Emotions ran high for both the UCLA Bruins and Arizona State Sun Devils. The Sun Devils wanted to win on Senior Day. The Bruins wanted a fourth consecutive win to end the regular season. It was a tight, back and forth game. It came down to the last minute when UCLA did not relent and came away with the win, 55-52.
UCLA knew coming into today’s game Arizona State would try to win for their senior teammates. The Sun Devils pressed defensively and their offense stayed patient. They started the scoring and kept the Bruins off the scoreboard for the first three minutes of the game. Over the next three minutes, the Bruins came back and took the lead by a point at the first timeout. After the first quarter, UCLA led 14-12.
With about eight and a half minutes to go in the half, Arizona State went on a 11-0 run to take a 28-21 lead. UCLA tried to chip away at the Sun Devils’ lead but UCLA was only able to cut it to 5 as ASU took a 32-27 lead into the locker room.
The third quarter was the lowest scoring quarter all game. UCLA managed 10 points while Arizona State only came up with seven. The defense on both sides managed to slow down the other team’s offense. The Bruins held ASU to just one point in the last five minutes of the quarter as they cut the lead just just two points. Jordin Canada took a jumper as the quarter ended which have tied the game, but it didn’t go in and the Sun Devils led 39-37 after three.
Sixteen seconds into the fourth, Canada made up for the missed shot with two free throws that tied the game and started the Bruins on a 7-0 run. Arizona State responded with a 5-0 run of their own and the Sun Devils led by 1 with just over six and a half minutes to go.
The Bruins responded with 3-pointers from Paulina Hersler and Nicole Kornet to put UCLA back up by 5. Over the next four minutes, ASU went on a 7-0 run and had a 52-50 lead with 1:46 left.
With 91 seconds to go, Jordin Canada stepped to the free throw line needing to make both to tie the game. She made both. With 42 second left, Nicole Kornet was fouled and went to the line with a chance to take the lead. She missed the first shot but made the second and the Bruins took a 53-52 lead.
Sophie Brunner missed a jumper that would have given the lead back to the Sun Devils. Kelli Hayes rebounded and the Bruins got the ball back with only 29 seconds left as they looked to run out the clock. The Sun Devils were able to foul Jordin Canada her to send her to the free throw line, hoping she would miss at least one shot. Canada made them both to increase the Bruins’ lead to 3 points, forcing ASU to take a three-pointer to try to send the game into OT.
Arizona State took two three-point attempts to try to tie up the game, but neither went in and the Bruins came away with the win. UCLA can now head into the Pac-12 Tournament on a four-game win streak.