-10 1-2 2-2 7 1 8 3 9 1 0 0 2 27

33 WARNER, Marie....... 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 1 1

TEAM................ 3 3 2

Totals.............. 20-59 11-24 13-20 17 20 37 13 64 15 6 0 7 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 12-32 37.5% 2nd Half: 8-27 29.6% Game: 33.9% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 6-14 42.9% 2nd Half: 5-10 50.0% Game: 45.8% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 5-7 71.4% 2nd Half: 8-13 61.5% Game: 65.0% 3

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Officials: Jack Jones, Randy Campbell, Connie Pardue

Technical fouls: Brigham Young University-None. University of Utah-None.

Attendance: 4929

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

Brigham Young University...... 27 21 - 48

University of Utah............ 35 29 - 64

ID-332592

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Tags: Results