In a tightly contested game, ASU basketball pulled away late defeating Kansas State 65-51 in La Crosse, Wisconsin for their sixth straight win.
No. 17 Arizona State faced their last stiff non-conference opponent Sunday as they defeated Kansas State 65-51 in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
The game looked like it was heading towards a shootout as the Sun Devils led 21-17 after one quarter but the game would finish as a defensive battle.
After shooting 10-for-17 in the first quarter, Arizona State shot just 3-for-14 in the second quarter. Kansas State wasn’t that much better in the frame as the Wildcats outscored the Sun Devils 9-8.
Carrying a three-point lead into the second half, Arizona State’s suffocating defense was on display as Kansas State’s offense came through only two players, guard Kayla Goth and forward Peyton Williams.
Goth scored 19 points on 7-for-16 shooting and Williams finished with 17 points on 7-for-13 shooting. The rest of the team finished with just 15 points on 4-for-22 shooting.
Despite the game staying within eight points most of the night, Arizona State would go on to outscore the Wildcats 17-10 in the fourth quarter to run away with the 14-point win.
It was another balanced performance from the Sun Devils as four finished in double-figures with forward Sophia Elenga leading the team with 12 points to go with four rebounds.
Guards Reili Richardson and Robbi Ryan and forward Kianna Ibis scored 10 points each.
Heading into Sunday’s game, Arizona State was concerned about Kansas State’s size as the Wildcats have a much bigger team.
Despite the size discrepancy, Arizona State were the better team on the glass outrebounding K-State 39-31. The Sun Devils also forced 13 turnovers.
Head coach Charli Turner Thorne called this game a top-half Pac-12 game providing the team with another tough test before conference play begins in two weeks.
Arizona State improved to 8-2 and extended their winning streak to six games and will finish up non-conference play at home Thursday against Fresno State.
The Sun Devils played the Bulldogs in Fresno last year cruising to an 81-49 win. Center Charnea Johnson-Chapman set a career high with 16 points and seven field goals made in the win.