No. 18 Sun Devils fall short in Corvallis; Ryan ties career-high with 19 points
By Dylan Carter // Women’s Basketball Beat Writer for Blaze Sports
CORVALLIS, Ore — All good things must come to an end. The No. 18 Sun Devils fell to the No. 22 Beavers 57-54 in Corvallis, but not for a lack of trying.
Guard Robbi Ryan tied her career-high in scoring with 19 points on 8 of 15 shooting.
Arizona State struggled throughout the night, shooting a dreadful 35 percent from the field on 63 attempts. Ryan and forward Sophia Elegna were the only two Sun Devils to shoot 50 percent or higher from the field. Much to the dismay of coach Charli Turner Thorne, the Sun Devils’ poor three-point shooting continued as well.
They connected on just six of their 21 shots from behind the arc. Interestingly, the conference’s most efficient shooter in forward Jamie Ruden played just nine minutes in the contest.
Her limited minutes may be due to the overpowering size of Oregon State. The Beavers dominated ASU in the paint off of another strong performance by center Marie Gulich, who finished with 20 points, six rebounds and three blocks.
Her size and shiftiness in the post proved to be too much for Arizona State. Her efforts led OSU to score more than 80 percent of their points from under the basket and dominated in the glass 36-28.
Redshirt junior Courtney Ekmark put up another poor shooting performance, hitting just two of her nine attempts from behind the arc. Even so, she managed to put together an all-around statline with six rebounds, three assists and a steal. While she may have struggled to find her shot, Ekmark consistently manages to impact games with her distribution, hustle and defense.
A major factor in the disappearance of Arizona State’s offense was the lack of scoring by forward Kianna Ibis, who leads the team in scoring. She scored just seven points on 2-9 shooting on the night. In addition to her offensive woes, Ibis finished the game without a single rebound. Oregon State’s dominant rebounding performance highlighted the weaknesses of Arizona State.
Freshman center Eva Ruben, who stands at 6-foot-5, did not hit the court for Coach Thorne. Her size and rebounding skill may have swung the momentum for the panicking Sun Devils.
Going forward, Arizona State may look to further utilize their bench depth. Their roster is full of capable players willing and ready to hit the hardwood. With their weaknesses exposed by the rotation of Oregon State coach Scott Rueck, the Sun Devils will prepare for another major test in their next matchup.
The Sun Devils’ six-game winning streak was snapped tonight as OSU shook off the rust of their own two-game losing skid. Headed into the matchup, ASU was one of two teams left without a loss in the PAC-12. Now, they’ll head to Eugene to face No. 8 Oregon. These are the two top dogs in the conference and coming off of a tough loss, Arizona State will look to retake the No. 1 spot with a win on Sunday.
Dylan Carter is a beat writer for Blaze Sports covering ASU Women’s Basketball. You can reach out to him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow Dylan on Twitter @DylanHCarter .