ASU women's basketball escapes in 62-59 victory over Washington State

Reili Richardson's late free throws sealed the Sun Devils' 17th win

Sometimes, a win can be ugly.

In Friday night’s 62-59 victory for ASU over Washington State, the win was just that.

“Any win in this conference is a great win,” ASU head coach Charli Turner Thorne said. “We will take it.”

ASU’s (17-8, 7-6 Pac-12) offense wasn’t that bad. The Sun Devils shot 45.1% from the floor on eight less attempts than the Cougars. Senior forward Ja’Tavia Tapley scored 14 points on 7-10 shooting and senior guard Reili Richardson scored 22 points.

But, despite the offensive numbers and the victory, ASU's play still wasn’t crisp.

“Clearly we didn’t have our best stuff,” Turner Thorne said. “We’re trying to get our mojo going again and we just have a lot of young players.”

Against a sub .500 WSU squad (11-14, 4-9), ASU failed to contain the former's top two scorers. 

Redshirt senior forward Borislava Hristova, their leading scorer, scored 24 points including 15 in the second half. Senior guard Chanelle Molina, their second-best scorer, scored 13 points in the second half.

In the second half, the Cougars as a unit shot 54.8% from the field and 44.4% from the three point line.

“From here on out every game is going to be hard. Every game is going to be tough,” Tapley said. 

And it did get tough at the end for ASU. 

After outscoring the Sun Devils 17-9 in the third quarter, the Cougars tied the game at 38. At the time, senior guard Robbi Ryan and Tapley were ASU’s only two players that scored double digits, and WSU were coming off a quarter where they had just shot 8-12 from the floor.

It got dicey, but a couple stops and some big free throws from Richardson down the stretch sealed the deal for the Sun Devils.

“I want to take every game in the fourth quarter,” Richardson said. “A switch flips in me.”

The Sun Devils' next game is on Feb. 16 against Washington in Tempe at 12 p.m. MST.


Reach the reporter at kbriley@asu.edu and on Twitter @KokiRiley.

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