ASU women's basketball prevails over the Oregon State Beavers

The Sun Devils get the best of the Beavers in the quarterfinals

An intense fourth quarter saw the number six seeded Arizona State women’s basketball secure a 57-51 win over the number three seeded Oregon State Beavers.

In the regular season, the Sun Devils (21-11, 10-8) lost both games to the Beavers in the fourth quarter. Those losses were by a combined seven points. However, on Friday, the Sun Devils won in the Pac-12 tournament.

For Oregon State (23-7, 14-4), senior center Marie Gulich single-handedly brought the Beavers back on Feb 25th against the Suns Devils, scoring 36 points in the win. For the Sun Devils' interior players, stopping her was key for the chance to win.

“(Gulich) is a really good player,” junior center Charnea Johnson-Chapman said. “I was just trying to do my work early and try and get her out of her comfort zone.” 

Johnson-Chapman and junior forward Sophia Elenga took the assignment of stopping Gulich, allowing just six points and four rebounds all night.

“We know that she was a key player for the team and last game she scored 36 points on us,” Elenga said. “We were not going to let this happen again.”

Head coach Charli Turner Thorne said that the effort from Johnson-Chapman was unbelievable.

“You look at Nae’s stats and you wouldn’t really appreciate how much she helped us beat Oregon State tonight,” Turner Thorne said. 

For junior forward Courtney Ekmark, her hot shooting not only kept the Sun Devils in the game but gave them the edge in the end. 

“Ekmark was 3 for 17 in our previous two games combined,” Oregon State head coach Scott Rueck said. “(She) made us pay with those opportunities.”

Ekmark’s shot was falling all night as she found shots off screens and left Beaver players in desperation to get in her face to force a contested attempt.

“I was proud of the team for the grit and toughness we showed throughout the entire game and just kept playing,” Ekmark said.

For the Sun Devils, the game looked over when the Beavers were pulling away past the midway mark of the final quarter.

Then everything flipped towards the Sun Devils. 

Junior forward Kianna Ibis started the scoring and Ekmark followed as the Sun Devils were able to regain and control the game for the final 3:30. 

“The sense of urgency, we were coming down to the last quarter and we knew we had to take it,” Ibis said. “We just tried to stay as aggressive as we could, play to each other's strengths and find our teammates when we were open.” 

Most of the crowd was stunned as ASU was able to pull off an improbable comeback in such a short time to upset the Oregon State Beavers. The win puts a Saturday night matchup between Turner Thorne and her alma mater.  

The Stanford Cardinal (21-9, 14-3), will look to repeat as tournament champions, but first the Sun Devils will look to stop them in a grudge match.

"Stanford is a tremendous team that knows how to peak and knows how to play in March," Turner Thorne said.

Reach the reporter at or follow @SebastianEman24 on Twitter. 

Like State Press Sports on Facebook and follow @statepresssport on Twitter. 

Get the best of State Press delivered straight to your inbox.