After losing to No. 22 Oregon State, ASU women’s basketball look to bounce back versus No. 8 Oregon as the two battle for first place in the Pac-12.
Friday night was a tough loss for the Sun Devils to take.
After leading by as many as nine points, No. 18 Arizona State went ice cold from the field in the fourth quarter, tallying just eight points, as No. 22 Oregon State came back to win 57-54.
The Beavers handed the Sun Devils their first loss of the Pac-12 season and it won’t get any easier Sunday as they travel to Eugene to face the eighth-ranked Oregon Ducks.
The Ducks are the Pac-12 favorites at this moment sitting as the highest ranked team in the AP Poll and the last remaining undefeated team in the Pac-12 (5-0).
Oregon is coming off a sluggish 62-44 win over Arizona Friday in a game where the Ducks only led the last-place Wildcats by one point at halftime.
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The Ducks pulled away in the second half as guard Sabrina Ionescu led the team with 22 points and 11 rebounds in 40 minutes played.
Oregon, who averages a league-high 85.6 points per game and is second in the Pac-12 shooting 49.6 percent, shot just 38 percent from the field in Friday’s game.
Arizona State is tied for the best defense in the Pac-12 with Oregon State allowing 56.3 points per game, and that defense will be put the test with the amount of weapons Oregon has at its disposal.
Alongside Ionescu, Oregon has guards Lexi Bando and Maite Cazorla and center Ruthy Hebard at their disposal and when their offense gets going, it’s a well-oiled machine.
The Sun Devils will have to play excellent defense Sunday should they want to leave Eugene with an impressive win.
Guard Kiara Russell has been the team’s best defender the last two games recording six steals in the last two games against Stanford and Oregon State.
Center Charena Johnson-Chapman and forward Kianna Ibis will be tasked to boxing out and grabbing rebounds as it’s vital that the Sun Devils does not give Oregon second-chance opportunities considering their three-point prowess.
A win would signal Arizona State as a contender to win the Pac-12 and send a loud statement to the rest of the conference that, despite the youth of this team, they are capable of beating anybody. Tip off of ASU-Oregon is at 6 p.m. MT Sunday with the game televised on Pac-12 Network.