Eugene, OR -- "We knew coming into the game that there was going to be a lot of pressure," said Lexi Bando.
And in the first half really, Oregon came out with a sense of urgency, as it belonged to the Ducks -- they did not allow ASU's tenacious defense scare them. In the first quarter, Bando was taking charge for the Ducks with a steal and a big three to set the tone for Oregon's offense.
The Ducks went on a 7-0 run in the quarter, as Arizona State's defense failed to stop them. ASU struggled on the other end of the floor, missing a lot of open shots and allowed five turnovers in the quarter alone, which converted to five points for Oregon. Fortunately for the Sun Devils they were able to grasp a 5-0 run towards the end of the quarter, however, they had quite a ways to go before they could match Oregon's offense.
ASU was able to pick up a bit at the start of the second, doing better offensively setting screens and watching Oregon's every move. They prevented the Ducks from scoring, as they were able to cut the score down to a two-point difference with the work of Sabrina Haines and Armani Hawkins. But, this defense that was missing in the first quarter, quickly diminished as the Ducks maintained their scoring momentum.
Pac-12 double-double record holder Jillian Alleyne , protected the basket collecting 13 rebounds in the half, and Bando stayed explosive as she sunk in two more threes in the quarter. ASU top scorer Quinn Dornstauder, made the majority of the scoring attempts for Arizona State; however, came up short making zero of her five attempts. Within the final minutes, the Ducks had a run of 6-0, and closed the quarter with a seven point lead, 27-20.
There was a HUGE awakening in the third quarter by ASU as Kelsey Moos took the reigns going on a 7-0 run, which tied the score for the first time in the game at 27-27. And with a giant three by Alicia Davis, ASU gained their first lead since the start of the first quarter.
The Sun Devils came at the Ducks with full court pressure, as the Ducks slowly began to fall apart. Davis took charge of the court collecting more baskets for ASU, putting them at a monstrous 15-0 run. Oregon's offense crumbled and allowed three turnovers in only one minute (eight total in the quarter), which gave Arizona State the opportunity for easy points.
"The third quarter honestly just came down to mental lapses and that was our fault. Defensively we weren't getting stops we were getting in the first half; they were making shots that they weren't making in the first half because we gave them those shots. Anything that they got in the third quarter was because we didn't show up the way we should have like we did in the second quarter," said Alleyne.
With only seconds remaining in the quarter, the Sun Devils made an incredible comeback turning a seven-point deficit into a 13-point lead.
Peterson, Alleyne, and Cazorla were able to pull some points in the fourth going on a 7-0 run, closing the large gap down to eight points.The teams ran up and down the court with empty possessions, playing hard against each other as the fouls began to come into play.
With the majority of the points in the quarter coming from the line, it appeared that the Duck's lack of opportunity to make quick plays hindered any chance of catching up. Alleyne and Cazorla were able to grab an impressive nine points with 30 seconds remaining. However, their efforts weren't enough to do it as the Arizona Sun Devils took the win at Matthew Knight Arena extending their winning streak to 15, defeating the Oregon Ducks 63-58.
"We had such a great effort in the first half; wasted in the second. Third quarter get outscored by 20, give up 26 points, you know just not good enough," said Oregon Head Coach Kelly Graves. "They just played harder than us and wanted it."
"We had a strong halftime talk, but I just don't think it carried through to us," said Bando. "We just didn't come out the second half like we did on the first. You can't have letdowns against teams like ASU, you know they're going to punch you in the throat, and they're going to get after it, and that's what they did.
"They kept making buckets, and we couldn't make anything happen, and that's all on us. That's not on the coaches at all. We just didn't come out ready."
Moos was the leading scorer for the Sun Devils, collecting 17 points and six rebounds for the night. Haines closed with 10 points, four rebounds, as Brunner and Davis each collected eight.
Alleyne led the Ducks with a double-double 19 points, and 21 of the team's 25 rebounds. Cazorla ended the night with 17, followed by Bando with 12 points.