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ASU women's basketball finishes 1-2 in Cancun Challenge

The Sun Devils dropped their first two games before bouncing back on Saturday

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ASU women's basketball head coach Charlie Turner Thorne directs her players to get into position against Minnesota at Desert Financial Arena in on Nov. 12, 2021. ASU lost 59-66.

ASU women's basketball had a rough start at the Cancun Challenge, losing to University of Houston and No. 6 Baylor University before bouncing back to beat Fordham University on Saturday. 


The Sun Devils' first game ended in a 68-60 loss to Houston on Thursday. The team struggled on 3-pointers, completing only 17.6% of their attempts through the game. 

Sophomore guard Jaddan Simmons led the team in points with 16. The only other Sun Devil to reach double-digit points was senior guard Ayzhiana Basallo with 10. 

ASU's struggle on offense allowed Houston to outscore the Sun Devils every quarter except the third quarter, where ASU outscored Houston 16-11. 

The Sun Devils were, however, able to find success from the free-throw line, scoring on 83.3% of attempts. 

ASU's best highlights came from junior guard Isadora Sousa, who made her Sun Devil debut, Simmons, graduate forward Mael Gilles and Basallo. The group combined for eight points to bring a then double-digit Baylor lead to within 5 points at 46-41 in the third quarter. ASU was unable to capitalize off the momentum, and the game was never that close again.


The Sun Devils faced Baylor on Friday and dropped to 0-2 through the Cancun Challenge with a 62-52 loss. 

At the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Sun Devils found themselves down by 18 points. Gilles led the charge for a comeback, but the Sun Devils came up short. 

Gilles notched her first double-double with ASU on Friday with 10 points and 14 rebounds despite only playing 24 minutes due to fouls. 10 of Gilles' rebounds came in the second-half comeback attempt. Gilles led the team in points and rebounds.

"She is the one person on our team who is playing with urgency consistently," head coach Charli Turner Thorne said. 

The Sun Devils once again struggled on 3-pointers, scoring on only 15.8% of attempts. Again, ASU found success from the free-throw line, scoring on 72.2% of attempts. 

Turner Thorne is hopeful that the Sun Devils will be able to turn the season around and find success soon. 

"I'm very excited for when we get to the point when we have the discipline as a team to run our offense correctly every single possession because when we do that we are going to score," Turner Thorne said. 


In ASU's final game of the Cancun Challenge, the Sun Devils beat Fordham 58-43, with three players reaching double digits in scoring. 

Simmons led the Sun Devils with 16 points, senior guard Jade Loville was close behind with 15 points and senior guard Taya Hanson rounded out the trio with 10 points. Gilles shone once again, leading the Sun Devils with 11 rebounds through the game. 

The Sun Devils held Fordham to 18 points in the middle two quarters combined and led 36-28 in total rebounds. 

With Saturday's win, the Sun Devils improved to 1-2 in the Cancun Challenge and 3-4 on the season. 

The Sun Devils were without senior forward Jayde Van Hyfte for the Cancun Challenge, who has not seen game action since the 2020 season opener. 

The Sun Devils' next game action will be on Dec. 4 at 1 p.m. MST for the first game of the ASU Classic where they will face University of Texas at San Antonio before facing Harvard University on Dec. 5 at 12 p.m. MST. The ASU Classic will take place at Desert Financial Arena. 

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Kathryn FieldSports reporter

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