Sun Devil WBB unable to complete comeback at No. 5 UCLA
LOS ANGELES – The Arizona State women's basketball team nearly matched its all-time greatest comeback against fifth-ranked UCLA on Friday night. Down by 18, the Sun Devils came back to take the lead, but came up short of completing the upset in a 60-57 decision.
Ten players scored for the Sun Devils (8-5, 4-5 Pac-12), who were playing for just the fifth time in 42 days and had important contributors missing from each of their last four contests due to COVID-19 protocol.
The quartet of Taya Hanson (12 points), Jaddan Simmons (nine points), Gabriela Bosquez (eight points) and Imogen Greenslade (seven points) combined for 36 points.
Greenslade (career-high nine rebounds), Iris Mbulito (five points, career-high-tying seven rebounds) and Maggie Besselink (six rebounds) helped the Sun Devils outrebound the Bruins 41-37.
UCLA was led by Charisma Osborne, who scored 13 of her game-high 27 points in the fourth quarter to save the Bruins from the upset. Outside of Osborne (8-16 FGs), the rest of UCLA's squad combined to shoot 25 percent from the floor.
The Sun Devils were their own worst enemy in the first half when they committed 15 of their 20 turnovers in the game. The Bruins scored 14 points off of ASU's miscues to lead by as many as 18 in the second quarter.
Hanson (2-4 FGs, five points), Simmons (2-3 FGs, four points), Mbulito (2-4 FGs, four points) combined to shoot 55 percent in the third quarter and scored 13 of ASU's 19 points in the frame. Hanson's jumper with 1:59 remaining capped an 19-5 run and gave the Sun Devils a 40-38 lead.
Osborne scored UCLA's first nine points of the final quarter via the long ball, the last of which gave the Bruins a 49-46 lead. The Sun Devils stayed in striking distance throughout the quarter and got within two after Hanson made two free throws with 43 seconds remaining.
With ASU down by five, Hanson hit her second triple of the game to once again get ASU within two with 20 seconds remaining.
After the Bruins made one of two free throws, the Sun Devils had a chance to tie it and send the game to overtime but Hanson's attempt missed its mark.
The Sun Devils found themselves in a 19-6 hole after the first 10 minutes of play. After scoring five of the game's first seven points, the Sun Devils found themselves on the wrong end of a 17-1 run over the last 7:34 of the quarter.
It would get worse before it got better for the Sun Devils after UCLA open the second frame with a 7-1 run to take a 26-8 lead. Gabriela Bosquez would make sure the game would not get any further away from ASU as the junior guard came off the bench and provided the spark the team was looking for as she scored eight straight points in the span of 1:14 to help ASU get within 11, 27-16.
A 6-0 run by the Bruins increased their lead back to 17, but the Sun Devils would counter by scoring the last five points – two free throws by Maggie Besselink and three free throws by Greenslade – of the quarter to cut UCLA's lead to 12 points – 33-21 – at the half.
The Sun Devils close out their road trip to Los Angeles on Sunday (1 p.m. PST/2 p.m. MST) when they play at USC. The game can be seen via USC Live Stream and heard on KDUS AM 1060.