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Game notes for Sun Devil WBB’s Pac-12 Tournament opener vs. Oregon State

Mar 1, 2022

THE GAME: Sun Devil WBB (12-13, 4-9 Pac-12 - #9 seed) vs. Oregon State (13-12, 6-9 Pac-12 - #8 seed)
WHEN: Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. PST/3:30 p.m. MST
WHERE: Michelob ULTRA Arena • Las Vegas
WATCH: Pac-12 Network, Arizona, Oregon (Ann Schatz, Tammy Blackburn) 
LISTENKDUS AM 1060 (Jeff Munn) 
LIVE STATS: Click here

The Sun Devil women's basketball team (12-13, 4-9 Pac-12/#9 seed) opens postseason play on Wednesday (2:30 p.m. PST/3:30 p.m. MST) when it faces Oregon State (13-12, 6-9 Pac-12/#8 seed) in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament taking place at Michelob ULTRA Arena (Mandalay Bay Events Center) in Las Vegas.
For the second straight season, ASU's ability to consistently compete in conference play was impacted by the starts and stops caused by COVID-19. ASU was the last team to start league played after having its first six Pac-12 contests postponed due to COVID-19 protocols. The Sun Devils would go on to play the second-fewest number of conference games (12) of any team in the league.
As any team in the Pac-12 can attest to, navigating the path to a successful season can be a complicated endeavor when playing in the strongest conference – from top to bottom – in the country. Part and parcel of this for any team is being able to manage all the ups and downs that are inevitable for just about every team.
ASU's 'ups' have included a 57-52 overtime upset of then-No. 22 Colorado in the Sun Devils' Pac-12 'opener' on Jan. 21 and a three game-winning streak in early February that proved the Sun Devils were capable of competing with the nation's best: a 67-57 win over an underrated and talented Oregon State squad (Feb. 4), a 55-49 win over then-No. 19 Oregon (Feb. 6) and an 81-77 upset of then-No. 6 Arizona on Feb. 11.
What followed ASU's brilliant winning streak only reinforced how blurry the line can be when trying to separate teams in the conference as the Sun Devils would go on to lose their last five games of the season. The slide started with what most would have considered – if there is such a thing – as an encouraging loss at Arizona, 62-58. The Sun Devils nearly swept the defending national finalist as they were tied with the Wildcats at 57-57 with 1:33 remaining.
ASU would be credited with three losses the following week, two of them decided on the court as ASU had to take a forfeit for a game it did not play at Cal (Feb. 16). ASU was snakebitten in the two games it did play on its road trip to Washington. At co-Pac-12 runner-up WSU (Feb. 18), ASU dropped a 65-58 decision in a game it trailed by two with 2:35 remaining and by three with 52 seconds remaining. Two days later at Washington – the same Washington team that nearly upset Pac-12 champion Stanford on the last day of the regular season – ASU was within a single point with 36 seconds remaining, only to come up short, 74-69.
The season would conclude with home losses to USC (60-58 on Feb. 24) and UCLA (59-52 on Feb. 26). Against USC, ASU was done in by a buzzer-beater. Down by five to UCLA with 4:09 remaining, ASU was unable to muster any additional offense as it missed its final eight shots and was not able to get to the free throw line.
Two important factors that played into ASU's last four losses were the loss of veteran post Jayde Van Hyfte (injured in final minutes in loss at WSU) and an injury to top reserve guard Gabriela Bosquez, who was having her best game of the season at Washington before being bitten by the injury bug late in the game. She would go on to miss ASU's game vs. USC.
• ASU's 67-57 win last month in Tempe was the first meeting between the two squads since February, 2020, as both contests in 2021 were canceled due to Covid-19.
• ASU has won 27 of the last 37 meetings, but the Beavers have gotten the better of it in recent years with wins in eight of the last 13 games.
• On the back end of the home-sand-home matchups in 2020, OSU's basket at the buzzer gave the Beavers a 64-62 win in Corvallis and snapped ASU's four-game winning streak in the series. The game that extended ASU's winning streak to four was the second of its consecutive wins over Top 5 teams as, two days after defeating No. 2 Oregon, ASU knocked off No. 3 OSU 55-47. ASU's win prevented the Beavers from becoming the No. 1 team in the poll the following day.  
• ASU's 57-51 win in the 2018 Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinals snapped OSU's streak of seven straight wins. In 2018-19, ASU swept Oregon State for the first time since 2011 and became the first Pac-12 team to accomplish the feat since 2013. 
