ASU women’s basketball led by 17 early in the first quarter, but after Utah took the lead with 22 seconds left, Jamie Ruden was there for the rescue.
Arizona State seemed to be on their way to a comfortable win Sunday afternoon after setting a school record with 34 points in the first quarter and leading Utah by 15.
However, that was not the case.
Utah stormed back and tied the game with 1:11 remaining, but that is when forward Jamie Ruden was called into action.
After an Arizona State timeout, Ruden scored a three-pointer from the top of the key to give ASU an 80-77 lead with 43 seconds remaining.
Utah did not quit as guard Tilar Clark and forward Megan Huff made two free throws each to put the Utes ahead 81-80.
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Again, out of a timeout, Ruden scored a clutch basket as she converted a layup inside the paint to put the Sun Devils ahead 82-81 with 11 seconds remaining.
After a Utah timeout, forward Sophia Elenga stole the inbounds and took it down the court where she was fouled.
Elenga made one of two free throws giving the Utes a chance to win the game with four seconds remaining, but Utes guard Erika Bean missed a three-pointer at the buzzer.
The Sun Devils held on for an 83-81 win over Utah to improve to 11-3 and 2-0 in Pac-12 play as Ruden scored five points in the final minute of regulation.
Forward Kianna Ibis had the best game of her career scoring a career-high 30 points on 13-of-20 shooting.
Ibis’ previous career-high was 20 points against Colgate back on Nov. 19.
Arizona State started the game scoring at will as they scored 34 points, most ever scored in a quarter, as the Sun Devils shot 14-of-18 from the field.
The Sun Devils then saw Utah get on a hot streak of their own outscoring the Sun Devils 62-49 in the final three quarters.
In the end, Arizona State’s record-breaking first quarter was enough for the Sun Devils as Ibis and guard Robbi Ryan (14 points) scored in double-digits with guard Reili Richardson and forwards Courtney Ekmark, Ruden and Elenga all scoring nine points a piece.
For Utah their best player, Emily Potter, was quiet after early foul trouble as she just scored two points on 1-of-3 shooting.
The Utes finished the day with five players in double-digits as Huff led the team with 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting. Joining Huff was forward Daneesha Provo (18 points), Bean (13 points) with Clark and forward Tanaeya Boclair each scoring 12 points.
This was a crucial win for the Sun Devils as the toughest part of their schedule is on the horizon. Arizona State will host No. 20 Cal and Stanford next weekend before heading to Oregon to face the 17th-ranked Beavers and the 10th-ranked Ducks the following week.