ASU women's basketball utilizes full roster in packed season start

The Sun Devils have gotten off to a quick start, winning their first four games of the season

The ASU women’s basketball season has gotten off to a quick start. The No. 24 ranked Sun Devils have played four games in an eight-day period with one road game in Fresno, CA. 

The Sun Devils have had the upper hand, hosting three home games, all happening on the weekends. ASU has played the University of Texas San Antonio, Sacramento State and Colgate at home. 

“We have to sub early and know that there is a huge physical and mental fatigue factor right now,” head coach Charli Turner Thorne said. “It is an awful lot to ask from them … It’s a fun challenge.”

With a packed schedule, the Sun Devils have been able to utilize their 11-player roster with every player recording playing time in at least three games. 

“These first two games, we have been able to build big leads,” Turner Thorne said. “When we build big leads, we loosen our rotation and everybody gets to play and we look for opportunities for our younger players.”

Junior center Charnea Johnson-Chapman has been an early-season focal point as she leads the team in field goal percentage (69) and total rebounds (28). 

“My confidence gets built up in ... the more you do stuff the more confident you are in yourself,” Johnson-Chapman said. “As long as you practice and prepare for the way you want to play, then you will be confident when it comes to game time.”

Sophomore guard Reili Richardson has also been a significant contributor for the team, leading the team in assists (25) in the first week of the season. 

“The beginning of the season -- you have first game jitters,” Richardson said. “I think just playing a lot of games just gets you comfortable to get with game flows.”

Turner Thorne said her team has played well and made an immediate impact.

“You can’t fake confidence,” Turner Thorne said. “If you go in and do well, you get this sense of ‘Oh, I belong.'”

Turner Thorne said that she doesn’t think anyone has been overly nervous during the start of the season.

“I thought maybe the (players were nervous during the) first quarter of the first game,” Turner Thorne said. “But, after that, we’re gaining confidence by winning and doing things well.”

The Sun Devils have a scoring margin of +30.8 and have dominated defensively in the first four games of the season. As a defense, the team has caused 77 turnovers and are averaging 11 steals a game.

The Sun Devils (4-0) will head to the Cancun Challenge over Thanksgiving Break where they will play No. 7 Mississippi State (3-0) on Thursday, Nov. 23, Green Bay (3-0) on Friday, Nov. 24 and Columbia (2-2) on Saturday, Nov. 25 before heading home.  


Reach the reporter at sbemanue@asu.edu or follow @SebastianEman24 on Twitter. 

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