TEMPE, Ariz. -- No. 8 Arizona State was struggling so much coach Charli Turner Thorne decided during one first-half timeout to turn things over to her players in order to "empower" and relax them.
Come crunch time, Turner Thorne only needed to sit back as her players drew up the winning play.
Sophie Brunner's three-point play with 1.9 seconds left gave Arizona State a 69-68 victory over short-handed Southern California on Sunday, keeping the Sun Devils tied atop the Pac-12.
After a timeout, Brunner took an inbounds pass from Elisha Davis and went straight to the basket, banking in a layup and drawing the fifth foul on Kristen Simon. Brunner's free throw snapped the tie as the Sun Devils (20-4, 11-1) recovered from a miserable start for their 17th win in 18 games.
"(Davis) was like, `I'll get her the ball, I'm passing it in.' Kelsey (Moos) was like, "Sophie's curling and I'm screening for her," Turner Throne said of the last timeout. "They were actually designing who was where on the final play to win the game. I was actually just smiling and saying, `OK."
Arnecia Hawkins had 12 points, Davis had 11 points and six assists and Brunner scored nine points for Arizona State, which trailed 22-10 at the end of the first quarter and 66-62 with 2:32 left.
"A game like that, I didn't know who to sub. We just weren't very good most of the game," Turner Thorne said. "So I just started to say, `Well, what do you guys want to do?"
It worked to overcome a monster game from Sadie Edwards.
The midseason transfer from Connecticut scored a career-high 26 points for the Trojans (17-7, 5-7), who dressed eight players and saw two foul out. USC has dropped five of eight since starting guards Jordan Adams and Brianna Barrett were ruled academically ineligible.
After Brunner's three-point play, USC's long inbounds pass was knocked out of bounds with 0.4 seconds left. Temi Fagbenle then scored under the basket, but after time expired. A video review confirmed the call.
"It was a great women's basketball game," USC coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke said.
Edwards, who has sophomore status, hit 10 of 16 shots and willed the Trojans, who lost starter Alexis Lloyd to fouls midway through the final quarter. Simon added 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Moos tied it for Arizona State on a backdoor layup on feed from Brunner with 16.5 seconds left. Edwards then found Fagbenle along the baseline and her jumper tied it with 3.9 seconds left.
The Sun Devils remained tied with Oregon State atop the Pac-12. The Beavers ended Arizona State's 15-game winning streak last Monday.
The Sun Devils had more turnovers (7) than points (4) halfway through the first quarter, missed 8 of their first 11 shots, and provided little resistance to Edwards and Lloyd on drives to the hoop as USC built a 22-10 lead.
The Trojans led 64-58 with 5 minutes left in the Sun Devils' biggest comeback victory of the season.
It was barren on the USC bench. A towel was draped over one empty seat, a bag took up another and that left still six unoccupied chairs.
But Edwards kept the Trojans in it, consistently beating Sun Devils defenders off the dribble and making contested jumpers.
"Sadie Edwards was phenomenal," Cooper-Dyke said. "She gave us scoring when we needed it. She made some incredibly tough shots. Those were pro moves."
USC started the season 12-0 and was ranked 25th after upsetting UCLA on Jan. 10. But that's the last time Adams and Barrett played. Adams, a junior, remains the second-leading scorer at 12.8 points and her 7.7 rebounds rank third. Barrett, a graduate student, is averaging 7.6 points and has a team-high 93 assists.
"We're still hopeful (they'll return)," Cooper-Dyke said.
USC: Freshman Aliyah Mazyck was called for a flagrant 1 foul in the closing seconds of the first half for hitting Peace Amukamara in the face during an inbounds play. ... The Trojans hit their first nine free throws.
Arizona State: The previous largest deficit overcome was nine points at Oregon last month. ... The Sun Devils wore pink jerseys and shorts to promote breast cancer awareness. ... F Eliza Normen wore a protective mask after breaking her nose in practice.
USC hosts Washington on Friday.
Arizona State visits California on Friday.
Arizona Wildcats won't play in LA this weekend due to COVID issues
Arizona won't play two games in Los Angeles because of COVID-19 issues in the program.
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