Sun Devil women's basketball players Jade Loville and Mael Gilles were recognized by the Pac-12 on Tuesday as the conference announced its annual awards for the 2021-22 season as voted on by the league's head coaches.
Loville, who transferred to ASU last year from Boise State where she was an All-Mountain West selection last season, was named to the 15-member All-Pac-12 Team in her first year as a Sun Devil. Gilles, a graduate transfer from Rutgers, earned Pac-12 All-Defense honorable mention recognition.
In conference games, Loville led the Pac-12 in scoring (18.64 ppg) and finished third in the league in scoring for all games (16.92). Loville's 34 points at San Diego (Dec. 18) represented the highest single-game total by a player in the Pac-12 this season. Her 33 points vs. Oregon State (Feb. 4) tied for the highest single-game point total in Pac-12 competition. Loville finished fourth in the Pac-12 (all games) in 3-point FG percentage (43.7) and 10th (all games) in free throw percentage (75.9). Loville, who produced nine efforts in which she scored 20 or more points, scored in double figures in 17 of 23 games, including 13 times in the last 15 games. 
Gilles played a major role in helping ASU allow 55 or fewer points 10 times this season. Gilles' tremendous versatility enabled her to finish among the top 10 in the Pac-12 in rebounding (fourth/7.67 rpg), steals (fifth/1.83 spg), offensive rebounds (fifth/2.54 rpg), defensive rebounds (sixth/5.13 rpg) and blocks (eighth/1.21 bpg). She posted five double-doubles and just missed the feat three other times. In ASU's three wins over ranked teams – No. 22 Colorado, No. 19 Oregon, No. 6 Arizona – Gilles nearly averaged a double-double (10.3 ppg/9.0 rpg). Gilles, who scored in double figures 10 times grabbed 10 or more rebounds 7 times, scored career-high 19 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in ASU's upset of No. 6 Arizona (Feb. 11). Followed that with 15-point performance (6-10 FGs) in the rematch in in Tucson (Feb. 13).
• Through games played Feb. 28, ASU has an NCAA Net ranking of 45, one of seven Pac-12 teams in the Top 50 (Stanford - 3, Oregon - 12, Arizona - 17, Utah - 27, Colorado - 29, UCLA - 41). Of those teams, ASU has wins over Colorado, Oregon State, Oregon and Arizona.
• ASU has advanced to the championship game of the Pac-12 Tournament three times (2002, 2005 and 2007). It won the inaugural Pac-10 Tournament title in 2002, upsetting No. 2 Stanford 70-63 in the championship game. 
• ASU also played in the championship game in 2005 (Stanford won 56-42) and again in 2007 (Stanford won 62-55).
• As of Mar. 1, ASU is ranked among the top third in the Pac-12 in offensive rebounds (3rd/13.12– rpg) and scoring defense (4th/59.92 ppg).
• During the Fall 2021 semester, ASU had a team GPA of 3.73.
• In its last four games, ASU has averaged only 12.0 turnovers.
• In ASU's 3 wins over ranked teams – No. 22 Colorado, No. 19 Oregon, No. 6 Arizona – Taya Hanson averaged 15.5 ppg while shooting 43 pct from long range (6-14). In those same games, Mael Gilles nearly averaged a double-double (10.3 ppg/9.0 rpg).
• The team's active career leader in 3-pointers (139/3rd place on ASU's all-time list), Hanson needs 22 triples to tie Kylan Loney (161/2001-05) for 2nd place. The top spot is held by Katie Hempen (185/2014-16).
• Four players have led or tied for the team lead in scoring this season – Loville (12x), Simmons (6x), Hanson (4x), Gilles (4x), Levings (1x). 
• Defensively, ASU has given up 55 or fewer points 10x. In its 57-52 OT win over Colorado (Jan. 21), ASU held CU nearly 18 points below its scoring average. CU's 52 points tied its lowest point total of the season. It needed the 5 additional minutes in OT to reach that as the Buffaloes had 46 points in regulation. ASU held Oregon more than 24 points below its average in 55-49 upset of the No. 19 Ducks (Feb. 6).
• ASU has allowed 13 or fewer points in a quarter 42x this season. 
• Two Sun Devils have started every game: Jaddan Simmons and Taya Hanson – both returning starters from last season's squad.
• Transfers Jade Loville (Boise State) and Mael Gilles (graduate transfer from Rutgers) have started all 24 games they have played in.
