The ASU women’s basketball team showed a similar type of defensive prowess Sunday afternoon against Oregon State as it did in Friday’s win over Oregon, and it resulted in the same effort.
The Sun Devils (10-6, 2-2 Pac-12) forced 23 turnovers to beat the Beavers (7-9, 1-3 Pac-12) 66-55.
After poor defensive performances against the Washington schools, the Sun Devils finished the weekend with another gem on the defensive end.
“I think we really got away from some things, and we’re really starting to get back,” ASU coach Charli Turner Thorne said. “Those were some very good guards who we made, I thought, look very bad today. They are good players. I could not be more pleased with our perimeter defense.”
ASU impressed on the offensive end as well hitting shots, shooting 52 percent from the field compared to OSU’s 46 percent.
“I thought we did a great job against their man (defense) and really shredded that,” Turner Thorne said. “We just really didn’t execute against the zone very well. But thankfully, our guards — we had our inside out scoring. We haven’t had our outside scoring in a couple games.”
The Sun Devils shot 7-for-15 from the perimeter and also scored 32 points in the paint.
Senior Micaela Pickens scored 12 points, including two 3-pointers. She’s in the top 10 in the Pac-12 in 3-point field goal percentage, shooting 36 percent for the season.
“When we get zoned, we really want to get paint touches,” Pickens said. “We just started to go into the post and back out. If we had the shot, we’ll take it. If not, we’ll go back in and work from there.”
Sophomore Promise Amukamara showed her ability contribute on both ends, finishing with a game-high 13 points and three steals.
The Sun Devils started the game with an 8-0 run. After separating themselves for a few minutes, the Beavers kept the deficit right around eight points for the majority of the half.
ASU turned the ball over four times in the last five minutes of the half, and by the end of the first 20 minutes, the Beavers cut down the lead 35-30.
Execution became a problem for ASU at times. It finished with 20 turnovers, but the Sun Devils hit their shots when they had opportunities.
Amukamara scored the first five points of the half for the Sun Devils after Oregon State opened with a field goal.
Following another Oregon State jumpshot, ASU freshman Arnecia Hawkins drained back-to-back 3-pointers to extend the lead to 45-34.
With 15 minutes left in the game, Oregon State still trailed closely behind the Sun Devils and came within four points with five minutes to go in the game.
While their defense has improved, rebounding has not been up to par for this Sun Devils this past weekend. They were outrebounded again 32-25.
“I think what also let them stay in the game was rebounding,” Amukamara said. “We really need to box out and get on the boards.”
The Sun Devils were able to get to the free-throw line and seal the game by converting seven of nine from the charity stripe.
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