ASU basketball loses a heartbreaker as No. 5 Louisville is able to escape with a two-point win in the South Point Thanksgiving Shootout in Las Vegas.
No. 19 Arizona State Sun Devils squared off against the No. 5 ranked Louisville Cardinals in the South Point Thanksgiving Shootout.
For the Sun Devils, this was their second game in the past 12 days against a top five ranked team. After holding the lead for the majority of the game, ASU fell to Louisville on a last second shot by the score of 58-56.
It was a tough and hard-fought game for both teams. Throughout the game there were 12 lead changes and the score was tied 11 times. It was such a close game that the largest lead during the entire game was just a six-point lead that ASU held.
At the beginning of the game both teams came out and struggled to score. After the first quarter ASU was shooting 5-for-18 from the field and 3-for-5 from three. Louisville shot 6-of-19 from the field and struggled from three going 2-for-8. At the end of the period it was all tied up at 14 a piece.
In the second quarter the game started to get a little more physical and players started to get injured because of the intensity. Yacine Diop from Louisville suffered a knee injury which forced her to be taken out.
She then came back in after a couple of minutes on the bench and on her very first play, Diop dropped to the floor because of the previous injury. She was unable to return to the game after that.
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Going into halftime Louisville led Arizona State 29-27. It was an impressive third quarter out of Arizona State as they were able to reclaim the lead at 37-35.
ASU’s defense was a big part of the reason why they were able to not only take lead, but also keep it so close and almost win the game.
In the fourth quarter the game got extremely physical. Throughout the whole game, the refs did not call a lot of fouls and the teams realized that and tried to use it to their advantage.
With 25 seconds left in the game Louisville was leading 53-49 when ASU sent Sam Fuehring to the line. She made one out of two and was able to extend the lead to 54-49.
ASU took the ball back down the court where Kianna Ibis was fouled on a three-point attempt. She sunk all three free throws and the Sun Devils were forced to foul with only 19.3 seconds left.
Fuehring was fouled again, but this time she made both free throws and the game was now 56-52 in favor of the Cardinals.
Out of the timeout after the free-throw, Louisville decided to foul ASU right away and ended up sending Reili Richardson to the line with 12.2 seconds remaining. After Richardson knocked both free throws to make it 56-54, Louisville called a timeout to advance the ball up the court.
After the timeout the Cardinals attempted to inbound the ball and Sophia Elenga stole the ball for the Sun Devils and was instantly fouled. ASU was in the bonus so that sent her to the line where she hit both free throws to tie it up at 56 with 10.7 seconds left.
After the free-throws Dana Evans took the ball and drove the length of the court and got to the rim, help defense came over and she found Fuehring wide open on the other side of the rim wide open.
Fuehring made the lay-up to give Louisville the lead by two with two seconds remaining. ASU tried to inbound the ball quickly and it was stolen by Louisville. The final buzzer sounded, and Louisville was victorious, barely escaping an upset from Arizona State.
ASU’s offense was very dispersed throughout the game. Only Elenga was able to crack double digits with 13 points. The defense on the other hand was very dominant. They held Louisville’s top scorer Asia Durr to only 14 points. Durr usually averages 22.8 points per game.
Louisville’s player of the game had to be Sam Fuehring. She led the team in scoring this game with 18 points and added nine rebounds to go with it. Her two biggest points came with two seconds left and helped lift the Cardinals to victory.
For the Sun Devils this is their second loss of the season, both of them coming against top five teams in the nation.
ASU now has a record of 2-2 and will play again Saturday against Southern Illinois on the second day of the South Point Thanksgiving Shootout.