Arizona State snaps three-game losing streak with a win against the Colorado Buffaloes

The Sun Devils ended a three-game losing streak with a 73-59 win over Colorado

Colorado and ASU both entered Wells Fargo Arena on Sunday with three-game losing skids. One of those ended, as the Sun Devils took care of the Buffaloes from the tip, leading to a 73-59 win.

It is a stark contrast compared to the last time No. 22 Arizona State faced off against Colorado on Dec. 29, as the Sun Devils trounced the Buffaloes in the first three quarters leading to a 72-47 win. Junior forward Kianna Ibis had six points on 1-7 shooting in that game.

VC credit to (@kynan_marlin, @alexrussell0706)

“We needed to get out of the funk,” Ibis said. 

Ibis lead the Sun Devils in scoring with a 24-point performance as she hit two 3-pointers and had six rebounds. 

Head coach Charli Turner Thorne said it was nice to get back on the winning track.

“The thing that I loved about this game for our team was, ‘they had that look in their eyes,’” Turner Thorne said. “I knew that they were going to take it, and they got their toughness back in terms of 'we're going to take this game.'”

The Sun Devils (14-6, 5-3) took the game handily in the fourth quarter but not without a little late comeback by the Buffaloes in the third quarter. Colorado (11-8, 2-6) ended the third quarter on an 11-2 run to cut into the deficit and trailed 49-43 when the fourth quarter started. 

“Charli kept getting on us to work harder,” sophomore guard Robbi Ryan said. “She’s exactly right. That’s just what we needed to do and work harder every possession.”

ASU worked hard enough to create second chance opportunities with 17 offensive rebounds, along with a stellar second half as the team shot 60.9 percent from the field, resulting 40 second half points.

A big reason why the Sun Devils were on a losing streak was because they were out-rebounded, and Turner Thorne emphasized the importance of getting that fixed. She said they made a deal with them that if they win and out-rebound Colorado by 10, then there would not quick sprints in practice.

“When we get out-rebounded, they have to run for the rebound margin,” Turner Thorne said. “Nae (Charnea) is a great player and a hard worker, but she does not like to do that rebound running.” 

Turner Thorne said she knew she could count on junior center Charnea Johnson-Chapman to have a great rebounding game. 

That registered in Johnson-Chapman's head as she finished with 12 rebounds and helped give the Sun Devils 15 more rebounds than Colorado.

“No team is an easy team,” Ibis said. “Every team in in the Pac-12 is going to give their all. The Pac-12 is a great conference and we just can’t take any reps off any team we play.”

Arizona State will head to the Bay Area to end the month of January, as it will take on the Stanford Cardinal (12-7,6-1) Friday and No.21 California Golden Bears (14-5,5-3) on Sunday.

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