SEATTLE — Michelle Plouffe had 24 points and nine rebounds to help Utah beat Arizona 66-48 in the first round of the Pac-12 women's tournament on Thursday.
Plouffe had five 3-pointers for the sixth-seeded Utes (18-12), who will meet No. 14 UCLA, the third seed, in the tournament quarterfinals on Friday.
Taryn Wicijowski scored 14 points and Iwalani Rodrigues finished with 10 points for Utah. The Utes, who committed just five turnovers on Thursday, have won eight of their last 11 games.
It was the first time that the Utes defeated the Wildcats this season after dropping both regular-season games.
The Utes shot 11-for-13 from beyond the arc in the first half. Utah scored 10 points off eight first-half Arizona turnovers, and held a 43-29 lead at halftime. The Utes shot 57 percent from the field in the first half. Utah held Arizona to 23 percent shooting in the second half.
The Utes made a season-high 12 3-pointers in the game.
NOTES: Plouffe scored 20 points for the seventh time this season ... Plouffe moved into the top-10 all-time at Utah in scoring. She has 1,439 career points, ranking 10th all-time … Rachel Messer hit three 3-pointers, moving her into 10th on the all-time Utah list in 3's made. She has 129 career 3's … Utah fell to UCLA in the only regular-season contest between the two teams, 70-42 in Los Angeles on Feb. 3.
UTAH STATE 73, TEXAS STATE 56: At San Marcos, Texas, behind an efficient shooting night from senior guard Devyn Christensen, the Aggies cruised to a win over Texas State.
With the win, the Aggies moved into a dead heat with Seattle for first place in the Western Athletic Conference with one game remaining in the regular season. Utah State improves to 17-11 overall and 14-3 in league contests. Texas State falls to 9-19 overall and 3-14 in WAC games. Christensen led the offensive charge with 24 points which was her 13th 20-point game of the season.
SOUTHERN UTAH 71, NORTHERN COLORADO 58: At Cedar City, the Thunderbirds knocked off the Bears for the second time this season. The victory moves the Thunderbirds a full game ahead of Northern Arizona, which suffered a 59-51 defeat to Montana, in the Big Sky standings.
PORTLAND STATE 79, WEBER STATE 73 (OT): At Portland, Ore., the Wildcats fell just short of tbreaking what is now a 47-game losing streak and earning their first win of the season.
The Wildcats had a chance to take the lead with three seconds left in regulation, but missed the front end of a one-and-one from the free-throw line.Comment on this story
Weber State led by as much as four points early in overtime before the Vikings ran away with it.
DIXIE STATE 81, HAWAII AT HILO 63: At Azusa, Calif., seniors Mandy Munns and Johnna Brown combined for 42 points on Thursday afternoon leading Dixie State in the quarterfinals of the Pacific West Conference Tournament.
Munns, the fifth-year transfer, posted a career-high 22 points on 7-of-8 shooting from the floor and 8-of-10 shots from the foul line. In 16 quality minutes off the bench, she added an assist, one block and two steals.