ASU women’s basketball ready to put UA loss behind them

After an upset loss to UA on Sunday, the ASU women’s basketball team is back at practice trying to bounce back in a big way.

The No. 15 Sun Devils (20-4, 9-3 Pac-12) had a rough go of it on Sunday in Tucson, losing to the underdog Wildcats (5-18, 1-11 Pac-12) 68-49.

Coach Charli Turner Thorne said she knows her team did not play up to its capabilities in the rivalry loss.

 
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“It just wasn’t us,” she said. “We had a funk, and that’s disappointing, but we’ve just got to move on from it.”

Turner Thorne said a combination of factors contributed to her team’s loss.

“I think it was some people being comfortable,” Turner Thorne said. “I think it was also some people putting too much pressure on themselves, and some people just dealing with end of the season fatigue.”

Freshman forward Sophie Brunner said she and her teammates know they can’t play the same way they did against UA the rest of the way.

“We all know that the game was awful and that wasn’t us,” Brunner said. “It wasn’t the same team that we’ve been in the past, so we have to move on from this, get better and learn from our mistakes.”

In order to respond, the Sun Devils needed to practice well this week, freshman forward Kelsey Moos said, and they have.

“We’ve had a good week of practice,” Moos said. “We’ve come out and worked really hard and cleaned some things up that we needed to fix.”

Feb. 14 and 16, ASU will have to deal with two dominant post players in Stanford senior forward Chiney Ogwumike and California junior forward Reshanda Gray. It’s no small task to play with them, and Brunner is preparing for her big matchup.

“I just need to be really focused and locked in, connected with the team,” Brunner said. “We’re really focused on keying on their big players and knowing what my job is to defend them.”

Moos cited aggressiveness as a point of emphasis for her team this weekend.

“In the first round, I don’t think we were as aggressive as we need to be,” Moos said. “As a group we changed our mindset going into this week that we need to get stops on defense and attack more on offense.”

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