(Photo: Brooke Faber/WCSN)
Despite starting slow, Arizona State was able to take down another Pac-12 foe in UCLA, beating them 68-54.
The Bruins were leading ASU by seven going into half, but a 12-0 run at the beginning of the second half gave the Sun Devils the lead for the rest of the game.
Nirra Fields, UCLA’s top scorer finished the night with 17 points, which is abover her average for the season. Lajahna Drummer also scored in double digits for the Bruins, finishing with 11 points.
In the first half ASU was able to keep the game within reach with some key threes from Elisha Davis and Katie Hempen when they were down by as much as eight. Arnecia Hawkins also contributed in the first half, scoring seven points.
Player of the Game: Katie Hempen
Katie Hempen scored 19 points on the night, which lead the team. However what was impressive was how Hempen scored a majority of her points. Usually Hempen relies on shooting threes for her points, but tonight Hempen was strong from all over the court. Hempen had some nice midrange jumpers, and eight of her 19 points came from those jumpers. Hempen was also spreading the love, tallying six assists on the night.
Stat of the Night: 7 out of 9
ASU has been doing a great job of spreading the wealth lately, and that continued against the Bruins. Seven out of the nine ASU players to step foot on the court scored over five points tonight, and the team as a whole had 19 assists, compared to UCLA’s 12. This is a good sign for ASU going forward, because it keeps opposing teams from targeting one or two players and makes them focus on the entire team defensively.
Biggest Concern: Paint Defense
Kelsey Moos’ injury has exposed a hole in ASU’s defense, and UCLA was able to expose it tonight. Moos is a great defender in the paint and when she’s healthy it helps give depth to a not very tall post game for ASU, and ASU needed her tonight. All of UCLA’s points came from inside the three point line tonight, and there were times where it was too easy. There were times where Sophie Brunner would go to trap, leaving the lane open and the Bruins took advantage of that throughout the game.
ASU continues their California road trip when they take on USC Sunday. Tipoff is at 4:00 p.m. MST.