Earlier in the year, Arizona State (9-7, 4-7 Pac-12) found ways to win while averaging 54.7 points per game (second-worst in Pac-12). On Friday night, the Sun Devils’ offensive inconsistencies caught up to them and were amplified in their 50-35 loss to Washington (5-10, 2-10).
The first quarter was not the start either team wanted. ASU shot 1-16 (seven percent) from the field. Washington gave up eight offensive rebounds but still held the 7-2 point advantage.
Arizona State generated open looks early in the game, but the lack of shot-making caused the Sun Devils to fall flat.
“We were open. We had good looks, just didn’t make them,” head coach Charli Turner Thorne said. “We just needed other people to step up and we didn’t get that.”
All season, Taya Hanson has been the Sun Devils’ source of energy when the offense is not in flow. Hanson struggled to find a rhythm in the first half since she was dealing with foul trouble.
Out of the halftime break down by six, Hanson knocked down her first of three triples and helped pull ASU within one point in the first minute.
Hanson finished with a game-high 11 points on 4-15 shooting (3-8 from 3-point range) and led Arizona State with seven rebounds.
“It’s hard to know what (Washington) is in (defensively),” Hanson said of the team’s struggles. “We are going to do better counter-acting pressure.”
Washington played a plethora of defensive formations including man, two-three zone, and even a box-and-one (with the one on Hanson). The Huskies mixed up their alignment throughout the game, which caused some problems for the young Sun Devils.
“They get out there and it’s like a deer in headlights,” Turner Thorne said of her young players against defensive pressure.
Despite only having 14 turnovers (two below their season average), Arizona State shot a measly 21 percent from the field (12-58), 13 percent from three (3-24) and 50 percent from the line (8-16). They never held the lead once.
“We just need to trust in the process,” freshman forward Katelyn Levings said.
The good news for ASU is that it will have a chance to get back in the win column Sunday at 12:30 p.m. when they host Washington State.