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ASU Women’s Basketball: Osborne, No. 5 UCLA hold off Arizona State

Slow start hurts Sun Devils

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 29 Women’s Arizona State at UCLA Photo by Kyusung Gong/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Charisma Osborne had a field day as No. 5 UCLA (9-2, 7-2 PAC-12) handed Arizona State (8-4, 4-4) its second-straight loss on Friday night by a score of 60-57.

The reigning PAC-12 Player of the Week had a game-high 27 points on 8-16 shooting, including three triples in the fourth quarter.

“We just gave (Osborne) too much space,” freshman guard Jaddan Simmons said. “We just got to execute next time.”

Starting slow has been a point of emphasis for the Sun Devils all season. In the first quarter, UCLA went on a 17-1 run over the last 7:34 after ASU scored the first two baskets of the game.

“We’re all just frustrated,” head coach Charli Turner Thorne said of the slow starts. “The whole first quarter we just didn’t play defense.”

In the first meeting between these two teams, ASU came back from being down by 17 points, only to lose by four in the closing minute. On Friday, the Sun Devils were down by as many as 18 points in the first half.

Obviously, the scoreboard indicates that the Sun Devils did not stay down for long. They got a spark in the second quarter from junior guard Gabriela Bosquez, when she rattled off eight points in three minutes.

“Gabby is the reason we got back in the game,” Simmons said. “She’s just a great energy player whether she’s on the bench or in the game.”

In addition to Bosquez, freshman Imogen Greenslade stepped up big for the Sun Devils, leading the team with nine rebounds and adding seven points.

“That’s what we need,” senior Taya Hanson said of the bench’s performance. “We need everyone to step up.”

Hanson led ASU with 12 points on 3-11 (27 percent) shooting.

Friday night was the first game all season that the Sun Devils had everyone available (besides Jayde Van Hyfte who is out for the year). There were definitely some rough patches for the offense, but in the second half, ASU was able to outscore UCLA 36-27.

This is now the third time this season Arizona State has taken a top-ten team down to the wire, but there is still plenty more to grow on from here, especially with a full roster that has plenty of youth.

The Sun Devils will look to get back in the win column when they take on USC this Sunday at 2 p.m. local time.