(Photo: Sun Devil Athletics)
It was a back and forth battle all night, but in the end the Arizona State Sun Devils lost to the Green Bay Phoenix 63-57, for ASU’s first loss of the tournament and of the year. There were several things that stood out to me in this loss, both positive and negative.
Kelsey Moos’ Offensive Burst
We’ve seen Kelsey Moos progress offensively the last couple of games, and it all came together on Saturday night. Scoring 15 points on the night, Moos was getting to the basket and hitting perimeter shots. Moos has looked more comfortable on the perimeter the past couple of games, after last season where she primarily played in the paint. In order for ASU to continue to succeed, Moos has to continue her growth on the wing.
Points in the Paint
ASU gave up 52 points in the paint on Saturday, which accounted for 82 percent of Green Bay’s points on the night. The defense has to step it up all around, but specifically preventing easy layups in the paint. While Green Bay does have some nice bigs, there is no reason for allowing that type of interior dominance.
Brunner Keeps Dominating
Sophie Brunner had herself a game, yet again. With 13 points and 11 rebounds, she put up her second double-double of this short season. Even with teams now keeping an eye on her, Brunner continues to find ways to score and evade defenders. If Brunner keeps this up, she’ll be in the conversation for Player of the Year in the Pac-12.
Where’s the Bench?
The Sun Devils who typically have a strong scoring bench got just one point from the backups, a Quinn Dornstauder free throw in the second half. With weapons like Peace Amukamara and Arnecia Hawkins on the bench,there’s no reason this bench shouldn’t be productive. every game.
All and all, it wasn’t an awful outing for ASU, but where ASU fell, they fell hard. If there were just seven more points from the bench or just a few less layups given up, ASU may still be undefeated this season. But there is still basketball to be played tomorrow, and with improvements from the defense and bench, ASU can finish this Gulf Coast Showcase strong.