ASU women’s hoops falters to No. 21 CU after dismal 2nd half

The Sun Devils lost a heartbreaker Sunday afternoon versus the No. 21 Colorado. After being ahead for most of the game, a poor second half led to a 71-63 loss.

ASU women’s basketball team (11-15, 3-11 Pac-12) played with urgency on both ends in the first half. They held the Buffaloes (20-5, 9-5) to 28 percent shooting and ASU shot 48 percent.

At the start, the Sun Devils were hitting 3-pointers, scoring off the post and penetrating with aggression. They were also creating turnovers and keeping up with one of the better rebounding teams in the conference.

However, the second half saw little of those things.

“I’m very disappointed,” coach Charli Turner Thorne said. “I feel as if we got away from some things in the second half, lost some of our aggressiveness.”

In the second, ASU’s offensive play grew timid, accompanied with untimely and unforced turnovers, and its defensive rotations slowed down.

The second half also saw Colorado rebound its way to victory.

ASU was outrebounded 50-35. It gave up 23 offensive rebounds that led to 26 second chance points for CU.

“The key to this game was rebounding, and we didn’t do it,” Turner Thorne said.

The Sun Devils were successful in spreading the floor, going 4-5 from 3-point land in the first half.

Sophomore Promise Amukamara had the largest impact in the first half as she scored all 14 of her points the the first 20 minutes. She nailed two corner 3-pointers in the last four minutes of that half.

But she wished she continued that success the entire game.

“I think I wasn’t being as aggressive in the first half,” Amukamara said.

Her difference in the second half was symbolic of the whole Sun Devil squad’s.

They shot only 2-14 from range while shooting 30 percent form the field.

“I think we definitely had some people pass up shots that they normally make and take,” redshirt forward Janae Fulcher said. “If we set it up for them, they have to be willing to take it.”

After the first five minutes of the game the Sun Devils went on a 17-6 run to take the lead 23-14. It was 35-27 at the end of the half.

Colorado stayed within striking distance and finally went on its run that put it over the top.

With seven minutes remaining in the game, CU finished off a 20-6 run when freshmen Arielle Roberson hit another 3-pointer from the left wing.

Sophomore CU forward Jen Reese had one of her best games of the season, scoring 22 points and grabbing eight rebounds.

“Our rotations were slow on the key people,” Turner Thorne said. “It’s exasperating to not just sustain effort and keep doing things you’re doing.”

ASU forced senior guard Chucky Jeffrey to shoot only 5-14, but she was able to secure 10 rebounds and dished out four assists.

Junior guard Adrienne Thomas and Fulcher both finished with 14 points.

 

Reach the reporter at gdemano@asu.edu