After a convincing 24-point win on Tuesday night in Tempe, the ASU women’s basketball team will have to ship down to Tucson on Sunday afternoon for a rematch with rival UA.
The Wildcats (4-18, 0-11 Pac-12) started out well, taking a 10-point lead with nine minutes remaining in the first half.
The No. 11 Sun Devils (20-3, 9-2 Pac-12) responded after that point, playing better basketball to end the first half, capped by 3-pointers by sophomore guard Elisha Davis and redshirt senior guard Deja Mann to knot the game up at 26.
ASU ran with the momentum from the end of the half and stole the game away, outscoring UA 34-10 in the second half of play.
The team understands that they cannot have another effort like the beginning of today’s game on Sunday afternoon.
“We were just missing shots and taking more perimeter shots than we would have liked,” Mann said.
Mann did not use the team’s stretch of three games in six days as an excuse for the poor start.
“We might have been a little tired, but we’re getting to the second half of Pac-12 play so every team is going to be a little tired,” Mann said. “Even if you are, you can’t play tired.”
The Sun Devils only have seven games remaining on their schedule, and it is no easy road for them to travel down.
“We obviously have a very tough down the stretch schedule,” coach Charli Turner Thorne said. “Five of seven on the road, including Stanford and Cal and especially our rival game on Sunday.”
Turner Thorne is giving her team a break before hitting practice again.
“We are giving them two days off,” said Turner Thorne. “We’ll meet, shoot free throws, do weights and stuff, but we’re going to take advantage of this little window.”
Turner Thorne won’t let her team rest long, however.
“We’re going to come back and hit it hard Friday,” Turner Thorne said. “I’m excited to get them back and see how much better they can get.
Turner Thorne is mentally preparing her team for the final stretch of the regular season.
“I told them to reflect a little,” Turner Thorne said. “‘Amazing job getting where you’re at right now, but what do you really want?’”
ASU takes on UA for the second-straight game Sunday in Tucson at 1 p.m.
Reach the reporter at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @Tonis_The_Tiger