Lady Sun Devils drop home contest to USC

Rebounding issues, missed shots, lack of energy, and foul trouble lead to ASU'S loss against the Trojans of the University of Southern California Thursday night at Wells Fargo Arena. These factors proved to be detrimental for the Lady Devils, suffering their third loss of the season falling to the Trojans 60-48.

USC (7-6), had a much stronger second half compared to the ASU (10-3), after the hosts suffered foul trouble early on. USC's Ashley Corral made a significant impact for the ladies of Troy, scoring 21 points, 12 points solely off of three-pointers.

"Corral is a great guard. She's a senior in this league and is a great basketball player.", remarks ASU's interim head coach Joseph Anders. "Anytime you're able to come off the on-balls the way she was, causes for a help rotation."

The Devils suffered some defensive set backs throughout the game, thus costing them a technical foul, and the temporary loss of Kali Bennett. It was unclear why the foul was called against Bennett, as she, along with the rest of Wells Fargo Arena, went into an uproar.

"I was standing there watching my player, and I do not believe that she said anything. I did not see her mouth move. She may be a ventriloquist, I'm not sure," jokes Anders. "But I did not see her say anything. Not sure how much I'll be able to decipher from game footage, but we will look at that and see what's what."

After the foul was called, the Devils' energy went spiraling downwards.

"When Kali got the foul and technical, it deflated our team. That was a huge blow and we were not able to muster up very much after that," states Anders. When basically our best defender, (in terms of covering for teammates), goes through that type of emotional swing, it effects our whole team. And we've got to get better at that."

The Devil coaching staff called on other players to step up to assist the team in areas they were lacking. Although they put forth a valiant effort, it still was not enough to produce the win.

"We talked to our guards about them needing to really get in on the defensive board and contribute. The only one that was able to get anything was Pickens. She had 4," Anders explained. "But again, the normal surge that we have been accustomed to from our bench, was not able to get the defensive stops that we were used to. The offensive part of it is the fun part, but the defensive part of it is work. And we've got to be willing to give more."

ASU'S bench was a great influence on the team, dominating USC's bench 20-6, with sophomore Adrianne Thomas scoring 7 points.

"My attitude was just to go hard and to bring energy, because our bench is really good at bringing energy and feeding off of our starters," Thomas explained. "Our main thing was to bring the energy up."

Energy seemed to be a huge missing component for the Lady Devils, as both Coach Anders, senior Kim Brandon, as well as Thomas remarked on the lack of spark.

"We did not have the normal spirited effort that we have had. Not sure why. Not going to make any excuses for our club," stated Anders. "Our energy level didn't come as fast as we would've liked to. We started off the second half a little slower than what we thought we wanted to."

"They made a push and made their shots and our defense wasn't as we normally play," Brandon added. "We need to start our practice tomorrow and just be positive, and get back to playing ASU basketball. Just have fun, and have more energy."

"I think it was an off night. Usually we shoot well on our home court. It just wasn't our night tonight," added Thomas.

Lack of energy, as well as lack of rebounding, were two noticeable missing factors for ASU, though the team is ready to make these improvements before taking on UCLA on Saturday.

"USC came in and did what they needed to do in order to position themselves for the victory. And we have to have a quick turn around and get ready to play better on Saturday," noted Anders.

"As I told them in the locker room, the thing I want them to do is basically clear it. And not leave this building with any thoughts about the game that just took place because we have to get on to what's next. And what's next is UCLA on Saturday."

ASU will tip-off that game at Wells Fargo Arena at 4pm.

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