STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Charli Turner Thorne told her team exactly what Stanford would do with the Cardinal determined to regain their defensive swagger after a rare loss.
Despite Stanford’s aggressive, swarming defense, Arizona State missed open layups and jump shots from close range. The Sun Devils couldn’t buy a basket for long stretches.
Turner Thorne hopes her players snap out of this offensive funk in a hurry after 15th-ranked Arizona State lost 61-35 at No. 6 Stanford on Friday night in a surprising rout.
"We’re playing a fantastic team on their home floor after the worst loss of their year," Turner Thorne said. "When they’re all fired up to play the best defense they’ve played all year long."
Chiney Ogwumike had 20 points and 13 rebounds for her 19th double-double of the season to lead the Cardinal.
Amber Orrange added 14 points and three assists and matched her career high with five steals in the Cardinal’s 16th straight win against Arizona State.
Stanford (23-2, 12-1 Pac-12), on track for the program’s 14th consecutive regular-season conference title, jumped out to an early lead and was never challenged by the league’s second-place team.
Nobody reached double figures for the cold-shooting Sun Devils (20-5, 9-4), who have their first two-game skid of the season after having a five-game winning streak snapped in a 68-49 loss to rival Arizona on Sunday.
"Last week we weren’t satisfied with our defense at all. I told our team it was like we were being reborn," Ogwumike said. "I like the direction we’re going in starting today. We were anxious. We have something to prove. I haven’t seen us this excited about playing defense in a long time. That’s a good thing."
Ogwumike, who played 27 minutes, and the rest of the Stanford starters got plenty of rest. Orrange’s 30 minutes were most by a starter.
"Amber got on a mission," coach Tara VanDerveer said. "This is the Amber we know and love, and it was really fun to see."
The Cardinal returned to their home court in Maples Pavilion on a mission coming off their first conference defeat, an 87-82 defeat last weekend at Washington in which they shot just 34.6 percent overall and 22 percent from 3-point range.
VanDerveer thought the defense lacked intensity in the loss at Seattle that snapped a 62-game road conference winning streak for the Cardinal. It also ended Stanford’s 14-game unbeaten run against the Huskies. That marked Stanford’s first loss since Nov. 11 at No. 1 Connecticut.
Arizona State scored one point over its first 11 possessions, missing its first 10 shots before Promise Amukamara’s jumper on the Sun Devils’ 13th possession with 11:51 left in the half. Amukamara and Sophie Brunner scored nine points apiece.
"We just missed everything. They did set the tone well, bringing a lot of energy," Turner Thorne said. "We just didn’t have the discipline on our team to work our offense."
The Sun Devils were 1 for 20 and fell behind 20-3 before Brunner’s bank shot from close range with 6:58 left before halftime. They shot 17.2 percent (5 for 29), missed all four of their 3-point tries, committed six first-half turnovers, shot 2 of 7 from the free-throw line and trailed 32-12 at intermission.
The Sun Devils’ 12 points matched an all-time low by a Stanford conference opponent in the first half, last done by Washington on Dec. 30, 2007. Arizona State went 1 for 12 from 3-point range and shot 24.2 percent overall.
Stanford’s opponent-low for points came in a 60-34 win against Washington State on Feb. 8, 2007.
"We stayed with things, and on a night when any of us just could have wanted to hide our head and cry because we missed everything," Turner Thorne said. "It would have been easy to just get our doors blown off. … Nobody had a meltdown. I’ve coached here a lot of times, we’ve had a lot of meltdowns here."