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ASU WBB: Sun Devils go 1-2 in Cancun Challenge

After a 4-0 start, ASU struggled to tap into its early-season momentum

It was a rough Thanksgiving weekend for the Sun Devils as head coach Charli Turner- Thorne saw her team go 1-2 in Mexico.

Arizona State went up against Mississippi State on Thanksgiving. Keeping in mind the momentum that ASU had created for themselves, head coach Thorne was still cautious to approach these match ups between Mississippi State and Green Bay.

It turns out that both of those games didn’t go as well as the team expected. Neither Mississippi State or Green Bay allowed the Sun Devils to continue their winning streak, giving ASU their first two losses of the season.

"We were right there down the stretch to take it,” Turner-Thorne said following ASU’s loss to a top-10 Mississippi State team. “But we are a young team and I did not think we had quite the killer instinct that hopefully we'll have next time we are in this situation.”

The Bulldogs forced the Sun Devils to shoot less than 40 percent from the field while also making Arizona State shoot 3-16 from the three point line. The Devils’ long-range game has yet to improve this season.

ASU, however, did convert on 83 percent of their free throws in this game. There were flashes of the team working as a unit, but it wasn’t enough for the Sun Devils to stay undefeated.

Arizona State’s game against Green Bay was more of the same. The Phoenix limited the Sun Devils to shoot 35 percent from the field and 4-22 from the three point line.

For the first half, ASU was keeping up with Green Bay -- then the Phoenix ignited for 19 points in the third quarter. Arizona State only scored nine points in that time alone.

However, Arizona State didn’t go home completely empty handed.

After being handed two losses at the hands of bad shooting and average defense, The Sun Devils came out swinging against Columbia. ASU shot much better, winning by a final score of 72-48.

Arizona State also shot 20-25 from the free throw line to give them the advantage in a much needed win.

It seemed as though all the Sun Devils were able to contribute in this game. The bench scored 35 points and was a huge factor in the ASU victory.

In an impressive showing, the Devils only gave up three turnovers throughout the entire game. Columbia, in contrast, committed 19 turnovers, which also allowed ASU to gain an advantage to get a win in the Cancun Challenge.

From this win, the Sun Devils will look to focus on their fundamentals of defense and rebounding, two things ASU lacked in their first two games in Cancun.

ASU now sits at 5-2 and will look to return to Tempe to face Buffalo on Saturday December 2 at 2:30 PM MST.