Sun Devil WBB upsets No. 19 Oregon, 55-49
TEMPE, Ariz. – Jade Loville (16 points), Ayzhiana Basallo (10 points, game-high six assists) and Taya Hanson (nine points, seven rebounds) combined for 35 points and were among several players who contributed to an outstanding defensive effort in the Sun Devil women's basketball team's 55-49 upset of No. 19 Oregon on Sunday.
Sunday's game was the fourth in a seven-game stretch in which the Sun Devils are playing against teams in the top third of the Pac-12 standings. After dropping games to No. 2 Stanford on January 28 and Oregon – the same Oregon team it faced on Sunday –on Tuesday, the Sun Devils (11-8, 3-3 Pac-12) responded with a pair hard-fought wins over Oregon State, 67-57 on Friday and Sunday's triumph over the Ducks.
ASU's defense allowed the Ducks to make only 34 percent of their shots. ASU's pressure on the defensive end paid dividends on the offensive end as the game wore on. Over the last 25 minutes of the game ASU outscored Oregon 42-30.
Hanson (career high-tying seven rebounds), Mael Gilles (six rebounds), Maggie Besselink (six rebounds), who returned to action after missing Friday's game, and Katelyn Levings (six rebounds) did the hard work on the boards in helping ASU match the Ducks in rebounds, 41-41, despite Oregon's size advantage in the front court.
Although the Sun Devils trailed 15-6 one minute into the second quarter, the Ducks (14-7, 7-3) looked nothing like the team that came in averaging 73.6 points per game. Besselink (four points), Hanson and Loville (three points each) accounted for 10 of ASU's 14 points in the second frame. Combined with its play on the defensive end, the Sun Devils cut Oregon's lead to 23-20 at the half.
The low scoring first half barely told the full story, as ASU dug down deep defensively, holding the Ducks to just 30 percent shooting from the field while Besselink put up six points, and five rebounds.
Loville, who scored 19 of her 33 points in the second half of Friday's win over Oregon State, once again stepped up in the final 20 minutes on Sunday. Loville (12 points), Basallo (seven points) and Hanson (six points) were responsible for 25 of ASU's 39 points in the second half.
ASU outscored Oregon 21-15 in the third quarter. It asserted its defensive presence, and held six-foot-seven Oregon center Sedona Prince and forward Nyara Sabally to just two points each. Inversely, Basallo led the Devils with seven points and three assists giving them a lead they would never again relinquish.
The fourth quarter was not without its tense moments. After the Ducks pulled within three, 49-46, with 3:27 remaining, the game remained a one-possession contest until Levings' two free throws extended ASU's lead to 54-49 with 25 seconds remaining.
The Ducks would get no closer as ASU secured its second Top 25 win of the season.
ASU returns to action on Friday (7 p.m. MST) when it hosts No. 8 Arizona in the first of back-to-back games against the Wildcats.