ASU women's basketball falls to UA 58-53 in 2019-20 Pac-12 opener

The Sun Devils shot just 30 percent from the field in home loss

ASU women’s basketball (10-3) suffered its first conference loss of the season Sunday, falling to no. 18 Arizona 58-53 in game one of the 2019-20 Territorial Cup series.

Freshman forward Eboni Walker notched 12 points while senior forward Jaime Ruden contributed 10 points as the only other Sun Devil to score in double figures.

UA junior guard Aari McDonald led all scorers with 20 points, adding four rebounds and three assists.

Sophomore forward Cate Reese recorded a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds and combined with McDonald to produce more than half of Arizona’s point total.

The Wildcats came into the ballgame 11-0 on the season and riding a 17-game winning streak dating back to the 2018-19 campaign — the longest active streak in the nation.

ASU struggled offensively early, shooting just 21 percent from the field through the first quarter.

However, a stellar effort on the defensive end helped the Sun Devils maintain an early 12-10 lead as ASU forced five UA turnovers and out-rebounded the Wildcats 15-10.

The defensive battle continued for the rest of the first half as UA held ASU to just 10 second-quarter points and claimed a four-point lead at halftime.

McDonald and Reese then took charge in the second half as they combined for 23 points and helped limit ASU to 11 field goals on 33 attempts.

While the score remained tight heading into the final minute of the fourth quarter, UA forced several key misses from ASU shooters and Wildcat junior forward Sam Thomas went 4-6 from free-throw line to seal the victory.

ASU would finish the game shooting 30 percent as a team, its third-lowest shooting percentage of the season.

The win marked UA's first victory in Tempe since Feb 26, 2000.

Conference play will continue Jan. 3 when ASU travels to Los Angeles to face UCLA at 8:00 p.m. MST.

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