ASU Basketball: Women Head to Utah for 1st Pac-12 Road Game

After going 1-1 in the first weekend of Pac-12 play, ASU basketball is back in action Friday to face the Utah Utes, who are undefeated at home this season.

After games versus Stanford and California, Arizona State heads to Utah Friday for the first Pac-12 road game of the season.

The Sun Devils (10-3, 1-1) are coming a grueling 72-62 double overtime win over the Golden Bears.

Three ASU starters played at least 40 minutes, with forward Sophie Brunner playing 43 minutes, and center Quinn Dornstauder and guard Reili Richardson playing 41 minutes.

Not only did Brunner lead the team in minutes, she led the the team in points (21) and rebounds (12). Dornstauder also had her best game of the season finishing with 19 points and 10 rebounds.

Head coach Charli Turner Thorne was known for many rotations and utilizing the depth on her team, but due to injuries and transfers, Thorne only played nine players causing the team to be thin.

Fortunately for Arizona State, freshman guard Kiara Russell has been cleared to play after missing several games with a knee injury. Russell began the season as the starting point guard before sustaining the injury.

The Sun Devils will hope to utilize that depth versus an overachieving Utah team. The Utes surprised many beginning the season 11-0.

The Utes are currently sitting at 12-1, 1-1 in Pac-12 play, after picking up a victory over USC and a loss versus UCLA.

Utah is led by their star forward Emily Potter. Potter is averaging 17.4 points per game and 9.9 rebounds per game. A difference from this season is the depth of players she has around her.

Guards Malia Nawahine and Tanaeya Boclair have anchored an effective backcourt to complement Potter.

Nawahine is averaging 12.0 points per game and 4.4 rebounds per game. In Utah’s last game versus USC, she played the whole game finishing with 17 points and 6 rebounds.

Boclair is averaging 10.8 points per game this season and 3.9 rebounds.

If you add guard Erika Bean to the mix, Utah is a much deeper than last season’s team and that could prove to problematic for the Sun Devils.

The dueling backcourts will be the difference. Richardson has done a great for ASU on driving to the hoop and setting up the forwards for good looks, giving ASU an added dimension they haven’t had in recent seasons.

Brunner will probably be on Potter and that will be the key match-up of the game. The best players on their respective teams.

Rebounding could also be a determining factor, with ASU having the edge of rebounding over their opponent in recent games.

Tip-off of Arizona State-Utah is 7 p.m. MST Friday and can be seen on Pac-12 Networks.

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