(Photo: Dominic Cotroneo/WCSN)
Things got off to a rocky start for the No. 17 Arizona State Sun Devils as the faced off against the unranked VCU Rams, and the Rams were able to upset the Sun Devils in Tempe 57-48.
VCU took off running early on taking the lead early in the first quarter. The Rams didn’t give up their lead until the two-minute mark in the second quarter.
For the remainder of the second quarter, there was four lead changes, but the first half ended just as it started with VCU leading the way 21-18.
VCU’s Camille Calhoun left the game with in the first quarter with two back-to-back fouls.
Both of these teams are used to up-tempo offensive systems, but due to tight calls early, on both teams had to adjust offensively.
With ASU missing junior forward and leading scorer Sophie Brunner with an ankle sprain, and junior forward Kelsey Moos with a concussion, the Sun Devils struggled to find their rhythm on the offensive end. ASU head coach Charli Turner Thorne put her trust in her bench early on in this match up, putting three of her freshman Kianna Ibis, Charnea Johnson-Chapman, and Sabrina Haines in with five minutes left in the first quarter. Johnson-Chapman and Ibis each contributed a basket while on the floor.
Both teams also struggled from behind the arc, going a combined 0-for-13 in the first half from deep.
ASU senior guard Katie Hempen also struggled on the offensive end and was held scoreless on 0-for-8 shooting.
In the second half, VCU came out strong; it took the lead and never looked back. Calhoun went down with an apparent knee injury but contributed six points and two rebounds prior to getting injured. She did not return to finish out the second half.
Turner Thorne looked on the positive side of the loss.
“I’m not too worried about this team,” Turner Thorne said. “With Kelsey and Sophie out, we said that other people were going to have to grow, but I think it’s exposing some things, which is good.”
ASU ended the game 20-of-70 shooting, and seemed to lack communication on offense.
“There’s things that we have to embrace that we aren’t embracing right now that we are going to have to embrace in order to be a great team,” Turner Thorne said.
For ASU, junior center Quinn Dornstauder led the way finishing 17 points, and senior guard Arnecia Hawkins led the way in rebounds with 10. As for the Rams, Keira Robinson lead her team with 14 points.
ASU will return to Wells Fargo Area tomorrow afternoon to play the winner of the Columbia and Toledo game. The Sun Devils are still looking for their first win on their home court.