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No. 23 ASU women's basketball struggles offensively in loss to No. 11 Oregon State

The Sun Devils shot 17 percent from the three-point line as they fell to yet another Pac-12 foe

ASU senior forward Sophie Brunner (21) drives towards the basket during the women's basketball game versus the Oregon State Beavers in Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe, Arizona on Friday, Feb. 3, 2017. ASU lost 54-45. (Josh Orcutt/State Press)
ASU senior forward Sophie Brunner (21) drives towards the basket during the women's basketball game versus the Oregon State Beavers in Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe, Arizona on Friday, Feb. 3, 2017. ASU lost 54-45. (Josh Orcutt/State Press)

No. 23 ASU women’s basketball dropped its fourth straight game in conference play on Saturday, this time falling to No. 11 Oregon State 54-45 in front of a raucous crowd at Wells Fargo Arena. 

The Sun Devils went down to the wire with Beavers, showcasing a fiery spirit throughout the game. But the emotional effort simply wasn’t enough for ASU to earn its first win in two weeks.

“That was a great effort by our team,” ASU head coach Charli Turner Thorne said. “I mean you hold Oregon State to 54 points, you expect to win. I thought we battled really well. We needed to obviously hit some perimeter shots.”

The Sun Devils came out slow, which seems to have become a trend for the team. Other than the senior one-two punch of forwards Sophie Brunner and Quinn Dornstauder, ASU's offense was stagnant.

The young, guard-oriented Sun Devils struggled early to find their jump shots, forcing Brunner and Dornstauder to make things happen in the post.

“They kind of just sagged off our guards,” Brunner said. “They know we want to get in the paint, but I mean they weren’t doubling or anything crazy like that. We just got to be able to hit shots and be comfortable when we shoot.”

Brunner came out with nine points and eight rebounds in the first half and banked ASU’s only three with off the glass from the top of the key. She didn't score in the second half but grabbed another six boards for a total of 14.

As for Dornstauder, she ended with the team-high 17 points along with six rebounds.

The Sun Devils struggled for a majority of the first half at the offensive end, shooting 40 percent from the field as a team, 25 percent on triples and one for six from the free-throw line.

“I thought we played a great game, we just couldn’t score that well,” Brunner said. “Holding them to 54 points is pretty good for how good they are offensively.”

OSU shot an unthinkable 44 percent from the field and 46 percent from the beyond the arch.

The Beavers came out of the locker room strong, and took advantage of ASU’s offensive struggles by dominating play with junior center Marie Gulich, who finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds in 36 minutes.

After a hot start, Dornstauder spent most of the third quarter on the bench in favor of senior Sarah Hattis. Dornstauder reentered the game to end the third quarter and chipped in two buckets to get some momentum back for the Sun Devils. She didn’t have much to say on her matchup, a possible testament to the talent on display in the Pac-12

“You know just any other day," she said. "Another post player, another day."

The other spark for the Beavers came by sophomore guard and Phoenix native Sydney Wiese, who shot 60 percent from the three-point line with 16 points, six assists and five boards in what any coach in the country would call an efficient performance.

Hoping to forget this disappointing outing and get a pivotal conference win, ASU has less than 48 hours to get ready for Oregon on Sunday.

"Some of it is you’ve just got to step up and get it done," Turner Thorne said. "I mean I think you don’t overthink it. You can control what you can control. You can get stops, you can get rebounds, we're not creating easy offense for ourselves, which is the hard thing right now.”


Reach the reporter at thandlan@asu.edu or follow @Tyler_Handlan on Twitter.

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