Sun Devil WBB uses determined defensive effort in 68-44 win over UTSA
TEMPE. Ariz. – A stout defensive effort combined with a balanced offensive attack helped the Sun Devil women's basketball team open the ASU Classic with a 68-44 win over UTSA on Saturday.
The Sun Devils (4-4) had six players score seven or more points, led by Taya Hanson and Jaddan Simmons, who had 10 points each. Also contributing solid offensive efforts were Mael Gilles (eight points) and Jade Loville, Katelyn Levings and Isadora Sousa, who had seven points each. Jayde Van Hyfte, who made her 2021-22 debut after not having played since the 2020-21 season opener, added six points.
After defeating Fordham 58-43 last Saturday, the Sun Devils held a second straight opponent under 50 points. Hanson led ASU with six rebounds while Simmons tied a career high with seven assists. Hanson and Ayzhiana Basallo tied for the team lead with a pair of 3-pointers.
Seven different players scored for the Sun Devils in the first quarter to help ASU jump out to a 22-8 lead after 10 minutes.
ASU's defense was even more dominant in the second frame, allowing UTSA to score only five points. The 13 points UTSA scored in the first half represented the fewest allowed in a half by the Sun Devils since Arizona scored the same total over the first 20 minutes on Feb. 1, 2019. Gilles led ASU with four steals, the fourth time this season she has had three or more steals in a game.
For the game, UTSA made only 27 percent of its shots, including a paltry 8.3 percent from 3-point range (1-12).
"They're more drivers and they're a transition team (and) we took away their transition, we took away their second shots," ASU head coach Charli Turner Thorne said of ASU's defensive effort. "In the second half, we obviously gave up a few too many second shots, but overall, we defended them very well. We were just too busy boxing out and not driving the ball in the second half."
The Sun Devils conclude the ASU Classic on Sunday when they host Harvard at 12 pm. The game can be seen on Pac-12 Arizona and heard on 1440 AM KAZG.