Shooting woes continue as ASU women’s hoops loses to Utah

The ASU women’s basketball team dropped its second game in a row, losing 66-46 to the Utah Sunday.

With that loss, the Sun Devils (10-8, 2-4 Pac-12) has yet to win a Pac-12 game away from home.

Since the Sun Devils’ loss to Colorado on Jan. 18, the two aspects that needed to be improved were offensive efficiency and rebounding. They failed to do those, as well as play the tough defense they’ve been playing as of late.

“They had to do a better job of sustaining their effort,” coach Charli Turne Thorne said. “We play great for two or three minutes then we let up. Today, it was just both ends of the floor. We didn’t sustain our defense and we came down, didn’t execute well and didn’t make our shots too.”

The Sun Devils shot 33 percent from the field and grabbed 25 rebounds Sunday afternoon.

In four of their past five games, they’ve shot less than 35 percent.

The Utes (10-7, 1-5) shot 55 percent and pulled down 33 rebounds. It was their second-best field goal percentage of the season.

Utah is statistically the worst rebounding team in the Pac-12 in total rebounds per game.

No Sun Devil scored more than 10 points and no Sun Devil grabbed more than three rebounds.

Utah had three players score at least 16 points and finish with at least six rebounds.

Junior forward Michelle Plouffe stood out for the Utes.

An AP honorable mention All-American last season, she scored 18 points, secured eight rebounds and blocked three shots.

The game was within reach for ASU during most of the first half.

With 6:25 minutes left in the half, the Sun Devils were up 22-17. The Utes would finish the half on a 12-2 run and take a 29-24 lead. Although it only shot 35 percent and missed all five 3-point attempts compared to Utah’s 47 percent shooting in the first half, ASU found itself only down by five.

But then Utah separated themselves in the first seven minutes of the second half using a 13-3 run to extend its lead to 14.

Starting with 6:25 minutes left in the first half until 13:02 minutes left in the second half the beginning of the second half, ASU only scored five points in that span of 13 minutes.

It’s been a point all year how this young Sun Devil team returns no starters and have yet to find that grit and toughness on a consistent basis.

“I think a lot of it is mental with our team. We just don’t have that toughness that we need,” Turner Thorne said.

Although ASU now stands ninth in the Pac-12 standings, there are still 12 conference games ahead of them.

“I know what we can do and I see it everyday in the gym and I go and watch us play and we’re not able to do a lot of those things,” Turner Thorne said. “We’re going to keep getting better.”

 

Reach the reporter at gdemano@asu.edu