ASU women ousted from Pac-12 tournament by No. 15 UCLA
SEATTLE — Jordin Canada scored 24 points, Nicole Kornet scored 12 of her 16 points in the first half, and No. 15 UCLA used a huge first quarter to beat Arizona State 77-68 in the Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinals on Friday.
The fifth-seeded Bruins led by 19 after one quarter and by as many as 26 in the first half, moving into a semifinal showdown with top-seed and sixth-ranked Oregon State. UCLA handed the Beavers one of their two conference losses during the regular season.
UCLA (23-7) was certainly impressive for three quarters in knocking out the fifth-seeded Sun Devils. Canada made 9 of 15 shots, added seven assists and four rebounds. Monique Billings added 19 points and 11 rebounds, and the Bruins bested the Sun Devils for the second time in a matter of days. The Bruins won at Arizona State 55-52 in the regular season finale.
Sabrina Haines led Arizona State (19-12) with 14 points and Sophie Brunner added 13.
The Bruins dominated from the outset, building early leads of 14-2 and 19-4, and led 26-7 after one quarter. The lead extended to 29-7 in the opening moments of the second quarter after Kornet’s third 3-pointer and reached 39-13 midway through the second quarter on Ashley Hearn’s layup.
Arizona State chipped away, pulling within 11 in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter on Ruden’s 3-pointer, but Canada answered with a 3 of her own. The Sun Devils hung around and made the final minutes uncomfortable, pulling within 72-64 with 1:05 left on Hines’ three-point play and 72-66 after free throws from Brunner. But the rally was too late.
The Sun Devils are not fans of the Pac-12 Tournament. Arizona State has advanced to the semifinals just twice in the past nine tournaments. This was the third time in four years being bounced in the quarterfinals by a school from California.
The Sun Devils will wait for their expected NCAA Tournament bid announcement on March 13.