• Maggie Besselink started first 7 games before getting injured. Jayde Van Hyfte, returning from surgery last year, started the next 15 games before sustaining an injury late in the game at WSU (Feb. 18).
• Jade Loville: Has scored 20 or more points 9x this year and currently leads ASU in scoring (16.9 ppg/3rd in Pac-12), 3-pointers (38), FG pct (43.3) and 3-point FG pct. (43.7/4th in Pac-12) and is 2nd in FTs made (66) and attempted (87). On Dec. 18, Loville became the fourth Sun Devil to score 30 or more points since 2000, as the 2021 All-Mountain West honoree dropped 34 points (most in the Pac-12 as of Feb. 25) in ASU's win over San Diego (Dec. 18). She repeated the feat by accounting for 19 of her game-high 33 points (tied for 2nd-highest total in the Pac-12 this season) in the second half of ASU's win over Oregon State (Feb. 4). Loville scored an opponent game-high 27 points in ASU's upset of No. 6 Arizona (Feb. 11). DNP for precautionary reasons in ASU's contest vs. Colorado (Jan. 21).
• Jaddan Simmons: Leads ASU in  FTs made (73) and attempted (101) and is 2nd in assists (2.8 apg/13th in Pac-12) and steals (1.6 spg/11th in the Pac-12) and 4th in rebounds (3.4\5). Averaged 11.5 ppg in two games vs. Arizona including team-high 16 points at Arizona (Feb. 13). Simmons averaged 17.0 points while shooting 59 percent (16-27) from the floor, including 62.5 percent (5-8) 3FGs, in consecutive contests at Arizona, at Washington and at Washington State.
• Taya Hanson: Is 2nd on the team in 3FGs (28), tied 2nd in blocks (0.6 bpg), is 3rd in assists (2.2 apg) & steals (1.2 spg) and 5th in rebounds (3.4 rpg). Hanson scored 17 points in ASU's win over No. 22 Colorado (Jan. 21) and in its win over OSU (Feb. 4). She tied her career high in rebounds (7) in the win over Colorado and again in ASU's upset of No. 19 Oregon (Feb. 6). Hanson, who has made all 30 of her FTs in Pac-12 play, scored a season-high 19 points in upset of No. 6 Arizona (Feb. 11).
• Mael Gilles: Currently paces the team in assists (2.92 apg/11th in Pac-12), rebs (7.67 rpg/4th in the Pac-12), offensive rebs (2.6 rpg/5th in Pac-12), steals (1.83 spg/5th in Pac-12) and blocks (1.2 bpg/8th in Pac-12) and is 2nd in scoring (9.8 ppg). Gilles has five double-doubles and has just missed the feat three other times. She has scored in double figures 10x – including career-high 19 points (10-of-10 FTs) in upset of No. 6 Arizona (Feb. 11) – and has grabbed 10 or more rebs 7x. Followed that with 15-point performance (6-10 FGs) in the rematch in in Tucson (Feb. 13). DNP for precautionary reasons in ASU's contest vs. Lipscomb (Dec. 30).
• Jayde Van Hyfte: The only Sun Devil on last season's roster to start every game in 2019-20, made her 2021-22 debut in the season's eighth game after not having played since the 2020-21 season opener. She had started 15 straight games before getting injured late in ASU's game at WSU (Feb. 18)... Was shooting 64 percent for the season (21-33)... With ASU up by one point, took a charge in the final seconds of ASU's 81-77 win upset of No. 6 Arizona (Feb. 11).
• Maggie Besselink: After starting the first seven games, missed ASU's next six games due to injury. She returned to action vs. Colorado (Jan. 21) and played until missing ASU's contest vs. Oregon State (Feb. 4). Returned for ASU's rematch vs. Oregon (Feb. 6) but has not played since. In per-game averages, Besselink is 2nd on the team in rebounds (5.3 rpg) and offensive rebounds (2.3 rpg). Her career-high 15 rebounds vs. Minnesota (Nov. 12)  are the most by a Sun Devil this season. Besselink started 14/18 games last season and led ASU in rebounds (5.7 rpg/16th in the Pac-12).
• Ayzhiana Basallo: Is currently 2nd on the team in 3-point FG pct. (39.3), 3rd in 3-pointers (22) and 4th in assists (1.3 apg). She scored 7 of her 10 points in the 3rd quarter of ASU's win over No. 19 Oregon (Feb. 6). Is shooting 87 percent from the FT line (20-23). 
