TEMPE, Ariz. – Katie Hempen tied an NCAA Tournament record for most 3-pointers without a miss (6-6) and scored a game-high 20 points to lead the Arizona State women’s basketball team to a 74-52 win over New Mexico State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Elisha Davis (13 points, six assists) also scored in double figures for the Sun Devils (26-6), who will host Tennessee on Sunday at 6 p.m. with a berth in next week's regional round in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on the line.
ASU, the No. 2 seed in the Sioux Falls Region, shot 53 percent from the floor while limiting the Aggies (26-5) to 34 percent. The Sun Devils scored 26 points off the 21 New Mexico State turnovers they forced. ASU’s bench also played a big role in the win, outscoring NMSU’s reserves 25-3. Quinn Dornstauder (eight points) and Sabrina Haines (eight points) combined for 16 of those points.
New Mexico State, the No. 15 seed, was led by Sasha Weber, who had 18 points.
Hempen, who was one triple short of tying ASU's single-game school record, started the game with 3-pointers on each of ASU’s first two possessions to give the Sun Devils a 6-0 lead 59 seconds into the game.
The Sun Devils, who led 22-13 after the first 10 minutes, shot 63 percent in the first quarter while limiting the Aggies to only 25 percent. Hempen led the way with eight points. ASU scored half of its points in the quarter off of NMSU’s seven turnovers.
Hempen made all three of her shots – all from beyond the arc – in the second quarter and again led ASU with nine points to help give the Sun Devils a 45-24 lead at the break. ASU’s point total after the first 20 minutes represented its second-highest first-half total of the season, eclipsed only by the 48 points it scored vs. Marquette in December.
ASU extended its lead to 25 after Davis scored on consecutive layups to start the third quarter. The Aggies would get no closer than 18 points the rest of the way.
With Friday’s triumph ASU tied its third-highest win total (26 – 2008-09 team went 26-9) in school history. Only the 2006-07 (31-5) and 2014-15 (29-6) squads won more games. A win on Sunday would send ASU to the round of 16 for the second straight year.
Tennessee, the No. 7 seed, used an 11-4 run in the final six minutes to defeat Green Bay, the 10 seed, 59-53 in the first game of Friday’s doubleheader.
Tickets for Sunday’s second round game between the Sun Devils and Lady Vols are on sale now and can be purchased by clicking here.