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Sun Devils struggles continue versus Utes

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Throughout the season, the members of the Arizona State Women’s basketball team have tried to keep a positive attitude, but lately, this has become harder to do.

Once again, the players and coaches have looked up at the scoreboard after a game and saw a score that wasn’t in their favor.

The Sun Devils extended their losing streak to six games on Friday after a 54-46 loss against the Utah Utes at Wells Fargo Arena. The Lady Devils are now 11-14 overall and 3-10 in conference play.

“It’s getting to all of us because we want results for our hard work. We want to win, and that’s what we are here to do,” coach Charli Turner Thorne said following the loss.

At the beginning of the game, the Utes came out strong, going on an 8-0 run before Joy Burke ended it with a three-pointer. From there on out, it went back and forth between the two teams. At the half, the Utes led 26-21.

In the second half, the Sun Devils continued to try and close the gap. Even late in the game, ASU had a chance to pull out the victory. With 1:37 left in the game, an Adrianne Thomas lay-up cut the lead to eight.

However, the Utes took advantage of free throw opportunities once the Devils began the fouling game. Whenever the Utes missed a free throw though, the Devils did not capitalize at the other end.

“We struggled offensively because we gave up too many possessions when we just weren’t on page with each other,” Burke said.

This lack of execution not only showed in the final minutes but also throughout the game.  As a whole, the team only shot 26.7 percent from the field.

Turner Thorne also said this lack of execution came from players not listening, and this is a consequence of having an inexperienced team on the court.

“The young players get into the game and they don’t do what they practice. They just go off and do things that they are not supposed to be doing. We are definitely challenging them on that. We are not great listeners on this team,” Turner Thorne said.

Despite the fact that the Sun Devils fought hard, in the end it did come down to experience. Utah was the most experienced team on the court. Member of the Canadian Senior Women’s National Team and competitor in the London Olympics, Michelle Plouffe, greatly contributed to this experience.

“She is a national team player with great toughness. She is very skilled and very savvy,” Turner Thorne said.

Plouffe led all scorers with 21 points. Burke and Arnecia Hawkins led the Lady Devils in scoring with eight points each followed by Promise Amukamara with seven.

The Sun Devils return to action on Sunday when they host Colorado at 2 p.m.

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