Every time that the No. 15 ASU women’s basketball team has been counted out this season, it has found a way to come back.
That was no different Friday night at Wells Fargo Arena as the Sun Devils (18-3, 7-2 Pac-12) found a way to beat Oregon State, 64-62.
Trailing by as many as 13 points, ASU kept bouncing back from deficits to beat the Beavers (12-9, 4-5 Pac-12) in the final minute. Thirteen points is the largest deficit the Sun Devils have come back from to win a game this season.
With the win, ASU moves to 10-0 in games decided by five points or fewer or in overtime.
The win is also the Sun Devils’ third in a row, all coming by three points or fewer.
The Sun Devils got off to a very rocky start defensively.
“We weren’t defending anybody for the first 12 minutes of that game,” coach Charli Turner Thorne said. “We had two people committing to the ball who weren’t stopping the ball, then we had everybody else sucked in because they were worried. They did everything we expected and we just didn’t do a good enough job defending it.”
ASU was able to respond as the game went along, limiting Oregon State to just 21 points on 39.1 percent shooting in the second half, compared to 41 points and 55.6 percent shooting in the first half for the Beavers.
Turner Thorne has her team prepared for the best shot from any of ASU’s opponents.
“I really believe that we’re getting every team’s best effort,” Turner Thorne said. “We just have to be better than it and be ready for it.”
At this point of the season, even the players are in awe that they have been able to win so many games in exciting fashion.
“I would definitely say it’s really unexpected,” senior forward Adrianne Thomas said. “I think our team has a strong head on its shoulders. When we do come down to these situations I don’t think anybody is really nervous because we have confidence in ourselves.”
Oregon State freshman forward Sydney Wiese scored just nine points and fouled out with 1:35 remaining and her team up by seven in her homecoming game. Wiese’s exit seemed to be the break that the Sun Devils needed to climb all the way back.
Once Wiese left the game, ASU outscored the Beavers 11-2 for the final 1:35 of the game to rewrite the ending.
Junior guard Promise Amukamara struggled from the field, shooting just 14 percent from the field, but grabbed four steals and made a free throw with 13.9 seconds remaining for what proved to be the game-winner.
Amukamara recorded all four of her steals in the second half, including the one with 18 seconds left that led to her winning free throw.
“I’ve been doing really well over the last two games, so I was just trying to continue on that,” Amukamara said. “All I was thinking about was making a stop and keeping the play in front of me.”
Thomas made it clear after the game that close endings aren’t necessarily in the script for the Sun Devils.
“We don’t try to do this,” Thomas said. “It just happens to go this way.”
The Sun Devils will next take the court at Wells Fargo Arena on Sunday afternoon against the Oregon Ducks.
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