(Photo: Tyler Rittenhouse/WCSN)
Once again, a slow start was the demise of Arizona State (7-3), as they fell to #13 ranked Florida State (10-0) 77-66. The Seminoles jumped out of the gates on an 8-0 run and didn’t look back, never trailing in the game and only briefly tied with the Sun Devils for less than a minute en route to victory.
The Sun Devil guards were able to make up for the lack of inside as they were led by Reili Richardson, who brought ASU 18 points, and by Robbi Ryan and Courtney Ekmark who contributed 15 and 9 points respectively.
“We got better offensively this week, the ball movement, the catching and shooting. Courtney, Reili, and everybody just being a lot more aggressive,” said head coach Charli Turner Thorne. “
The Sun Devils fell behind very early in the game due to the early run by the Seminoles, led by AJ Alix who had 8 of her 14 total points in the first quarter of play.
FSU used early dominance as the key, having 14 of their 40 total points in the paint coming in the first quarter of play, which put them ahead 27-11 after one quarter.
“You can’t dig against a top team on their home floor,” said Turner Thorne. “They kept competing and we got it to a three-possession game in the fourth quarter and had our opportunities to turn the corner and didn’t quite capitalize.”
Arizona State was able to outscore Florida State in the second quarter 26-19 behind a pair of runs including a 7-2 stint to start the quarter.
The Devils used another run with three minutes remaining in the half to cut down the lead. This time it was an 11-4 run that closed the lead to 9, the smallest margin between the teams as it was 46-37 in favor of FSU at the half.
ASU used a flurry of three-point shooting including four in the quarter from Richardson, Ekmark, and Kianna Ibis, who had 9 points in the first half and ended the game with 11.
After being held scoreless for the first 3 minutes of the second half, Florida State stretched their lead to to 17 behind a 6-0 run, their largest of the night. The Devils couldn’t find their groove in the quarter and hit just one of their last seven shot attempts.
The Sun Devils were able to make their final push at the start of the fourth quarter behind three-point shots from Richardson and Ryan to cut the lead to 8. The run was short lived as the maroon and gold followed up with a scoreless stretch that allowed the Seminoles to pull away.
Arizona State hit only two of their last 11 shots which allowed Florida State to close the game out.
Arizona State was without Sabrina Haines for the first time on the season as it was announced she will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL.
The Devils will be back in action on December 18 at home against Idaho.