Women's Basketball Falls 71-65 to USC in Pac-12 Tournament
LAS VEGAS – Despite the first double-double of freshman Maggie Besselink's career and a second consecutive five 3-pointer outing by junior Taya Hanson, the Sun Devil women's basketball team fell 71-65 to USC in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament Wednesday afternoon in Las Vegas at Michelob ULTRA Arena.
After tying the team's single-game high for rebounds this season (13) in Sunday's win over then-No. 9 Arizona, Besselink had another strong outing on Wednesday, scoring a career-high 13 points to go with 10 boards. Hanson, who now has 10 triples in ASU's last two games, scored all 15 of her points on Wednesday via the long ball.
Eboni Walker also reached double figures in scoring with 11 points. Jaddan Simmons just missed her 13th double-digit scoring game with nine points while also leading the team in both assists (5) and steals (3). Hanson (12 points), Walker (nine points), Simmons (seven points) combined for 28 of ASU's 43 points in the second half, the most by the Sun Devils in a half this season.
The Sun Devils (11-10) who fell behind by as many as 21 points, did not stop fighting despite facing a double-digit deficit for much of the second half. ASU could not take advantage of a 20-1 difference in offensive rebounds, as the Sun Devils entered the game averaging more than15 per game (second in the Pac-12).
The Sun Devils were coming off their best performance of the season in a 68-66 OT win over then-No. 9 Arizona on Sunday as Hanson (team-high 19 points/13 in second half and OT) and freshman guard Jaddan Simmons (15 points/11 in second half and OT) combined for 34 points. ASU posted season highs in field goal percentage (46.7), 3-point field goal percentage (55.6) and tied a season high with 10 triples.
ASU entered game third in the Pac-12 in scoring defense, giving up only 57.6 ppg., but the Trojans shot 14-of-23 (.609) in the first half and never looked back.