TEMPE, Ariz. – On a night in which it shot 30 percent from the floor (17 percent from 3-point range) and allowed its opponent to shoot 48 percent, including a blistering 58 percent from downtown, the No. 15 Arizona State women’s basketball team still found a way to win.
Adrianne Thomas scored seven of her team-high 17 points in the final two minutes and Promise Amukamara once again came up with late-game heroics on the defensive end to help the Sun Devils erase a seven-point deficit in the final 95 seconds and come away with a 64-62 win over a very game and determined Oregon State squad.
For the Sun Devils (18-3, 7-2 Pac-12) it was the third time in as many games (all wins) in which they either trailed or were tied at some point in the final 20 seconds of the game.
Deja Mann (11 points), Katie Hempen (10 points) and Sophie Brunner (10 points) also recorded double-figure scoring totals for the Sun Devils, who committed a season-low seven turnovers on Friday. Thomas and Amukamara also added four steals each, while Kelsey Moos notched her second-consecutive, double-figure rebounding game with 10.
For the first time this season, the Sun Devils were able to come back from a double-digit deficit and win as they trailed by as many as 13 in the first half. They would come all the way back to tie the game at 50-50 after Hempen’s jumper with 10:17 remaining. However over the course of the next 6:40 ASU would manage but one free throw as the Beavers (12-9, 4-5) used an 8-1 run to build their lead back up to 58-51 with just under five minutes left.
Mann ended ASU’s cold spell from the floor with a jumper to get ASU within five, 58-53.
ASU would hold the Beavers scoreless on their next two possessions, but was unable to chip any additional points off OSU’s advantage.
The Beavers would not be denied a third straight time as Sydney Wiese’s layup with 1:42 remaining put Oregon State back on top by seven, 60-53.
Wiese would foul out seconds later after impeding Thomas’ desperate dash to get to into scoring range.
Thomas connected on both free throws and quickly regained possession of the ball after stealing the inbounds pass. Moments later she was back at the foul line where she drilled two more freebies and just like that ASU was within three, 60-57, with 1:32 remaining.
Oregon State would put the pressure back on ASU after Khadidja Toure’s layup once again made it a two-possession game, 62-57.
Thomas attempted to answer, but was unable to get her shot to fall over the long reach of OSU’s 6-6 center Ruth Hamblin. An offensive rebound by Brunner would give the Sun Devils another chance, which they would take full advantage of with Mann’s 3-pointer – ASU’s only triple of the game – which closed the gap to 60-58 with 50 seconds remaining.
The Beavers would kill 10 seconds before calling a timeout to reorganize their offense.
The swarming Sun Devils would force another turnover on the inbounds pass and Amukamara took advantage of the transition opportunity, finding Thomas, who this time was able to maneuver around her bigger defender and tie the game on a layup with 34 seconds left.
For the second straight contest the Sun Devils found themselves in a tie game with seconds remaining and with their opponent in position to take the final shot of regulation.
Five days earlier it was Colorado which had possession of the ball with 28 seconds remaining in a 66-66 game. However the Buffaloes would never get off a shot as Amukamara used excellent position defense to force a turnover, which the Sun Devils converted into the winning points after Thomas hit two free throws with 4.4 seconds left.
It would be déjà vu all over again on Friday as once again Amukamara found herself singled up with the ball handler, OSU’s Toure. Once again using outstanding footwork to her advantage, Amukamara picked Toure’s pocket and was off to the races in the opposite direction before being fouled by Toure while going up for a layup.
Amukamara made the first free throw, but missed the second giving the Beavers a chance to take the lead with 14 seconds left. Jamie Weisner got an open look at a jumper, which rimmed out. Thomas got the rebound and was immediately fouled.
Thomas missed the first, but made the second, once again leaving the door open for Oregon State. Needing to go the length of the floor with fewer than two seconds left, the Beavers would benefit from a fortuitous inbounds sequence in which the ball made its way to the other end of the floor with no one touching it until it hit off Amukamara with hardly any time running off the clock.
Weisner would end up with an open look from the wing to win it, but it hit off the back of the iron allowing the Sun Devils to pull out yet another last-second win.
In a season filled with frenetic, down-to-the-wire finishes, the Sun Devils improved to 9-0 in games decided by five points or less or overtime.
The Sun Devils return to action on Sunday (1 p.m. MT) when they host Oregon at Wells Fargo Arena. The game can be seen via live stream at http://pac-12.com/videos/arizona-state-university and heard live on NBC Sports Radio AM 1060.