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Sun Devil Women’s Basketball’s Comeback Comes Up Short at San Diego

Nov 13, 2013

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Despite three players scoring in double figures, the Arizona State women’s basketball team dropped its first contest of the season, falling to San Diego 61-53 on Wednesday night.

Seniors Adrianne Thomas and Deja Mann and freshman Sophie Brunner scored 12 points each for the Sun Devils (1-1), who shot 33 percent for the game.

San Diego (2-0) had four players score in double figures, led by Felicia Wijenberg, who scored a game-high 15 points.

“If we hit shots today we probably win, but maybe this is the lesson this team needs,” said ASU head coach Charli Turner Thorne. “If we are going to be an NCAA Tournament team, if we want to be at the caliber we want to be, we have to know who we are and we didn’t play like that. We are a young team and we have limitations and we certainly don’t want to rely only on shooting the ball well.”

The game’s pivotal sequence came right after Mann hit a three-pointer to tie the game at 45-45 with 7:56 remaining. Mann’s triple capped a 15-3 run by the Sun Devils, who found themselves down by 12 (42-30) five minutes into the second half.

ASU’s shooting would go cold at that point, as it would not score over the next 5:55. The Toreros would score nine points over that stretch before Thomas’ layup with 2:01 left cut the lead to 54-47.

The Sun Devils would get no closer than six the rest of the way.

“When we tied the game I was thinking, ‘Okay, here we go….’ but then we stopped playing as hard as we needed to,” said Turner Thorne. “We just have to continue working on how to close out games.”

San Diego shot 46 percent for the game and had a plus-6 advantage on the boards. The Toreros were doing just enough to be effective in the second half as the Sun Devils found themselves in an offensive funk at the point in the game when it mattered most.

“We need to outwork teams and take away stuff defensively,” said Turner Thorne. “I thought we were very average doing that against San Diego. The game was there for us to win, but you have to get stops and be relentless. We guarded ourselves at times and didn’t give the great effort that we need to lock teams down.”

Brunner, who made six of her nine field goal attempts, and fellow freshman Kelsey Moos tied for the team lead with seven rebounds each. The duo combined for nine of ASU’s 11 offensive boards. 

“Kelsey and Sophie were warriors tonight and they did all they could to help us win,” said Turner Thorne.

ASU returns to action on Sunday when it travels to Lubbock, Texas, to face Texas Tech. The game, which can be heard live on KAZG 1440 AM, will tip at 2 p.m. CT/1 p.m. MT.