SEATTLE – The No. 14 Arizona State women’s basketball team came through when it mattered most – in the fourth quarter – on Friday night as the Sun Devils defeated Washington 68-61 for their ninth straight win.
Four players scored in double figures for the Sun Devils (12-3, 3-0 Pac-12) led by Sophie Brunner, who just missed her second consecutive double-double with 15 points and nine rebounds. Also scoring in double figures for ASU were Elisha Davis (13 points, six assists), Katie Hempen (13 points, 3-6 3-point FGs) and Quinn Dornstauder (12 points, six rebounds, 5-7 FGs).
ASU shot 46 percent for the game and connected nine times from downtown. Hempen (3) and Davis (3) combined for six of ASU’s makes from long range.
Although the Huskies (11-4, 2-2 Pac-12) became only the second team to score 60 or more points against the Sun Devils in regulation, ASU still had a strong game on the defensive end as it held Washington 18.9 points below its scoring average and did not allow the nation’s No. 1 scorer, Kelsey Plum (27.9 ppg), to take control of the game. Plum, who has scored 30 or more points six times this season, had a game-high 21 points (8-20 FGs).
The Sun Devils started the fourth quarter on a 13-4 run to turn a 45-42 deficit into a 55-49 lead. Brunner (two points), Davis (six points), Dornstauder (two points) and Arnecia Hawkins (three points) all scored during the scoring spurt, which included a trio of 3-pointers (two by Davis and one by Hawkins).
The Huskies cut ASU’s lead to three after Mathilde GIlling’s 3-pointer with 2:40 remaining. Neither team scored for the next 2:02, a span that included a pair of defensive stops by the Sun Devils.
Davis, who posted 10 of her 13 points in the final period, scored on a layup with 38 seconds left and then added two free throws to help the Sun Devils put the game out of reach.
The Sun Devils saved their best for last on Friday as they outscored the Huskies 26-16 in the fourth quarter while making 73 percent (8-11) of their shots, including 60 percent (3-5) from beyond the arc. Despite not attempting a single free throw in the first three quarters, the Sun Devils did not show any signs of rustiness as they made 88 percent of their attempts (7-8) in the final stanza.
With the win, the Sun Devils improved their road ledger to 15-1 over the last two seasons.
The Huskies scored the first five points of the game before the Sun Devils reeled off 13 of the next 16 points to go up 13-8 after a 3-pointer by Peace Amukamara with 3:12 left in the first quarter. The Huskies would counter with a 6-0 run to reclaim the lead, but Hempen’s triple with 23 seconds left gave ASU a 16-14 lead after one quarter of play.
Dornstauder was the only Sun Devil who could generate offense for much of the second quarter. Her three baskets, combined with solid defense by ASU, allowed the Sun Devils to maintain a 22-18 lead despite Dornstauder’s six points accounting for all of ASU’s offense over the first 5:38 of the period.
A 3-pointer by Alexus Atchley got the Huskies within a point, but Hempen and Amukamara came back with back-to-back triples to extend ASU’s lead to 27-21. A layup by UW’s Talia Walton represented the final points of the quarter and the Sun Devils went to the half up 27-23.
Brunner, who had 11 of her 15 points in the second half, was responsible for all four of ASU’s points over the first five-plus minutes of the third period as the rest of the Sun Devils could not get their shots to drop. The Huskies would take advantage as they scored 11 points during that same span to reclaim the lead.
Although ASU started to regain its stride on offense, it also started exchanging baskets with Washington and the result was the Huskies matching their biggest lead of the game (five points) on three occasions in the last two minutes of the period. Dornstauder’s layup with 22 seconds left helped ASU keep it a one-possession game as it trailed Washington 45-42 entering the final quarter.
The Sun Devils close out their weekend road trip on Sunday (noon PT/1 p.m. MT) when they play at Washington State. The game can be seen on Pac-12 Networks and heard on NBC Sports Radio AM 1060.