Hempen hits all six 3-pointers as ASU women advance in NCAA Tournament

Mar 18, 2016, 7:48 PM | Updated: 7:51 pm
Arizona State guard Katie Hempen (0) looks to pass against New Mexico State during the second half ...

Arizona State guard Katie Hempen (0) looks to pass against New Mexico State during the second half of a first-round women's college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament, Friday, March 18, 2016, in Tempe, Ariz. Arizona State won 74-52. (AP Photo/Matt York)

(AP Photo/Matt York)

TEMPE, Ariz. — Katie Hempen brought her shooting legs to the first round of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament. Arizona State never came down from the lift she provided.

Hempen hit the first two shots of the game — both 3-pointers — to stake ASU to an early lead, and the senior guard hit all six 3-pointers she attempted to match a season-high with 20 points as the second-seeded Sun Devils (26-6) rolled to a 74-52 win over New Mexico State (26-5) on Friday at Wells Fargo Arena.

Hempen’s six 3-pointers set a school record for an NCAA Tournament game, breaking the record she set last year in a first-round win over Ohio. Her six made 3-pointers without a miss also tied an NCAA record.

“That’s what she does,” said coach Charlie Turner Thorne, whose team will face Tennessee in the second round on Sunday. “People are always keying on her so we knew that they were going to run at her hard. She was ready. She side stepped, she shot-faked, she did everything she needed to do to make sure she took good clean looks.”

Hempen entered the game as the Sun Devils’ best 3-point shooter at 41.4 percent (58-140), putting her among the nation’s top 25 3-point shooters, but she had been in a recent slump. Hempen had made just 1-of-11 three-pointers combined in ASU’s loss to UCLA in the regular season finale, and the Sun Devils’ loss to Cal in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament.

She never gave it a second thought.

“I tell my teammates every day, ‘short-term memory loss,'” said Hempen, who set the single-season school record for 3-pointers (76) in 2014-15 and broke Kylan Loney’s school record for career 3-pointers earlier this season. “Our coaches do a great job of keeping us present; not thinking about the past.

“I’m always looking for positives. I don’t ever find myself to emotionally be in a slump.”

Overall, ASU shot 52.6 percent form the field against the Aggies, but it was the defense that once again keyed the Sun Devils. ASU held New Mexico State to 33.9 percent shooting (19-56) and forced 21 turnovers — 13 of them coming off steals.

“We haven’t gotten a jump on teams in a while so it just felt good to kind of get back to what we know and what we work toward every day in practice,” senior guard Elisha Davis (13 points) said. “Even though we did force 21 turnovers and had a really good jump initially in the game, we got lax, we got comfortable, we didn’t sustain it so we have to get better in that aspect.”

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New Mexico State coach Mark Trakh yells to his players during the first half of a first-round women's college basketball game against Arizona State in the NCAA Tournament, Friday, March 18, 2016, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York) Arizona State coach Charli Turner Thorne yells to her players during the first half of a first-round women's college basketball game against New Mexico State in the NCAA Tournament, Friday, March 18, 2016, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York) Arizona State forward Kelsey Moos (24) drives against New Mexico State guard Shanice Davis (11) during the first half of a first-round women's college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament, Friday, March 18, 2016, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York) New Mexico State guard Moriah Mack drives past Arizona State forward Kianna Ibis (42) during the first half of a first-round women's college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament, Friday, March 18, 2016, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York) New Mexico State players watch during the second half of a first-round women's college basketball game against Arizona State in the NCAA Tournament, Friday, March 18, 2016, in Tempe, Ariz. Arizona State won 74-52. (AP Photo/Matt York) Arizona State guard Peace McNamara (11) pushes the ball up court as New Mexico State guards Shanice Davis (11) and Moriah Mack (35) defend during the second half of a first-round women's college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament, Friday, March 18, 2016, in Tempe, Ariz. Arizona State won 74-52. (AP Photo/Matt York) Arizona State guard Katie Hempen (0) looks to pass against New Mexico State during the second half of a first-round women's college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament, Friday, March 18, 2016, in Tempe, Ariz. Arizona State won 74-52. (AP Photo/Matt York) Arizona State players cross their legs during an Arizona State free throw in the second half of a first-round women's college basketball game against New Mexico State in the NCAA Tournament, Friday, March 18, 2016, in Tempe, Ariz. Arizona State won 74-52. (AP Photo/Matt York) Arizona State guard Elisha Davis (23) drives past New Mexico State guard Shanice Davis (11) during the second half of a first-round women's college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament, Friday, March 18, 2016, in Tempe, Ariz. Arizona State won 74-52. (AP Photo/Matt York) Arizona State forward Sophie Brunner (21) shoots over New Mexico State guard Moriah Mack (35) during the second half of a first-round women's college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament, Friday, March 18, 2016, in Tempe, Ariz. Arizona State won 74-52. (AP Photo/Matt York) Arizona State guard Katie Hempen (0) shots over New Mexico State forward Bradley Nash (5) during the second half of a first-round women's college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament, Friday, March 18, 2016, in Tempe, Ariz. Arizona State won 74-52. (AP Photo/Matt York) Arizona State's Arnecia Hawkins grabs a steal from New Mexico State's Shanice Davis (11) during a college basketball game in the NCAA women's tournament, Friday, March 18, 2016, in Tempe, Ariz. (Patrick Breen/The Arizona Republic via AP) Arizona State's Sophie Brunner (21) passes out of the post against New Mexico State's Tyler Ellis during a college basketball game in the NCAA women's tournament, Friday, March 18, 2016, in Tempe, Ariz. (Patrick Breen/The Arizona Republic via AP) Arizona State's Arnecia Hawkins (1) scores a layup against New Mexico State during a college basketball game in the NCAA women's tournament, Friday, March 18, 2016, in Tempe, Ariz. (Patrick Breen/The Arizona Republic via AP) Arizona State's Elisha Davis (23) drives down the lane against New Mexico State's Zaire Williams during a college basketball game in the NCAA women's tournament, Friday, March 18, 2016, in Tempe, Ariz. (Patrick Breen/The Arizona Republic via AP) Arizona State's Sabrina Haines jumps into Katie Hempen (0) after Hempen hit a 3-pointer against New Mexico State during a college basketball game in the NCAA women's tournament, Friday, March 18, 2016, in Tempe, Ariz. (Patrick Breen/The Arizona Republic via AP) Arizona State's Elisha Davis (23) drives down the lane against New Mexico State's Zaire Williams (12) during a college basketball game in the NCAA women's tournament, Friday, March 18, 2016, in Tempe, Ariz. (Patrick Breen/The Arizona Republic via AP)

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