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ASU Women’s Basketball: Sun Devils upset No. 9 Wildcats on senior day

ASU has strong performance on senior day

Photo courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics

In its final regular season game, Arizona State (11-9, 6-9 Pac-12) upset the No. 9 Arizona Wildcats (15-4, 13-4) in a 66-64 overtime win on Sunday.

This win comes after two losses against Stanford and California last weekend.

“After last weekend, we just came into this week of practices with a chip on our shoulder,” said Taya Hanson. “We knew what it was going to take to win this game tonight, and it was going to take everything we had, all of our effort, and all of the hustle plays.”

Hanson scored 19 points and was 5-7 from three in 35 minutes on the court. Other strong performances were from Jaddan Simmons with 15 points and Maggie Besselink with seven points and 13 rebounds.

“We are just so proud of our effort today,” Hanson said. “We showed up, we were hitting shots. Maggie [Besselink] was killing it on the boards, and we were just playing hard-nosed Sun Devil basketball.”

The 13 rebounds were a career-high for Besselink.

“I had my teammates boxing out for me and I was just like hey, see ball, get ball,” Besselink said. “So I went and got it.”

Arizona senior Aari McDonald had another impressive game with 30 points in 43 minutes of play and wreaked havoc down the stretch in the second half and overtime.

“Clearly we let McDonald have way too good of a game,” said coach Charli Turner Thorne. “But at the same time, we did some great things, rebounded well, and adjusted a little bit with our turnovers.”

Being the last home game of the season, Sunday’s game was also senior day. Senior Bre’yanna Sanders was honored throughout the day.

“She [Sanders] has given so much to this team over the years,” Hanson said. “She just brings this level of joy, laughter, and excitement to the team that is going to be unforgettable. We are really going to miss that about her and having her around.”

In her final game in Tempe, Sanders recorded eight points, with two of the shots coming from the three-point line, as well as two steals.

“For her [Sanders] to play like that in front of her family in her last game at Desert Financial Arena was wonderful,” Turner Thorne said. “She will remember it for the rest of her life.”

ASU will now travel to Las Vegas for the Pac-12 Tournament. The Sun Devils are scheduled to play the USC in the first round on Wednesday, March 3 at 3 p.m. MST.