TEMPE, ARIZONA - The #2 Oregon Ducks (12-2, 2-1) dropped their second game of the season, this time against defensive minded Arizona State (12-4, 2-2) who rallied in the fourth quarter for the upset victory.
The Sun Devils have had a lot of practice this season competing in close games, often putting together comeback efforts that fell short. But against their best competition so far, ASU held #2 Oregon to their second lowest point total of the season (their first being their 62-72 loss against Louisville) and overcame a 10-point deficit entering the fourth quarter.
1ST HALF - Ruthy Hebard scored the game’s first six points and the Ducks looked to be heading toward another lopsided victory, however, some early foul trouble slowed down the pace and allowed the Sun Devils to keep it close early. Oregon pulled away by hitting three triples in the last 1:38 of the opening quarter - two in a row by Taylor Chavez then a three-pointer by Holly Winterburn.
The Ducks had an eight-point lead entering the second quarter, and some sharp shooting by Sabrina Ionescu and Jaz Shelley expanded the lead, then a Winterburn free throw gave the heavily favored team their largest lead of the night. 32 to 19. But the tenacious Sun Devils responded with a 9-3 run to make it a seven-point game at the half.
2ND HALF - Things got off to an ominous start when Satou Sabally started the second half with a turnover, then a foul committed by Erin Boley cut the lead to five when Jade Van Hyfte hit her shots from the charity stripe. Oregon’s big three scored 15 of the Ducks’ 17 third-quarter points and were able to build a ten-point lead through a ferocious defensive effort that held ASU to under 16 points in each of the first three frames of the game.
Unfortunately for Kelly Graves and the Ducks, the Sun Devils put together a 30-point fourth-quarter rally that included 14 unanswered points to take their first lead of the game with 3:57 left in the fourth.
ASU hit four consecutive triples to take a 58-56 lead, but Ionescu responded by hitting a couple of free throws and then scoring on a jumper to reclaim the advantage. Jamie Ruden hit a triple which got the crowd fired up, then Oregon’s bench erupted when Ionescu again took the lead with a bucket. However, the Sun Devils outscored the Ducks 11 to 4 to close out the game and seal the victory.
Oregon had trouble changing the point of attack and finishing in the paint, which is evident by their measly nine assists. And even when they did find an open shot from long range they had trouble connecting, finishing the day 5-of-18. Ionescu scored a game-high 24 points, but her heroics fell short in the end.
The Ducks will need to put this game behind them as the #18 Arizona Wildcats await them in Tucson, fresh off a near upset of the #3 Oregon State Beavers.
*Sabrina Ionescu (37 min): 10 REB - 4 AST - 2 STL - 2 TO - 4 PF - 10/19 FG - 0/4 3PT - 4/4 FT - 24 PTS
*Ruthy Hebard (28 min): 9 REB - 1 AST - 1 TO - 4 PF - 6/9 FG - 1/4 FT - 13 PTS
*Satou Sabally (34 min): 3 REB - 8 TO - 4 PF - 4/9 FG - 2/4 3PT - 10 PTS
*Minyon Moore (29 min): 1 REB - 4 AST - 1 TO - 2 PF - 1/4 FG - 0/1 3PT - 2 PTS
*Erin Boley (19 min): 2 REB - 1 PF - 1/6 FG - 0/5 3PT - 2 PTS
Jaz Shelley (14 min): 1 REB - 1 STL - 2 PF - 3/5 FG - 1/2 3PT - 0/2 FT - 7 PTS
Taylor Chavez (26 min): 4 REB - 1 STL - 2 TO - 2 PF - 2/3 FG - 2/2 3PT - 6 PTS
Lydia Giomi (7 min): 1 STL - 1 PF - 1/2 FT - 1 PT
Holly Winterburn (6 min): 1 REB - 2 TO - 1/2 FT - 1 PT
ARIZONA STATE STARTERS
*Robbi Ryan (25 min): 1 TO - 2 PF - 6/14 FG - 2/5 3PT - 3/4 FT - 17 PTS
*Ja’Tavia Tapley (22 min): 6 REB - 1 AST - 2 STL - 3 PF - 5/12 FG - 6/8 FT - 16 PTS
*Reili Richardson (29 min): 4 REB - 5 AST - 3 STL - 1 TO - 2 PF 2/8 FG - 2/5 3PT - 6/6 FT - 12 PTS
*Jayde Van Hyfte (28 min): 6 REB - 1 BLK - 1 STL - 1 TO - 1 PF - 0/3 FG - 0/1 3PT - 2/2 FT - 2 PTS
*Taya Hanson (24 min): 2 REB - 2 AST - 1 TO - 3 PF - 0/4 FG - 0/4 3PT
NEXT UP: @ #18 ARIZONA
1/12, Sunday, 11 AM, PAC-12 NETWORK