(Photo: James Powel/WCSN)
Arizona State won its second game in a row against the University of Southern California in a 69-62 nail bitter.
The Sun Devils and the Trojans started the game off neck and neck in Friday’s matchup. Both teams started the game off trading buckets and it continued all the way through the third quarter.
The Trojans tried to go to a full court trap late in the first quarter, but ASU handled it well. They had no trouble calmly getting the ball up the court and going to work in their half court offense where they were very efficient shooting 52 percent.
Even with the Trojans tried to put the pressure on Arizona State, the Sun Devils never struggled taking care of the ball. ASU started the game off with four early turnovers, but they only had one turnover after USC began the full court trap. The Trojans abandoned the trap as they entered the second half.
It appeared that ASU was starting to pull away with just a few minutes before halftime, but they never could. To start the second half it seemed that USC had all the momentum, but the Sun Devils never let them run away with it.
The game finally shifted into ASU’s favor as Kelsey Moos hit a late third quarter three followed by a Sophie Brunner steal and buzzer beater from 70 feet out to take the momentum going into the final quarter.
“I got the ball, was about to pass it and then I looked up and there were about three second left and I was like oh that’s not gonna be good for her, so I thought I better just shoot it,” Brunner said. “Somehow it went in, I have no idea how.”
The two teams were evenly matched, but Arizona State went on a 14-0 run late in the game to get the team’s second win in a row.
Player of the game: Sophie Brunner
Brunner was the leading scorer in tonight’s battle with 20 points while shooting a fantastic 89 percent from the field. She also had eight rebounds and an amazing third quarter buzzer beater from about 70 feet out.
“Like I said, I don’t know how that went in,” Brunner said. “I guess God was just looking down on me.”
Brunner means a lot to the team’s success and it’s obvious that her teammates understand and appreciate her.
“Often times Sophie has to carry the team on her back and I cant even put into word the amount that she has done for this team,” Quinn Dornstauder said.
Biggest concern: Converting easy shots
In the first half, he Sun Devils struggled converting more than a few easy shots inside. There were even a couple missed uncontested layups. Arizona State would have probably pulled away early on if they had taken advantage of those easy opportunities.
Stat of the night: 38
Arizona State dominated the paint on offense. Dornstauder had a great game with 19 points and six rebounds as the Sun Devils continually pounded it inside with her and Brunner.
“I think that kind of always the game plan,” Dornstauder said. “I mean the closer you shoot it, the higher percentage the shot is, so yeah.”
What’s next: The Bruins
Arizona State will host No. 15 UCLA in Tempe Sunday. Tip off is at 12:00 p.m. MST at Wells Fargo Arena.