TEMPE, Ariz. – Katie Hempen broke the school record for career 3-pointers made and scored a season-high 20 points to lead the No. 8 Arizona State women’s basketball team to a 65-61 victory over No. 14 UCLA on Friday night at Wells Fargo Arena.
Coming off their first loss in nearly two months, a 67-44 setback at ninth-ranked Oregon State on Monday, the Sun Devils responded against a Bruins squad that had won five straight and nine of 11 overall.
Hempen entered Friday’s contest with 159 career 3-pointers, two shy of the school record. She would end up connecting on four triples against UCLA, the ninth time this season she has knocked down three or more 3-pointers.
The Sun Devils (19-4, 10-1 Pac-12) had three other players finish with 10 points each: Elisha Davis (seven assists, zero turnovers, eight points in the fourth quarter), Arnecia Hawkins (four assists, three rebounds) and Quinn Dornstauder (eight rebounds).
“I thought we got back to playing faster and playing harder,” ASU head coach Charli Turner Thorne said. “I think Katie Hempen had one of her best offensive games of the year. She didn’t take one bad shot tonight and she was really locked in and seeing the defense really well.”
After falling behind by as many as 17 points in the second quarter UCLA (16-6, 8-3 Pac-12) slowly chipped away at the lead, getting within eight points at the half after Jordin Canada sunk a shot from half court at the buzzer.
A 10-2 run that started midway through the third quarter ended up giving UCLA its first lead of the game, 44-42, after Lajahna Drummer’s layup with 1:34 left in the period.
The Sun Devils would reclaim the lead on a 3-pointer by Hempen, but UCLA would respond with a 3-pointer by Kari Korver to once again go up by two points. Another 3-pointer by Hempen and a 3-point play by Kelsey Moos put ASU up 51-47 before Nirra Fields scored on a layup to get the Bruins within two heading into the fourth quarter.
ASU started the final quarter with eight straight points to once again take a double-digit lead, 59-49 with seven minutes left. Davis scored six of the eight points during the scoring run.
The Bruins would come back with the next seven points and were within one possession after Drummer made one-of-two free throws to cut ASU’s lead to three points, 59-56 with just over three minutes remaining.
The Sun Devils could not extend their lead after missing three shots on their next possession. Their defense would come through on the ensuing possession as the Bruins missed all four of their shots.
After going scoreless for more than six minutes, the Sun Devils were finally able to break the cold spell as Davis hit a jumper to extend ASU’s lead to five, 61-56 with 48 seconds left.
The Bruins closed the gap to two, 63-61, with nine seconds left to play, but Moos nailed two free throws to seal the game for ASU.
UCLA was led by Canada, who had 16 points and six assists, and Fields, who finished with 15 points and four rebounds.
After tying their second-lowest shooting percentage of the season (30.9) in Monday’s loss at Oregon State, ASU came back to shoot 47.4 percent in Friday’s win. ASU also bounced back with a plus-13 effort on the boards (43-30) after ending up minus-11 (34-23) against the Beavers.
Up next for ASU is a home matchup against USC on Sunday (2 p.m. MT). The game will be streamed live at http://pac-12.com/live/arizona-state-university and can be heard on NBC Sports Radio AM 1060.