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ASU women's basketball drops season finale to No. 12 Oregon State

The Sun Devils end their regular season with a pair of losses at Wells Fargo Arena


ASU sophomore guard Robbi Ryan (11) does a jump shot in a game against Oregon State at Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe, Arizona, on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018.

On Friday, the Sun Devils watched a one point halftime lead evaporate into a 13 point loss against No. 8 Oregon. On Sunday, the Sun Devils took a 10 point lead into the half and again lost the lead, dropping their season finale to No. 12 Oregon State by a final score of 64-60.

Head coach Charli Turner Thorne said she was proud of the team's effort over the past two games. However, she wants her players to remember what happened this weekend over the summer and into next season.

"We don't lose two at home," Turner Thorne said "That is what I told them, I said 'this is not our program', this will never happen again in their careers."

In the first half, the Sun Devils looked like they were in control of the game, forcing 10 Oregon State turnovers and a Beaver scoring drought through the last three minutes of the second quarter.

The second half was a different story for the Sun Devils, who seemed to have the most trouble guarding Oregon State senior center Marie Gulich.

After a quiet first half with only six points, Gulich dropped 30 points in just the second half for a total of 36 on the game.

Gulich outscored the Sun Devils on her own 30-28 in the third and fourth quarters to help the Beaver complete the comeback.

"She's a very, very good player," junior forward Sophia Elenga said. "She has very good hands (ball handling skills), moves, it was hard to get to her and shut her down today."

Overall, Turner Thorne felt that it was the same third quarter demons who came back to haunt the Sun Devils.

"I think I'm going to find a hypnotist or a voodoo doctor and figure out how to break the curse of the third quarter," Turner Thorne said. "Because that is what we suffer from."

Sophomore guard Robbi Ryan thinks the antidote to ASU's struggles in the third start with the team having more energy and not focusing on the final result when coming out of the break into the second half. 

"Just focusing on the process," Ryan said. "If you focus on the process, you'll get the results you want."

The Sun Devils offense was led by Elenga who picked up 13 points and four rebounds off the bench. ASU also got some offensive production out of Ryan who scored 13 points and picked up two assists and two rebounds.

The Sun Devils got off to a fast start shutting down the Oregon State offense to grab an 8-2 lead halfway through the first forcing a Beaver timeout to reevaluate the strategy. 

Oregon State was finally able to break its four minute scoring drought, but still trailed 12-4 with three minutes left in the first quarter. 

At the end of one, the Sun Devils held a 16-11 lead in large part due to their ability to force the Beavers to commit six turnovers while ASU only committed one.

Within three minutes of quarter number two beginning, the Sun Devils stretched their lead out to 11 points and showed no signs up letting up.

As the second quarter dwindled down closer to halftime, ASU continued to maintain their lead holding an eight point advantage with three minutes left to play.

Heading into the halftime break, the Sun Devils held a 32-22 advantage holding a 10-2 advantage in turnovers with 10 points coming off those turnovers.

Oregon State come out of the break showing everyone why they are the No. 12 team in the nation, going on a 6-0 run to cut the Sun Devil lead down to four points.

The Beavers continued to trim the Sun Devil lead down, as they only trailed by one point with a little under five minutes left in the third quarter thanks to a 9-0 run.

With 2:40 left in the third, the Beavers were able to tie up the game at 39.

By the end of the quarter Oregon State held a 45-43 lead after outscoring the Sun Devils 23-11 in the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter the Beavers always seemed to be a few points ahead of the Sun Devils as they lead 55-50 entering the final five minutes of the game.

The Beavers held on through a tight finish to prevent the upset by a final score of 64-60 to close out the regular season for both teams.

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