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AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

No. 10 Arizona State holds off Utah for 12th straight win

By Mike Cranston, Associated Press | Posted - Jan. 17, 2016 at 3:20 p.m.

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TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — A quick glance of the box score revealed No. 10 Arizona State's impressive depth.

All 10 players who saw action scored, with four reaching double figures. And its suffocating defense frustrated another quality opponent.

Quinn Dornstauder scored 14 points, Elisha Davis added 13 points and six assists, and the Sun Devils pulled away in the second half to beat Utah 80-60 on Sunday for its 12th straight victory.

"We're so deep," Arizona State coach Charli Turner Thorne said. "We can hurt you from any position at any time. That was what was so much fun about this game. So many people played well."

Kelsey Moos and Arnecia Hawkins each scored 12 points as the Sun Devils (15-3, 6-0) remained the only unbeaten team in Pac-12 play.

After seeing a 13-point lead whittled to two, the Sun Devils hit four 3-pointers and used its in-your-face defense in a 23-7 run to end the third quarter.

"That's what pressure does. It makes you take bad shots. It makes you miss free throws," Utah coach Lynne Roberts said. "We've shot free throws well all season and we were 12 of 21. We haven't done that. But that's what pressure does. It wears you down and gets in your head a little bit."

Paige Crozon had 20 points and a career-high 16 rebounds and Danielle Rodriguez matched a career-best with 18 points for the Utes (12-5, 4-2), who had won two straight and seven of eight amid a turnaround season.

Utah's Paige Crozon (14) goes in to score as she drives past Arizona State's Sophie Brunner (21) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Utah's Paige Crozon (14) goes in to score as she drives past Arizona State's Sophie Brunner (21) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

"I think Utah is a (NCAA) tournament team. They're very good," Turner Thorne said. "So to have such a convincing win is really fun."

The matchup of the top-scoring team in conference games (Utah, 71.4) against the top defense (Arizona State, 44.6) was one-sided early. The Sun Devils breezed to a 25-12 first-quarter lead before Crozon and Rodriguez consistently got to the free-throw line.

With a chance to tie, Utah's Malia Nawahine missed two free throws early in the third quarter before Arizona State took control.

It thwarted another comeback attempt for the Utes, who rallied from 19 points down in the third quarter to win at then-No. 21 California a week earlier.

It's part of a return to form under first-year coach Roberts, who inherited a 9-win team that finished last in the Pac-12 a year ago.

But the Utes were slowed by 22 turnovers against Arizona State's pressure man defense. The Sun Devils had 15 more field goal attempts and hit 8 of 21 3-pointers.

"They're incredibly consistent with physicality," Roberts said of Arizona State. "As an official, If they're doing it for 40 minutes __ you notice the second half was called a little different. They got kind of tired of calling the same stuff and we didn't get to the line. They're really good at it."


Utah: Top scorer Emily Potter was held to 10 points. . The Utes were outrebounded 39-38, only the second time in 18 games they've had fewer rebounds than their opponent. . Katie Kuklok, who had hit 14 of 22 3-point attempts in conference play, was held scoreless and missed two 3s.

Arizona State: Top scorer Sophie Brunner, fighting an illness over the past week, was held to six points on 3 of 9 shooting. She grabbed seven rebounds. . The Sun Devils have won five straight in the series.


One concern for the Sun Devils is an inconsistent offense. Seven players scored in the first quarter, Arizona State shot 53 percent and its 25 points surpassed the 24 it scored in the first half on Friday. But things bogged down in the second quarter, when the Sun Devils went scoreless for more than 4 minutes and without a field goal for 5 minutes. The offensive rhythm returned after halftime.


Utah hosts Oregon State on Friday night.

Arizona State hosts Arizona on Friday night.

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Mike Cranston


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