(Photo: Dominic Cotroneo/WCSN)
In a matchup of the two best teams in the Pac-12, No. 8 Arizona State was unable to keep up with No. 9 Oregon State, losing 67-44 on Monday night in Corvallis.
ASU (18-4, 9-1 Pac-12) fought hard early, but it was a monstrous third quarter run from OSU (18-3, 9-1 Pac-12) and a huge game from senior guard Jamie Weisner that proved too much to overcome for head coach Charli Turner Thorne’s squad.
The Sun Devils played well in the first half and went into the break down by just two points despite the Beavers shooting 60 percent, but Weisner opened the second half with a deep three-pointer to set the tone for what would be a back-breaking 18-6 third quarter run.
OSU’s trio of stars, Weisner, junior guard Sydney Wiese and senior center Ruth Hamblin, came out of the halftime break on fire, moving the ball around efficiently and converting often. The three stars shot a combined 73 percent from the field on the night.
Hamblin was especially strong in the second half, scoring eight of her 12 points after halftime. The 6-foot-6 center was a force on defense as well, blocking multiple shots and altering many more.
It was only the second game back for Wiese, but the junior showed no rust as she stuffed the stat sheet with 14 points, nine rebounds and six assists.
OSU led the nation in field goal percentage coming into this game, and the Beavers did not disappoint. Despite shooting 44 percent in the first half, ASU was only able to hit on five shots in the second half, shooting 5-for-27 after the break.
The Beavers length and speed on offense disrupted the Sun Devils throughout the game, allowing a total of 17 Sun Devil shots to go down and outrebounding ASU 34-23.
It was ASU’s worst offensive performance of the season with its previous low coming in the December 5 loss to VCU, and much of that was due to OSU’s defense, but much of the Sun Devils’ struggles came from shooting themselves in the foot.
The Sun Devils only turned the ball over eight times, but were unable to capitalize on 10 offensive rebounds, scoring only three second-chance points.
Junior forward Sophie Brunner, ASU’s leading scorer, managed 13 points, but only put up six shots due to Hamblin and OSU’s posts anchoring the inside. Junior center Quinn Dornstauder also suffered, scoring eight points on just 3-for-11 shooting.
The loss snaps ASU’s 15-game winning streak and creates a tie atop the conference for first place. Unlike last season, this is the only time these two teams will meet in the regular season, but both have games against Stanford and UCLA left on the schedule, so nothing is set in stone.
Player of the Game: Jamie Weisner
Weisner was sensational, scoring a game-high 25 points to go along with five rebounds and three assists. The senior was nearly perfect from the field, shooting 9-for-10 including a perfect 3-for-3 from behind the arc. There was nothing that ASU did could contain her, and OSU couldn’t have gotten a much better game from their star guard.
Stat of the Night: 31 percent
The Sun Devils shot just percent for the game, their worst percentage of the season. The ASU offense was absolutely abysmal, much due to the fact that the OSU defense was spectacular. The Beavers hounded the Sun Devils throughout the game, and because ASU couldn’t generate any offense in the second half, OSU was able to run away with the game.
ASU will have a few days to recover from the loss before taking on another tough challenge in No. 14 UCLA on Friday night in Tempe.