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Women's basketball defeated by Utah, 50-46


February 10, 2012

Michelle Plouffe (14 points) and Rachel Messer (11 points) combined for 25 points to lead Utah to a 50-46 win over Arizona State on Thursday night.

Deja Mann (12 points) and Kimberly Brandon (10 points) both scored in double figures for the Sun Devils (15-8, 6-6 Pac-12), who have now lost three straight games.

Utah (11-12, 4-8 Pac-12) shot 39 percent for the game while limiting ASU to a 30-percent shooting effort. Contributing to Utah's win was its ability to connect on 42 percent of its 3-point field goals (5-12) while also taking advantage of its opportunities at the free throw line where it shot 87 percent (13-15).

ASU connected on 75 percent of its free throws, however had few opportunities at the line as the Sun Devils, who came into the game as the leader in the Pac-12 in scoring defense (53.0 ppg) and field goal percentage defense (.340), were whistled for 15 of the 21 fouls called in the game.

After trailing by as many as nine points in the opening minutes of the second half, the Sun Devils would use a 16-6 run over the course of 7:02 to take a 31-30 lead with 11:20 remaining. Mann scored eight points during the offensive burst as she started and ended the run with 3-pointers.

The Sun Devils would lead by as many as three after Alex Earl's jumper gave ASU a 37-34 advantage.

Just when it appeared ASU might start to pull away, the Utes would counter with a 9-0 run to take a 43-37 lead with 4:22 left.

A layup by Kali Bennett and a jumper by Brandon got ASU back within two, 43-41. Immediately after Brandon's basket, and just when it appeared the momentum was swinging back in ASU's favor, a technical was called on Earl and Messer converted both free throws on the opposite end to put Utah up 45-41.


Earl connected on a 3-pointer to get the Sun Devils back within a single point, 45-44, with 1:50 left, however Plouffe would answer with a triple on Utah's ensuing possession.

Bennett hit a jumper to cut ASU's deficit in half and, following a defensive stand, the Sun Devils had a chance to tie or take the lead, however Mann's jumper with 17 seconds left missed its mark. After an immediate Sun Devil foul, Janita Badon converted both free throws on the opposite end to put the game out of reach.

The Sun Devils return to action on Saturday (7 p.m. MT) when they travel to Boulder, Colo., to take on Colorado. The game can be heard live on The Fan AM 1060.