Air Force Downed By Utah, 90-45
Salt Lake City, Utah - Unable to overcome a huge first-half spurt by the home team, the Air Force women's basketball team was doubled up by Utah, 90-45, in Mountain West Conference action Wednesday night in the Huntsman Center. With the loss, the Falcons drop to 10-6 on the season, 1-4 in the MWC, while the Utes improve to 12-4, 3-2 in the league.
The Falcons came close for the first nine minutes of the contest, tying the score at 11-11 after junior Jacki Novak (Kewaunee, Wis.) scored the first three-point basket of her career, and Air Force went on top after a layup by sophomore Jamie Davis (Fresno, Calif.) put the Falcons up 13-12 with 12:31 on the clock. It proved to be a short-lived Falcon advantage, as the Utes responded by rattling off 10 straight points. Utah also began to heat up from beyond the arc, knocking down 7-of-11 treys in the half, including 4-of-6 in the final seven and a half minutes of the period, to take a 51-19 lead at the break.
It would get no closer in the second half for Air Force, which allowed Utah to shoot over 62 percent for the game, including 55.6 percent (10-of-18) from long-range. The Falcons, while hitting all of their foul shots, were also hampered by their inability to get to the charity stripe, converting just four free throws. In contrast, the Utes shot a solid 20-of-27 at the foul line to mark the noted difference.
Leading Air Force with 12 points was Novak, knocking down both of her three-point field goal attempts, while Davis and Ellen Jaeschke (So., Cary, Ill.) added eight points each. In addition, Alecia Steele (So., Oklahoma City, Okla.) added a game-high 10 rebounds. For the Utes, Kim Smith paced all scorers with 27 points, while Julie Larsen did not miss a shot, scoring 19 points.
The Falcons return home for their next game, as they get set to host 20th-ranked New Mexico on Saturday, Jan. 21 at 2:00 p.m. in Clune Arena.