It came down to the final seconds before No. 22 ASU basketball‘s Reili Richardson hit a jump shot as time expired to beat Utah and hand them their first loss of the season.
The No. 22 Arizona State women’s basketball team came into their game Friday looking to bounce back from a disappointing loss against rival University of Arizona to open their conference play. The Utah Utes came into today 12-0 playing some great basketball.
With 1:34 seconds left in the fourth quarter Megan Huff made a lay-up for Utah to put the Utes up 63-57. ASU was in a scoring drought and called a timeout, they hadn’t made a field goal in four minutes.
Coming out of the timeout, ASU coach Charli Turner Thorne drew up a play for senior Kianna Ibis, who had been struggling during the game and only scored five points up to that point. Ibis got the ball and without hesitation put up a three-point shot and knocked it down to cut the lead down to three.
Utah missed a lay-up on the other end and ASU called another timeout. They ran another play for Ibis who took a heavily contested three and sunk it. Ibis tied the game at 63 a piece with 33 seconds left.
Utah took the ball down the court and got a good look with their star Huff but it was off target. Courtney Ekmark grabbed the board and instantly called a timeout. Three seconds remained on the clock.
After Utah used a foul they had to give, ASU took the ball out at half-court and gave it to Reili Richardson. Richardson took one dribble and took an off-balance jumper that banked off the glass and went in as time expired. ASU was victorious 65-63.
It was an extremely physical and fast paced game between these two conference foes.
The Sun Devils tried pushing the ball throughout the game but were missing chances and playing sloppy. Utah was losing the rebounding battle by a large margin but was able to turn it around in the second half.
Ibis, who came up clutch for the Sun Devils at the end of the game, did not have a great game. She shot 4-for-13 for the game and only had 11 points.
Richardson, was the same way. She shot 2-for-7 and had two points, but her last two were the biggest of the game.
On Utah’s side, Huff lead the charge and had another great game. She put up 17 points on 7-for-15 shooting to go along with 10 rebounds.
Another reason that ASU was able to come back and win the game was Ekmark. At one point she scored nine straight points for ASU to help keep them in the game.
Ekmark led the team in scoring with 15 points and something that doesn’t show up in the box score, hustle. Throughout the whole game she was playing hard and keeping the energy alive for ASU.
The Sun Devils improve to 10-3 on the season and 1-1 in Pac-12 play. They will travel to Colorado to host the Buffalos on Sunday before heading back home for two games.