ASU Drops a Pair in Las Vegas

The competition was tough in the Las Vegas Hoops Classic for the young Arizona State women's basketball team and ASU proved their worth by hanging with two of the top teams in the country, but the story was the same in both of their contests.

The No. 13 Sun Devils hung with No. 11 Texas A&M (9-1) on Saturday night and No. 5 Baylor (11-1) on Sunday night, but fell on both nights.

On Saturday, the Sun Devils rallied back to catch the Aggies in the second half, but a key 8-0 run by A&M cost ASU and they fell 72-62. .

ASU struggled in the first half in the rematch of last season's Sweet 16 matchup and shot just 5-19 in the first half and turned the ball over 15 times. ASU trailed 30-23 at the break. .

But led by senior guard Danielle Orsillo's 12 points in the second half, the Sun Devils fought back to eventually tie the game at 57-57 with 4:14 to play, but the Aggies took control with an 8-0 run to seal the victory. .

"These are two of the best teams in the country as far as taking away what you want to do offensively," ASU coach Charli Turner Thorne told the Associated Press. "They just were a little better. It was a one-possession game with 3 minutes to go." .

Orsillo led the way on Saturday with 14 points, while junior guard Tenaya Watson added 13 and junior forward Becca Tobin had 12. .

Sunday night was a similar story for ASU. The Sun Devils were neck and neck with Baylor, but a crucial run late ended their upset hopes. .

The Sun Devils trailed by 12 in the first half, but a 12-3 run cut the Bears lead to 35-32 at the half, despite BU shooting 72.2% from the field in the first half. .

The rest of the game was a back and forth battle, with ASU leading by three points before Baylor went on a 9-1 run to take a 46-40 lead with 14:56 to play. The Sun Devils had an answer, however, and rattled off a 7-0 run to take lead 47-46. .

But Baylor star freshman Brittany Griner was too much for the Sun Devils to handle. One of the most heralded freshman ever to play women's basketball finished with 27 points, 10 rebounds and 8 blocked shots. .

"She's amazing," Baylor coach Kim Mulkey told the AP. "In all my years at Baylor I haven't seen anyone with games statistically like she's had the past week." .

Turner Thorne took it a step farther and compared the young freshman to some of the greats in the game. .

"You already have to put her in the company of some of the other greats like Candace Parker and Maya Moore," Turner Thorne told the AP. "She's come so far from high school so quickly." .

Junior forward Becca Tobin led ASU with 16 points and seven rebounds. Senior guard Danielle Orsillo added 14 points and redshirt freshman forward Janae Fulcher had 12. .

Despite the setbacks, ASU believes that they grew as a team over the weekend in Las Vegas. .

"We played a couple of top teams," Tobin told the AP. "We moved a few steps forward because of that. Now we need to go home and practice and work on the things we need to do." .

The Sun Devils will take a week off for the Holidays before returning to action on Monday, December 28th against Furman. Tipoff is set for 6:30 PM at Wells Fargo Arena for ASU's final non-conference game of the season.

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