Even though the Arizona State women’s basketball team lost by six to No. 23 Dayton in the championship game of the ASU Classic, head coach Charli Turner Thorne is still confident in her young team’s ability to improve.
“We’re getting better, and all of this is going to prepare us very well for Pac-12 [play],” Turner Thorne said in the press conference following the loss.
The Sun Devils had their moments throughout the ASU Classic, however, they need to work on protecting the ball. In the two games the Sun Devils played this past weekend, the team combined for 43 turnovers. In the team’s loss against Dayton, the Flyers scored 22 points off the Sun Devils giveaways. In order to be successful in future games, the players need to take better care of the ball and make smarter passes. The team must work on limiting its mistakes because these turnovers can cost them key victories once conference play begins.
Alongside turnovers, the Sun Devils also need to improve on finishing close range shots. The team missed a total of 17 layups and was only 6-13 at the free throw line in the second half against Dayton. Not capitalizing at the line and missing easy points under the basket led to the Sun Devils downfall, so the team must continue to work on these shots during practice.
In this tournament, the Sun Devils were a first half team. At the beginning of each game, the team started out strong offensively and defensively but when the second half rolled around, they struggled. In both games, their field goal percentage dropped by more than ten percent, and the Flyers even outscored the Sun Devils 37-19 in the second half.
“When we build an early lead, we just have to make sure that we’re still putting a lot of pressure on them and that we’re scoring and getting stops,” Junior Joy Burke said.
Even though the Sun Devils are a young team with room for improvement, the players are still very skilled and dedicated. They have become more aggressive on the defensive end forcing a combined total of 38 turnovers in both games this past weekend, and their help side defensive continues to strengthen. When it comes to offense, the Lady Devils are all on the same scoring level. Right now there is not one particular player who rises above the rest, and anyone has the ability for a big offensive game.
“All year long we have had a different leading scorer almost every game and that’s who we are and that’s who we will be all season. It’s awesome,” Turner Throne said.
The ASU Classic can be chalked up as a learning experience for the 3-4 Sun Devils. Look for the team to step up and work even harder in upcoming games before the holidays.