The Arizona State Sun Devils (4-0) faced off against the Colgate University Raiders in an instance competition, as showing of defense and grit was evident through four quarters of play.
By the end of the fourth quarter, Arizona State won their fourth consecutive game, coming against Colgate, with a final score of 65-54.
“That was a lot more exciting than yesterday’s game, huh?” said ASU head coach Charli Turner Thorne. “They did a great job and shot lights out... Give credit to Colgate.”
After dominating their past three opponents, Arizona State looked to keep its foot on the acceleration against Colgate. Up to this point in the season, the Raiders have been the toughest opponent for ASU.
“I think we came out really soft,” said ASU forward Robbi Ryan, “It shouldn’t matter if we’re tired or not. We should always come out strong and throw the first punch. It was a good game to remind us that we always need to come out more aggressive.”
It was an unexpected showing from Colgate, as they kept up with the Sun Devils’ fast=-paced offense. The Raiders also displayed their fast paced offense, similar to the Sun Devils’ transition game. The Raiders size also posed a challenge in this match up.
Colgate forward Summer King has been a reliable option for the Raiders so far this season and the Raiders would look to rely on her again.
For most of the first half, the Raiders were locking down the ASU offense. Their communication among one another was seen as well. Colgate didn’t allow many opportunities close to the basket and forced the Sun Devils to shoot 23 percent from the three-point line.
Arizona State guard Sabrina Haines collapsed on the floor in the second quarter of play. She was reevaluated at halftime, but it was nothing more than a tweaked ankle.
ASU needed to find a way to adapt to this change in defense, and change they did.
The Sun Devils acquired 12 assists by halftime and forced Colgate to give away seven turnovers. However, the Raiders were only down by three points when the score was 33-30.
The pace of the game changed dramatically, as it continued in the third quarter. Arizona State’s offense began to find consistency, and their defense intensified. The Sun Devils caused Colgate to give up the ball 12 more times for the rest of the game, with 19 turnovers in total. As a result, ASU converted 20 points off turnovers.
The most interesting takeaway during this game was that Colgate shot better percentages from all areas of the floor. The Raiders’ field goal percentage, three point percentage and free throw percentage were all significantly better than the Sun Devils.
However, that didn’t stop ASU from scoring that basketball. Arizona State buckled down on the offensive rebounds, giving the Sun Devils better opportunities to obtain second-chance points.
“We knew we kind of had a mismatch in the post so we really emphasized on going in the paint,” said forward Kianna Ibis who had career night, as she led ASU with 20 points.
With another collective effort by the Sun Devils, the team was able to ring the victory bell at home, as they remain undefeated on the season.
Coach Thorne said that there is still a lot of improvement to be made in team defense. She mentioned that the “communication is nowhere where it needs to be.”
Thorne also added that the ASU offense will be challenged for the upcoming games against teams in the Cancun Challenge.
“These first two games are gonna be two of the best defensive teams we’ll play all year long: Mississippi State and Green Bay,” Thorne said.
Arizona State has a five-day break until they head to Puerto Aventuras for the Cancun Challenge. The Sun Devils will face off against Mississippi State on Thanksgiving, Nov. 23 at 11:30 a.m. MT.