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ASU women's basketball falls short as Oregon dominates the third quarter

The Sun Devils lose to the Ducks in their second straight loss to a ranked team


ASU sophomore guard Kiara Russell (4) drives towards the basket in the first period of the Sun Devil's 80-71 win against the California Golden Bears at Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe, Arizona on Friday, Jan. 5, 2018

Nearly seven minutes into the third quarter, Oregon held a solid 18-point lead, but the biggest issue for the Sun Devils was that they had yet to score in the second half. 

Eventually, No. 18 ASU hit a basket, a two from junior forward Kianna Ibis, with 1:32 left in the third, but by that time it was too late, and the No. 8 Ducks went on to win 74-64.

Oregon simply outplayed the Sun Devils, as the Ducks led in field goal percentage, points off turnovers and points in the paint.

"You can't have a bad quarter to win a game like this," head coach Charli Turner Thorne said. "We did not play hard enough. These are young players that have to know how to play hard every possession in this conference.” 

The Sun Devils were led by Ibis who scored 22 points and pulled down five rebounds. ASU also saw production out of redshirt junior forward Courtney Ekmark and junior center Charnea Johnson-Chapman who picked up 15 and 12 points, respectively.

However, the Sun Devils really missed the performance of their second leading scorer, sophomore forward Jamie Ruden, who sat out during the game but had been averaging 10.3 points per game.

"Jamie Ruden changes the game – she's a fine player who’s the best shooter on the floor at any point when she is in the game," Turner Thorne said. "People have to do different things with her out there.”

Early on, ASU fell victim to turnovers, as they coughed it up three times in the first six minutes of the game, which resulted in six Oregon points.

By the end of the first quarter, ASU found itself down by 10 points, partly due to the six turnovers and 40 percent shooting during the first quarter. The Ducks, on the other hand, shot 75 percent from the floor. 

To start the second quarter, the lead only grew for the Ducks, which quickly added two more points to their lead.

However, near the end of the half, Oregon went ice cold, struggling to score for a stretch of nearly four minutes, which allowed ASU to go 5 for 7 from the field and climb within four points at the half.  

The Sun Devil comeback was lead by Ibis who piled up 15 points on 7-for-9 shooting in the first half.

Oregon came out of the half by playing stellar defense while keeping its field goal percentage right around 70 percent.

Finally, with 1:32 left in the third, Ibis converted on an and one foul shot but Oregon already held a large lead (59-39) at the end of the third.

In the fourth, the Sun Devils found their stroke and were able to score with more ease, but Oregon’s 20-point lead proved insurmountable as the Ducks won by a final score of 74-64.

Next up the Sun Devils will take on the Utah Utes in Tempe on Friday, Jan. 19 at 11:00 a.m. MST. 

 Reach the reporter at and follow @JoshZaklis on Twitter.

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