ASU women’s basketball stunned by UA in Tucson

Some have said that after all the close games the ASU women’s basketball team has been due for a let down game after all of the close games they have managed to win this season. Those people were proved correct on Sunday in Tucson.

The No. 11 Sun Devils (20-4, 9-3 Pac-12) fell to UA 68-49 at the McKale Center in Tucson on Sunday afternoon. The win is the first against a Pac-12 team for the Wildcats (5-18, 1-11 Pac-12) this season.

The win also snaps UA’s 52-game losing streak to ranked teams.

 
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The Sun Devils never led in the game and the team was never closer than eight points in the second half.

The Wildcats were led in scoring by senior guard Carissa Crutchfield, who scored 22 points on 7-of-12 shooting in the victory. Senior forward Erica Barnes poured in 14 points herself and brought down five rebounds to enhance the Wildcats’ effort.

Coach Charli Turner Thorne put her team’s performance simply.

“We just played poorly,” Turner Thorne said. “This has been a fun team to coach all year long, but we just didn’t bring it today.”

Turner Thorne admitted she was concerned for her team leading up to its trip down to Tucson.

“Yesterday and today in our shootaround, I just didn’t feel like they had the sense of urgency that they needed,” she said. “But they’re a mature group, so I wasn’t sure, and we knew what we needed to do.”

Although she tried to mentally prepare her team as much as possible, Turner Thorne said the pregame talk only held so much weight.

“All we did was talk about how it was their championship and we were going to get their best and it was going to be the hardest game of the year,” Turner Thorne said. “I don’t know how much they truly believed that, and I don’t think they did. They did know they’d have to play well, and we just didn’t.”

Turner Thorne was quick to praise the Wildcats’ efforts.

“Hats off to U of A. It’s that time of year and they just stepped up and hit shots,” Turner Thorne said. “We gave them space, and even when they weren’t open and we had hands in their faces they hit shots.”

Turner Thorne and her team knew that they needed to give their best effort in the game, but it did not come together for the Sun Devils.

Offensively, the Sun Devils shot just less than 32 percent from the field in the game and was an abysmal 16.7 percent from beyond the 3-point arc.

“We just didn’t shoot well,” Turner Thorne said. “We didn’t step up. We weren’t focused. We’d call something from the bench, and then we wouldn’t run it. Or we wouldn’t run it correctly or we’d have two people doing the wrong thing.”

Reach the reporter at mtonis@asu.edu or follow him on Twitter @Tonis_The_Tiger.