(Photo: Dominic Cotroneo/WCSN)
It wasn’t a pretty start for Arizona State.
The Sun Devils opened the game with an ugly performance on offense, shooting the ball just 1-for-10 from the floor and hitting on just 4-for-6 free throw attempts. The team only mustered six points in the first quarter.
But despite the lackluster first quarter, the No. 22 Arizona State Sun Devils (8-3) were able to rally to claim a victory over the No. 11 Florida State Seminoles (9-3) 68-56 in Tempe.
In this much-anticipated rematch from the Sweet Sixteen last March, ASU saw a bit of déjà vu as FSU dominated every aspect of the game in opening quarter. Fortunately for the Sun Devils, this game ended a little differently.
The Sun Devils outscored the Seminoles 62-44 over the final three quarters while shooting a blazing 59 percent from the floor.
Arnecia Hawkins’ 23 points led the Sun Devils in scoring. Quinn Dornstauder (11), Sophie Brunner (10) and Elisha Davis (10) all scored in double digits, keying ASU to its biggest win so far this season.
Much of what the Seminoles were able to do was fueled by the play of junior guard Brittany Brown. Brown flew around the court, racking up five steals and 17 points for the game, but ASU’s smothering defense was able to slow the FSU attack down. In the end, the Sun Devils caused the Seminoles to turn the ball over 16 times.
The win moves ASU to 8-3 on the year and secures a revenge victory that these players have been yearning for since being eliminated from the NCAA Tournament by FSU a season ago.
Player of the Game: Arnecia Hawkins
Hawkins has been on fire as of late. In ASU’s last game against Marquette, she set a new season high of 17 points, but that mark would last only two days. Hawkins came off the bench to pour in a game-high 23 points for the Sun Devils, including 15 in the second half that broke the game open. The senior didn’t miss a single shot, going 7-for-7 from the floor including 3-for-3 from deep. The only blemish on her shooting night was a single missed free throw as Hawkins shot 6-for-7 from the line.
Stat of the Night: 46.7 percent
That’s the percentage that the Sun Devils were able to shoot from behind the three-point line. ASU went 7-for-15, well above their season percentage of 31 percent. The offensive explosion for the Sun Devils was fueled by these 3-pointers, and if they can maintain their hot shooting from long range, it would add a new dimension to this already solid offense.
The Sun Devils will have a week off for Christmas before they tip-off against CSUN in Tempe on December 28.