No. 8 Arizona St women win 15th in row, beat Oregon
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) Arizona State coach Charli Turner Thorne is finding that her team's No. 8 ranking fits a little too nicely into each opponent's crosshairs.
''We're the hunted,'' she said. ''We don't want to be the hunted, because we like to think that we're going to stay the hunter and stay the more aggressive team.
''We talk about that we're going to get everybody's best effort, but we're still working through it.''
Kelsey Moos got the Sun Devils pointed in the right direction with seven points to start the third quarter and finished with 17, and Arizona State rode a 15-0 run to a 63-58 victory over Oregon on Friday night.
Elisha Davis and Sabrina Haines added 10 points each for the Sun Devils (18-3, 9-0 Pac-12), who won their 15th consecutive game to tie a school record.
After scoring only 20 points in the first half, the Sun Devils outscored the Ducks 26-6 in the third quarter to take a 46-33 lead, their largest of the game.
''We've been a great third-quarter team,'' Turner Thorne said, ''especially when we've stunk it up the first half.
Jillian Alleyne led the Ducks (14-6, 3-6) with 19 points and 21 rebounds for her 17th double-double of the season, tops in the Pac-12. Maite Cazorla had 17 points and Lexi Bando 12 for Oregon, which ended a three-game winning streak.
Moos said there was no cause for concern in the locker room even though the Sun Devils were facing their largest halftime deficit of the season. Her quick seven-point burst tied the score at 27-27, and the Sun Devils ran off eight more points as Oregon missed its first seven shots of the second half.
''We knew that we needed to start locking them down and we knew we needed to start rebounding a lot harder,'' Moos said. ''Just stepping up our defense and rebounding were the two biggest keys.''
ASU also benefited from a 20-0 edge in points off the bench.
''We haven't had too many games where our starters are going to come up this empty,'' Turner Thorne said, ''but our bench scoring our last four games has been 20-plus. That's one of the things that makes us really good.
The Sun Devils found themselves trailing at halftime for only the third time all season because they couldn't keep Alleyne off the boards nor keep track of Bando from 3-point range.
Alleyne's 13 rebounds matched ASU's total for the first half, and Bando, one of the Pac-12's best shooters beyond the arc at 44.3 percent, made all three of her attempts as the Ducks built a 27-20 lead.
The Sun Devils stayed that close thanks to 12 points from their reserves while three of their starters were blanked in the first half.
TIME TO SHOP
Unless Arizona State plays Oregon in the Pac-12 tournament, Friday night's game was the last time the Sun Devils will face Alleyne, the conference's all-time rebounding leader and a dominant force inside for the past four seasons. ''I'm buying her a graduation present,'' Turner Thorne said with a smile. ''Jillian had a great career. ... She's a great, great player.''
BATTLE OF THE TITANS
Arizona State faces a heavyweight fight when it takes on No. 9 Oregon State in Corvallis with first place in the Pac-12 and the Sun Devils' winning streak on the line. ''They're a great team,'' Turner Thorne said of the Beavers. ''Monday night will be different because there will be no surprises of somebody coming after you every possession.''
Arizona State: Friday night's win was the Sun Devils' 26th in its last 31 games against Oregon since 2001. ... ASU is off to its best start in Pac-12 play halfway through the conference season. ... The No. 8 ranking matches the Sun Devils' highest in school history.
Oregon: Alleyne has 86 career double-doubles, breaking the Pac-12 record she shared with former Stanford star Chiney Ogwumike. ... Alleyne needs two points to become the 10th player in NCAA history with 2,000 points and 1,500 rebounds. ... Oregon's victories at Colorado and Utah last weekend were its first road sweep in Pac-12 play in seven seasons.
No. 8 Arizona State plays at No. 9 Oregon State on Monday.
Oregon hosts Arizona on Sunday.