The Sun Devils showed their ability to compete at a high level once against No. 17 UCLA, but their flaws showed, and they couldn’t pull of a comeback
The ASU (13-16, 5-12 Pac-12) women’s basketball team was down by 11 points 12:45 minutes left in the second half.
ASU showed some fight and proceeded to go on an 18-9 run to cut the lead to 50-48 with four minutes to go.
The Sun Devil defense stepped and forced four turnovers during that span.
The Bruins (22-6, 13-4) then finished the game off on an 8-2 run to win the game 58-50.
“This was kind of the story of the season where we play enough to position ourselves, but we don’t close it out,” coach Charlie Turner Thorne said. “We just got to sustain things better and we didn’t.”
UCLA freshmen guard Kari Korver led all players with 17 points, including five 3-pointers.
Turner Thorne said UCLA’s key players, senior guard/forward Markel Walker and redshirt senior forward Jasmine Dixon made big plays when they needed them.
“That’s kind of the difference between the two teams. When one really needed to step up, Walker and Dixon came up and hit big shots,” Turner Thorne said. “We kind of left people too open, and when we needed to step up and make big plays, we didn’t.”
Both Walker and Dixon scored the last four points of the game with back-to-back jumpers that sealed the deal.
Walker finished with nine and Dixon with seven with a combined 5-14 shooting.
Seniors forward Janae Fulcher and guard Micaela Pickens scored in double figures for the Sun Devils. They had 11 and 10 respectively. Freshmen Haley Videckis also had 10.
A number that stands out was the 20 turnovers by ASU. UCLA had 20 as well.
The difference was that ASU turned the ball over five times in the last five minutes of the contest.
“We just need to keep our poise cause we work hard on defense and we need to get stops,” Videckis said. “When we convert (on defense), we just don’t finish and throw the ball away. I think its just going to come from relaxing and being confident throughout these games.”
ASU’s inconsistency rebounding the ball hurt them once again tonight.
UCLA grabbed 39 rebounds compared to just 30 for the Sun Devils.
This Sun Devil team has many lost many games that come down the wire this season. Their inexperience seemed to get to them once again.
“We get anxious,” Pickens said. “We want it that bad and then we have let downs.”
The last close game the Sun Devils pulled out was against USC. They play them in their final home game of the season this Sunday.
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