Just as elementary school students were prevalent at Wells Fargo Arena Friday afternoon, so were missed shots and turnovers.
On Sparky’s Kids to College Field Trip Day, the No. 19 ASU women’s basketball team battled No. 15 California in a sloppy affair, eventually prevailing, 68-59.
While the 42.9 shooting percentage and 14 turnovers weren’t ideal, coach Charli Turner Thorne said she wasn’t surprised her team won, nonetheless.
“Look at the stat sheet against North Carolina, you’d be like, ‘How did you guys win?’” Turner Thorne said. “That’s been a trademark of a lot of our teams … This team is just vintage find a way (to win).”
Luckily for ASU, the Golden Bears (12-4, 4-1 Pac-12) stat sheet didn’t look any better. They shot 40 percent from the field and turned the ball over 18 times.
Like other “vintage” ASU teams, Turner Thorne also said this team doesn’t have a “big three,” like Cal, UCLA or USC. Eight players average between six and 12 points per game, but the Sun Devils’ (15-2, 4-1 Pac-12) leading scorer today isn’t one of them.
Freshman center Quinn Dornstauder led ASU with 13 points, while also collecting four rebounds.
“(Dornstauder) has been working toward these opportunities,” Turner Thorne said. “But you know, you work, you work, you work, but you don’t always take advantage … I’m really happy for her. She did a great job today.”
Dornstauder didn’t see any indications that she would have a big game, but played a bigger role because redshirt sophomore guard Eliza Normen was out with back spasms.
“I wasn’t really expecting anything,” Dornstauder said. “I like to take every opportunity and make the best of it.”
The Sun Devils shot just 1-of-11 from the perimeter, making Dornstauder’s quickness down low that much more crucial.
“(Dornstauder) has the best first step; nobody can keep her in front,” Turner Thorne said. “She goes by everybody for that right-handed layup. We just told her, ‘Just rip and go, Quinn.’”
ASU quickly fell behind, 10-2, before Turner Thorne had to call a timeout less than four minutes into the game. By the 7:14 mark, the Sun Devils had taken their first lead, 17-15.
Junior guard Promise Amukamara credited the comeback to an improved defensive effort after the timeout.
“I think we just needed to get our defense going,” Amukamara said. “We were just a little sluggish at the beginning of the game … We just needed to crank up our defense.”
Turner Thorne said she is a big supporter of Field Trip Day, and appreciates that Cal coach Lindsay Gottlieb agreed to an 11 a.m. game, something not a lot of coaches do, according to Turner Thorne.
Between the 11 a.m. start time and Martin Luther King, Jr. day, Turner Thorne said the schedule couldn’t have worked out better for one of the toughest weekends on the schedule.
“The table is really set for us better than it could really ever be set” Turner Thorne said. “Now we’ve got extra rest time until Monday … and that extra prep time for Stanford.”
ASU has Saturday and Sunday off before facing No. 4 Stanford Monday at 5 p.m. at Wells Fargo Arena.
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