Friday, December 23, 2011

Women's basketball: Utes' Plouffe stomps New Mexico State

New Mexico State had dreams of beating Utah Wednesday. Then they went Plouffe.

Michelle Plouffe scored 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead the Utah women?s basketball team to a 74-37 win over the Aggies at the Huntsman Center. While Plouffe scored her season-high 24 points in 28 minutes, it took the 12 women who played for New Mexico State 32:37 of game time to match that total.

"I just come out every game trying to do whatever I can for the team," said Plouffe, "and if I?m not hitting outside shots I try to get offensive rebounds and hustle plays."

Against New Mexico State, she did all those things. She was 3-of-3 from 3-point range, was 8-of-11 from the field, was one off her career high in rebounds and accounted for two blocked shots.

"She just has a complete game and every single night it doesn?t matter who we?re playing against, she shows up and plays her tail off," Utah coach Anthony Levrets said.

The Utes (6-4) won their second blowout in as many games. Four days earlier they defeated Texas Southern 75-33.

Utah has one game remaining in the preseason before launching its inaugural Pac-12 campaign. Levrets said the Utes are doing now what they need to do to be ready for it.

They looked it from the beginning against the Aggies, who beat UC-Santa Barbara at home on Tuesday.

After opening the game with a 13-6 lead, the Utes went on a 20-5 tear to close the half. By then, Plouffe already had 17 points, a one-half career high. New Mexico State made just four field goals in the first half and shot 14.3 percent.

"I?m really pleased with where we are defensively," Levrets said. "I think it will give us a chance against anybody we play against on any given night, especially up here at the Huntsman Center."

Forward Taryn Wicijowski scored 12 points in 20 minutes, while Rachel Messer added 11 points.

Utah Valley 72, Weber State 65 ? At Ogden, Sammie Jensen scored 18 points as the visiting Wolverines (6-5) made 55.8 percent of their shots while holding the Wildcats (2-11) to just 33.8 percent from the field.


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