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Second half surge leads Cardinal past Sun Devils

(Photo Credit: Stanford Athletics)

The No. 14 Arizona State Sun Devils were handed their first loss at Wells Fargo Arena this season as the No. 4 Stanford Cardinal took down the Sun Devils 80-56. The loss was also the first game ASU has dropped against a ranked opponent this season.

The first half was one of runs on both sides. A four-minute scoring drought left the Sun Devils trailing the Cardinal by 12 early in the half.

Stanford All-American senior forward Chiney Ogwumike started strong with 12 points and six rebounds in the first half before being forced to sit on the bench after committing her second foul with 7:25 left before halftime. The Sun Devils took advantage and went on a 12-3 run.

ASU did a better job of limiting Stanford to just one shot every time down the floor, and turned up the defensive pressure for over six minutes, cutting the lead to as little as four points with Ogwumike stuck on the Cardinal bench.

However, Stanford imposed their will after the intermission, opening the half on a 9-0 run. The Sun Devils continued to struggle from the field and finished the game shooting 32.4 percent from the field, and a dismal 16.7 percent from behind the arc.

“Every time there was a breakdown, (there was a) bucket,” ASU head coach Charli Turner Thorne said. “Every time we didn’t do what we were supposed to, bucket.”

Ogwumike was dominant all game, as she led all scorers with 30 points and added 16 rebounds.

“(Ogwumike) is just really smart,” ASU freshman forward Sophie Brunner said. “You take away one thing, she goes to the next. You take that away, she goes to the next. She’s really physical. It was a good test but she is the real deal.”

“I think she is in the same conversation with Candace Parker and the best players that have played the game,” Turner Thorne said.

For the Sun Devils, redshirt sophomore guard Katie Hempen led the Sun Devils with 13 points, and Brunner had 12 points of her own to go along with 11 rebounds, racking up her fourth double-double of the season. No other Sun Devil had more than seven points.

“We just didn’t have it today. We did not have it,” Turner Thorne said. “We were not ourselves, and I don’t know why.”

“It was a great game for us to learn from, and that’s all we’re going to do tomorrow,” Hempen said. “We are going to go in and watch film and learn a lot more.”

The Sun Devils will have just under a week to bounce back before they travel to Salt Lake City, Utah to play the Utah Utes. ASU has yet to drop back-to-back games this season.

You can reach Katy Burge on Twitter @KatyBurge or via email at

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