Women's Basketball Tops UCI, 69-52, in Weatherup Center
The Arizona State Women's Basketball Team improved their record to 7-5 with a statement win over the University of California, Irvine, 69-52.
The game was played at the Weatherup Center -- the Sun Devil basketball practice facility -- and without fans as a late morning campus power issue affected Desert Financial Arena.
"ASU is the most innovative school in the country. They came through again," says Sun Devil head coach Charli Turner. " I kind of had to throw that out there. We had shootaround at 8 a.m. and we were about 10-15 minutes in and the fire alarm goes off. The fire department was there and told us to evacuate. So we went out to the ramp and started doing the walkthrough on the ramp. Then the alarm went off, so we went back into the gym to resume shootaround. Then the lights went off, so we went back on the ramp up top to finish our walkthrough and said 'we are good'. I just figured it would get resolved. Within that hour, they said we couldn't play in DFA (Desert Financial Arena). Both teams really wanted to play the game, so hats off to our administration and all of our staff. I feel bad that it was so close to the Holidays and a lot of people were in town to watch, but glad we were able to do it. We really wanted to play the game and our administration made it happen."
The Sun Devils came out of the gates scorching hot to take a 24-7 lead. Despite letting the Anteaters climb back to within two points, Arizona State was able to maintain their distance on the scoreboard from UCI throughout the duration of the game.
"I was appreciative of UC Irvine and Tamara (Inoue), whose sister is one of our all-time great soccer players at ASU, Karine (Inoue), " noted Turner Thorne. "She was flexible and they weren't taking the shootaround time, but they had a big fan base that wanted to watch the game. They were very accommodating too, which was nice."
Senior Jade Loville contributed to that first quarter run with 12 points. Loville started the second quarter right where she left off in the first, scoring six more points to tally a total of 18 in the first half alone. Loville was also able contribute with the deep ball, hitting four three-pointers in the first half.
Arizona State was able to outhustle UCI as well. The Sun Devils forced 18 turnovers, turning those opportunities into 19 points. They also outrebounded the Anteaters 43 to 28. This surge of crashing the glass was lead by graduate Mael Gilles, who grabbed 12 rebounds and scored 11 points to record her third double-double of the season.
The Sun Devil's defensive efforts were on display as Jaddan Simmons led the team with three steals and six assists. With 12 points to add to her stat line, the sophomore was doing it all on the court for Arizona State.
Arizona State came out to finish the game just as strong as they started it, holding UC Irvine to just three total points in the final quarter while scoring 20.
The Sun Devils will continue their season and open up their Pac-12 play on the road to Los Angeles to face the UCLA Bruins (Dec. 31), and the USC Trojans (Jan. 2).
Leading Scorer: Jade Loville, 20
Leading Rebounder: Mael Gilles, 12
Leading Assist: Jaddan Simmons, 6
Starting Five: Taya Hanson, Jaddan Simmons, Mael Gilles, Jade Loville, Jayde Van Hyfte
QUOTING CHARLI TURNER THORNE
ON WHAT WAS SAID TO CREATE ENERGY
"This team is new and we don't have a lot of veteran Sun Devils, but we have been through a preseason. We played three straight games at 11 am Cancun time. Wake up, eat something, and play with no prep to play Baylor. We actually have had a lot of early games, so I felt pretty confident. They didn't even really blink. They were like 'okay, where are we playing?' or 'can fans come?'. I felt like we were locked in."
ON THE RESPONSE FROM THE TEAM AFTER THE LEAD WAS CUT TO TWO
"It was probably great for us. We missed shots and we settled a ton in the second and third quarter with quick shots that we didn't need to take. We are going to be addressing that, but we put more pressure on the defensive end. To have a swing like that, which you know is going to happen in the Pac-12, to play through that was much better than the Harvard game where you get up by 20 and stay up by 20. I don't think we would have gotten much out of that. In a weird way, it helped. We had to remember to have that defensive mindset. We had focused on offense so long, but after that Creighton game I kind of took responsibility. We weren't tough or disciplined enough on defense. Ever since that Creighton game, they have been making progress."
ON THE PERFORMANCE OF JADE LOVILLE OVER THE PAST TWO GAMES
"Jade Loville just has to let things come to her a little bit. She gets so excited and she should have had 30 today, but she had no patience. And she knows it. They started to deny her, so she was like 'I can get back doors' and I said 'I know'. You need to cut and stop being a ball magnet. She does get so excited and that maturation will hopefully continue to come through Pac-12. They are probably going to guard her harder, so we just have to keep helping her. It is nice to have a player that can just get you a bucket when the shot clock is running down. She can just elevate over people and we haven't always had that.
QUOTING JADDAN SIMMONS
ON PLAYING IN WEATHERUP
"It's crazy. Honestly, we like it here because this is where we always train. It was a good thing for us. That team hasn't been here, obviously it's our practice gym but this is where we train and get better and this is where we play our best basketball. It's nice getting to come here and pulling our own."
ON HER INITIAL REACTION TO THE POWER OUTAGE
"There was a lot going on this morning with the power, we were outside for one point in time. Coach Charli just tells us to evaluate and adjust, and that's what we did."
ON BEING AT DFA WHEN THE LIGHTS WENT OUT
"Yeah. The lights went out while we were running a play. The power went out right when we threw the ball."
ON THE CURVEBALL OF SWITCHING SITES
"Covid has been a big thing going on. It taught people how to evaluate what we're doing. This was nothing. We can play anywhere and that's what we did today."
ON BEING PREPARED TO PLAY IN FRONT OF NO FANS
"For sure. We had a couple people, but this year was my first time playing in front of fans. It's right back to how it was last year, so this is normal for me."
ON HEADING INTO PAC-12 PLAY
"Playing four quarters. That's our biggest thing. Being able to finish games and playing as a team and always being connected. It starts with our defense and that will lead into our offense. Overall, it's really taking what coach Charli has given us, and apply it when we get in the game and not just in practice.
QUOTING TAYA HANSON
"Honestly, it's just the craziness leading up into the holidays. Of course it happens this way. It started out with our shootaround, and things not working out in the facility with lights going off and balls going everywhere and we just evaluate and adjust and not let things bother us. That's what Charli preaches in this program and that showed up on the court today. This is also our practice gym, so it's familiar to us but just a bit of a crazy day. I am thankful that we were able to get a game in."
ON FINDING OUT THE DFA SITUATION AND HER REACTION
"I was like OK let's do this. We're still going to get a dub and work our butts off either way. It doesn't matter where we're going to play, we're going to come out and play Sun Devil defense and play as a team. For us it doesn't matter where we go, it's just what we do on the court that matters."
ON THE CARRY OVER FROM COVID AND NOT PLAYING IN FRONT OF FANS
"We're used to it. The Covid weirdness sometimes carries over and we don't know how long it's going to stay for, but that's just life. Life throws things at you and adversity comes and you have to live through it, and play through it and that's what we did today."
ON THE GAME
"We had a great first quarter, and we would have loved to carry that out stronger throughout the game, but I am proud of my team for starting strong that way because it hasn't been the case this season. That's just a great start leafing into Pac-12 play."