Oregon State (Pac-12 tournament) — March 2 (L 59-54)
The ASU women's basketball team came to Las Vegas for the Pac-12 Tournament with high hopes, but couldn't complete the comeback as the team dropped its round one matchup 59-54 to Oregon State.
Through their recent five-game skid, the Sun Devils have failed to generate a consistent flowing offense, struggling shooting beyond the paint and settling for contested looks rather than patiently waiting for an open shot.
"I think anyone who watches us knows that we force things," coach Charlie Turner Thorne said. "We have very good talented players but, we are very impatient at times and we knew that."
That trend continued through the first half of its game against the Beavers. Before anyone could even blink, the Sun Devils were trailing 13-3 at the 6:43 mark of the first quarter due to their poor shooting and Beavers' fast-paced offense.
While the Sun Devils defense was on point for most of the first half only giving up nine points through 6:43 minutes of the first and all of the second quarter, they continued to play sloppy basketball on the offensive end committing seven turnovers and shot an abysmal 14% from the field by half time. The Sun Devils trailed the Beavers, 24-16 at the half.
The Sun Devils came out of the locker room looking out of sorts for the third quarter. The Beavers' height advantage seemed to haunt the Sun Devils as they were unable to get to the lane, being forced to resort to jump shots that were not falling. The Beavers pushed their lead to double digits, even leading by as many as 18 points before closing out the third quarter with a 40-26 point lead.
With their season on the line, the Sun Devils came into the fourth quarter guns blazing, fighting until the scoreboard hit double zeros and even making a close game out of it.
"We wanted to win that game," senior guard Tanya Hanson said. "We knew it was going to take. It was going to take our defense being aggressive on the ball and hitting shots. We truly did believe so that's all it took to come together and bring the energy that we needed to get ourselves back in that game."
A quick 6-0 run led by clutch three-point plays from Hanson and graduate student forward Mael Giles cut the lead back to single digits with 4:30 left in the frame which helped rejuvenate the Sun Devils.
The Sun Devils smothering full-court defense in the fourth quarter flustered the Bevers and with 1:15 to play, the Sun Devils only found themselves down 52-50 with a legitimate chance to pull off a miraculous comeback.
However, that glimmer of hope did not last long as the Beavers were able to close the deal and most likely end the Sun Devils season in a heartbreaking fashion.
Shooting the ball might have been a struggle for the Sun Devils, but it did not stop senior guard Jade Loville who started the game 0-14 from losing her confidence.
"There are some nights where the shot just doesn't fall," Loville said. "I knew my coaches still believe in me, and my teammates still believed in me, so I still wanted to take those shots and shoot those confidently."
Despite a far from stellar game and season for the Sun Devils, their fight and willingness to keep going through adversity should not be questioned. The Sun Devils are not only proud of the way they persevered through this game against the Beavers but also the way they handled all the obstacles that came their way through their long and difficult season.
"I'm proud of our team," Turner Thorne said. "It's been a tough two years between COVID-19 and the three-week pause. It's been a hard year. We have faced a lot of adversity and setbacks and I’m proud of this team for continuing to stay with it and grow and learn."
—Written by Remy Mastey, March 2, 8:09 p.m.
UCLA — Feb. 26 (L 59-52)
ASU women’s basketball dropped its last regular-season game to UCLA on Saturday afternoon with a score of 59-52.
Senior guard/forward Jade Loville led the Sun Devils with 21 points. Sophomore guard Jaddan Simmons was the only other Sun Devil to reach double-digit points with 11.
The Sun Devils found themselves in foul trouble once again with sophomore forward Katelyn Levings finishing with 3 personal fouls. Senior guard Taya Hanson fouled out with 24 seconds left in the game.
The Sun Devils led 65-62 on possessions, but their .800 points per possession were not enough to keep up with the Bruins’ .952 points per possession.
ASU continued to struggle on field goal and three-point attempts, completing 33.9% and 25% respectively. The Sun Devils were most successful on free throws, completing 85.7% of attempts.
The Sun Devils started a comeback late in the fourth quarter, but it was not enough and the game would end with a 4:09 scoring drought for ASU. UCLA extended their lead with two free throws with 23 seconds left in the game, securing its 13th win of the season.
