Perez scores 21, helps Arizona State end skid with 85-77 win over Utah

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Jose Perez scored 21 points and hit big shots down the stretch to help Arizona State end a five-game losing streak with an 85-77 victory over Utah on Saturday night.

Perez made 7 of 11 shots, including both of his 3-point attempts and all five of his free throws for the Sun Devils (12-12, 6-7 Pac-12 Conference). Arizona State scored a season high in beating the Utes (15-9, 6-7) for a fifth straight time and for the seventh time in the last eight matchups.

Jamiya Neal finished with 17 points and eight rebounds for Arizona State. Adam Miller scored 16 off the bench on 7-for-11 shooting with two 3-pointers. Frankie Collins pitched in with 13 points, six assists, four rebounds and three steals.

Branden Carlson paced Utah with 27 points and 11 rebounds for his third double-double of the season. Cole Bajema scored 12, while Gabe Madsen contributed 11 points and six assists. Keba Keita had 10 points and seven boards.

Carlson had 15 points to help Utah take a 42-40 lead at halftime. Neal and Miller both scored eight to keep the Sun Devils close.

Arizona State took the lead on two free throws by Perez. Collins followed with a layup and a 3-pointer and Miller capped a 9-0 run with a layup that left the Sun Devils leading 53-45 with 16 minutes left to play. They never trailed again.

Perez hit two free throws and two baskets in a personal 6-0 run to push Arizona State's advantage to 69-59 with eight minutes remaining. Bajema hit a 3-pointer to pull the Utes within 75-71 at the 2:48 mark, but Perez followed with a 3-pointer and the Sun Devils maintained a two-possession lead down the stretch.

Utah won its first 12 home games of the season before falling to No. 8 Arizona 105-99 in triple overtime on Thursday.

Arizona State returns home to host Oregon State on Wednesday. Utah travels to play Southern Cal on Thursday.


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