ASU WBB wins ugly again, defeats BYU at home 60-52

Reili Richardson's three three-pointers in the third quarter leads ASU to an eventual victory

Think of the ASU women’s basketball team as a construction site.

After the Sun Devils 60-52 win over BYU on Friday night in Tempe, one fact became abundantly clear. This team is still far from being a finished product.

“Who knows with us,” ASU head coach Charli Turner Thorne said. “Who’s going to go off today? Hopefully somebody.”

It’s the unknown that makes Turner Thorne’s team a work in progress. Just take ASU’s offense as a primary example.

The Sun Devils scored just seven points in the second quarter and went the final 7:21 of the quarter without a basket. ASU had just six made field goals in the first 20 minutes of the game.

“Anybody that’s been around for a while knows we do ugly just about better than anybody,” Turner Thorne said.

“After halftime, when we went into the locker room, we talked about the open spots that we obviously weren’t seeing,” ASU senior forward Ja’Tavia Tapley said.

Wide-open shots were being passed up, the chemistry seemed non-existent and the ball movement was too slow. But even then, after a whole half of ugly basketball, the Sun Devils eventually snapped out of it. 

A 6-0 run from the Cougars to start the second half gave BYU a comfortable 12-point lead. And given that ASU hadn’t scored a point since the start of the second quarter, Turner Thorne’s team was due.

“(We told our team) that we’re ok,” said Turner Thorne to her team during a timeout early in the third quarter. “We just said keep getting stops.”

A 14-0 run through the mid-part of the third quarter vaulted the Sun Devils into the lead with 3:29 left to play in the quarter. By herself, Reili Richardson scored 12 points on three three-pointers in the frame.

“I practice shooting almost every day,” Richardson said. “I can knock down those shots.”

The Sun Devils cooled down again in the final frame, shooting just 30.8% from the floor. But for BYU, it was too little too late.

“I thought that was a good team win,” Turner Thorne said.

A win is certainly a win, but ASU’s performance on Friday night was far from inspiring. Instead, the Sun Devils looked more like an unfinished project that’s still under construction.

For their next game this Sunday, the Sun Devils host Idaho State from Desert Financial Arena. Tipoff is at 2 p.m. MST.

Reach the reporter at and on Twitter @KokiRiley.

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