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ASU women's basketball wins at the buzzer versus Utah

The Sun Devils hand Utah its first loss with last-minute shot from Reili Richardson

Imani Randle

Then ASU sophomore guard Reili Richardson(1) drives the ball down the court against Oregon State at the Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe, Arizona, on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018.

With the game tied at 63 and 2.1 seconds on the clock off the inbound, Sun Devils junior guard Reili Richardson did not have much of a choice in what shot she wanted to take. 

Richardson took one dribble inside the arc and launched a one-footed runner over Utah senior guard Erika Bean.

That buzzer-banking bank shot from Richardson cemented the thrilling win that ASU women's basketball (10-3, 1-1 Pac-12) gained over previously undefeated Utah. Redshirt senior forward Courtney Ekmark led the Sun Devils in scoring 15 points. Senior center Charnea Johnson-Chapman and senior forward Kianna Ibis chipped in 12 and 11 points respectively. 

While Richardson had only made one shot out of her six attempts before the last shot, she said she still wanted the last shot, despite her cold shooting night.

"[Coach] Carli asked who wanted the shot, and I said, 'Hey, I want it,'" Richardson said in a post game interview that was streamed on the Pac-12 network. "My team believes in me. My coaching staff believes in me. So, I just stepped up."

Richardson was not the only player who struggled to make shots. The team as a whole shot ice cold from the field for much of the game. ASU shot 39 percent throughout the first half and 33 percent in the third quarter. 

However, ASU's offense picked up steam in the fourth quarter.

The team shot 46 percent in the fourth quarter, highlighted by an 8-0 run to end the game. Ibis sparked the run with 1:20 left in the fourth quarter, hitting consecutive three-pointers to tie the game at 63. Richardson's game winning shot capped off the run.

"She's [Ibis] one of our go-to players. We look for her every possession," Richardson said in the post game interview on the Pac-12 network. "And she's able to step up like that and hit big shots."

Offensive rebounding was key in the Sun Devils' comeback. ASU grabbed 11 offensive rebounds compared to Utah's two. ASU out-rebounded Utah 36-29 overall. 

Bench scoring was also pivotal for ASU. The Sun Devils scored 19 points off the bench, outscoring Utah's bench by 11 points. Every player who saw the floor for the Sun Devils scored at least once. 

ASU will take on Colorado next on Jan. 6th at 2:00 PM MST in Colorado. 

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Jeffrey HorstDigital editor-in-chief

Jeffrey Horst is the digital editor-in-chief of The State Press. He previously served as the publication's sports editor and worked at Cronkite News and

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