CORVALLIS, Ore. – The No. 20 Arizona State University women’s basketball team concluded the regular season in fourth place in the Pac-12 following its 66-43 loss at Oregon State on Sunday.
As a result of their fourth-place finish, the Sun Devils (22-8, 11-7 Pac-12) will enter this week’s Pac-12 Tournament as the No. 4 seed and will open play in the tournament on Friday when they will face either USC or Arizona in the quarterfinal round.
Picked to finish ninth and 10th by the media and coaches, respectively, in the Pac-12’s preseason polls, the Sun Devils actually entered this weekend with a chance to finish as high as second in what proved to be a very competitive league with several quality teams.
Among those quality teams is an Oregon State squad, which came into Sunday’s game on an eight-game winning streak. The contest was a rematch of a game in late January in which the Sun Devils came out as the victors in Tempe.
The two teams were separated by only three points through the first 12-plus minutes of Sunday’s game after the Sun Devils used a 9-2 run to take a 17-14 lead.
It was at that point that the Beavers (21-9, 13-5 Pac-12) started to take control as they scored 17 of the last 23 points of the half to take a 31-23 lead into the locker room.
Deja Mann, who had a team-high 13 points against OSU, paced the Sun Devils with 10 points at the half.
Beaver guard Sydney Wiese, the Pac-12’s leader in 3-point field goals, proved to be the difference maker for the conference’s best 3-point shooting team. After being held scoreless for the first 13:43 of the game, Wiese personally accounted for nine of OSU’s last 13 points of the half as she made a trio of triples over the last 6:17. Wiese, who scored all 15 of her points from beyond the arc, shot 50 percent (5-10) for the game from long range while the rest of the Beavers were 2-10.
Also proving making things difficult for the Sun Devils on both ends of the floor was OSU center Ruth Hamblin, who scored 10 of her game-high 16 points and had all seven of her blocks in the first half.
The Beavers took a double-digit lead on four different occasions over the first nine-plus minutes of the second half. Despite their struggles on offense, the Sun Devils managed to pull within eight after a free throw by Joy Burke cut OSU’s lead to 38-30 with 10:27 remaining.
It was at that point that the Beavers would start to pull away as they went on a 12-1 run to go up 50-31 with 6:28 remaining.
The Sun Devils could not find their groove on the offensive end in the second half as they shot 5-28 from the floor over the last 20 minutes.
In addition to Mann, who also had five rebounds and was 5-5 from the line, also coming through with a strong performance for the Sun Devils was freshman Kelsey Moos, who came one rebound short of a double-double with 11 points (4-6 FGs, 3-4 FTs) and nine rebounds.
ASU will now focus its preparations on the Pac-12 Tournament. The Sun Devils defeated nine of the 11 teams they faced in conference play this season. In addition to its fourth-place finish in Pac-12 play, ASU also posted a pair of wins over Top 25 teams (North Carolina and Syracuse) during non-conference play.
ASU’s quarterfinal game against USC/Arizona on Friday (2:30 p.m. PT/3:30 p.m. MT) will be televised by Pac-12 Networks.