Arizona State (5-2) faced the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (5-3) and it came down to the very last seconds and some free throws in Sunday evening’s game.
The Sun Devils led for the entire contest until the final minute, but were able to push through for a 61-60 win in their final game of the Florida Gulf Coast Showcase.
Things got started early for ASU with a three-pointer from senior guard Robbi Ryan. After striking first, they pulled away by 11 late in the second quarter. Heading into the half, the Sun Devils were up 30-20.
It was smooth-sailing for ASU coming out of halftime, too. They had their largest lead of the game in the third quarter by 12 points.
With three minutes left, the Sun Devils were up 59-51, but things were far from over and the Blue Raiders weren’t going down without a fight. They went on a 9-0 run to go up 60-59 with one minute left on the clock. It was their first lead of the game.
Head coach Charli Turner Thorne called a timeout, re-evaluated with her group, and made a few changes on the court.
Sophomore guard Taya Hanson missed a three-pointer, giving the Blue Raiders the ball back, but they quickly turned the ball back over to the Sun Devils. A foul was called on the Blue Raiders’ Anatasia Hayes, sending Ryan to the free throw line.
It was one more chance for the Sun Devils to bring home the win with 30 seconds left. Ryan went 2-for-2 at the stripe and the Sun Devils had a 61-60 lead.
The Blue Raiders regained possession, but a missed jumper by Hayes and a rebound by senior guard Reili Richardson gave ASU its fifth win of the season.
Ryan led the Sun Devils with 13 points, and freshman guard Eboni Walker ended with 12.
They finished 2-1 at the showcase. The team returns home on Saturday to face the Brigham Young Cougars at 6 p.m.