Second-half scoring blitz, Gilles’ double-double not enough in Sun Devil WBB’s loss to No. 6 Baylor
CANCUN, Mexico – The Sun Devil women's basketball team's comeback and upset bid came up short in a 62-52 loss to No. 6 Baylor on the second day of the Cancun Challenge.
Mael Gilles posted her first double-double (10 points, game-high 14 rebounds) in an ASU uniform, scoring eight points and grabbing 10 rebounds during a second half that included a 21-7 run by the Sun Devils (2-4) that allowed them to get within eight after trailing by as many as 22 in the final minute of the third quarter.
Baylor (5-1) doubled up the Sun Devils in points in the paint (36-18) and scored as many points from the free throw line (18-24) as ASU had free throw attempts for the game (13-18).
Jaddan Simmons (nine points), Maggie Besselink (eight points, six rebounds) and Ayzhiana Basallo (six points) combined for 23 points for the Sun Devils, who held the Bears to season lows in points (62), field goal percentage (36.8), 3-point FGs (2) and had an opponent season-high six blocked shots led by Simmons and Katelyn Levings who had two apiece.
"We are a work in progress," ASU head coach Charli Turner Thorne said. "I thought it was a better effort (than Wednesday's loss vs. Houston). We need to be smarter. Every team in our conference has talent like (Baylor). We were just very undisciplined with the fouling.
"And then our offense… In the fourth quarter we got wide open layups by just moving off each other and playing. I'm very excited for when we get to the point when we have the discipline as team to run our offense correctly every single possession because when we do that we are going to score."
Gilles, who has averaged 10.3 rebounds in ASU's last three games, also led ASU with two steals. For as much as she did, Gilles was limited to just over 24 minutes after picking up her fourth foul in the third quarter.
"She was fantastic (and) she left it all out on the floor," Turner Thorne said of Gilles' play. "She is the one person on our team who is playing with urgency consistently. She brings people along and we need other people playing that hard and that consistently."
Down by 22 in the final minute of the third quarter Gabriela Bosquez (layup) and Jade Loville (3-point play) combined to help ASU cut Baylor's lead to 18 going into the fourth quarter.
After Baylor went back up by 20, Besselink (layup) and Taya Hanson (3-pointer) scored five straight to get the Sun Devils within 15 points.
Following another Baylor field goal, Gilles (four points), Hanson (two points) and Simmons (two points) accounted for the game's next eight points to cut the deficit to single-digits, 53-44 with just under five minutes left.
Loville got ASU even closer after her jumper made it an eight-point game, 55-47 with 2:33 remaining.
A 3-pointer by the Bears with just over a minute remaining put the game out of reach as the Sun Devils got no closer than eight points in the final 50 seconds.
The Sun Devils were once again without Jayde Van Hyfte, one of their top post performers. Van Hyfte, who started every game in 2019-20, has not played since last season's season opener.
Hanson's 3-pointer in the fourth quarter was the 117th of her career and pulled her into a tie for eighth place (Reili Richardson/2017-20 and Amanda Levens/2000-02) on ASU's all-time career list.
Friday's game was the second of three the Sun Devils are playing in as many days. They will close out play at the Cancun Challenge tomorrow vs. Fordham (9 am MST/11 am EST). The game can be seen via live stream for a fee on FloHoops.com. It can also be heard on KDUS AM 1060. Pregame coverage will at 8:30 am MST.