ASU women's basketball overpowers San Jose State in 82-37 rout

The Sun Devils put on an offensive clinic to grab their second win of the young season

If there was any question of whether or not ASU women’s basketball would come out ready to play against San Jose State, those worries were put to rest about as quickly as was possible.

The 18th-ranked Sun Devils opened up on a 16-0 run, similarly to their 11-0 start Friday night against Illinois State, using a dominant press defense and putting on an offensive clinic en route to a 82-37 victory over the Spartans Sunday afternoon at Wells Fargo Arena.

"I thought we had a little more complete game today than we did Friday," head coach Charli Turner Thorne said. "They're a pretty high scoring team, and they're all seniors and juniors, so I was actually expecting a little bit more of a challenge, but I thought we did a good job of outworking them and wearing them down and just got a good team win."

Although ASU committed seven turnovers in the first frame, it also forced seven SJSU turnovers – a testament to the frenetic pace the Sun Devils utilize on defense. ASU opened up a 29-7 lead through one quarter behind 73 percent shooting from the field.

The hectic press defense certainly wouldn't be possible without depth, which is a major point of emphasis already for ASU.

The Sun Devils once again had all 13 active players in the game by the end of the first frame. Such balance and depth gave them the ability to run the floor and press on defense that is quickly becoming a hallmark of this ASU team.

"The way we play, we have to have a deep bench," senior forward Kelsey Moos said. "We have to go out there and work super hard on defense, super hard on offense and push the tempo, so it's really important to have a bench that can go in and then the level can go up when we sub, it's nice to have a bench that can go in there so we're placing fast the whole game."

In the second quarter, things cooled off a bit for ASU – but only in a relative sense to their explosive first period. The Sun Devils only outscored the Spartans by one in the frame, to lead by a margin of 44-21.

ASU has now outscored its opponents 85-41 in the first half of its two games in the young season.

After a slow start to the third quarter, the Sun Devils ripped off another 16-0 run, taking a 60-25 advantage and cementing the result if it hadn't already been official. 

Freshman guards Reili Richardson, Robbi Ryan and Kiara Russell once again shined in just the second game of their college careers. Each scored at least six points in the first half, and would ultimately finish with a combined 30. 

"They're playing beyond their years," Turner Thorne said. "I've said on numerous occasions that they're really like starters for us right now, that's how consistent they've been."

Ryan and Richardson went on to lead their team with 11 points each; Ryan also added an impressive eight rebounds and Richardson dished out four assists.

"The first game, I had freshman jitters," Ryan said. "I think coming out today, we were altogether a lot more relaxed and ready to push the ball and work through our offense."

ASU won't play a home game again until it hosts the ASU Classic on Dec. 3 and 4. The Sun Devils visit Marquette on Saturday before heading to Las Vegas for a Thanksgiving tournament next week.  

Related Links

ASU women's basketball ready to build off of recent success entering new season

ASU men's and women's basketball ignite 2016-17 season at Mill Madness


Reach the reporter at jeff.griffith21@asu.edu or follow @Jeff_Griffith21 on Twitter.

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