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ASU women's basketball sweeps UA in weekend series

The Sun Devils beat the Wildcats 69-45 in Tucson on Sunday

Imani Randle

Then ASU junior forward Kianna Ibis (42) blocks her opponent's ball during a game against University of Arizona at the Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe, Arizona, on Friday, Feb. 16, 2018.

After a convincing win against rival UA on Friday, the Sun Devils went into enemy territory on Sunday and pulled out another 20-plus point win against the Wildcats, this time by a score of 69-45.

The Sun Devils were met with zone defense to start the game in Sunday's match up, as the Wildcats tried to force ASU to take its offense outside the arc.

ASU responded by shooting 40 percent from beyond the arc, an effort led by redshirt junior forward Courtney Ekmark, who put up nine of her 11 points from from three-point land.

The Sun Devils also got offensive production from sophomore guard Robbi Ryan, who dropped nine points while also picking up 10 rebounds, finishing just shy of a double-double.

Junior and sophomore forwards, Kianna Ibis and Jamie Ruden, both reached double digits in scoring as they dropped 14 and 12 points, respectively. 

"That was a great team win, we just wore them down," head coach Charli Turner Thorne said. "Just a great job."

ASU built some separation by going on a 7-0 run near the end of the first half, which carried over into the second half and turned into an 11-2 run.

After that run, the Sun Devils put it in cruise control for the rest of the game as they outscored the Wildcats 34 to 21 in the second half. 

ASU also received a lift from its rebounding effort, grabbing 18 more boards than the Wildcats throughout the course of game.

Turner Thorne said the Sun Devils had a nice start to the game, as her team jumped out to a 7-0 lead to put the Wildcats back on their heels. 

But UA fought back and through the latter half of the first quarter, the Wildcats tightened up their defense and outscored the Sun Devils 12-10 to pull within five points after one.

The Sun Devils started the second quarter off fast with a three-point bomb from sophomore guard Kiara Russell to expand their lead to eight points.

The Wildcats employed a two-three zone in an effort to keep ASU out of the paint and force contested three-point shots, hoping the Sun Devils would continue to shoot 33 percent from beyond the arc.

However, near the end of the first half, the Sun Devils began to pull away by hitting their three-point shots.

In a charge led by Ruden, ASU began to catch fire as the sophomore forward came off the bench to drop 10 points in the first half, including two straight three pointers to give ASU a 35-24 lead at halftime.

The Sun Devils kept the pressure on the Wildcats to start the second half, growing their lead to 13 points in the beginning of the third.

UA continued to keep within striking distance in the third quarter, but could not close the gap to single digits as the teams matched basket for basket and defensive stop for stop.

At the end of three, the Sun Devils held a 14 point lead over the Wildcats by a score of 51-37.

To start the fourth quarter, ASU put its foot on the gas as they forced turnovers and made shots to expand the lead and put the game on ice.

By the time the final buzzer sounded, the Sun Devils has secured their second 20 plus point win over the Wildcats in three days, winning in Tuscon by a final score of 69-45.


The Sun Devils will be back in action to close out the regular season with one final series at home against the Oregon schools, facing off against the University of Oregon on Friday at 6 p.m. MST. 

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