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ASU Women’s Basketball: Offense struggles to capitalize in regular season finale

On to Vegas

Zac BonDurant

For teams to mount comebacks late in games, it comes down to two things: Getting stops on defense and scoring on offense. In its 59-52 loss to UCLA (13-11, 8-8 Pac-12), Arizona State (12-13, 4-9 Pac-12) was able to come up with some big defensive plays, but fell short on the offensive end late on Saturday afternoon.

Not including the forfeit loss to California (due to travel issues), ASU has now dropped five-straight games in which they hit the floor.

In the last four minutes of play, there were only two points scored between the teams. They were two made free throws by Bruins guard Charisma Osborne, bringing her team-high in points to 17.

The Sun Devils did not score after the 4:09 mark in the final quarter, making two of their last 14 shots. Guards Taya Hanson (four points) and Jade Loville (game-high 21 points) combined to shoot 0-6 from the field over that final four minute span.

Defensively, ASU was solid. They were forcing baseline drives and rotating on help-side to draw charges and block shots. Arizona State was forcing chaos and 17 turnovers against a Bruins team that is second-lowest in the conference, averaging 13.3 turnovers per game.

Neither team was able to fully pull away on Saturday. There were five lead changes between the teams and a 7-0 UCLA run was able to put them up nine before the ASU defense stepped up in the closing minutes.

Saturday afternoon marked the final regular season game for ASU. The team honored graduate transfer Mael Gilles after the game, and some teammates even showed some support for her on the bench as well.

At the time this is written, the Sun Devils are slated to play in the 8/9 game to start their Pac-12 tournament run as the nine seed. Conference tournament play will commence next week.