Stanford Stuns No. 25 Sun Devils 74-50 To Tie The Season Series
By Dylan Carter // Women’s Basketball Beat Writer for Blaze Sports
PALO ALTO, Cal — The mid-season struggles of the No. 25 Sun Devils continued on Friday evening when they were blown out 74-50 by the Stanford Cardinal.
Uncharacteristically, the Sun Devils turned the ball over 14 times in the outing. Stanford’s smothering defense forced ASU into contested shots early, ruining all chances at momentum early in the game. Stanford came prepared to defend their home floor and finished with 11 steals and four blocks,
Arizona State has lost four of their last five games and have dropped to a tie with Utah for sixth in the PAC-12 standings. After beginning their season winning nine of their first twelve games, they’ve won just five of nine games in the conference season.
For a team that tends to generate high assist totals and low turnovers, the Sun Devils struggled to capitalize on their opportunities. The team combined for just eight assists, less than half of their 16.6 average on the year.
The Sun Devils have split their eight road games 4-4 with losses at Stanford, Oregon, Oregon State and Florida State this year.
Sophomore guard Robbi Ryan continues to flourish under head coach Charli Turner Thorne. With 11 points in the contest, Ryan was the only Sun Devil to reach double-digits in scoring. This marks the third time in the last five games that Ryan has led the Sun Devils in total points scored. She’s surpassed Jamie Ruden to become the second highest scorer on the team.
Leading scorer Kianna Ibis took just three shots and finished with two points in the outing. Her impact on the box score was nearly invisible through 20 minutes of play. Her only other recorded stats were one assist and one turnover.
This was a untypical performance for the junior, who’s averaging 13.2 points and 4.2 rebounds this year. She’s stepped up as a leader and major competitor through most of the season. If recent performances hold true, this is just a bump in the road for Ibis.
Junior forward Sophia Elenga made her mark off the bench, scoring eight points and grabbing two rebounds in 23 minutes.
Three-point shooting has been a struggle for the Sun Devils in their recent skid. Junior Courtney Ekmark’s deep pull-up jumper late in the first quarter was the only made three-point field goal on 12 attempts for ASU. While Stanford didn’t shoot particularly well themselves at 33.3 percent from behind the arc, they managed to connect on five of their attempts.
One of these five three-pointers game from guard Brittany McPhee, who finished with a game-high 24 points on 9-11 shooting. In a night of spectacular shooting, McPhee notched her 1,000th career point scored.
Coming off of the loss, ASU is headed to Berkeley for an afternoon matchup with the No. 23 Golden Bears. The Sun Devils were able to defeat Cal during their first home game of the PAC-12 schedule, but will now face a red-hot team that has won five of their last six games.
Dylan Carter is a beat writer for Blaze Sports covering ASU Women’s Basketball. You can reach out to him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow Dylan on Twitter @DylanHCarter .