ASU women’s hoops lose to WSU due to problems in back court

The ASU women’s basketball team’s poor shooting and perimeter defense led to another loss Sunday afternoon against Washington State.

“I’m going to be point blank honest about it: It was even worse today,” coach Charli Turner-Thorne said. “We didn’t defend on perimeter, we turned the ball over, we didn’t make shots and we forced things. … We had no floor leadership. I’m very disappointed in that. Just unacceptable with the effort today defensively.”

The Sun Devils (8-6, 0-2 Pac-12) shot a dismal 34 percent from the field.

The Cougars (5-8, 1-1 Pac-12) only needed to shoot a decent 41 percent to win the game.

ASU made only one three-pointer out of 12 attempts, while Washington State made seven of 11.

ASU had similar problems at this position Friday in its loss against Washington.

The young guards of Washington State simply outplayed the Sun Devil guards.

Guards senior Micaela Pickens, junior Adrianne Thomas, sophomore Promise Amukamara and freshman Arnecia Hawkins all played over 20 minutes and combined for five of 30 shooting, three assists and only two fouls shots.

Washington State sophomore guard Tia Presley shot 10 for 16 on her way to a game-high 27 points. Freshman guard Taylor Edmondson came off the bench and scored 17, nailing three 3-pointers.

Despite the weak showing from the guard position, Turner-Thorne said the Sun Devils had a strong game from the posts.

Redshirt senior forward Janae Fulcher had a monster game, scoring 23 and grabbing seven boards. Junior center Joy Burke finished with 14 points, while sophomore forward Jada Blackwell followed up her 29-point performance with 11 points and eight rebounds.

On both ends, the Sun Devil backcourt just couldn’t find any rhythm.

“It wasn’t there in our guards. We just have to get tougher,” Turner-Thorne said. “Road life in the Pac-12 is brutal, and the kids found that out this weekend.”

Senior guard Deja Mann has been out since the beginning of the season and will be out for the rest of the season due to injury. Last season, she was the leader in the back court; this game, she showed that her presence is definitely missed.

This young squad has been able to counter teams well and play mature, but it didn’t click for the Sun Devils on Sunday.

The Sun Devils came within 42-41 with 17 minutes left in the game until the Cougars went on a 7-0 run to extend the lead.

Another 7-0 run with just six minutes to go sealed the deal off for Washington State. ASU failed to cut the lead under 10 for the rest of the game.

ASU will be heading home though this weekend where it has won its last three games.

The combined conference record of the next four teams it will play is 0-8.

 

Reach the reporter at gdemano@asu.edu