After dropping the first two road games at Colorado and at Utah, the ASU women’s basketball team head west to finish up its four-game road trip.
It has responded after poor performances in the past, and it’s going to need to once again with tough upcoming matchups.
ASU (10-8, 2-4 Pac-12) takes on USC Friday night, followed by a Sunday afternoon game at No. 19 UCLA.
The Bruins (13-4, 4-2) are No. 4 and the Trojans (7-10, 4-2) are No. 6 in the Pac-12 standings. Both teams will be looking to capitalize on ASU and UA in order to move up the standings.
With the offense and defense struggling as of late, ASU must make adjustments on both ends of the floor in order to see success this weekend.
“We need to improve on our rebounding,” coach Charli Turner Thorne said. “We need to make sure we can defend their aggressive offensive players. And then the obvious thing is that we need to find our offense. We had a really tough weekend offensively in terms of scoring the basketball.”
ASU currently has the third-worst scoring average per game in the Pac-12.
The Trojans don’t score that much more and are ninth in scoring average per game. They do have a solid go-to interior player in junior forward Cassie Harberts.
Harberts’s 17.9 points per game is the Pac-12′s third-best scoring average and she is eighth in rebounding at almost eight per game.
In USC’s Pac-12 opener, she scored 27 points against a formidable Oregon State defense. USC’s overall record isn’t indicative of how it’s playing as of late.
The Bruins probably won’t be any easier for the Sun Devils.
UCLA scores and rebounds the ball well by averaging 71 points and 44 rebounds per game, both good enough for second in the Pac-12.
The Sun Devil defense won’t be able to key in on just one player either. UCLA boasts four players who average more than 10 points per game.
High scoring from multiple players show that UCLA can pass the ball. UCLA is first in the Pac-12 in assists per game, averaging 16.
Perimeter defense at times has been a problem for ASU, but the Sun Devils are going to need it versus the Bruins if they wants to be successful.
Overall, ASU is playing two teams this weekend that aren’t going to easy to guard individually.
“Two teams that are playing very well and are very talented,” Turner Thorne said. “They have just have great individual talent.”
While it may be another long weekend for the Sun Devils, this presents as an ideal opportunity for ASU to improve along the way.
“Are we going to be motivated and work hard? Yes,” Turner Thorne said. “We are every week. Definitely, we’re going to be fired up to try to win
these two games.”
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