• Katelyn Levings: Has played in every game (four starts) and is tied for 2nd on the team in blocks (0.6 bpg), is 3rd in rebounds (3.8 rpg) and offensive rebounds (1.4 rpg) and is shooting 81 percent (13-16) from the free throw line... Starting in place of Jayde Van Hyfte, scored a career-high 14 points at UW (Feb. 20). Added a career-high 12 rebounds vs. USC (Feb. 24). 
• Gabriela Bosquez: Has played in all but one game (one start) and is 5th in assists/1.0 apg and steals (0.5 spg)... Tied her career high in scoring (9 points) before having to leave the game due to injury in 2nd half at UW (Feb. 20). DNP in following game vs. USC (Feb. 24).
• Sydney Erikstrup: Has played in every game and scored a career-high 8 points vs. Marist (Nov. 21). 
• Imogen Greenslade: Has played in every game is tied for 4th in blocks (0.4 bpg) and offensive rebounds (1.0 rpg) and is shooting 54.3 percent from the floor (25-46). She grabbed career-high 11 rebounds in ASU's win vs. Harvard).
• Isadora Sousa: Missed most of preseason training while healing from injury and has been limited to 6 games.
• Meg Newman: One of the most sought-after players in the country and ranked as the No. 33 overall player in the nation and No. 6 at her position by, Newman suffered a season-ending injury during preseason training. 
• The first month of the season was punctuated by a challenging schedule for a team not only getting used to playing with one another, but also adjusting to the personnel it did not have due to injuries. Freshman post Meg Newman – one of the nation's most sought after players and ranked No. 6 at her position by – was lost for the season after suffering a knee injury during preseason practices. In addition, Isadora Sousa, another exciting newcomer, missed most of preseason workouts due to injury.
• ASU opened the 2021-22 season splitting its first two contests, defeating Northern Colorado 71-41 (Nov. 9) before falling to Minnesota 66-59 in OT (Nov. 12). Loville (16.5 ppg) & Hanson (12.0 ppg) both averaged double figures in scoring in the two games. Gilles averaged 7.0 ppg, 5.0 rebs, 4.0 blocks and 3.0 steals. Besselink had a career-high 15 rebounds vs. Minnesota.
• Despite a strong defensive effort, ASU was not able to overcome shooting 30 percent in a 55-44 loss at BYU (Nov. 17).
• Coming off a 13 pct (3-24) outing from long range at BYU, ASU came within one 3-pointer of tying the single-game school record after hitting 13 in an 82-53 win over Marist (Nov. 21). Ten of its triples came during a first half in which it shot a blistering 59 pct from beyond the arc.
• ASU went 1-2 at the Cancun Challenge played on Thanksgiving weekend. ASU started the tourney with setbacks against Houston (68-60) & No. 6 Baylor 62-52. In both contests, the Sun Devils fought back to get within single digits after trailing by double-figures. In the final of the three games it played in three days, ASU defeated Fordham 58-43. The Sun Devils entered the game with a record of 2-4. The win over the Rams started a sequence in which the Sun Devils went 7-1 over their next eight games.
• ASU swept its home tournament, the ASU Classic, defeating UTSA (68-44) & Harvard (91-54) to extend its winning streak to three games. Loville (13.0 ppg), Gilles (11.0 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 4.0 apg, 2.5 spg) and Basallo (10.0 ppg, 3.0 apg) were ASU's top contributors. Gabriela Bosquez (career-high nine points) and Imogen Greenslade (career-high 11 rebounds) both had strong outings against Harvard.
• Despite a (then) career-high 18 points from Gilles, ASU had its three-game winning streak snapped at Creighton, 69-62 (Dec. 12). ASU shot 47 pct for the game, its third straight contest shooting 45 pct or higher. ASU doubled up Creighton in scoring (24-12) in the third quarter to take a five-point lead going the final frame. Creighton outscored ASU 28-16 over the last 10 minutes – the most points scored by an ASU opponent in a quarter this season – to come back and claim the win. 
• On Dec. 18, Loville became the 4th Sun Devil WBB player to score 30 or more points since 2000, as the 2021 All-Mountain West honoree dropped 34 points (most in the Pac-12 as of Feb. 19) in ASU's 79-60 win over San Diego.