ASU honored graduate forward Mael Gilles in her last game at Desert Financial Arena. Gilles is the lone Sun Devil leaving the team at the end of the season.
The Sun Devils will travel to Las Vegas for the Pac-12 tournament starting on Wednesday.
—Written by Kathryn Field, Feb. 26, 3:05 p.m.
USC — Feb. 24 (L 60-58)
A game that should’ve gone into overtime, became misplaced optimism when junior guard Alyson Miura, off-the-bench, drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer to defeat the Sun Devils, 60-58, on Thursday night.
Miura almost lost the ball as she dribbled along the arc towards the baseline when senior guard/forward Jade Loville and senior guard Taya Henson met her with a double team. Still, the Trojan passed the ball to her teammate at the elbow before such luck could occur.
Miura aligned herself along the arc and waited for her teammate to return the pass with two seconds remaining on the clock… and the rest was history.
ASU and USC trailed each other all evening as ASU led the first and third quarter in points.
Alas, a game-winning 3-pointer wasn’t what upset ASU.
ASU’s shortcomings were foreseen early on and developed into its loss through its lack of made shots.
The Sun Devils completed 15.8% of their 3-pointers by shooting 3-19 from the arc and completing 29.9% of field goals by shooting 20-67 from within the arc.
It was one of those days where the Sun Devils’ shots were not hitting the net, however, the valiant effort did not go unnoticed.
The Trojans completed 60% of their 3-pointers by shooting 9-15 from the arc and completing 40.8% of their field goals by shooting 20-49 from within the arc.
Head coach Charli Turner Thorne’s emphasis on out rebounding any opposing team at the start of the season aged well as the Sun Devils did out-rebound the Trojans, 46 to 39, and kept their turnovers at bay by ending the evening with eight.
Sophomore forward Katelyn Levings led the Sun Devils in rebounds with 12 rebounds and five points. Graduate student forward Mael Gilles had a well-rounded game when she had a double-double with 11 points, 11 rebounds and six assists while Loville dominated with 22 points and three rebounds.
The Sun Devils (12-12) look to Sunday to end the regular season on a good note when they host UCLA (11-11) at noon.
—Written by Ruby Arora, Feb. 24, 8:46 p.m.
Washington — Feb. 20 (L 74-69)
ASU women’s basketball dropped its final road game of the season to Washington on Sunday afternoon in Seattle 74-69.
Sophomore forward Katelyn Levings led the Sun Devils with 14 points, sophomore guard Jaddan Simmons followed close behind with 13 points. Senior guard/forward Jade Loville was the only other Sun Devil to reach double digits with 10 points.
Levings shot 4-for-5 on 3-point attempts but the Sun Devils continued to struggle, only completing 37% of 3-point attempts.
Graduate student forward Mael Gilles led the Sun Devils with eight rebounds and seven assists. Gilles also led the Sun Devils with four personal fouls. Simmons and sophomore guard Sydney Erikstrup followed close behind with three each.
The Sun Devils led for much of the first half, going into halftime with a 33-31 lead and led the third quarter for the first four minutes. After some back and forth, the Sun Devils gave up its final lead with two minutes remaining in the third quarter.
The Huskies were able to hold onto their lead through the fourth quarter despite a near comeback from the Sun Devils with less than a minute to play.
The Sun Devils and Huskies both had 66 possessions throughout the game, but the Sun Devils’ 1.045 points per possession weren’t enough to keep up with the Huskies’ 1.121 points per possession.
The Sun Devils will return to Tempe to start their last weekend of regular season play against the USC Trojans on Thursday at 5 p.m. MST at Desert Financial Arena.
—Written by Kathryn Field, Feb. 20, 4:01 p.m.
Arizona — Feb. 13 (L 62-58)
ASU dropped the first of a four-game road trip to rival Arizona on Sunday afternoon, losing 62-58.
The Sun Devils got off to an early lead against the Wildcats, leading 17-15 through the first quarter. The Wildcats kept the game close and the two ended up tied at 36 after the first half.
In the first half, the Sun Devils completed 59.1% of field goal attempts and 71.4% of both three-point and free-throw attempts.
