ASU women's basketball defeated University of Northern Colorado 71-41 in the second half of an ASU basketball doubleheader Tuesday night .
Tuesday's doubleheader marked the return of fans to ASU basketball games, and the energy was palpable. The Inferno, ASU's student section, roared to life to help propel the Sun Devils to victory.
"That was for real, and we're excited to be back," senior guard Gabriela Bosquez said of the student section.
In a turnover-heavy game, ASU was able to capitalize on Northern Colorado's 32 turnovers to maintain its lead throughout the game, scoring 32 points as a result of turnovers. On ASU's 17 turnovers, Northern Colorado was able to score only eight points.
ASU's offense thrived, especially in the second half. Senior transfer guard/forward Jade Loville found success in both her three-point and field goal attempts, going 4-4 on three-pointers and 7-10 on field goals in her first game as a Sun Devil. Loville scored 18 points on the night for the Sun Devils.
"My teammates just found me, and luckily I could hit down shots for them," Loville said.
Free throws also proved to be successful for ASU on Tuesday, scoring on 81.3% of free throw attempts.
Throughout a physical game, ASU's players found themselves getting distracted by how physically Northern Colorado was playing. However, ASU was able to continue to successfully play its own game to come out with a win.
"I think we got ourselves together and focused on what we can control," graduate student forward Mael Gilles said.
Tuesday's game gave ASU and its fans a preview for the rest of the season. The Sun Devils are focused on playing their game and continuing to get better every day, striving to be the most aggressive team in every game.
"We wanted to just come out hammering and play our Sun Devil basketball," Bosquez said.
Head coach Charli Turner Thorne was pleased with the Sun Devils' first game but knows the team can perform at a higher level.
"We had good leads and kind of took our foot off the gas," Turner Thorne said.
The Sun Devils will look to keep their foot on the gas when they lead in order to improve those leads the team has on its opponents. Turner Thorne is confident that the team will see this improve throughout the season.
Tuesday's game gave the Sun Devils their first regular season action and showed the team what needs to improve over the course of the season.
ASU women's basketball will look to continue to improve against the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers at Desert Financial Arena on Friday, Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. MST in Tempe.
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Kathryn Field is a sports editor at The State Press. Kathryn has previously worked as a full time reporter at The State Press, covering women’s basketball and lacrosse.