Arizona State forward Jon Gilling launches a three-pointer - Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Though basketball and hockey are getting most of the love on House of Sparky, we give you an update on all the Sun Devil teams in the heat of competition this week.
Men's Basketball: Though Carrick Felix and the Sun Devils lost their first game of conference play on Sunday night in Eugene, the maroon and gold put together an impressive weekend performance that has the school's basketball fans believing in this team again. Jahii Carson scored 20 points in Arizona State's 72-62 victory over Oregon State on Thursday night, and the freshman phenom nearly led the Sun Devils to their fourth straight victory in the Pac-12 against the Ducks. The backcourt combo of Carson and Evan Gordon combined for 37 points against Oregon, but their effort wasn't enough to overcome a balanced Ducks attack that featured four scorers in double figures. The Sun Devils return to Tempe with a record of 14-3 for a highly anticipated affair against the Arizona Wildcats on Saturday afternoon.
Women's Basketball: The women's basketball team made the most of their precious few home games in January this weekend. After playing the majority of their nonconference games on the road this season, the Sun Devils returned home to Tempe for games three and four of Pac-12 play against the Oregon schools this weekend. Fortunately for Coach Charli Turner Thorne, she saw inspired play from the likes of Janae Fulcher (29 points and 16 rebounds in two games) and Promise Amukamara (13 points on Sunday) as the Sun Devils swept the weekend series. On Friday, Arizona State rolled the Oregon Ducks by a score of 60-45 and on Sunday, the Devils led the Beavers wire to wire en route to a 66-55 win. After 16 games, the Sun Devils are a perfect 10-0 when holding their opponents under 60 points.
Women's Gymnastics: The gymnastics team opened their season with a solid performance in a loss to the No. 4 ranked Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday. Faced with the daunting task of competing without three injured gymnasts including returning all around competitor Sammy Seaman, the Sun Devils still managed to accumulate a solid score in the 196.70-193.625 loss. Sophomore Natasha Sundby achieved the highest mark of any Sun Devil on Saturday when she broke out a brand new vault that earned a 9.875 from the judges. The highlight of the home meet was the debut of seven freshmen competitors including the ultra-talented Stephanie Micelli who anchored three events for Arizona State.
Hockey: The No. 1 ranked hockey team lived on the edge during its weekend homestand, but the Sun Devils proved they could win the close ones. On Thursday night, the Sun Devils needed a goal from Darcy Charrois in the eighth round of a shootout to overcome the Liberty Flames, and the following two game series against Stony Brook wasn't any easier. On Friday, the Sun Devils used an outstanding effort from goalie Joe D'Elia and a clutch shootout goal from Colin Hekle to thwart the Seawolves' upset bid in a 2-1 thriller. Finally, Danny McAuliffe and the gang capped off the weekend with the best comeback effort of the season for Arizona State. Though Stony Brook led by scores of 2-0, 3-2, and 4-2 in the third period alone, the Sun Devils served up a flurry of goals to force a third consecutive night of overtime hockey. Instead of risking another shootout, McAuliffe raced paced the Seawolves defense and delivered the game-winner. The Sun Devils ended up 3-0 on the long weekend, but they didn't make it easy on themselves.
Swimming and Diving: Despite the frigid temperature of late, the swimming and diving teams caught fire in the pool on Friday afternoon in Tempe. The first meet of the calendar year was kind to the Sun Devils as the men and women's teams took down Brigham Young University by scores of 158-138 and 201-94 respectively. The win marked the first duel meet victory of the season for the men's team that has been competing since October, but has only faced off against a lone opponent four times thus far.
Track and Field: The men and women's track and field teams swept the Lumberjack Challenge in their season-opening meet in Flagstaff on Saturday. The men are ranked No. 6 in the country while the women come in at No. 30, and the strong showing this weekend showed that the Sun Devils will be a force to be reckoned with this spring. Though the season has barely begun, senior Jordan Clarke made a statement with a 20.59-meter throw in the shot put which, according to thesundevils.com, would give him the nation's leading mark in the shot put.
Wrestling: The Sun Devil wrestling team traveled to Hampton, Virginia for the Virginia Duals this weekend, but the maroon and gold struggled to a 1-2 record over two days of competition. After falling 22-19 to North Dakota State, the Sun Devils rebounded with a resounding 28-16 victory over Rider that included a standout performance from 125-pounder Dalton Miller and a match-sealing pin from senior Levi Cooper. On Saturday, the Sun Devils were eliminated after losing to the Kent State Golden Flashes by a score of 26-12.
Keep your eyes peeled as later on this semester, we add baseball, softball, lacrosse, and other Sun Devil teams to the mix for our "Weekly Roundup".