clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

#SunDevilMoments Seed No. 7: ASU Women’s Basketball Reaches Sweet 16

The Sun Devils wild comeback win over UALR to reach the Sweet 16 of the 2015 NCAA Tournament was one of the most dramatic victories of the ASU athletics year.

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Next week House of Sparky will begin our "#SunDevilMoments" tournament, with the 16 best moments from the athletic season. This week we will randomly introduce all 16 moments, then reveal our seedings and match-ups next week, where you, the reader, will vote on what was the ASU athletics Moment of the Year.

Postseason basketball hasn't been as much a rarity for the Sun Devils' women's team as it may be in other parts of Arizona.

Head coach Charli Turner Thorne guided her 2014-15 unit to a remarkable 29-win season (the second-highest total in school history) that included an 18-1 start (best ever overall start), a 7-0 start in conference play (best in school history), and the team's 11th 20-win season. The Sun Devils also broke into the top ten of the Associated Press poll for the first time since 2006-07, peaking in the rankings at No. 9 in the nation.

More impressively, the Sun Devils managed to progress to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2009.

The Lady Sun Devils were awarded the No. 3 seed in the Greensboro Region and an opportunity to host the first two games of the tournament in Tempe. After handily defeating No. 14-seeded Ohio in the first round, 74-55, ASU would have to squeak out a victory over No. 11-seeded Arkansas-Little Rock.

The Sun Devils would get off to a very slow start, making the possibility of being upset a near reality. ASU would finish the first half with 17 points while shooting 6-of-28 (21.4 percent) from the field, however they only trailed by nine at halftime against a UALR team that had averaged 65.1 points per game.

Five minutes into the second half, UALR had opened a 16-point lead, and ASU looked as though its season would conclude that night.

Luckily, the Sun Devils' offense (which averaged 64.8 points per game) roared back to life with tenacity and vengeance in the final 15 minutes.

The Sun Devils would shoot 57 percent from the field in second half, finally finding success on the offensive end. Their offensive breakthrough was coupled with lockdown defense that would help ASU claw back into the game.

UALR was held scoreless for over five minutes at one point during the second half, as ASU was able to take advantage, going on a 9-0 run to bring themselves within four with 3:56 remaining.

With 2:11 left and the Sun Devils down by six, guard Elisha Davis heaved a long-range three-pointer to bring her team within one possession, claiming the momentum for ASU and draining any and all confidence from their opposition.

After a UALR layup with 1:50 left, the Sun Devils went on a 6-0 run, taking the lead into the closing seconds.

Two made free throws from guard Katie Hempen with seven seconds remaining in the game pushed the team's lead to 57-54, and ASU would move on to the Sweet 16.

Despite falling to No. 2-seeded Florida State, 66-65, in heartbreaking fashion the following game, the Sun Devils certainly had a very successful season, and provided one of the more entertaining campaigns of the 2014-15 Sun Devil athletics season.

Look for them to continue their strong play during the 2015-16 season.

We saw this moment as the No. 7 moment of the ASU athletic season. It will be up the readers, beginning next week, to see how far this moment goes in our bracket.