The No. 24 Arizona State Sun Devils managed to take down the No. 19 Syracuse Orange at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY on Saturday, winning 61-54 and capturing their first win over a top 25-ranked team.
Coming into the matchup, both teams had started out 0-2 against ranked opponents to start the season. ASU opened at home against No. 18 Kentucky (68-64 OT) and later hosted No. 2 South Carolina (60-58). Syracuse took their losses on the road at No. 4 Tennessee (57-55) and No.5 Maryland (82-64).
Despite a slow and sloppy start to the game for both teams, pace soon picked up late in the first quarter which ended with Syracuse senior forward Taylor Ford draining a three, pulling ASU ahead 13-12 with two seconds to go in the quarter.
In the second quarter, ASU came to life and managed to take a 29-26 lead going into halftime. Following the break, ASU came out quickly and set the Sun Devils up for a 42-36 lead heading into the final quarter. The Sun Devils also kept Syracuse trailing for the rest of the game.
The Sun Devils were plagued by turnovers. The team generally notches an average of 14 turnovers per game, but they garnered a whopping 28 turnovers for the entire game. Despite the high number of turnovers, ASU recorded 44 rebounds with 26 of those coming from the defensive side.
Senior guard Elisha Davis led ASU’s defense. Davis recorded 31 minutes of time during the game but wasted no time in getting things done. With the high number of turnovers, Davis’ hustle helped the defense stay intact with ten rebounds.
ASU has struggled with injuries early this season with forward Kelsey Moos and Sophie Brunner taking injuries in the loss to No. 2 South Carolina. Moos suffered a concussion while Brunner sprained her ankle in the final minutes. Brunner is still out, but Moos returned to the court Saturday.
Moos led Arizona State with 13 points and played 25 minutes her comeback game. Behind her, senior guard Arnecia Hawkins posted 12 points to add to the offensive effort.
During the game, Syracuse suffered its fair share of injuries. In the first half, senior guards Cornelia Fondren and Breanna Butler suffered injuries where they came off the court.
Both did not immediately return from the locker room after the half for Syracuse. During the fourth quarter, Peterson was helped off the court with under a minute to play after injuring what appeared to be her ankle. Peterson led the team in scoring with 15 points.
Despite sitting out during the third quarter, Butler’s 13 points in the game pushed her into tenth place on Syracuse women’s basketball all-time scoring list.
Arizona State improves to 5-3 while Syracuse falls to 6-3. ASU continues their road trip Monday against Hartford. Syracuse will stay at home and host Jacksonville on Monday.