The ASU women’s basketball team came into the weekend ranked at No. 19 and looking to improve its standing in the Pac-12. After the weekend, ASU is now ranked at No. 14 with a win over then-No. 15 Cal and a loss to No. 4 Stanford.
Friday night, the Sun Devils took down No. 19 California, 68-59, at Wells Fargo Arena. Freshman center Quinn Dornstauder led the way for ASU, scoring a career-high 13 points to go along with four rebounds. Junior forward Reshanda Gray and senior guard Afure Jemerigbe led the way for the Golden Bears in the loss.
The Sun Devils did not play their best but played well enough to earn the victory — their third against a ranked team so far this season. The game was tied about midway through the second half before the Sun Devils went on an 11-2 run to give themselves the lead for good.
Dornstauder got her first taste of big minutes of the season and took advantage of them, showing the coaching staff why she should be a bigger part of the rotation.
Monday evening, the script was far different for the Sun Devils. ASU was blown out by Stanford, 80-56, at Wells Fargo Arena behind Stanford senior forward Chiney Ogwumike’s 30 points and 16 rebounds.
ASU coach Charli Turner Thorne knows what kind of challenge it is to match up against a player like Ogwumike and what problems she can cause.
“I think that she’s in the same conversation with Candace Parker and the best players who have played the game,” Turner Thorne said. “She’s a defensive presence, not just a rebounder and a scorer.”
The Sun Devils did not execute their game plan as they wanted, according to Turner Thorne. Freshman forward Sophie Brunner collected a double-double, but play was inconsistent on both the offensive and defensive ends.
Turner Thorne was not pleased with how quickly and how easily the Sun Devils got down to the Cardinal.
“We let our offense really affect our defense,” said Turner Thorne. “(Senior center) Joy (Burke) said it best in the locker room: We didn’t execute our game plan either side.”
In the wake of the game, Turner Thorne knew that this would not be the last time the Sun Devils had a chance to face the vaunted Cardinal.
“We’re excited to get to play them again, maybe even twice,” Turner Thorne said. “It should be great.”
Splitting the weekend series was not exactly how ASU wanted the series to go, but against one team who was in the Final Four last year and another who has consistently been in the semifinals for years, it’s a good stepping stone for the rest of the season.
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