(Photo: Nicole Hernandez/WCSN)
The No.16 Arizona State Women’s basketball team is back on the road and head to Southern California to take on No.13 UCLA.
The last two weeks may be the toughest stretch the Sun Devils will face all season long.
Head coach Charli Turner Thorne mentioned at practice that she hasn’t even unpacked her bags from last weeks road trip.
“We’ve had back-to-back road trips, it will be challenging so we are going to find out how tough we are this weekend.” Thorne said. “These two teams are tough and obviously back-to-back road trips with hard games is going to be tough.”
Last weekend ASU was in Northern California taking on Cal and No.10 Stanford.
Last time out, the Sun Devils closed out the contest against Cal on a 7-0 run and eventually clinched the 54-45 victory. While against Stanford, ASU couldn’t overcome the Cardinal offensive attack and was defeated 66-56.
Despite battling the fatigue of travel the Sun Devils are hungry to compete again after last weekends performances.
“I think playing as poorly as we did against Stanford helps you reset the table,” Thorne said. “We’re not satisfied with ourselves. We don’t really care who or where, but we are thinking let’s go we are better than this. Win or lose we are better than this. I think that’s how our team feels right now.”
The Sun Devils are 1-3 against top-25 ranked opponents this season. Friday’s match up against the No.13 Bruins is important. ASU needs to solidify its presence among the countries best by beating a Top-20 opponent.
The Sun Devils will ride the offensive firepower of senior forward Sophie Brunner, who is averaging 13 points per contest.
The program also receives scoring contributions from senior center Quinn Dornstauder and freshman guard Reili Richardson, who combine for 18 points per game.
Playing in such a competitive conference, Richardson mentioned the sense of urgency that her team must play with.
“There is no easy game,” Richardson said. “Every game is tough, everyone is good, and we have to bring all out effort every game no matter what.”
The Sun Devils are currently placed at the No.5 spot in Pac-12 women’s basketball standings with a respective 5-3 conference record. The Bruins are posted at the No.4 slot with a 6-2 record.
UCLA has been hot as of late, coming into Friday’s match up on a four game winning steak in conference play. The team is a perfect 10-0 at home and has the third-longest active winning streak at home, accumulating 23 win.
The Bruins do not struggle to score, as they have juniors Monique Billings, Jordin Canada and sophomore Burke Kennedy who all average over 10 points per game.
Averaging 22 points per game on turnovers, UCLA thrives in transition and off its opponent’s miscues.
“Their transition game with Canada running it, is one of the best in the country,” Thorne said. “Neutralizing that is not easy but we have to work hard to do that. They have four really good scorers. They are quite a handful to guard.”
All the action between the ranked opponents begins 9:00 p.m. MST in Los Angles California on Pac-12 Networks.