Who watches basketball for the offensive pizazz? If that is what you were expecting when Arizona State (1-2) took on BYU (3-0) Wednesday afternoon, you would have been disappointed.
The Sun Devils left Provo with their first road loss of the season after a 55-42 defeat.
If you are into grit, defense and scrappy plays that do not show up in the stat sheet, then this was the game for you. Each team secured 39 rebounds, and every single one of them was a battle.
As mentioned earlier, offense was hard to come by for both teams, but BYU’s Paisley Harding led the way with 25 points in her 36 minutes of action. She hit timely shot after timely shot, including an and-one jumper that pretty much sealed the game in crunch time.
ASU was down by as many as 18 points in the second half, but a 10-3 run to open the fourth quarter made it an eight-point affair with less than five minutes to go. The Sun Devils went on a scoring drought for the final three minutes and six seconds, shooting 0-5 from the field over that span.
It was a poor shooting day for Arizona State, as they shot 18-61 (30 percent) from the field and 3-24 (13 percent) from behind the arc. Taya Hanson, Jaddan Simmons and Mael Gilles all had eight points on nine attempts, leading the team in both categories.
The one bright spot was the offensive glass. The Sun Devils doubled the number of offensive rebounds that the Cougars pulled down (16-8). The only problem was using their extra chances to their advantage. Of their 16 offensive rebounds, ASU only scored six second chance points.
The Sun Devils will come back to Tempe to prepare for a Sunday afternoon matchup against Marist that will tip-off at 1 p.m. local time at Desert Financial Arena.