In its first of two games in Arizona, the University of Utah women’s basketball team took on the No. 22 Arizona State Sun Devils. The Utes rallied and came from behind for a 58-56 win in a game that went down to the final seconds of the fourth quarter. The Utes have not come away from Tempe with a win since 2013, making this victory one for the books.
The Utes are now 4-3 in Pac-12 play, and a win over a top-25 team gave them a boost of confidence going into their next game.
“The seniors have never won in Tempe,” said head coach Lynne Roberts on ESPN 700. “This win was definitely a signature victory for the team.”
Utah started the game strong, but the team lost energy and offensive accuracy after the first quarter. It then trailed behind the Sun Devils until the fourth quarter.
Five of the Utes scored nine or more points, with Megan Huff scoring a team-high 16 points. This was the second game in a row that Huff led the team in points. Tori Williams followed with 10 points. Williams also dished out three assists, and she hit four key free throws, including two that solidified the win for the Utes. Megan Jacobs added nine points, four rebounds and three assists.
Roberts said she respects Arizona State, and she knew it would be a competitive game. She knew that as soon as the Utes started scoring the Sun Devils would start playing tight and that is when Utah would be able to take control of the game.
“I thought that in the fourth quarter we just started to play more aggressive and they started to play more slowly,” Roberts said on ESPN 700.
The Utes went into the fourth quarter down by 11 points. In true comeback fashion, Utah quickly dropped eight points. Trailing by three points with five minutes left in the game, Huff, Jacobs and Emily Potter hit key baskets to give the Utes the lead with one minute to go.
In the final 19 seconds of the game, the Utes held a one-point advantage. However, the Sun Devils helped the Utes extended their lead by missing a basket and fouling Williams twice in a row. A calm and collected Williams drained four free throws, helping the Utes come out with a win at the buzzer.
“We didn’t play perfectly, but we hung in there,” Roberts said on ESPN 700. “This was a game that was going to be about toughness, and it really was.”
The Utes will continue their road trip on Sunday, Jan. 21 against Arizona. Tipoff is at 12 p.m.