TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Less than 48 hours after losing a physical battle to its rival on the road, No. 6 Arizona got revenge with a 62-58 win over Arizona State on Sunday.
Cate Reese had 17 points, Madi Conner scored a career-high 16 off the bench and the Wildcats (18-4, 8-4 Pac-12) used stifling defense in the second half and strong rebounding overall to avenge Friday’s 81-77 loss in Tempe.
“I think we improved from last game,” said Wildcats coach Adia Barnes, who put her team through a full practice on Saturday rather than the normal walkthrough between weekend games during Pac-12 play. “The areas that we said we were going to win, we won mostly all of them.”
Reese was 7 of 10 from the field and Conner was 7 of 12, including two 3-pointers, as Arizona shot a season-high 58.1%. It also won the rebound battle, 27-22, after being outrebounded by 15 on Friday.
“It was a huge difference,” ASU coach Charli Turner Thorne said of the rebounding. “We controlled the boards in the first game.”
Two days after the teams combined for 52 fouls and 69 free throw attempts, foul trouble plagued both teams throughout. So did turnovers, with each team giving it away more than 20 times.
The Sun Devils (12-9, 4-4) turned it over twice in the final minute, allowing Arizona to build a five-point lead after ASU had tied it with 93 seconds to go.
“They disrupted us more in this game than they did Friday, for sure,” Turner Thorne said.
Tied at 36 at the half, ASU built a 46-40 lead midway through the third quarter as Arizona went nearly four minutes without scoring. The Wildcats ended their drought by scoring six points in 46 seconds, the last two field goals coming off steals by Koi Love.
A 3-pointer by Sam Thomas put the UA up 51-49 after three, and Conner’s baseline drive gave the Wildcats a 57-51 edge with 7:40 to go. Arizona went more than six minutes without scoring after that, enabling ASU to tie it at 57 on a Mael Gillies layup with 1:33 left.
Love’s layup with 1:22 to go proved to be the game winner.
“Different people stepped up,” Barnes said in reference to Love, who had 11 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals off the bench.
Jaddan Simmons led ASU with 16 points on 5-of-7 shooting, while Gillies added 15. But Jade Loville and Taya Hanson, who combined for 46 points on Friday, had eight and zero, respectively.
“Three of my starters really struggled today and we’re right there to win this game,” Turner Thorne said. “So I think that shows you how much, where we’re at, how much we’re improving.”
ASU led 17-15 after a sloppy first quarter that featured 15 turnovers and 14 fouls called. Arizona went on an 11-4 run to lead by five early in the second quarter, building a 32-26 lead on Reese’s coast-to-coast layup with 3:14 left before halftime.
The Sun Devils outscored Arizona 10-4 the rest of the quarter, with Katelyn Levings’ putback just before the buzzer tying it at 36.
Arizona State: Thanks to COVID-related reschedulings, the Sun Devils are set to play 10 games in February, the most in school history. Sunday’s game was the second of what will be seven over a 16-day span.
Arizona: The Wildcats will await Monday’s Associated Press poll to see if they can extend their school record of 12 consecutive weeks being ranked within the Top 10.
Arizona State: The Sun Devils continue their four-game road trip with a Wednesday game at California before continuing on to the Washington schools.
Arizona: The Wildcats head out for their scheduled road games, starting Friday at Washington.
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