BERKELEY, Calif. – The No. 15 Arizona State University women’s basketball team was unable to recover from an 11-0 run used by No. 22 Cal to start the second half as the Golden Bears defeated the Sun Devils 74-63 on Sunday.
Katie Hempen (12 points), Deja Mann (11 points) and Adrianne Thomas (10 points) all scored in double figures for the Sun Devils (20-6, 9-5 Pac-12), who shot 37 percent for the game and had only 14 turnovers.
Cal (18-7, 9-5 Pac-12) had four players score in double figures, led by Afure Jemerigbe (23 points) and Brittany Boyd (21 points), who combined for 44 points.
One of the key factors in Cal’s win was a 49-38 advantage on the boards. Cal’s work on the glass manifested itself in the second half when the Bears scored 11 of their 17 second-chance points.
Leading 32-30 at the half, Cal came out and scored the first 11 points of the second half to take a 43-30 lead with 15:59 remaining.
Sophie Brunner, who tied for the team lead with six points in the first half and led ASU with six rebounds, was forced to leave the contest because of injury less than two minutes into the second half. She would return after missing 2:19 of actual game action, but in that time Cal increased its lead from four to 13 points.
The Bears would eventually extend their lead to 15 after Boyd’s driving layup gave Cal a 49-34 lead with 13:44 left.
ASU would get within 10 and 11 only to see Cal reclaim a 15-point lead both times. Gennifer Brandon, who had 15 points and 14 rebounds, scored four straight to put Cal up 60-45 with 7:04 left.
At that point the Sun Devils would make their most assertive run of the second half, scoring 13 of the next 18 points to get within five, 63-58, after a 3-pointer by Katie Hempen with 2:47 remaining.
ASU’s comeback would stall at that point however as Cal responded with an 8-2 run to once again extend out to a double-digit lead, 71-60, with 1:01 left.
The Sun Devils entered Sunday’s game tied for second place in the Pac-12 with Cal and looking to snap a two-game losing skid.
After ASU scored the game’s first basket, Cal scored nine of the next 11 points to take a 9-4 lead. The Bears would lead by five on two other occasions before the Sun Devils used an 8-2 run to reclaim the lead 20-19.
The two teams would go back and forth over the next several minutes as neither squad led by more than three points until a 3-point play from Brandon gave the Bears a 32-28 lead with 1:44 remaining. Brunner scored the final basket of the half to cut Cal’s lead to 32-30 at the break.
The Sun Devils return to action on Friday when they begin their final home stand of the season vs. Colorado (6:30 p.m.). Friday’s game vs. Colorado will be ASU’s annual Play4Kay Pink Game to promote breast cancer awareness. Fans wearing pink will be admitted for $5. ASU will then close out the home portion of its schedule on Sunday (1 p.m.) when it hosts Utah on Senior Day. It will be the final home game for Sun Devil seniors Joy Burke, Deja Mann and Adrianne Thomas.