Wildcats dominated by Sun Devils in Tempe
Depth has plagued Arizona women’s basketball all season, as it will only be suiting up seven players from here on out.
That again was the Wildcats’ Kryptonite, as they could not overcome ASU’s plethora of points off the bench, blowing a 10-point first-half lead in their 60-36 loss to the Sun Devils.
ASU used that depth to wear down the Wildcats (4-18, 0-11 Pac-12 Conference), who only scored 10 points in the second half, after they were tied with their rivals 26-26 at the half.
“Playing 11 to 12 players definitely helps,” Arizona head coach Niya Butts said in her postgame radio interview. “[ASU] had fresh players, compared ours not being fresh.”
Mario Mendez / The State Press ASU senior guard Deja Mann guards UA senior Kama Griffitts during the Sun Devils 60-36 win over the Wildcats in Tempe, Ariz. on Tuesday. ASU outscored UA 34-10 in the second period after being tied at half time.
ASU’s bench outscored the Wildcats 36 to eight.
The Sun Devils (20-3, 9-2) have won 15 games in a row at home against the Wildcats.
When one of ASU’s best players, Promise Amukamara, went out of the game with 10:29 before intermission with two fouls, it looked as if Arizona might pull off the upset.
The Wildcats controlled the game early, leading 18-8 with 9:15 remaining.
“We were being active early,” Butts said of her squad that shot five of 12 in the first 12 minutes. “We did a good job of finishing off our shots and playing well together.”
Arizona made its presence known early on the boards as it held a 19-16 advantage in the first half, allowing the squad to get out in transition for points.
But the Sun Devils picked up their defensive intensity and outscored Arizona 18 to eight, tied at 26 heading into halftime.
Arizona would finish the game with 28 rebounds compared to ASU’s 37. ASU’s dominance on the boards allowed it to finish the game with 15 second-chance points. Arizona finished with two.
ASU opened the second half on an 18–4 run before Arizona senior forward Erica Barnes, who scored eight points and brought in five rebounds, made a layup with 12:01 remaining to make it 46-32.
“We started the second half and didn’t play well on the defensive end,” Butts said. “We talked about it at halftime and we talked about it in the huddle. We just seemed to fall apart in the second half.”
Arizona’s measly three assists were a big reason why it fell apart in the second half.
Turnovers in the second half also hurt the Wildcats mightily, as they finished the game with 20. ASU capitalized with 21 points off of turnovers.
ASU scored the next 14 points before UA freshman forward Breanna Workman, who finished with four points and six rebounds, made a free throw with 17 seconds remaining.
Katie Hempen was the only Sun Devil to finish in double figures with 11. Joy Burke and Elisha Davis were the other ASU leading scorers, each chipping in eight points.
Senior guard Kama Griffitts was the lone Wildcat in double figures with 10 points.
Arizona will get a shot at redemption quickly and attempt to break its six-game losing streak to ASU, as it hosts the Sun Devils this Sunday at 1 p.m.
—Follow Tyler Keckeisen @tyler_keckeisen