ASU women’s hoops lose to No. 6 Cal because of slow start

The Sun Devil offense struggled once again, failing to keep up with the high-powered No. 6 Cal.

The ASU women’s basketball team (11-12, 3-8 Pac-12) lost 66-53 Friday night to the Cal Golden Bears (20-2-10-1).

ASU stumbled out of the gates, kept within reach, but could never breakthrough despite a valiant effort.

“We got off to a really slow start. I love that we competed and stuck together,” coach Charli Turner Thorne said. “It shows growth.”

Halfway through the first half, the Sun Devils had failed to score double-digits and the score was 21-8.

That cushion the Golden Bears built for themselves early on would come in handy for the rest for the contest.

“Our early offense killed us. I thought we got better in the second half, but we need more people to hit a few more shots,” Turner Thorne said.

The Sun Devils finished the first half shooting 38 percent compared to 47 percent by the conference’s best offense.

The Cal lead was at 11 at the end of the half, it was 36-25.

The second half wasn’t much of a different story as Cal kept onto its comfortable lead all the way until the end.

The Bears finished the game shooting 45 percent to the Sun Devils’ 36 percent.

Although the Sun Devils only had 17 turnovers compared to its opponents’ 18, Cal made sure to capitalize on them.

Cal scored 24 points off turnovers.

Senior guard Layshia Clarendon finished with 18 points and shot 8-11 from the field.

Junior forward Gennifer Brandon had a double-double with 10 points and 15 rebounds.

One Sun Devil bright spot was junior center Joy Burke.

Burke had the best offensive night of her career, scoring 16 points on 50 percent shooting along with five rebounds.

Freshman Haley Videckis came back from an ankle injury scoring 11 points and sophomore Promise Amukamara finished with nine.

Redshirt senior Janae Fulcher did not play due to illness but is expected to be back for Sunday’s game versus No. 4 Stanford.

Although the offensive struggled, the defensive wasn’t at its best either.

“We are not paying attention to the details of our defense,” Turner Thorne said. “The very things we focus on in practice, we’re not taking away in the game, and that is a little exasperating.”

With  national powerhouse Stanford up next, games like these will only help ASU down the road.

“We’ll have different challenges playing them but this should help us,” Turner Thorne said.

 

Reach the reporter at gdemano@asu.edu