PULLMAN, Wash. – Despite four players scoring in double figures, the No. 24/25 Arizona State women’s basketball team was upset by Washington State 85-78 on Friday night in the Pac-12 opener for both teams.
Washington native Kelsey Moss led ASU with 17 points and nine rebounds. Also scoring in double figures for the Sun Devils (11-2, 0-1 Pac-12), who had their 10-game winning streak snapped, were Deja Mann (11 points), Joy Burke (11 points) and Sophie Brunner (10 points). Brunner also added 10 rebounds for her third double-double of the season.
Washington State (7-6, 1-0) was paced by the combination of Lia Galdeira (27 points) and Tia Presley (17 points), who accounted for 44 points.
The Sun Devils shot 41 percent from the floor, but it was at the free throw line where they let several points get away, connecting on only 65 percent (28-43) of their attempts on Friday night.
The Cougars, who shot 59 percent in the second half, used a 20-9 run to turn a four-point halftime deficit into a seven-point lead after Hana Potter’s layup put Washington State up 54-47 with 11:58 remaining.
The Sun Devils would cut Washington State’s lead to three or fewer points several times over the next seven-plus minutes. Three-pointers by Katie Hempen (7:16 remaining) and Deja Mann (4:35 remaining) got the Sun Devils within one point on two occasions only to see the Cougars build their lead back up.
After Mann’s triple, the Cougars used an 8-2 run to once again go up by seven, 76-69, with 2:31 left.
ASU would make one last serious run, scoring the next six points (all on free throws) to once again get within one, 76-75, with 1:22 left.
Galdeira would connect on a pair of free throws on the opposite end, and, after a missed 3-pointer by Mann, would hit two more free throws to put the Cougars up 80-75 with 39 seconds left. The Sun Devils would get no closer than three points the rest of the way as the Cougars hit 5-6 free throws over the last 33 seconds to seal the win.
Friday’s loss was ASU’s first since Nov. 13 when it lost 61-53 at San Diego (currently 14-0).
Early on it appeared the Sun Devils were doing all the right things to continue their winning streak as they jumped out to a 15-4 lead
ASU would lead by 11 on two other occasions; the last coming after a layup by Burke made it 23-12 with 8:24 left in the first half. It was at that point that Washington State would start to heat up from the floor as it used a 14-2 run in the span of only 2:40 to take its first lead (26-25) following a 3-pointer by Galdeira.
The Sun Devils conclude their road trip to the state of Washington on Sunday (2 p.m. PT/3 p.m. MT) when they take on the University of Washington in a game that will be televised live by Pac-12 Networks and can be heard on NBC Sports Radio AM 1060.