ASU women’s win streak snapped by UCLA

LOS ANGELES — The Arizona State women’s basketball team had its three-game winning streak snapped Thursday, falling 53-38 to UCLA.
 
Markel Walker (21 points, 11 rebounds) and Thea Lemberger (11 points) combined for 32 points to lead UCLA (13-13, 8-7 Pac-12), which outscored ASU 30-13 in the second half.
 
Janae Fulcher scored 16 points to pace the short-handed Sun Devils (18-9, 9-7 Pac-12), who entered the game without starters Olivia Major (shoulder) and leading scorer Kimberly Brandon (illness).
 
After trailing by as many as 12 in the first half, the Bruins were able to get within two at the break, 25-23, and then began the second half with a 17-6 run to take a 40-31 lead with 9:16 left in the game.
 
The Sun Devils would get within seven on three different occasions but could get no closer, as UCLA went on an 11-3 run over the final four minutes.
 
Kali Bennett, Micaela Pickens and Jada Blackwell added four points each for the Sun Devils, who were outrebounded 40-32.
 
Fulcher came out and scored the first seven points of the game to give the Sun Devils the early advantage. The Bruins countered with a six-point run of their own to get within one before Fulcher, Pickens and Deja Mann came back with consecutive baskets, the latter a 3-pointer, to put the Sun Devils up 14-6.
 
ASU would take its largest lead of the half after Fulcher scored on a layup to put the Sun Devils up 20-8 with 10:06 left in the half.
 
The Bruins came back with six consecutive points to cut the deficit in half before Alex Earl stopped the run with a 3-pointer to put ASU back up by nine at 23-14.
 
After an exchange of baskets, the Bruins closed out the final five-plus minutes of the half on a 7-0 run to get within 25-23 at the break.