TEMPE, Ariz. - It seems safe to say UCLA guard Lindsey Corsaro’s early shooting slump is over.
Corsaro scored 14 points, hitting three 3-pointers in the final 3:11, to lift the No. 9 Bruins to a 63-59 Pac-12 victory over Arizona State on Dec. 6.
“It’s hard to start the season in a slump,” said the junior guard, who was 4-of-8 from the field after missing all 10 field goal attempts in the first two games. “You just try to trust the work you have done every day.”
Charisma Osborne had 14 points and Michaela Onyenwere had 10 for the Bruins (2-1, 1-1), who won their 10th straight game in the series, They led by 17 in the first half but surrendered the lead early in the fourth quarter before recovering.
“The amount of trust she had to have to attempt those three shots — wow,” UCLA coach Cori Close said of Corsaro. “The work you do in the dark always gets rewarded in the light.”
Eboni Walker had 12 points and Jaddan Simmons had 10 for the Sun Devils (4-1, 1-1), who were attempting to start 5-0 for the first time since 2002-03.
Corsaro’s last three-pointer gave UCLA a 61-57 with 1:08 left before Katelyn Levings’ layup closed it 61-59 with 50 seconds left. UCLA committed a shot-clock violation on its next possession, but an ASU turnover returned the ball to UCLA with 14 seconds left.
After Arizona State committed five fouls in nine seconds frantically trying to get UCLA into the bonus, Osborne made two free throws with 3.3 seconds left. Osborne has made all 14 free throw attempts this season.
“Every day I make sure I make 10 in a row at least three times in practice,” said Osborne, who entered the game as the Pac-12’s leading scorer at 23.0 points a game.
Onyenwere, a preseason All-American, was bothered by foul trouble and played only 23 minutes, five in the first half after picking up two fouls in the first quarter and a third in one minute in the second quarter. She was averaging 17.5 points and 12.5 rebounds a game.
The Sun Devils double-teamed Onyenwere on the low post for much of the game and also focused their defense on point guard Osborne.
“It bit us in the butt at the end,” Arizona State coach Charli Turner Thorne said. “We were helping on those two.”
The Sun Devils did not lead until freshman Simmons’ layup on the first possession of the fourth quarter capped 12-2 run for a 49-47 lead.
UCLA coach Cori Close recorded her 200th victory, the third Bruins coach to reach that milestone behind Billie Moore (296) and Kathy Olivier (232). Close’s winning percentage (.656) is the highest of the three.
Arizona State starting forward Iris Mbulito fell hard on her left shoulder during a scramble near mid-court with 6:23 remaining in the second quarter and did not return. She was averaging 4.8 points and 2.8 rebounds and has started all five games.
UCLA: The veteran Bruins salvaged a split on one of the most difficult road trips in the Pac-12 by holding off the Sun Devils after losing at No. 7 Arizona 68-65 on Friday. The Bruins should not drop much if at all in the AP Top 25.
Arizona State: the young Sun Devils — they start two freshmen, a sophomore and no seniors — showed poise and toughness while coming back from a 1-point, first-half deficit and as they jell could become a force in a tough league.
UCLA is scheduled to play host to Cal-Santa Barbara in a non-conference game Tuesday before meeting inter-city rival USC in a Pac-12 game Sunday.
ASU will travel to Arizona for the renewal of their rivalry Thursday. The Sun Devils lost two almost identical games last season, 58-53 and 59-53, after winning four of the previous five in the series.