(Photo: Eliav Gabay/WCSN)
No. 18 Arizona State University women’s basketball team fought hard, defeating Cal 54-45 and completed the series sweep over the Golden Bears.
The Sun Devils and the Golden Bears both played stifling defense, as the score was only 4-2 through the first six minutes of the first quarter.
The Sun Devils continued to get the ball into the post and senior center Quinn Dornstauder hit a tough turn around hook shot, making the score 6-6.
With only seconds remaining in the first quarter, senior guard Courtney Range dribbled the ball the length of the floor and made a running floater off the glass. Range’s basket gave her six points and the Golden Bears a 10-9 lead heading into the second quarter.
The first possession of the second quarter, freshman Robbi Ryan hit a three pointer, giving ASU the one point lead.
Head coach Charli Turner Throne called a quick timeout after Cal’s Mi’Cole Cayton and Asha Thomas rattled off four points combined. Those two buckets gave the Bears the early 14-12 lead.
ASU and Cal did not struggle to score in the second quarter.
Midway through the second quarter, senior forward Sophie Brunner hit a tough turn around jumper and gave her team the 20-17 advantage.
Cal’s defense was flying around, applying a tough full-court press and turned an ASU turnover into two points taking back the lead.
Late in the second half, ASU’s offense struggled, as they did not score a basket in 4:40 seconds.
The Sun Devils shot 29 percent from the floor in the first half, while their opponent put in 43 percent of their shots.
The Bears finished the second quarter strong and sustained a four-point advantage heading into halftime leading 24-20.
Early in the third quarter, Thomas continued shooting well, draining a three-pointer and pusing the lead to six.
However, the Sun Devils came roaring back, scoring five points and cutting the lead to just one point, 26-27.
Halfway through the third quarter, Cal found ASU sleeping on defense and found junior guard Mikayla Cowling streaking back door for an easy layup.
With a couple of minutes remaining in the third quarter, the Sun Devils scored four straight points and cut the Cal lead to just one point agian.
The Sun Devils closed the third quarter on a 6-0 run and held tight to 36-35 lead heading into the final quarter of the contest.
The Sun Devils forced their opponent to turnover the ball twice, while converting baskets off both of those Cal miscues.
Late in third quarter, The Golden Bears were forced to play without their leading scorer and rebounder after sophomore Kristine Anigwe fouled out.
A couple possessions later, Brunner hit a timely three-pointer and put her team up 45-42 with 3:20 remaining in the final quarter.
After Anigwe fouled out, the Sun Devils were rolling offensively, going on a 7-0 run and eventually clinching the nine point victory.
The Sun Devils will be back in action against Stanford on Sunday at 4:00 p.m. MST to conclude their road trip.