• ASU was originally scheduled to open Pac-12 play with contests at UCLA (Dec. 31) & at USC (Jan. 2). On Dec. 24, it was announced the first half of ASU's road trip to Los Angeles had been postponed. ASU announced on Dec. 28 it reached an agreement to play Lipscomb on Dec. 30 in Tempe (ASU won 70-54). On Dec. 29, it was announced the second half of ASU's trip to the City of Angles would not be happening, either. ASU also had its next four contests – vs. UW and WSU, at UO and OSU – postponed.
• Coming off an unplanned period of just over three weeks without playing a game, ASU started Pac-12 play – the final Pac-12 team to start league play – with a 57-52 overtime upset of No. 22 Colorado (Jan. 21). It followed that with a 72-63 loss at home to Utah, a game in which ASU nearly came up with what would have been the second-largest comeback in NCAA Division I history. Trailing by 29 points with two minutes remaining in the second quarter, ASU fought back to get within six points with just over two minutes remaining.
• Playing for only the fourth time in 37 days, the Sun Devils fell at No. 2 and defending national champion Stanford 78-40 on Jan. 28. ASU was not able to play the second game it had scheduled while in the Bay Area after its game at Cal (Jan. 30) had to be postponed.
• In its first opportunity to make up one of its seven postponements, ASU came up on the wrong end of a 72-58 decision at No. 19 Oregon (Feb. 1). Gilles came through with one of her best all-around games of the season with team highs in points (15), rebounds (7) and assists (career high-tying 5 assists). Trailing by three points entering the fourth quarter, ASU was outscored 23-12 in the final 10 minutes.
• ASU entered its contest vs. third-place Oregon State (Feb. 4) having lost its last three games. The Sun Devils would respond to the challenge as Loville scored 19 of her game-high 33 points in the second half and Hanson knocked down 6 consecutive free throws with 17 seconds remaining to help ASU defeat the Beavers 67-57. ASU then evened the score with Oregon, upsetting the No. 19 Ducks 55-49 (Feb. 6). Loville scored 12 of her 16 points in the 2nd half and Basallo chipped in 7 of her 10 points in the 3rd quarter.
• ASU split its two games vs. No. 6 Arizona, winning 81-77 in Tempe (Feb. 11) and coming just short of pulling off the sweep, falling 62-58 in Tucson (Feb. 13). Loville (27 points, season high 8 rebounds), Hanson (season-high 19 points) and Gilles (career-high 19 points/10 rebounds) combined for 65 points in ASU's win in Tempe (Feb. 11). With the scored tied at 57-57 in the second game, Arizona scored five of the game's last six points to escape with an 62-58 win. Loville (17.5 ppg), Gilles (17.0 ppg) and Simmons (11.5 ppg), who led ASU with 16 points in the rematch, all averaged double figures in the two games.  
• ASU's makeup game at Cal (scheduled for Feb. 16) was supposed to be the second game of a sequence in which ASU would have been playing 4 road games in 8 days. ASU's flight to Oakland on Feb. 15 was aborted (mechanical issues with its aircraft.) While alternatives were explored to travel to the Bay Area and play the game, none were deemed to be in the best interest of the health and welfare of the student-athletes. Because ASU did not travel to California and play the game, the Pac-12 ruled ASU had to forfeit the game and take a loss in the conference standings.      
• Despite a pair of stellar offensive performances from Jade Loville (13 of 21 points in the 1st half) and Jaddan Simmons (career-high 22 points/19 in the 2nd half), ASU lost at Washington State 65-58 (Feb. 18). Missed opportunities prevented ASU from capturing the win as it spent much of the 4th quarter either tied or within one possession of the Cougars. Two days later at Washington, ASU, similar to its loss at WSU, was within a single possession for most of the last five minutes. It even managed to pull even with after Taya Hanson's 3-pointer knotted the score at 62-62 with 2:17 remaining. The outcome was in doubt until the final seconds when the Sun Devils were not able to hit a 3-pointer to force overtime. ASU continued to be without Maggie Besselink (has not played since Feb. 6 vs. Oregon) for both games and veteran post Jayde Van Hyfte did not play at UW after getting injured late in the game at WSU. In addition, Gabriela Bosquez, who was having one of the best games of her career on Sunday, was forced to leave the game in the second half due to injury.
• The season would conclude with home losses to USC (60-58 on Feb. 24) and UCLA (59-52 on Feb. 26). Against USC, ASU was done in by a buzzer-beater. Down by five to UCLA with 4:09 remaining, ASU was unable to muster any additional offense as it missed its final eight shots and was not able to get to the free throw line.