Cian Carvalho hit four free throws in the final 27.1 seconds
as ninth-seeded Arizona State rallied to beat Wisconsin 73-70
Saturday night in the first round of the Midwest Regional
for the Sun Devils' first NCAA tournament victory since 1983.
No. 8 seed Wisconsin, which lost in the opening round for
a third straight year, led by as many as 14 in the first half.
The Badgers have not won in the opening round since 1996,
while the Sun Devils rallied from a 14-point deficit, giving
the team their fourth straight come-from-behind win.
struggled from the field in the first half, knocking down
just 30 percent of its shots in the first half (10-33). The
Sun Devils hit 19-of-29 (65 percent) in the second half. Arizona
State had led only on the opening basket until senior Melody
Johnson, playing with three fouls, keyed an 18-8 run with
10 points. She tied it at 65 with four minutes left, scored
again for a 67-65 lead and put the Sun Devils up 69-65 with
her next bucket. Wisconsin, ranked as high as No. 5 in January,
took its final lead on Jessie Stomski's bucket with 47.4 seconds
remaining. Johnson missed a shot on the other end, and Carvalho
was fouled by Tamara Moore trying to score on the putback.
She hit the free throws for a lead ASU would not lose again.
Kyle Black missed a shot driving across the lane, and the
rebound turned into a tie-up with Arizona State getting possession.
Carvalho was fouled one more time, and she sealed the victory
with two free throws with 2.6 seconds to go. Carvalho finished
with a career-high 24 points, Johnson had 18 for Arizona State
and senior Amanada Levens had 13 of her 14 in the second half.
Stomski finished with 19 for Wisconsin, while Moore had 15.