Iwalani Rodrigues scored 16 points with seven rebounds against ASU.
Jan. 20, 2013
SALT LAKE CITY - The Utah women's basketball team picked up its first Pac-12 win of the season with a 66-46 victory over Arizona State on Sunday afternoon.
Michelle Plouffe led Utah with 18 points and eight rebounds, including three blocks and four assists. Taryn Wicijowski and Iwalani Rodrigues each scored 16 points. Rodrigues pulled down seven rebounds and had five assists with two steals, while Wicijowski had six boards.
Utah (10-7, 1-5 Pac-12) shot a season-high 55 percent from the floor, and made 20-of-24 free throws. It was Utah's second-straight game shooting at least 50 percent.
"Watching your kids, who you care about and enjoy being around and appreciate everything that they do, suffer through the struggles that they've been through, it's very rewarding for us as a staff to see them have some success so we can build on this as we go forward," Utah head coach Anthony Levrets said. "The biggest difference for us tonight is that we made open shots and we made free throws. That's been the biggest part of this stretch. I think the biggest difference in basketball - we defend most nights - is whether we make shots or not, and tonight we did. Hopefully it gives us some confidence going forward and we continue to make shots. It's way more fun when it goes in."
Arizona State (10-8, 2-4 Pac-12) led by as many as seven points midway through the first half. The Sun Devils held a five-point lead, 22-17 with six minutes left in the half before the Utes rallied to close out the first half with a 12-2 run to take a five-point lead at halftime. Wicijowski scored 10 points in the first half while Plouffe tallied eight points.
ASU was held scoreless through the first 4:20 of the second half. The Sun Devils were held to 33 percent shooting in the game, including 29 percent in the second half. Utah held as much as a 22-point lead in the contest.
"I think we are a desperate basketball team right now," Levrets said. "We're desperate for a win. It's been awhile. I think we felt like we had given a couple away. I think there was just a determination that we weren't going to lose this game. You could see it and feel it from them. That's what we looked like in November and the first part of December, and hopefully we get back to that."
Utah hits the road next weekend to face Stanford on Friday, Jan. 25, and California on Sunday, Jan. 27.