The Sun Devils kept up with the Wildcats through much of the third quarter, only trailing 51-49 going into the final frame. The Wildcats came out strong in the fourth quarter, building on their lead and never giving it back.
ASU’s scoring luck seemingly disappeared through the second half, going 0-7 on three-point attempts. Production on field goals and free throws also dove in the second half, completing 36.4% and 54.5% respectively.
The Sun Devils found themselves experiencing foul trouble once again, senior guard Taya Hanson fouling out with 16 seconds left and senior guard/forward Jade Loville finishing with four personal fouls.
Sophomore guard Jaddan Simmons and graduate forward Mael Gilles lead the Sun Devils in points with 16 and 15 respectively. Simmons and Gilles were the only Sun Devils to finish with double-digit points.
The Sun Devils led the game in possessions, 67-63, but their 0.866 points per possession would ultimately fail to put them ahead of the Wildcats' 0.984 points per possession.
Sunday served as ASU's final regular season matchup against Arizona, the teams each winning one game in the series.
The Sun Devils will continue their final road trip of the season and look to bounce back on Wednesday at California at 2 p.m. MST.
— Written by Kathryn Field, Feb. 13, 7:33 p.m.
Arizona — Feb. 11 (W 81-77)
"Whoever controls the boards, controls the game," head coach Charli Turner Thorne said, and that's one of the big reasons ASU overcame Arizona in the rivalry game on Friday night.
The Sun Devils had 42 rebounds against the Wildcats' 27, and the Wildcat’s defeating roar was heard throughout the stadium.
The Wildcats stood no chance against the triple-threat players who scored a combined 65 points: Jade Loville, Mael Gilles and Taya Hanson.
"We're trying to do our part," Loville said. "Coach has us each here for a specific reason, and she utilizes our strengths to the best of her abilities."
Loville controlled the first quarter when she went four for four, scoring 12 points to give ASU a 25-22 lead.
The senior guard ended the night with 27 points and eight rebounds.
Gilles dominated the second quarter. She went back-to-back in possessions with a polished three-pointer from the arc followed by two free throws in the next play, extending the Sun Devils' lead 42-31.
The super senior ended the night with 19 points, ten points on 100% shooting from the free-throw line, ten rebounds and three assists.
While the Sun Devils dominated the first half, their overwhelming fouls cost them points.
Before halftime, all but one player on the bench had two fouls, but ASU quickly got rid of its weakness.
"We started moving our feet," Loville commented to their defense going into the second half.
The hustle paid off as the Sun Devils held a 61-52 lead in the third quarter, but the Wildcats weren't going without a fight.
Wildcat Shaina Pellington took advantage of the constant open lane the Sun Devils provided in the fourth quarter, followed by her teammate Cate Reese's three-pointer and layup, giving the Wildcats their first lead, 71-70.
Pellington ended the game with 30 points and Reese with 18 points.
Though it could have been anyone's game, a technical foul and a later offensive foul against the Wildcats played in the Sun Devils' favor with 17.2 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.
The technical foul gave Hanson a visit to the free-throw line, and the senior guard drained both of her free throws.
Hanson ended the night with 19 points and five rebounds.
Loville and Gille's visits to the free-throw line in the remaining seconds gave the Sun Devils the sweet 81-77 victory.
"It's our toughness," Turner Thorne said. "We never accepted defeat."
The Sun Devils visit Tucson on Sunday for another chance at victory against the Wildcats at noon.
— Written by Ruby Arora, Feb. 12, 12:43 a.m.
Oregon — Feb. 6 (W 55-49)
ASU completed the weekend sweep on Sunday against Oregon, taking a close 55-49 win.
In the second game against the Ducks in less than a week, the Sun Devils found themselves struggling through the first half. The Sun Devils only completed 18.8% of field goal attempts and 16.7% of three-point attempts.
The Sun Devils entered the second half trailing 23-20 and managed to improve to upset the Ducks. ASU shot 44% on field goal attempts and 37.5% on 3-point attempts through the second half.
ASU took advantage of Oregon's foul trouble throughout the game. The Sun Devils completed 69.6% of free throw attempts. Oregon’s redshirt junior forward Sedona Prince fouled out with five seconds left in the game.
