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

Published: Saturday, Jan. 21 2012 11:33 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.

IPFW trimmed the SUU lead to six in the second half as Stefanie Mauk hit a three-pointer to make the score 37-31 just after the 17-minute mark. Four straight points for the Thunderbirds then pushed their advantage back to 10 but after a pair of free throws by Mauk the Mastodons pulled back within seven at 43-36.

Southern Utah then got a score inside from Moreland to lead off a 6-0 run that saw the SUU go up by a count of 49-36. The T-Birds continued to score the ball well throughout the remainder of the game, only allowing the margin to drop into the single digits once in the final 13-minutes of the game before eventually claiming the 80-68 victory.

SUU got 14 points from Moreland while Kimie Hawkins and Jones each chipped in 10. Siebert led IPFW with 21 after going 4-for-5 from behind the arc.

Southern Utah dominated the boards throughout the contest, recording 40 rebounds to IPFW's 25. The T-Birds also had a big night at the foul line, making a season-high 28 free throws on 36 attempts. SUU also had its best shooting performance of the year, going 24-of-44 from the floor for a mark of 54.5 percent.

"It feels great," said head coach JR Payne after the game."So many people contributed with points and rebounds."

"The last couple have been close and our team has been through a lot," explained Payne. "Tonight we showed that we will continue to fight and persevere."

SUU will continue its conference homestand Monday when it hosts Oakland. The T-Birds and Golden Grizzlies will tip things off in the Centrum Arena at 7 p.m.

UVU 58, NORTH DAKOTA 54: At Grand Forks, N.D., led by a 17-point, 10-rebound double-double from Sammie Jensen, Utah Valley rallied on the road. Picked to finish second behind season favorite UND (9-10, 0-1 GWC), the Wolverines (9-9, 1-0 GWC) used a 15-5 run midway through the second half to overturn UND's 10-point lead (41-31), and knot the game at 46 with 5:46 remaining in the game. Inside the run, Jensen scored seven points, including the game-tying 3-pointer.

UVU grabbed its first lead of the night just seconds later on a free throw from Alle Finch, and after trading points, senior guard Charnay Mothershed (Phoenix, Ariz.) hit from 3-point range to give UND a 51-49 lead. Finch answered from the field to knot the game once more, but this time it was Charnise Mothershed (Sr., G, Phoenix, Ariz.) who hit from long range, giving the home team a three-point advantage (54-51, 2:54).

Following a field goal from Jensen to pull the Wolverines back within one, Finch swished a pair from the free-throw line to regain the UVU lead (55-54, 1:47). With UND unable to connect from the field or at the line, and UVU tacking on three more points from the stripe, the Wolverines walked away with its first conference win of the season.

Charnise led UND with 10 points on 3-for-10 shooting from the field, a pair of three-pointers and two free throws. Charnay finished with eight points on a perfect 2-for-2 showing from 3-point range and a field goal. Also with eight points was junior guard Nicole Smart.

Led by 10 points from Finch and 11 from Abbie Beutler, Utah Valley's reserves scored 30 of its total 58 points. The Wolverines shot 38.8 percent (19-for-49) from the field, 40 percent (4-for-10) at 3-point range, and 66.7 percent (16-for-24) at the line. UVU won the rebounding battle 39-35 and banked 13 points on second chances.

SNOW COLLEGE 66, SLCC 55: At Ephraim, the Bruins managed just 29 percent shooting and were outrebounded 39-37 in the loss. Salt Lake is now 10-8 overall and 1-4 in conference play.

Freshman Fawn Brady was Salt Lake's leading scorer with 24 points followed by Sophia Hepworth. The Bruins (10-8, 1-4) made 21-of-28 attempts at the foul line.

The Bruins host No. 10 North Idaho on Jan. 27 in Bruin Arena.

DIXIE STATE 80, HAWAII PACIFIC 71: At St. George, Angie Krisenten earned her 100th win with the Red Storm and Erica Hayes tied a career-high 27 points in a Pacific West Conference victory.

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