Arizona State women’s basketball capitalizes on grit against 19th-place Oregon

In order to stage a surprise, the work begins before the game with the right frame of mind.

Arizona State women’s basketball head coach Charli Turner Thorne made sure her team was mentally on the right track before taking on No. 19 Oregon.

“Charli made a comment before the game, saying, don’t think you can win the game, go ahead and know we’re going to win. That was the mindset in this game. We can beat any Pac-12 team, and we have to believe in it to make it happen,” ASU guard Jade Loville said.

ASU played Oregon for the second time this week, the first meeting in a stifled return to the road for the Sun Devils. Coming in with the added zeal of Friday’s win over Oregon State, Arizona State (11-8, 3-3 Pac-12) used their physicality to upset Oregon 55-49 on Sunday from the Desert Financial Arena .

Continued: Arizona State women’s basketball survives Oregon State in bizarre finish

“I’m just very happy for our team. It kind of built on Friday’s game and built our muscle strength, because obviously three games in six days was a lot. Both teams were tired, and it was a matter of who was going to be a bit tougher and that was us,” Turner Thorne said.

Oregon (14-7, 7-3 Pac-12) came out shooting a 5-0 run in the game with a Sydney Parrish 3-pointer and two rebounds that set up a Nyara Sabally layup. But once a timeout was called at 8:07 a.m., ASU began to flip a defensive switch.

The shots weren’t necessarily in ASU’s favor in the first half, with Ayzhiana Basallo’s 3-pointer being the only field goal of 14 attempts in the first quarter and the Sun Devils shooting a combined total of 18.8 percent at halftime. However, Oregon’s defensive saves and 11 turnovers gave way to a three-point halftime deficit. Oregon committed four straight turnovers in the final four minutes of the second quarter and fired nine field goals on 30 attempts.

Arizona State forward Maggie Besselink, though limited with a lingering injury, made an impact in 13 minutes on the court, picking up six points and six rebounds. Besselink was indispensable when ASU needed to generate momentum, grabbing a rebound on Taya Hanson’s shot 6:59 into the second quarter in a 7-2 run for ASU.

Forward Katelyn Levings continued to progress in her expanded role, blocking Sabally’s shot at 6:31 into the third quarter, making way for Basallo to grab the rebound and drop down to an open Hanson for the 3 to give ASU an advantage. by two points.

Levings’ offensive rebound ultimately proved costly for Oregon in the final 27 seconds when ASU’s three-point lead swelled to five points when Sedona Prince was fouled on Levings. Levings made both of his free throws as ASU went four-for-eight down the line in the final 28 seconds.

“It’s my only big role for the team and so I knew if I didn’t do anything else in the game I was going to grab that ball. I knew my team would support me,” Levings said.

Shooting issues in the first half were left behind in the third quarter as both teams reached game highs with 50% shooting each. Basallo sparked the performance for ASU, scoring seven points and providing three assists as the Sun Devils took their first lead of the game with a 41-38 lead late in the quarter.

Basallo, a transfer from San Jose State, finished with 10 points and six assists on three of seven shooting.

“She in training and in games, just a 180 shift. That’s what we wanted and needed from her. She’s a really great passer, not just a great shooter,” Turner Thorne said. “I think she always comes and plays better.”

Loville made his way to the free throw line 10 times in the game, earning eight of his 16 points by reaching the line.

“My shot wasn’t falling and I felt it early. Shots were good, but they weren’t falling. That happens sometimes and another way to score is to reach the line and get lay-ups. coming to the paint and putting pressure on the defense they are big and looking to block shots my knees hurt going down but I have to get to the line for my team,” Loville said.

Arizona State shot 29.8% in the game, while Oregon shot 33.9%. The Ducks committed 15 turnovers in the game, leading ASU to six points. Loville, Levings and Hanson each had two interceptions.

Endiya Rogers led Oregon with 18 points, followed by Prince’s 13 points. Sabally grabbed 10 rebounds as Oregon grabbed 41 in the game.

Arizona State will face another top-ten opponent over the past two weeks as No. 8 Arizona comes to Tempe on Friday.

Contact the reporter at [email protected] or 602-647-4122. Follow her on Twitter @jennarortiz.

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