Senior guard/forward Jade Loville led the Sun Devils in points with 16, senior guard Ayzhiana Basallo followed close behind with 10.
A three-pointer by senior guard Taya Hanson put the Sun Devils ahead halfway through the third quarter, but Rogers quickly tied it up at 29. A field goal from Basallo put ASU up 31-29, but Oregon’s Prince tied it up again. A 3-pointer from Basallo with three minutes left in the quarter put ASU up 34-31 and gave the Sun Devils a lead they would hold onto for the remainder of the game.
On 63 possessions, the Sun Devils scored 0.873 points per possession. The Ducks were unable to keep up, scoring 0.766 points per possession on 64 possessions.
Sunday’s win over Oregon serves as the last regular-season matchup for the Ducks and the Sun Devils, splitting the regular-season series.
The Sun Devils will be back in action against Arizona on Friday, Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. MST at Desert Financial Arena.
— Written by Kathryn Field, Feb. 6, 6:53 p.m.
Oregon State — Feb. 4 (W 67-57)
With Oregon State's height down low, ASU women's basketball needed Mael Gilles, Katelyn Levings, and Imogen Greenslade to make up for the 6+ inch height difference by keeping the Beavers off the board. While they still outrebounded ASU, the three did their job in a 67-57 win.
Jade Loville led the Sun Devils with 33 points for the evening, a point shy of her season-high. 12 of Loville's points came from Taya Hanson's six assists.
The Beavers had a chance to seal the game late but missed the shot. With Levings aggressive rebound and outlet to Hanson, the Sun Devils' game face emerged.
Immediately, the Beavers fouled Hanson to redeem a chance at possession, but Oregon State's coach Scott Rueck received two technical fouls, which sent Hanson to the free-throw line for six free throws and getting ejected from the game with 17.5 seconds remaining in the game.
Being the shooter she is, Hanson drains six of six free throws creating an eight-point margin, 65-57.
Hanson ended the evening with 17 points and six rebounds.
"We worked so hard tonight," Hanson said. "(Loville) shot phenomenally, and my bigs, they went at in the post. I'm so proud of them."
The Sun Devils' game plan was defense and rebounds, and they executed. ASU had 23 points from Oregon State's 19 turnovers compared to Oregon State's nine points from ASU's ten turnovers.
Noting the Beaver's height difference, the Sun Devils kept up well with 35 rebounds compared to the Beaver's 36.
The game started with Sun Devils leading in the first half by two points, 31-29, but suffering in the third quarter when they continued to get in foul trouble and let the Beavers get positioned to take open shots.
The Sun Devils had three fouls in the third quarter and let the Beavers go 8-14 FG, which created the Beavers' 47-43 lead.
"We've been there before," Loville said. "Three hard quarters and the fourth quarter being a gut check. You really (have) to stick to the game plan and execute. Tonight we did that."
The win against Oregon State let ASU know it can compete against larger teams, like No. 2 Oregon, whom it lost to on Tuesday 72-58. But the Sun Devils have a chance at revenge as they host No. 19 Oregon (14-6) on Sunday, Feb. 6th.
— Written by Ruby Arora, Feb. 5, 12:14 a.m.
Oregon — Feb. 1 (L 72-58)
ASU women's basketball dropped its third straight game on Tuesday against No. 19 Oregon.
The Sun Devils kept the game close through the first three quarters but were unable to pull out the win, losing 72-58.
The Sun Devils took an early 7-0 lead in the first quarter, but the Ducks quickly tied it up and took the lead, which they kept for the rest of the game.
Graduate forward Mael Gilles led the Sun Devils in points with 16, rebounds with seven, and assists with five. Gilles was the only Sun Devil to finish with points in the double digits but was unable to keep up. The Ducks had three who finished with double-digit points: redshirt junior forward Nyara Sabally, junior guard Endyia Rogers and sophomore guard Te-Hina Paopao.
The Sun Devils averaged 0.921 points per possession on 63 possessions to the Ducks’ 1.125 points per possession on 64 possessions.
The Sun Devils once again found foul trouble with Gilles finishing the game with four personal fouls and sophomore guard/forward Maggie Besselink finishing with three personal fouls.
