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ASU Women’s Basketball: Sun Devils shock No. 22 Colorado in Pac-12 opener

Starting off strong

Zac BonDurant

It was 22 days since Arizona State (9-5, 1-0 Pac-12) took the floor together and 34 days since playing in front of fans. The Sun Devil faithful did not leave Desert Financial Arena disappointed on Friday after ASU’s 57-52 overtime win over nationally-ranked Colorado (13-3, 2-3).

The Sun Devils were in control for most of the game (39 minutes and 51 seconds to be exact), keeping Colorado at an arms-length. The Buffaloes came back from being down four in the final minute of play without star guard Mya Hollingshed, who fouled out with two minutes left in regulation.

In overtime, the Sun Devils did not hit a shot from the field, but made 11 free throws en route to the win. The only made shot in the extra period was a made three with one second left by Colorado.

The Sun Devils were without the services of leading scorer Jade Loville. In her absence, senior guard Taya Hanson led Arizona State with a game-high 17 points.

“It just generates confidence in us,” Hanson said of the win on the Pac-12 Network postgame. “We took care of business tonight all the way through.”

Transfer forward Mael Gilles also stepped up on the defensive end for ASU, hauling in 11 rebounds and rejecting five shots. In total, Arizona State blocked 11 shots to the Buffalos 2.

Friday’s contest was the first Pac-12 game for Arizona State, after their previous six games were postponed due to Covid-19 protocols (within ASU and some of their opponents). Barring anything catastrophic, the Sun Devils will Utah on Sunday at 1 p.m. local time at Desert Financial Arena.