ASU Basketball: Devils Look for Their Signature Win at No. 8 Washington

The No. 23 ASU Basketball women’s team will face one of the best teams in the country Sunday, when they travel to Seattle and face No. 8 Washington.

In their first meeting of the season on January 15, the Huskies came out of Tempe with the win. ASU basketball was leading at half, but got outscored by 12 in the second half. The Sun Devils couldn’t control the two-headed monster for Washington in Kelsey Plum and Chantel Osahor.

Plum leads the country in points per game (30.9), five more then anyone else, and torched ASU for 34 in January. Osahor leads the country in rebounds per game (14.9), and grabbed 20 vs. the Devils. Stopping these two will have to be Arizona State’s biggest priority.

After losing four straight, ASU has managed to win there past two games vs. Oregon and Washington State. Both games were close, but the Devils pulled each out late, showing their fight and resiliency going forward.

Both games showed the emergence of guard Sabrina Haines; Haines got back into the starting lineup after briefly giving it up to Kiara Russell. In the last two games she has led the team with a combined 31 points, including scoring the last four points in a very close game at Wazzu.

ASU needed one of their guards to step up and become a key offensive contributor and, for now, Haines is their weapon in the backcourt.

On Defense, it may need to be defense by association when guarding Kelsey Plum. ASU has struggled heavily when guarding the backcourt, and against Plum, the Devils may need to keep switching up defenders to throw her off and double-team her whenever possible.

When defending Osahor, ASU will need to control the boards. Coach Charli Turner Thorne has called rebounding the best thing the Devils do, but they did lose the rebounding battle by one at Wazzu. Seniors Quinn Dornstauder and Sophie Brunner may need to double-team Osahor when the ball goes in the air.

When they played in January, ASU wore down in the fourth quarter. At the time, forward Kelsey Moos had only been out for four games and the Devils didn’t have the depth or backcourt experience to keep up with Washington.

ASU is shorthanded right now, but will need bench players Kiara Russell and Kianna Ibis to make an impact in order for the starters to rest and be fresh for the fourth quarter.

In order for ASU to come out with a win against a better team, they will need to limit unnecessary mistakes in the form of fouls and turnovers. In their last two wins, they have been on the better end of both of those stats, including forcing Washington State into 23 fouls and Oregon into 20.

Arizona State will look to get their signature win of the season Sunday, and build confidence towards the postseason. The game can be seen on the Pac-12 Network.

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