The Ducks held senior guard/forward Jade Loville to only eight points throughout the game, keeping her out of the double digits for the first time since Dec. 4 against UTSA.
The Sun Devils struggled again on 3-point attempts, scoring on only 26.7%, and found success from the free-throw line, scoring on 85.7% of free throw attempts.
The Sun Devils will return to Tempe on Friday, Feb. 4 to take on Oregon State at 6 P.M. MST for National Girls and Women in Sports Day.
— Written by Kathryn Field, Feb. 1, 7:11 p.m.
Stanford — Jan. 28 (L 78-50)
The Sun Devils dropped their second game in a row on Friday night against Stanford, 78-50.
In the first road game since the COVID-19 hiatus, the Sun Devils were unable to keep up with Stanford's offense and trailed for the entirety of the game.
ASU had more possessions than Stanford throughout the game, leading 65-62, but Stanford was able to pull 1.258 points per possession to ASU's .769 points per possession.
ASU found foul trouble with Taya Hanson, Jaddan Simmons, Mael Gilles, Katelyn Levings and Imogen Greenslade finishing with three personal fouls each.
Senior guard/forward Jade Loville finished the night with 19 points, the only Sun Devil to finish in double digits. Loville’s 19 points were the most of any player across both teams on Friday night and boosted her to the 1,000 point milestone but were not enough to push the ASU past Stanford.
The Sun Devils found the most success from the free-throw line, scoring on 68.4% of attempts. Simmons was successful in all four free-throw attempts.
The Sun Devils struggled the most from the 3-point line, only scoring on 17.6% of attempts. Hanson and Gilles both went 1-3 from the 3-point line.
Senior Jayde Van Hyfte led the Sun Devils in rebounds with five, contributing to the team's 11 points off rebounds.
ASU finished with a turnover rate of 24.6% but was no match for Stanford’s low rate of 12.9%.
After a postponement due to health concerns in the California program cut the Sun Devils' road trip short, the team will be back in action at 6 P.M. MST on Friday, Feb. 4 against Oregon State at Desert Financial Arena for National Girls and Women in Sports Day.
— Written by Kathryn Field, Jan. 28, 11:38 p.m.
Colorado — Jan. 21 (W 57-52)
For the first time this season, ASU (9-5, 1-0) women's basketball defeated a top-25 team in overtime at Desert Financial, 57-52.
No. 22 Colorado’s (13-3, 2-3) man-to-man defense could not withstand the Sun Devils' ball movement early on as senior guard Ayzhiana Basallo had a crisp back-door play to senior guard Gabriel Bosquez from the top of the key.
In the first quarter, ASU's defense held Colorado to a season-low of eight points.
Colorado switched to 2-3 zone defense, leading freshman guard Kindyll Wetta to three back-to-back steals in 30 seconds, setting a career-high of eight steals against ASU and giving Colorado the first lead of the night, 23-22.
In the third quarter, the Sun Devils returned the favor going for nine unanswered points on three consecutive 3-pointers, two of them from senior guard Taya Hanson.
Hanson led the team in 17 points on 5-of-12 shooting before fouling out in overtime.
Colorado scored 31 of its points from ASU's 29 turnovers; meanwhile, ASU scored 14 from Colorado's 22 turnovers.
The game continued as a low-scoring and highly defensive affair, with the Buffaloes taking advantage of the Sun Devils' careless ball possession with 17 steals and tying the game at 46 before overtime.
ASU aggressively went eye for eye in overtime as the exchange of free throws kept both teams neck and neck.
Mael Gilles' three consecutive visits to the free-throw line equated to Jaylyn Sherrod fouling out, stretching ASU's lead to 57-52.
Gilles' finished with 11 rebounds on the night.
After a three-week COVID-19 hiatus, ASU had no trouble returning to the court without its leading scorer in the 14th consecutive season win against Colorado.
The Sun Devils hope to continue their winning streak against Utah on Sunday at 2 p.m. in Tempe.
—Written by Ruby Arora, Jan. 21, 10:27 p.m.
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Kathryn Field is a sports editor at The State Press. Kathryn has previously worked as a full time reporter at The State Press, covering women’s basketball and lacrosse.