TEMPE, Ariz. – Led by Sophie Brunner, who had 16 points, seven rebounds, four steals and a career-high-tying five assists, the No. 17 Arizona State women’s basketball team opened Pac-12 play with a 57-49 win over No. 19 Cal on Saturday.
Katie Hempen and Quinn Dornstauder added 14 points each for the Sun Devils (10-3, 1-0 Pac-12), who won their seventh straight game. Also posting important contributions in the win were Arnecia Hawkins (nine points, five rebounds and five steals), Elisha Davis (nine assists, four rebounds and three steals) and Kelsey Moos (six points, two assists and two steals).
The Sun Devils came up with another outstanding defensive effort as they forced Cal into 26 turnovers (ASU converted them into 20 points) and held the Bears 33 points below their scoring average (82.2 points).
Kristine Anigwe led Cal with a game-high 22 points (10/13 FGs) to go with 13 rebounds, three blocks and three steals. Anigwe’s performance was Cal’s lone bright spot on the offensive end as ASU forced the rest of the squad into a 28-percent shooting effort.
Brunner helped the Sun Devils get off to a fast start as she scored six points in the first 4:06 of the game to push ASU to an early 11-2 lead.
The Sun Devils would go on to shoot 50 percent in the first quarter to go up 18-10 after the first 10 minutes. Although the Bears had a higher shooting percentage than ASU in the first quarter (55.6) they did not have as many opportunities as the Sun Devils thanks to 10 turnovers.
ASU would take control after it outscored Cal 14-1 during a four-minute stretch in the second quarter. Five different players contributed to the scoring run as ASU stretched its lead to 20 points after Peace Amukamara’s jumper with 1:02 left in the first half.
The Golden Bears would post the next nine points to cut ASU’s lead to 11 after Mikayla Cowling’s triple 55 seconds into the third quarter.
Later in the period Anigwe’s 3-point play helped Cal get back within single digits. It would not stay that way for long as layups by Brunner and Dornstauder helped get ASU’s lead back to 13.
A similar sequence would ensue at the start of the fourth quarter as a bucket from Anigwe again had Cal within single digits, 49-40. Just like they did in the third quarter, the Sun Devils would respond with consecutive baskets – Hempen and Hawkins – to once again go up by 13.
Cal would get no closer until the final minute of the game. Anigwe’s layup that cut ASU’s lead to eight with 43 seconds remaining was the only score by either squad the last 4:30 of the game.
The Sun Devils return to action on Monday (6 p.m. MT) when they host No. 11 Stanford. The game can be seen live on Pac-12 Networks and can be heard on NBC Sports Radio AM 1060. Fans are encouraged to #WhiteOutStanford by wearing their favorite white Sun Devil gear in unison with the team's home white uniforms. The first 250 fans will receive a free white rally towel. Also, Monday is National Trivia Day. To commemorate the occasion, fans will have the opportunity to participate in a brand new experience as interactive trivia will be taking place throughout the game.