(Photo: Sun Devil Athletics)
Arizona State beat Vanderbilt 72-67 for a third place finish in the Gulf Coast Showcase. After having a nice lead for the majority of the first half, Vanderbilt couldn’t hold off Arizona State.
Vanderbilt had a better overall field goal percentage at 61%, compared to ASU at 53%. ASU’s top scorer on the season, Sophie Brunner got into foul trouble early, causing coach Charli Turner Thorne to sit Brunner late in the first half and use her conservatively in the second half until she fouled out with about six minutes left in the game.
With her absence on the court ASU tried to use their wings to more aggressively attack the paint, and Promise Amukamara excelled at that, gaining 21 points on the night, 12 in the paint. Eliza Norman also stepped up and drove to the basket, tallying 12 points, and stuck around the basket to get seven rebounds on the night.
The Vanderbilt Commodores had success in the paint as well, with their leading scorer being power forward Kristen Gaffney who had 10 points in the paint and a total of 17 on the night. Off of a game where ASU let the Green Bay Phoenix score 52 points in the paint, they did improve against Vanderbilt, only allowing 36 points tonight.
Vanderbilt attacked every area of the court, from midrange jump shots to three pointers. Guard Rebekah Dahlman had 19 points on the night, sinking jumper after jumper.
Arizona State only went through two losing streaks all of last season and they ensured tonight, that they wouldn’t have their first of the year.