ASU women’s basketball clinched the ASU Classic title with a 73-48 win over UC Riverside, but the victory might have came at a cost.
In day two of the annual ASU Classic tournament, the Arizona State Sun Devils took down the UC Riverside Highlanders 73-48 to win the tournament, but Junior guard Sabrina Haines was carried off the court with an apparent knee injury.
ASU took down the Buffalo Bulls 76-57 and UC Riverside upset the UNLV Rebels 95-88 to find their way to the big game. Sunday afternoon’s final featured the Sun Devils controlling the game from the first minute to the last.
The first quarter showcased the true dominance and power of the Sun Devils. They jumped early with the first six points of the game, and ended the quarter leading 27-9. Haines, who did not start for the second straight game, bursted for nine first quarter points.
The second quarter did not showcase the same offensive scoring attack as the first, but the Sun Devils made the right plays at the right time.
While ASU got cold offensively, the Highlanders couldn’t get enough of a rhythm to lift them back in the game. ASU went nearly five minutes with no baskets, but kept the Highlanders to just two points in the final five minutes of the half.
At the end of the half the most notable stat was field goal percentage, ASU was shooting 50 percent from the field, while the Highlanders shot 20 percent, going 6-of-30 from the field. ASU held a 38-20 lead at the end of the 1st half.
The third quarter was back and forth, as the Sun Devils flirted with a 20-point lead throughout the third.
With a little over five minutes left in the quarter, the Sun Devils may have suffered their worst loss of the season. Haines, a captain and the spark of the team, went down with an apparent knee injury as she helped off the court and out of sight through the tunnel. The quarter ended with Courtney Ekmark scoring five points on the final 30 seconds as ASU led 55-35.
The fourth quarter was back and forth, as the ASU lead proved to be too much to come back from. ASU guard Robbi Ryan also went down with an apparent knee injury, in a play that looked very similar to Haines’ a quarter earlier. Ryan was able to walk off in her own power, as the Sun Devils went on to win the game and the ASU Classic.
Courtney Ekmark and Sabrina Haines led the Devils with 12 points each. ASU’s bench outscored UCR’s by 33 points, proving to be the difference maker in the game.
After the game, sophomore forward Jamie Ruden shared her thoughts on Sabrina’s injury.
“We don’t really know the specifics… it will be difficult because she’s a really good player, but we’ll step and fill that role as best as we can.”
Head coach Charli Turner Thorne spoke on the injury as well.
“I always think positive…Sabrina’s really a very sturdy kid, and she’s been very healthy her whole career, so I’m staying positive with it” Turner Thorne said. “I would have taken her over the game.”
The win moves ASU to 7-2 on the season, as they will get a well-deserved week off until they play at Florida State next Sunday.