Jordin Canada leads No. 15 UCLA past Arizona State 77-68
SEATTLE (AP) 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.
Arizona State: 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.
UCLA: Kornet continues to provide a boost off the bench. The senior has scored in double figures in six of the past eight games after reaching double figures in three of her first 22 games.
Arizona State: The Sun Devils will wait for their expected NCAA Tournament bid announcement on March 13.
UCLA: The Bruins will face No. 6 Oregon State in Saturday’s first semifinal.