ASU basketball won their third straight ASU Classic title defeating Louisiana Tech and Tulsa as the Sun Devils show they can win in numerous ways.
Head coach Charli Turner Thorne has lauded the team’s scoring capability with the added depth of a talented freshmen class.
Arizona State’s offense has shown flashes averaging 74.4 points entering Sunday’s contest scoring at least 80 points in four of their seven games thus far.
In the 88-85 win over the Razorbacks on Nov. 18, while the offense had a great day, Turner Thorne wasn’t pleased with the defense.
This weekend in the ASU Classic, the Sun Devils combined efficient offense with a stout defense limiting Louisiana Tech to 42 points and Tulsa to 52 points.
That’s the template Turner Thorne wants to mirror each time they take the floor.
“It was great to outscore Arkansas,” Turner Thorne said. “But we don’t want to leave it to that.”
On Sunday against Tulsa, it was two strong defenses going at it as the Sun Devils bunkered down defensively after a high-scoring first quarter.
In the first quarter, the Golden Hurricane scored 19 points on 6-for-15 shooting. Turner Thorne described what she told her team to up the defensive intensity for the remaining of the game.
“I yelled at them. We were playing soft and we’re letting them play to their strengths. We were letting the penetrator penetrate, we were letting the shooter shoot so we got more locked in after we saw them play to their strengths,” Turner Thorne said. “That’s the sign of a great team. I think this team does evaluate and adjust.”
For the remaining the three quarters, Tulsa scored just 33 points on 15-of-47 shooting from the field.
Arizona State showed that they can win in numerous ways. They can score 80-plus points and when the offense isn’t clicking, they can rely on their defense.
Defensive pressure has been a staple of Turner Thorne’s teams. They’ve always ranked towards the top of the Pac-12 in points allowed and turnovers forced. They just didn’t have the offense and depth to go with it.
This season it’s different.
“I think we’re really talented offensively and we’re just trying not to focus on one or two players. Our veterans are definitely leading the way, but our freshmen are helping us a ton,” Turner Thorne said. “(We have a) next woman up mentality and not be like, ‘Kianna (Ibis), you have to score 20 every night.’ She can, and if they’re going to let her we’re going to go to her, but if not we have other options.”
Arizona State has Southern, Colorado State, Kansas State and Fresno State remaining on the non-conference schedule before opening Pac-12 play Dec. 30 at Arizona.
The Pac-12 won’t be easy, but as the Sun Devils gain more chemistry and get healthier, this team is more equipped than in previous seasons to challenge the top teams in the country.
All quotes in this article were obtained firsthand by Devils in Detail unless otherwise noted.