Photo: Scotty Bara/WCSN
Arizona State played in front of a majority pro-ASU crowd that turned Red Bird Arena into “Wells- Fargo North” and aided the Sun Devils on their way to an 89-44 thrashing of the Illinois State Red Birds.
ASU (8-1) was able to take over on both offense and defense as they grabbed ten offensive rebounds and forced ten turnovers in the first half, allowing them to get out to an early 17 point lead.
The second half contained much of the same, as the Devils finished with 25 forced turnovers and 29 points off of those turnovers. This game was essentially over when ASU got up 61-31 with about nine minutes left, but the Sun Devils never let off the gas pedal, as head coach Charli Turner Thorne was able to keep her team motivated and focused, even in the midst of a major blow out.
The team was helped out with a solid performance by Promise Amukamara to get the win, as she tallied 14 points while shooting 5 for 9 from the field and collecting 5 steals.
But the story of this one was not the play of Amukamara or any of ASU’s starters. It was the bench that showed up in a big way, out scoring the Red Birds 48-13 over the course of the contest, and picked up some of the lost production the Sun Devils experienced when Sophie Brunner and Kelsey Moos got into foul trouble early.
Redshirt Junior Eliza Normen and Sophmore Quinn Dornstauder each turned in excellent showings off the pine in which they combined for 28 points, and Dornstauder captured her career high for points, netting 19 in just 16 minutes of game time.
With another career best, Elisha Davis dished out 11 assists to set her new high, and add to her team-leading total in 2014.
This game was filled with positives for the Sun Devils but for a concern, ASU was horrendous from deep, going 1 for 12 from the three-point line. But of course the inside game was so good tonight that the sorry three-point shooting could be deemed irrelevant. It’s tough to argue that the Sun Devil offense was hindered by their inability to hit from downtown in a game where they set a season high for points scored.
While it came against a team that has yet to win a game this year, this was still an encouraging showing from the Devils as they head into the ASU classic this weekend, and later on to Pac- 12 conference play.
The ASU Classic begins with the Sun Devils taking on Lehigh this Saturday at Wells Fargo at 1:00 P.M.