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Sun Devil WBB uses dominant second half in 70-54 win over Lipscomb

Dec 30, 2021

TEMPE, Ariz. – What was a four-point lead at the half ballooned to a double-digit advantage in the final two quarters of the Sun Devil women's basketball team's 70-54 triumph over the visiting Lipscomb Bisons on Thursday at the Weatherup Center.

Clinging to a 34-30 at the break, the Sun Devils (8-5) responded with a dominant third frame, in which they ripped off 20 points while holding the Bisons (5-8) to five points, tied for the fewest points they've allowed in a quarter all season.

Jade Loville paced the ASU offense with 19 points on 8-of-14 shooting, connecting on 3-of-4 from beyond the arc. Jaddan Simmons (career high-tying three triples) added 12 of her own, and Taya Hanson chimed in with 11.

ASU was without Mael Gilles, the team's leading rebounder and second-highest scorer, and continued to be without sophomore post Maggie Besselink and junior guard Isadora Sousa.  

Loville, the team's leading scorer, has now tallied double-digit points in five straight games. During that stretch, Loville has averaged 21.3 ppg and has connected on 55 percent (41-74) of her FGs, 71 percent (12-17) of her 3FGs and 81 percent (13-16) of her free throws.

The Sun Devils entered the contest averaging 6.3 threes per game and canned 11 versus the Bisons on 40.7 percent shooting (11-27). They also outrebounded Lipscomb, 36-25, and received 20 points from their bench. Ayzhiana Basallo led ASU's reserves with nine points.

Thursday's contest was, at one point, a one-possession game, when the Bisons trimmed it to 34-32 in the early third quarter. Before Lipscomb was mired in its second-half shooting woes, its offense was shooting 69 percent from the floor midway through the second quarter. A clutch three-pointer in the waning seconds of the first half clipped the Sun Devil lead to just four.

Charli Turner Thorne's stout defense buckled down on the Bisons in the final two frames, allowing just 24 second-half points (third-fewest the Sun Devils have allowed in the final 20 minutes this season) as the Sun Devil offense settled into a groove on the other end of the floor.

The Sun Devils were originally scheduled to open Pac-12 play this weekend at UCLA (Dec. 31) and at USC (Jan. 2). The first ever meeting between ASU and Lipscomb was agreed to earlier this week after both schools were left without dancing partners due to Covid-19 protocols that prevented their upcoming opponents – UCLA (ASU) and Cincinnati (Lipscomb) – from playing their originally scheduled contests. On Dec. 29, it was announced the second half of ASU's trip to the City of Angles would not be happening this weekend, either.   
The Sun Devils, who won for the sixth time in seven games on Thursday, will now look to start the Pac-12 campaign next week when it hosts Washington (Friday at 11 a.m. MST) and Washington State (Sunday at 12 p.m. MST).