Hanson ties school record with seven triples in @SunDevilWBB’s win over California
TEMPE, Ariz. – Taya Hanson tied a school record with seven 3-pointers and for the third time in as many games the Sun Devil women's basketball team rallied from a double-digit deficit to defeat California 56-53 on Friday.
The Sun Devils (7-2, 3-2 Pac-12) started three freshmen – Jaddan Simmons, Katelyn Levings and Maggie Besselink (first career start) – against the Golden Bears (0-8, 0-5). Already missing two starters – junior post Jayde Van Hyfte is out for the season and junior guard Iris Mbulito has not played since ASU's 63-59 loss to then-No. 9 UCLA on Dec. 6 – the Sun Devils were also without starting sophomore post Eboni Walker and senior post Bre'yanna Sanders, one of the team's top performers off the bench.
All of Hanson's career-high 21 points came via the long ball as she tied the single-game record also held by former Sun Devils Courtney Ekmark (vs. Arkansas, Dec. 21, 2017), Briann January (at UC Davis, Dec. 3, 2008), Ryneldi Becenti (vs. Washington State, Feb. 13, 1993) and Crystal Cobb (vs. Oregon, Feb. 2, 1991). Hanson, who also tied a career-high with three steals, scored 12 of her points in the second half.
Levings nearly accounted for a double-double (eight points, game- and career-high eight rebounds) while Simmons added nine points (all in the second half) and added a career-high seven assists. Jamie Loera tied Hanson for the team lead with a career-high three steals.
As a team, ASU had a season-high 18 assists. The Sun Devils also had 18 turnovers, with 13 of the miscues coming in the first half.
Imogen Greenslade (six rebounds) and Besselink (five rebounds) joined Levings as ASU's top rebounders in helping the Sun Devils come out plus-three on the boards.
The Sun Devils struggled in the first half as they trailed by seven after one quarter and 28-19 at the half. Hanson was responsible for nearly half of ASU's point total after scoring nine points over the first 20 minutes.
After Cal took its largest lead of the game (32-21) less than two minutes into the second half, the Sun Devils came alive on both ends of the floor, outscoring the Bears 17-4 to take a 38-36 lead after Simmons' jumper with 1:29 left in the third quarter.
Trailing 41-40 after three quarters, the Sun Devils started the final frame with a 10-0 run to take their biggest lead of the game after Levings' jumper made the count 50-41.
Cal countered with a 12-4 run to make it a one-point game with 41 seconds left. The Bears got a stop on the opposite end and had a chance to win it in the closing seconds but the Sun Devils forced an errant shot.
Simmons added two free throws to pad ASU's lead to 56-53 and Cal's desperation attempt to tie the game at the buzzer fell well short of its target.
After shooting 24 percent in the first half, ASU more than doubled its shooting percentage in the second half (50.0 percent/13-26).
Friday's game, ASU's first contest since Dec. 18, was delayed 3.5 hours from its original start time of 3 p.m. out of precaution due to COVID-19 safety guidelines.
The Sun Devils return to action on Sunday when they host top-ranked Stanford at 4 p.m. MST. The game can be seen on Pac-12 Network/Arizona/Bay Arena and heard on KDUS AM 1060.