The ASU women’s basketball team gave coach Charli Turner Thorne her 300th Sun Devil victory in unique fashion Friday, coming back from 16 points down and beating the USC Trojans 60-53.
This may be the Sun Devils’ (11-8, 3-4 Pac-12) highlight win this season. After being down 36-20 after the first half, they came out on fire in the second, shooting 59 percent.
In the second half they excelled on both ends of the floor, holding the Trojans (7-11, 4-3) to 24 percent from the field and a dismal eight percent from three-point land.
“Obviously we needed people to step up and hit shots. But part of that was staying poised through the whole second half,” Turner Thorne said.
Overlooked by the performance, Turner Thorne became the third coach in Sun Devil history to win 300 games but said the team effort was much more important.
“That was probably our best 20 minutes of just being calm and within ourselves no matter what happened, Turner Thorne said.”
The first 20 minutes were brutal for ASU.
The Sun Devils shot 32 percent in the first half and were outrebounded by USC 24-12. The Trojans finished the first half on a 10-2 run, shooting 41 percent for the half.
It was a whole different story in the second half. The Trojans were outrebounded and committed seven turnovers compared to only three for ASU.
USC finished with 17 and the Sun Devils with 13.
The Sun Devils played from behind for about 38 minutes of the game, but kept responding.
“They really just stuck together and stayed positive,” Turner Thorne said. “It was such a team effort. ”
That was evident up and down the box score. No Sun Devils scored in double-digits, but seven of them scored six points or more.
As ASU has one of the best benches in the Pac-12, the reserves outscored the Trojans’ bench 25-8.
The Sun Devils’ offense is most efficient when it’s scoring from all angles.
“Our posts were stronger. We got some perimeter shooting. That’s when we’re at our best,” Turner Thorne said. “When you think about some of our best offensive games, it’s our inside-out attack. When we balance that we are very hard to guard.”
They did that well tonight as they scored 34 of their 60 points in the paint.
ASU only hit two 3-pointers, but both of them came in the last five minutes of the game. Freshmen Haley Videckis hit one that cut the lead to three points with about four minutes left.
With less than two minutes left and down by four, sophomore Promise Amukamara hit a corner 3-pointer to cut the lead to one.
Free throws by Videckis then put ASU up for the first time since being up 1-0.
Free throws also hurt the Trojans, but were easy points for the Sun Devils. USC shot 63 percent for the game from the stripe while ASU shot 84 percent.
“This is the next step that we needed to take as a team.”
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