ASU women's basketball falls to No. 23 Dayton in ASU Classic Championship game
The Arizona State women's basketball team came up short in its upset bid of 23rd-ranked Dayton, Dec. 2, as the Flyers used a strong finish to escape with a 65-59 win in the championship game of the ASU Classic.
Ally Malott scored 14 of her 20 points in the second half and Samantha MacKay (17 points) and Andrea Hoover (10 points) also scored in double figures to help the Flyers overcome a nine-point deficit in the final eight minutes of the game and remain unbeaten (9-0).
The Sun Devils (3-4) had six players score eight or more points led by Janae Fulcher, who scored 11 points. Micaela Pickens and Haley Videckis scored nine points each while three Sun Devils - Joy Burke, Arnecia Hawkins and Adrianne Thomas - added eight points.
Overall both teams battled at the boards, closing the afternoon with 46 rebounds each. Burke led ASU with 10 boards as she came within two points of her second-double-double in two weeks.
ASU put forth a determined defensive effort on Sunday, holding the Flyers to their lowest field goal percentage of the season (31.4), while also forcing 17 turnovers.
The Sun Devils led by as many as 14 early in the second half before Dayton battled back to get within two, 44-42, after a layup by Olivia White capped off a 14-2 Dayton run.
ASU would counter by scoring 10 of the next 13 points to build its lead back to 54-45 with 8:18 remaining. Videckis, who scored seven of her nine points in the second half, scored five consecutive points on the back end of the scoring run.
MacKay, who was named MVP of the tournament, scored five points during a 14-3 Dayton burst in which six different Flyers scored. MacKay's three-pointer with 56 seconds left gave Dayton a 58-57 advantage, its first lead since the opening minute of the game.
Dayton would extend its lead to 61-57 before Elisha Davisscored with 20 seconds left to get ASU back within two, 61-59. ASU would have to foul in its attempt to extend the game, but Dayton connected on all four of its free throws in the final seconds to clinch the win.
Sunday's loss was ASU's third of the season by six or fewer points.
Early on it appeared as though ASU might come through with the upset following a strong first half in which it shot 43 percent while limiting Dayton to 37 percent. Five Sun Devils scored six or more points, led by Thomas and Hawkins, who had eight points apiece.
Fulcher and Burke were named to the ASU Classic All-Tournament Team along with Malott and Hoover and Kelli Thompson from UNLV.
The Sun Devils return to action next week when they travel back east to take on Providence (Fri., Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. ET/5 p.m. MT) and Boston College (Sun., Dec. 9 at 1 p.m. ET/11 a.m. MT).