The Devils began tonight, struggling on both offense and defense and were unable to score in the first three minutes of the game. Jill Noe and Dymond Simon suddenly responded with three three-point shots taking the lead away from Florida Atlantic, and helped their team to finish the first half with a 41-29 lead. "Obviously a slow start, [but] really proud of our team to get in there at half time and say ok, no way," said Coach Turner Thorne. "I thought we came out and had a tremendous second half . . . but some good lessons for us."
Though the women were unable to play great offense in the beginning, they were able to take the lead with foul shots. Although they only completed 68.6% of their free throws, they tried to take advantage of personal and technical fouls in their favor. "They [Florida Atlantic] had to do something to slowing down our transition game . . . and they were fouling a little bit basically to just slow us down," said Coach Turner Thorne. " . .I think that we should, and can be a 70 – 80% free throwing team, but we're not quite there yet."
Though the Lady Devils did not play as aggressively as they can in the first half and made too many careless mistakes, they came back strong in the end. In the first 30 seconds of the second half, Noe hit two shots and three free throws and Emily Westerberg sank one of two free throw shots herself. They then continued to play better on defense and hit more field goals, moving from a 43.3% accuracy in the first half to 62.5% in the second.
Though most of the women would have liked to play better, freshman Simon was the high scorer with 19 points, followed by Westerberg and Noe with 18 and 16 points respectively. "It's pretty cool," said Simon. "They [teammates] looked up the court, they saw me open, saw me in the corner. I hit some jump shots, but I give all the praise to them." Noe also finished as the top rebounder tonight (11) and throughout the tournament and also had the most turnovers in tonight's game (5). "My motto is the harder you work the luckier you are," said Noe. "So if I'm going out there working really really hard, anticipating where the ball is going to come off the rim . . . then I'm going to end up with the ball." Danielle Orsillo and Briann January also did well tying for first in team assist with five each.
This weekend Westerberg was voted the most valuable player in the tournament. January and Noe also made the list as fourth and fifth best players of the weekend respectively.
The ASU women played well this weekend, however they are not doing nearly as well as they would like to and know they are capable of. They are off to a great start this season, but still have many challenges ahead of them. Right now their goals are to take it one game at a time and continue to improve throughout the season.
"To start this strong and know that we are no where near where we're going to be as a team is just really exciting," said Coach Turner Thorne. "Obviously I have a laundry list of things we need to get better at as every coach does . . . [but] I couldn't be happier with the results [so far this season]."
The ASU women's basketball team will play its next game on Wednesday against Nicholls State and with just one canned food item, fans can attend this game followed by the men's contest, for a mere two dollars.
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