ASU women's basketball wins fourth straight game of the season

After a slow start, the Sun Devils crashed the boards to earn their fourth win of the year

For the second straight day, the ASU women’s basketball team hit the floor in Tempe for an early season game. And for the second day in a row the Sun Devils won, pushing their record to 4-0 to start the season after beating Colgate 65-54 on Sunday.

But it was not an easy win for the Sun Devils, who were down early in the first quarter 11-2 and struggled to find their groove early in the game.

Sophomore guard Robbi Ryan said the team should not be using its fatigue from yesterday’s game as an excuse for the slow start.

“I think we came out really soft, not ready,” Ryan said. “We should always come out strong and throw the first punch … Colgate threw the first punch today and it was a good game to remind us that we need to come out more aggressive.”

Junior forward Kianna Ibis agreed with Ryan and added that close games like these teach the players to stick to their game plan.

“They (close games) really teach us to stay with things,” Ibis said. “No matter what the lead is we need to stay with things.”

Head coach Charli Turner Thorne added that the team did not play terrible, but Colgate was able to turn small mistakes by the Sun Devils into points.

“If we put our hands down, they hit shots. If we didn’t rotate, they hit shots,” Turner Thorne said. “We got exposed in some areas (like) our help side.”

The Sun Devils also hit the glass hard, out rebounding Colgate 41-31.

ASU was led by Ibis, who dropped 20 points while also picking up three rebounds and three blocks.

The Sun Devils also received double digit scoring from Ryan and junior center Charnea Johnson-Chapman, who scored 12 and 10 points, respectively.

Halfway through the first quarter, the Sun Devils began to apply more defensive pressure by employing a full-court press against Colgate.

The strategy paid off as ASU forced four turnovers in the first quarter, but it was not good enough to capture the lead as ASU trailed 16-15 after Colgate hit a buzzer beater at the end of the first.

To start the second quarter, both teams scored a couple of quick baskets.The two teams continued to trade baskets throughout the quarter, creating a lead change every few minutes. 

ASU had an injury scare with less than five minutes to go in the second, as junior guard Sabrina Haines went down hard and was seen holding her left knee in what was later identified as an ankle injury.

“She just tweaked her ankle – we just taped it up,” Turner Thorne said. “I haven’t talked to Diana (Padilla) yet, our trainer, but Diana thought she was good to go.”

Colgate and ASU continued to stay close as the game neared halftime, but when the two teams went to their locker rooms for the break, the Sun Devils led 33-30.

The Sun Devils were able to stay in the game due to their rebounding as they were plus seven on the boards – 11 of their 20 rebounds coming on the offensive glass.

Starting off the third quarter, ASU went on a 6-1 run, giving them a 39-31 lead.

The teams continued their defensive battle – no one on the court was able to knock down a shot until Colgate senior forward Tori Pozsonyi hit a two, making the score 39-33.

ASU was eventually able to open up a 10-point lead and by the end of the third quarter, held a 50-42 advantage.

In the fourth quarter, the Sun Devils kept their lead by playing strong defense and forcing Colgate to take bad shots.

Although continuing to shoot around 40 percent, the Sun Devils continued to rack up chances by grabbing offensive rebounds.

Eventually ASU was able to open up a 17-point lead with 3:12 left in the game and rode that advantage to a 65-54 victory for their fourth straight win to start the season.

The Sun Devils next game will be in Puerto Aventuras as they take on No. 7 Mississippi State to open up the Cancun Challenge on Thursday, Nov. 23 (Thanksgiving Day). 

Reach the reporter at and follow @JoshZaklis on Twitter.

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