As Charli Turner Thorne glanced at the stat sheet during the press conference following the Washington State game on Friday, she pointed out that only two of her players shot above 25 percent. One of those players was Isidora Purkovic who was only one for one from the hardwood. Along with the poor shooting percentages, the high number of turnovers and low number of rebounds also caught her attention.
These numbers are not the ones Turner Thorne envisioned for her team’s first home game after a four-game road trip, but she still wants to remain positive and is taking the loss to Washington State as another learning experience for her young group of players.
One week after the head coach earned her 300th win at ASU, she is still in pursuit of number 301. After a tough loss to UCLA on January 27 and a disappointing performance against Washington State, the Lady Devils have been struggling on both ends of the court.
The Sun Devils need to break out of this slump, and a win against Washington this Sunday would be a great way to start. Washington is currently ranked fourth in Pac-12 standings with a conference record of 7-2. That being said, it will be another tough match-up for the Lady Devils, but it does not mean a victory will be out of reach. The players need to maintain a positive attitude like Turner Thorne is and step up their game.
Keys to Victory:
1. Play Like Hawkins
Freshman guard Arnecia Hawkins had a spectacular game against Washington State. She shot 66.7 percent behind the arc and scored a career-high of 18 points. In order to win on Sunday, Hawkins needs to stay hot and her teammates need to play with the same consistency and mentality. One player cannot win a game. It is a team effort and if each player performs to their full potential like Hawkins did on Friday, victory will be within reach.
2. Box Out
As the coaching staff continues to stress the importance of rebounding, the players are still working on becoming consistent on the glass. It is apparent in basketball that in order to be a strong rebounding team, each player on the court needs to box out. On Friday, ASU did not do a good job of boxing out, and this resulted in 17 offensive rebounds for Washington State. ASU needs to become more aggressive after the shot goes up, and every player needs to match-up with one from the opposing team. Only then will this limit the opponent’s second chance opportunities and lead to more rebounds for the Devils.
3. Follow The Game Plan
The Lady Devils need to start following their game plan on both the offensive and defensive end. The team is working extremely hard in all areas during practices, but they need to transfer this work ethic over to the games. Once the team begins to execute the game plan successfully, they will be able to finish the season on a high note.
One of ASU’s top posts players Jada Blackwell left the team prior to the Washington State game. Blackwell, a sophomore, also missed the Los Angeles road trip last weekend and the reason behind her departure has not been said.