Women’s hoops wins 59-58, sweep UA after thriller

Redshirt senior forward Janae Fulcher throws up a hook shot against UA on Feb. 24. The ASU women's basketball finished off a season sweep of the Wildcats Sunday. (Photo by Ana Ramirez)

Redshirt senior forward Janae Fulcher throws up a hook shot against UA on Feb. 24. The ASU women’s basketball finished off a season sweep of the Wildcats Sunday. (Photo by Ana Ramirez)

The ASU women’s basketball team found a way to win once again versus its state rivals in crunch time.

The game came down to its last offensive possession when junior guard Adrianne Thomas penetrated the UA (12-15, 4-12) zone defense and kicked it out to freshmen Haley Videckis, who hit a game-winning 3-pointer from the left wing with 22 seconds left.

The fans at Wells Fargo erupted and Videckis lifted her arms up in celebration.

She leads ASU in 3-pointers made with 26 and didn’t hesitate when shooting the last basket.

“They left me really open, so I knew I had to take the shot,” Videckis said. “This means so much more, ’cause I’ve never had to put in so much work with a team to get such an important win for our school, and our fans and our team.”

She finished with 13 points.

ASU managed a defensive stop at the end of the game to seal the deal. The defensive pressure was too much for UA, who got off two unclean looks inside before ASU came up with the loose ball.

The Sun Devils didn’t do anything particularly excellent, but didn’t struggle with anything either. What they did do was come out with a win in a rather familiar way.

“That was kind of vintage Sun Devil. We didn’t shoot well, we got outrebounded, we didn’t make our free throws and we found a way to win,” coach Charli Turner Thorne said. “Through my career here at ASU, we honestly have won a lot of games that way. They’ve really been learning to find ways to win.”

The Sun Devils shot 38 percent from the field compared to 42 percent by UA. UA grabbed two more rebounds than ASU and shot 30 percent better from the free throw line.

The Sun Devils found a way to win during the game’s last three minutes.

In that span, they forced UA to miss four shots and commit three turnovers.

The defense played UA junior guard Davellyn Whyte tough the entire game. Whyte scored a season-high 31 points last meeting but only had 18 points on only 5-14 shooting Sunday.

“Defense was a lot better than it was Tuesday night,” junior center Joy Burke said. “Mack (senior Micaela Pickens) and (sophomore) Promise (Amukamara) and the guards were so locked in and it was really a team focus to lock her down. I credit out guards for working so hard.”

This young Sun Devil squad accomplished sweeping their rivals during this down year.

“With my young team that makes you a little nervous,” Turner Thorne said. “I thought they were fired up and took it to heart.”

And looking at past losses that have slipped away in close games, the Sun Devils climbed over a hump in this victory.

“Certainly we’ve had problems closing out games this year and this week we really grew a lot,” Turner Thorne said.

 

 

Reach the reporter at gdemano@asu.edu