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ASU Women’s Basketball: Back-and-forth affair ends with USC buzzer-beater

Rough start to weekend

Zac BonDurant

Everyone loves games that comes down to the wire. Anything can happen in college basketball and there is something about its flare for the dramatics that captivate so many people, especially in the month of March.

Unfortunately, there is still another week or so until this “madness” can officially reign over the sports world, but there was a taste of it in Tempe on Thursday night in Arizona State’s 60-58 loss to USC (12-14, 5-11 Pac-12) on a game-winning shot at the buzzer.

After going into the fourth quarter knotted up at 40, Arizona State (12-12, 4-7) led for most of the frame. Trojan guard Tera Reed went on her own 9-2 spurt to bring her team back in front with 34 seconds to go.

Mael Gilles, who has been a phenomenal addition to the front court this year as a graduate transfer, had her number called in the closing seconds. She drove left, stopped on a dime spun and put up a beautiful right-handed hook shot that gave her team a one-point advantage.

The only problem was that time was still on the clock.

Reserve guard Alyson Muira checked back into with 6:17 left in the fourth quarter, after USC’s starting forward Jordan Sanders fouled out with a team-high 17 points. On a final possession that broke down, Krya White was falling down at the elbow and found Muira in the corner with an open shot.

Nothing. But. Net.

Not one play can define an entire game, nor can entire game be defined by one play. The Sun Devils played hard, led for most of the game and were actually plus-10 in rebounds (featuring 20 offensive boards) against a top-four team in the conference in that department.

Jade Loville also found her spots and led the team with a game-high 22 points on 7-18 shooting. Katelyn Levings also hauled in a career-high 12 rebounds as she started her second-straight game for ASU.

Turner Thorne is known for having a deep rotation and typically playing nine to 10 players per game. Arizona State was shorthanded on Thursday, as they only suited up eight scholarship players.

Gabriela Bosquez, Maggie Besselink and Jayde Van Hyfte joined Meg Newman and Isadora Sousa in black track suits on the sideline.

The Sun Devils did however win in the uniform department. The team wore ASU’s “Honoring Black Excellence” jerseys. For more information about the details and meaning within the uniform, check out this thread the team tweeted.

Next up, Arizona State will conclude their regular season with a Saturday afternoon game against UCLA that is slated for a 12 p.m. local time tip-off.