Senior forward Michelle Plouffe is Utah's second all-time rebounder.
Jan. 26, 2014
SALT LAKE CITY - Trailing 51-45, the University of Utah women's basketball team closed with a 15-6 run over the final 7:46 to claim a 60-57 win over Arizona on Sunday in the Huntsman Center.
A 9-2 spurt by the Wildcats gave the visitors a 51-45 advantage before back-to-back 3-point plays and an additional pair of free throws by senior forward Michelle Plouffe fueled a 15-6 Utah run to close the game and give the Utes the 60-57 win.
"We were down by six," Plouffe said. "We weren't executing and were slow, but we came out and executed a couple of plays. We didn't have a lot of energy this game, but executing those plays and getting some defensive stops gave us some momentum."
Utah (9-10, 2-6 Pac-21) earned a 33-30 edge in team rebounding as well as a 9-0 advantage in blocks. The Utes also went 13-for-19 at the free throw line and 15 of their 20 field goals came with assists.
"This win was even more impressive after what we have been through with that tough loss on Friday night [against No. 14/23 Arizona State]," Utah Head Coach Anthony Levrets said. "I am proud of our kids for having the guts to pull that off, especially after getting down. To pull that off is a really, really big deal."
With a game-high 13 rebounds on the afternoon, Plouffe became Utah's second all-time rebounder. She has 1,045 career rebounds and passed Deb Asper (1,042 from 1980-84) for second on the all-time list. Plouffe is now 62 rebounds shy of passing Ann Hardy (1,106 from 1981-85) for the school record. This was Plouffe's double-digit-rebound outing of 2013-14.
Plouffe also registered her ninth double-double of the season as she poured in a game-high 20 points for her 16th double-figure-point game of the game this season. The Edmonton, Alberta native tied her career high with 11 made free throws on 15 attempts, which was also a season high. She now has 1,915 career points and is 11 away from tying Morgan Warburton (1,886 from 2005-09) for fifth place in school history.
Senior Ciera Dunbar had nine points off a 2-of-4 performance from 3-point territory.
Sophomore Danielle Rodriguez equaled her career high for the second time with four blocks in addition to handing out three assists and scoring three points.
Sophomore guard Malia Nawahine posted four first-half points and ended with a total of seven along with three rebounds and an assist.
Plouffe opened the scoring for the Utes with a 3-pointer and a free throw to give Utah an early 4-2 edge. A Dunbar 3-pointer and Potter lay-in then gave Utah a five-point lead, 9-4, and a 7-0 Utah run, including Dunbar's second 3-pointer and a Nawahine lay-in, pushed Utah's lead to nine (25-16). The U of A countered with an 8-1 stretch to tie the contest for the second time at 26 all before Wilson's first 3-pointer of the contest gave Utah 29-26 lead. The Wildcats got an old-fashioned 3-point play to even the game for the third time at 29-29 heading into the locker room. Plouffe scored nine points and corralled five rebounds thanks to a 6-for-8 effort from the foul line, while Dunbar scored six off a pair of 3-pointers.
The Utes scored six of the first eight points of the second half. A Potter putback and jumper lifted the lid on the scoring in the second half and gave Utah a 33-29 lead heading into the first media timeout. The Wildcats came back to tie the game for the first time in the half (35-35), but the Utes responded with a Nawahine 3-pointer and Potter lay-in to vault to a 40-35 edge. A 7-0 U of A run gave the visitors the lead for the first time since 2-0 (42-40). There would be two more ties at 42 and 53 before Utah's closing rally.
Arizona (4-15, 0-8 Pac-12) was led by 13 points and five rebounds by Carissa Crutchfield.
The Utes conclude their three-game Pac-12 homestand on Wednesday against Colorado in the Huntsman Center at 7 p.m. MT. The game will be televised live on Pac-12 Networks with Anne Marie Anderson (PBP) and Mary Murphy (Analyst) calling the action. Steve Klauke will have the radio call ESPN700.