Sun Devils rally past Utah to end skid

HIGHLIGHTS: Sun Devils 85, Utah 77

ASU beats the Utes 85-77 to end five-game losing streak

SALT LAKE CITY (UT) — Jose Perez scored 21 points to lead Arizona State to an 85-77 win over Utah in Pac-12 Conference action Saturday night at the Huntsman Center.

Perez helped the Sun Devils (12-12, 6-7 Pac-12) overcome a nine-point first-half deficit against the Utes (15-9, 6-7) with 16 points in the second half.

The victory snapped a five-game losing streak for Arizona State and increased its winning streak over Utah to five, including a home win on Jan. 4. Jamiya Neal added 17 points and eight rebounds, while Adam Miller scored 16 in the much-needed win for ASU.

Branden Carlson led all scorers with 27 points while grabbing 11 rebounds, dishing out three assists and blocking two shots for Utah.

Cole Bajema added 12 points, Gabe Madsen contributed 11 points and six assists and Keba Keita had 10 points and seven rebounds in the Utes’ defeat.

Utah, which led by as many as nine points while shooting 56.7 percent in the first half, lost at home for the second time in three nights. The Utes had opened the season 13-0 at the Huntsman Center.

After a back-and-forth first half, Arizona State erased Utah’s 42-40 halftime lead and established itself early in the second half with a 13-1 run to go up 53-45.

Carlson scored two straight buckets followed by a Madsen jumper to trim ASU’s lead to one, but Shawn Phillips made a layup and Neal drained a 3 to push the momentum back in the Sun Devils’ direction.

Perez then upped the lead to 10 points with eight minutes remaining after consecutive layups.

After a Miller layup put ASU up 75-64 with 4:53 remaining, Utah mustered one last push as Carlson and Keita made layups followed by a Bajema 3-pointer.

Perez then beat the shot clock with a critical 3-pointer with 2:16 left for a 78-71 lead.

–Field Level Media