Women’s hoops fails to hold on vs. No. 23 Dayton

Redshirt senior forward Janae Fulcher shoots a free throw during ASU’s 65-59 loss to No. 23 Dayton in the ASU Classic on Sunday. (Photo by Kyle Newman)

Besides the first minute and the last 41 seconds, the Sun Devils (3-4) held a lead for the whole game against Dayton (9-0).

“Even down the stretch, we had some great end of the game defense, then missed free throws and missed layups,” coach Charli Turner Thorne said. “Combine that with turnovers and you have to take the game. And we just didn’t step up and take it.”

ASU played against two polar-opposite teams this weekend — one team having not won a game this season and another not having lost a game this season.

The Sun Devils took care of the Binghamton Bearcats Saturday afternoon, winning 60-35. Binghamton (0-7) has yet to win a game this season.

ASU started the game off on a 12-0 run and never looked back. It held the Bearcats to a dismal 26 percent shooting.

Sun Devil redshirt senior Janae Fulcher led the way with 11 points, and freshman Isidora Purkovic added 10.

The Sun Devils began the game even more efficiently against Dayton.

ASU came out firing, taking a 15-4 lead seven minutes into the game.

The Sun Devils brought tough pressure in the first half, and the Flyers looked disorientated on offense, jacking up off-balanced shots.

Dayton shot a dismal 36 percent in the first half, while ASU shot 43 percent.

The Sun Devils led at the half, 40-28.

The second half was a different story.

“It was a lack of communication on our end,” Fulcher said. “We just need to find the shooters and know where they’re at, and we kind of failed to do so.”

The Flyers gained some life after two minutes into the second half when forward Ally Malott scored eight straight points to cut the lead to 42-36. She finished the game with 20 points.

ASU’s offensive execution wasn’t quite there like in the first half either.

The Sun Devils turned the ball over seven times in the first six minutes of the second half compared to only nine times in the whole first half. ASU committed 22 turnovers by the end of the game.

Sun Devil freshman Haley Videckis capped off a 10-3 run with a deep 3-pointer from the right wing, igniting Wells Fargo and extending ASU’s lead to nine with eight minutes left.

From there, Dayton would counter and chip away at the lead.

The Flyers took their first lead since the 18:40 mark in the first half when tournament MVP and senior guard Samantha MacKay drilled a three-pointer, putting Dayton up 58-57 with just 58 seconds left to play.

Dayton scored 20 of the last 25 points in the game.

The Sun Devils shot 6-for-13 from the free-throw line in the second half, failing to capitalize on easy points.

“We did a good job of getting to the line, but especially as our lead got a lot closer, it comes down to those free throws,” junior center Joy Burke said. “I think it’s just a focus issue.”

Burke and Fulcher both made the All-Tournament team.

 

Reach the reporter at gdemano@asu.edu