ASU women's basketball starts out season strong with victory over UTSA

ASU basketball rides offensive efficiency to victory in season opener over Roadrunners

ASU women’s basketball team opened its season with a bang against the UT San Antonio Roadrunners on Sunday with a 74-42 victory in Tempe.

The Sun Devils jumped out of the gate strong by forcing some early turnovers and looking for post shots to start out the game

“We just need to get the ball inside in order to score,” junior guard Sabrina Haines said. “All of our posts were able to finish, and they were open so we got to them the ball and they did their thing.”

Head coach Charli Turner Thorne said it was a great team win, but she emphasized that it is only November, and the team still has a lot to improve, but she was happy with the team’s fast break offense.

“For the most part I thought it was really good,” Turner Thorne said. “I thought we had some really good breaks, and we kept our spacing pretty good. We had 48 points in the paint, so you can’t really be too disappointed with that.”

The Sun Devils were lead by a pair of juniors, forward Kianna Ibis and Haines. Ibis was one rebound shy of a double-double, finishing with 16 points and nine rebounds. 

While Haines piled up 18 points of her own to lead the team on six-of-nine shooting.

Ibis said the team felt a few pre-game jitters before the start of the game, but overall they were just happy to be back playing.

“I know the freshmen were excited — we were excited. I’m just glad we threw the first punch,” Ibis said.

At the outset of the game, the Sun Devils worked hard to get the ball into the paint using drives, passes and picks.

This, and a 6-0 run before a media time out with 6:41 left in the first quarter, helped ASU jump out to a 12-4 lead.

UTSA played a role in the Sun Devils' early lead, turning the ball over six times in the first six minutes of the game.

ASU continued to dominate throughout the first, holding the Roadrunners to single digits and forcing seven turnovers as they took a 16-9 lead into the second quarter. 

The Sun Devils also collected 10 rebounds, four of which were on the offensive glass to keep the Roadrunners working on defense.

ASU continued to apply the defensive pressure to start out the second quarter, holding the Roadrunners scoreless until the 6:03 mark.

However, at that point the Sun Devils had a 13-point lead and continued to cruise into halftime, where they held a 37-20 advantage over the Roadrunners, which sparked by a buzzer-beating three from freshman guard/forward Bre’Yanna Sanders.

Coming out of the break, the Sun Devils didn’t miss a beat. They scored seven unanswered points in the first minute and a half of the second half, forcing UTSA to take an early timeout to try and regroup.

While the Roadrunners were able to mount some kind of offense, it wasn’t enough to achieve any kind of comeback.

It also did not help UTSA that toward the end of the third quarter there was a stretch of a little over two minutes when they could not convert on a shot.

By the end of the third quarter, the Sun Devils held a 25-point lead and continued efficiency from the first half, knocking down 46 percent of their shots.

To start the fourth quarter, the Sun Devils continued to play tight defense and forced turnovers which led to some easy fast break points for the Sun Devils.

The Sun Devils continued to drive the ball inside throughout the fourth quarter, outscoring the Roadrunners 18 to 11 in the fourth and eventually creating a 32-point gap by the end of the game for a final score of 74-42.

Next, the Sun Devils travel to California to take on Fresno State on Wednesday, Nov. 15 at 4:00 p.m. MST. 

Reach the reporter at and follow @JoshZaklis on Twitter.

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