(Photo: James Powel/WCSN)
Arizona State women’s basketball kicked off its 2016-2017 campaign with a bang, defeating Illinois State 76-40.
Last time out, the Sun Devils had a balanced attack playing their entire roster and 12 of the 13 players scored a point. In addition, the Sun Devils played intense defense causing 27 turnovers resulting in 37 points.
ASU will take on San Jose State for its second game at Wells Fargo Arena this weekend.
On Friday, the Spartans dropped their season opener against New Mexico 66-55. The team had an off night, only shooting 30-percent from the floor and just 18 percent in the second half.
Last season, San José had a 13-17 over record and went 11-7 in conference play.
San Jose was selected to finish fifth place in the Mountain West conference’s preseason poll, after finishing in fourth place last year, which was the highest since the team has competed in the conference.
Arizona State head coach Charli Turner Thorne mentioned the game against the Spartans is going to be competitive.
“San Jose State is going to much tougher game,” Thorne said. “They play Phoenix Suns seven seconds or less, they are good offensively. It’s going to be a fun challenge.”
Senior guard Dezz Ramos leads the way for the Spartans, last year she averaged 18.1 points, 4.1 assists and 3.3 rebounds per contest. Last season, Ramos led her team in more than eight statistical categories. She was also named Mountain West newcomer of the year.
Another Spartan to look out for, is junior forward Hallie Gennett, who sat out last year because of NCAA transfer rules. Gennett transferred from Sacramento State, where she averaged 11.7 points and set the single-season record for three-pointers.
Junior forward Myzhanique Ladd is an option down low, as she averaged 7.9 points and 4.9 rebounds for the Spartan last season.
The senior center Jasmine Smith was also active in the paint, averaging 9.4 points per contest and grabbing 6.2 rebounds.
Coach Thorne said this San Jose team has experience and plays hard.
“They are definitely aggressive, fast pace and a talented team,” Thorne said. “They are a veteran team.”
ASU has the size to match up with the Spartan down low. The Sun Devils have two 6-4 players, senior Quinn Dornstauder and transfer senior Sara Hattis.
Arizona State will match up well with San Jose’s guards. The Sun Devils have two freshmen guards, Reili Richardson and Kiara Russell, who share minutes at the point guard spot. Richardson had a solid debut, scoring seven points, seven assist and three rebounds. Russell had six points in her debut.
“I think they are coming along each day and they are gaining confidence each day,” Senior Sophie Brunner said about the two freshmen guards. “I have a lot of confidence in them.”
The game between ASU and San Jose tips off at 2:00 p.m. MST at Wells Fargo Arena.