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ASU-Colorado, Utah preview

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After a convincing sweep of Oregon and Oregon State this past weekend, the Arizona State women’s basketball team looks to keep up the momentum as they hit the road for a four-game road trip.

The Lady Devils begin their tough road series in Boulder against No. 21 Colorado on Friday and then travel to Utah to take on the Utes on Sunday. After these two games, the team then travels to the west coast to continue conference play against USC and No.14 UCLA on January 25 and 27.

The 10-6 Devils, who are 2-2 in Pac-12 match-ups, play well on the road, and the players look forward to the challenges that may come about. As long as the team continues to improve in every game of the trip and remain focused and energized throughout, it is very possible for ASU to secure some key victories.

Keys to Victory

1. Play Sun Devil Defense

In both games against the Oregon schools, head coach Charli Turner Thorne stressed the importance of playing tough Sun Devil defense.

“Charli really pounded in our heads that we needed to have a defensive mentality first and then an offensive second. Throughout the whole week we just really focused on defense,” said guard Promise Amukamara after the Oregon game.

As the Sun Devils embark on their road trip, they are going to have to continue to play solid defense in order to force bad passes and get steals that can potentially lead to easy baskets at the other end. Playing pressure defense will also be important in the upcoming game in Boulder because of Colorado guard Chucky Jeffery, whose dynamic play makes her capable of scoring in double-digits each game.

2. Stick by Fulcher

Because the team is young, it is important for the inexperienced players to have a leader on the court to look up to. After stepping up this season, senior Janae Fulcher is beginning to fulfill this role of a go-to player.

“She has the most experience out of anyone on the team. I’m so proud of her because she is doing what we need her to do,” Turner Thorne said.

In the past two games, Fulcher led the team in scoring with a total of 29 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. As long as her consistent play keeps up and the team continues to get the ball in her hands, she will help lead the Devils to victory

3. Execute in the Paint

The Lady Devils did an exceptional job this past weekend of getting the ball inside the paint. The team combined for a total of 64 points in the paint and guards like Amukamara and Adrianne Thomas need to continue to get the ball to Fulcher and Joy Burke. With the ball in the hands of these strong posts, more close range baskets can come about and the opposing team may even begin fouling more frequently. Whether a player is under the basket or at the line though, she needs to execute in order to create more success on the offensive end. Once the Devils find their groove offensively, they will be very difficult to stop.

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