Late-game heroics lead No. 19 ASU women’s hoops to weekend sweep

After splitting its first Pac-12 weekend series against the Washington schools, the No. 19 ASU women’s basketball team came up big like they have all season, by winning close games.

The Sun Devils (14-2, 3-1 Pac-12) took down USC, 94-86, in overtime on Friday night, and then held on for a two-point victory over UCLA on Sunday afternoon.

Senior guard Adrianne Thomas led the weekend in points, scoring 29 points in the two games for ASU, including a 3-pointer with under a minute go that gave ASU the lead for good Sunday afternoon.

Coach Charli Turner Thorne has been impressed with her team’s performance so far this season.

“I love our team’s toughness,” Turner Thorne said. “The seniors, (redshirt center) Joy (Burke) and (guard) Promise (Amukamara) … just stepped up down the stretch and hit some shots.”

ASU will take the win, but the team recognizes that it was lucky to escape with wins in both games.

Senior guard Deja Mann said she is glad to have experience winning the ugly ones.

“We can win in different ways,” Mann said. “It’s good to be able to win ugly, and it’s good to be able to score a lot of points, too.”

“We played really poorly,” Turner Thorne said. “We have been scoring the ball very well, easily. We usually make our free throws, and we should’ve put that game away easily.”

The reserves provided a big spark off the bench, outscoring USC’s bench, 32-23, and UCLA’s, 20-4. Big play by the bench proved to be the difference in both games, especially with the absence of freshman forward Kelsey Moos in the game against UCLA.

With Moos out, Burke and freshman forward Sophie Brunner combined for 20 points and 18 rebounds to pick up the slack for their ill teammate.

According to Turner Thorne, Moos received IVs over the weekend due to a virus. Moos wanted to play on Sunday, but early on it was evident to the coaching staff she wasn’t healthy enough to play the full game.

In both games, the Sun Devils let leads slip away but found a way to come out on top and keep rolling along.

The Sun Devils head into their toughest weekend of the season thus far, where they will go up against No. 15 California on Friday at 11 a.m. ASU then hosts No. 4 Stanford on Monday at Wells Fargo Arena.

 

Reach the reporter at mtonis@asu.edu or follow on Twitter @Tonis_The_Tiger