(Photo: Brooke Faber/WCSN)
The No.10 Arizona State Sun Devils (15-3, 6-0 Pac-12) were coming off a blowout win against Colorado on Friday, and they didn’t miss a beat, beating a strong Utah (12-5, 4-3 Pac-12) team 80-60 in Tempe on Sunday.
Utah won the tip, but it obviously didn’t settle well with junior forward Sophie Brunner. Brunner immediately stole the ball, which resulted in a fast-break layup to start off the game.
ASU continued their strong play throughout the first quarter. Their suffocating defense held Utah to 35 percent shooting, while forcing five turnovers. ASU lead 25-12 going into the second quarter.
The second quarter, however, was a different story, as ASU appeared to have let its foot off the gas pedal. Utah shot 53 percent in the second quarter allowing them to cut ASU’s lead to four points going into halftime.
The Sun Devils appeared to have lost their rhythm, and were getting caught behind in defense which resulted in a plethora of fouls in the second quarter.
“It’s something we’re focusing on,” said junior forward Kelsey Moos. “To play four good quarters.”
In the second half the Sun Devils started off slow, missing six straight shots, but with six minutes to go in the third quarter, they flipped the switch with a 7-0 run.
ASU continued its dominant play throughout the rest of the second half, never allowing Utah to take the lead.
ASU showcased its depth in this game, as every player who stepped on the court for the Sun Devils was able to score.
“This shows our balance as well as our depth,” said head coach Charli Turner Thorne.
ASU got its second straight blowout win with a score of 80-60 over a Utah team that Turner Thorne hailed as “a tournament team for sure.”
Player of the Game: Quinn Dornstauder
For the second straight game, Quinn Dornstauder is considered the player of the game for the Sun Devils. She not only led her team in scoring with 14 points, but she helped hold Utah’s star 6-foot-6 center Emily Potter to 10 points and 8 rebounds, well below her average of 17 points per game and 11 rebounds per game.
Stat of the Game: 22 Turnovers
ASU forced Utah to turn the ball over 22 times, four of which came in the first two minutes of the game. This really limited Utah’s time of possession, making it hard for point guard Danielle Rodriguez to get the ball inside to Potter. This allowed ASU many opportunities to extend their lead. The turnovers set the tone of the game for ASU’s defense and Utah’s offense right out of the gate. Utah finished with a 12-22 assist to turnover ratio.
ASU will get set to face off against rival Arizona on Friday January 22 at 7pm in Tempe.