Women's basketball roundup: Turnovers bedevil Utes; SUU wins

Combined reports

Published: Saturday, Jan. 21 2012 10:00 p.m. MST

TEMPE, Ariz. — The Utes lost for the fifth time in seven games as 21 turnovers and shooting 35 percent from the field weren't enough on the road in a 59-51 loss to Arizona State on Saturday.

Michelle Plouffe had 15 points and seven rebounds for Utah (9-9, 2-5). Janita Badon added 12 points and eight assists, while Taryn Wicijowski had 10 points and nine rebounds.

Kali Bennett had 12 points, nine rebounds and a school-record-tying seven blocked shots to lead Arizona State.

Deja Mann had 17 points and Kimberly Brandon added 12 for the Sun Devils (13-5, 4-3 Pac-12), who have won three straight after losing three in a row. Bennett tied the blocked-shot record set by Kym Hampton against Washington on Jan. 19, 1981.

The Sun Devils opened the second half with an 8-1 run to take go on top 30-20. The Utes missed their first six shots after the break and four minutes into the second half were 8 of 39 from the field.

Utah got within four points after Badon made a steal and found Plouffe for a jumper to cut the lead to 43-39 with 6:47 to play. However, Utah coach Anthony Levrets thought Plouffe had also been fouled on the play, and was called for a technical foul, leading to two Sun Devils free throws by Mann. She hit a 3-pointer on the subsequent posession and Arizona State held on.

Bennett had six points and six blocked shots in the first half as Arizona State took a 22-19 lead at the break.

The Utes missed 14 of their 23 shots in the first 20 minutes but outrebounded the Sun Devils 24-15 to stay close.

It was the first meeting in nearly six years between the schools, the last being Utah's 86-65 win over Arizona State in the second round of the 2006 NCAA tournament.

UTAH STATE 91, NEVADA 69: At Logan, Devyn Christensen produced 22 points while Ashlee Brown had 12 and seven boards as the Aggies held a 52-24 advantage in the paint and 39 points from the bench while Nevada's reserves managed 15.

SUU 80, IPFW 68: At Cedar City, the Thunderbirds snapped an eight-game losing-streak and earned their first Summit League victory of the year even though leading scorer Hailey Mandelko left the game in the first half after colliding with a defender.

Fellow starting guard DJ Norman picked up the slack with a career-high 22 points.

The T-Birds (5-14, 1-7) started the night 3-for-3 from the floor to record the first six points of the ballgame. Norman, Mandelko and Carli Moreland all collected early baskets to help SUU claim the 6-0 lead.

IPFW (7-12, 4-4) answered with nine unanswered, including back-to-back 3-pointers by Haley Seibert, to go up 9-6 at the 16-minute mark. Tayler Anderson then scored two straight baskets as part of 6-0 run that saw SUU go back up by three. After a pair of Mastodon free throws Mandelko knocked down a shot from the outside to give the Thunderbirds a 15-11 advantage.

IPFW came back with four straight to tie the score at 15 but a 3-pointer by Norman would then put SUU back out in front. The Mastodons were able to level the score once again as Anne Boese connected from the outside to knot the score at 18.

Andrea Jones then added a third consecutive 3-pointer to spark a 10-0 run for SUU. The Thunderbirds outscored the IPFW by a count of 15-3 over the final eight minutes of the half, eight of which came at the free-throw line, to take a 33-21 lead at the break.

Southern Utah went 3-5 from the outside in the opening period and outrebounded IPFW 22-12. Norman led the Thunderbirds with nine first-half points while Seibert had seven for the Mastodons.

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