“We like to make it exciting…to keep it interesting, entertaining,” coach Charli Turner Thorne said after the Lady Devils victory over the Oregon State Beavers on Sunday 66-55.
The Sun Devils kept fans on their toes throughout the game, and while the Beavers may have been close at times, the Lady Devils maintained the lead all game.
After a shaky couple games on the road, Turner Thorne knew the key to a Sun Devil victory would have to be the reestablishment of a solid defense, and she made sure the team knew that as well.
“Going into this game was defense, defense, defense…all we worked on was defense in practice…[coach Turner Thorne] really wanted defense,” said players Promise Amukamara and Micaela Pickens in the post-game press conference.
The Sun Devils defense was enough to please coach Turner Thorne who thought her team had “another really good defensive effort.” The Sun Devils played well on defense and were also able to defeat Oregon State’s man-to-man defense early in the game.
The trouble came when the Beavers began to play zone defense halfway through the first half. The Sun Devils outside scoring has not been present the past couple games which made three pointers from Pickens, Amukamara, and Hawkins key in the teams success against the Beavers zone.
Another key to victory over Oregon State came from senior forward Janae Fulcher, who posted 11 points and five rebounds for the Lady Devils. “[Fulcher] is our senior…she is basically our go-to post,” said Pickens. Coach Turner Thorne agreed stating, “She’s definitely a go to player for us right now.”
But Fulcher is more than just a key player on the court; she is the team leader as well. “You know when things get rough she’s our leader…at the end of the day we trust her, and we believe in her,” Pickens said.
The one thing coach Turner Thorne did not think the team would struggle with against the Beavers would be rebounding. Before the game she warned her team that Oregon State would be tough rebounders, but at the end of the game despite the win, coach Turner Thorne was displeased with her teams rebounding efforts. “Honestly we weren’t very good,” she remarked.
Despite the Sun Devils only managing to grab 25 rebounds, the team’s solid defense and perimeter shooting was enough to help them achieve victory.
Pickens dropped 12 points for the Sun Devils including two three-pointers, while Amukamara had a game-high 13 points for the Lady Devils.
The Sun Devils play the next few games on the road starting on Friday as they take on a 14-2 University of Colorado team.