Author: Jessi

‘Lesson in toughness’: Grit helps ASU women advance to Sweet 16

Sam Ficarro Sunday, March 24, 2019 ‘Lesson in toughness’: Grit helps ASU women advance to Sweet 16 CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Arizona State was in a familiar spot entering the fourth quarter Sunday night. The Sun Devils have played eight games against Top 10 teams this season going 2-6 with the only pair of victories coming against Oregon State. Five of those six defeats were decided by single digits for a combined 28 points. All those disappointments set the stage for Sunday’s NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament second round game between the fifth-seeded Sun Devils and the fourth-seeded Miami Hurricanes. This one ended differently. The Sun Devils are headed to the Sweet 16. After erasing an eight-point second half deficit, the game entered the final minute of regulation tied. Arizona State’s tenacious defense forced a steal with 10.2 seconds remaining leading to Robbi Ryan getting fouled on a transition layup. Ryan made both free throws to give ASU a two-point lead. After a Miami timeout, the Hurricanes fed one of their productive post players, Emese Hof, for a layup, but the shot rolled off the rim and the Sun Devils prevailed, 57-55, for their first Sweet 16 appearance since 2015. “So proud of these guys,” ASU coach Charli Turner Thorne said. “This group has been to the NCAA Tournament every year but this has been elusive to us, so to...

Read More

‘Lesson in toughness’: Grit helps ASU women advance to Sweet 16

Sam Ficarro Sunday, March 24, 2019 ‘Lesson in toughness’: Grit helps ASU women advance to Sweet 16 CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Arizona State was in a familiar spot entering the fourth quarter Sunday night. The Sun Devils have played eight games against Top 10 teams this season going 2-6 with the only pair of victories coming against Oregon State. Five of those six defeats were decided by single digits for a combined 28 points. All those disappointments set the stage for Sunday’s NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament second round game between the fifth-seeded Sun Devils and the fourth-seeded Miami Hurricanes. This one ended differently. The Sun Devils are headed to the Sweet 16. After erasing an eight-point second half deficit, the game entered the final minute of regulation tied. Arizona State’s tenacious defense forced a steal with 10.2 seconds remaining leading to Robbi Ryan getting fouled on a transition layup. Ryan made both free throws to give ASU a two-point lead. After a Miami timeout, the Hurricanes fed one of their productive post players, Emese Hof, for a layup, but the shot rolled off the rim and the Sun Devils prevailed, 57-55, for their first Sweet 16 appearance since 2015. “So proud of these guys,” ASU coach Charli Turner Thorne said. “This group has been to the NCAA Tournament every year but this has been elusive to us, so to...

Read More

Sweet 16 and always been missed: ASU women hope to advance in NCAA Tournament

Sam Ficarro Saturday, March 23, 2019 Sweet 16 and always been missed: ASU women hope to advance in NCAA Tournament CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The Arizona State women’s basketball program is in a familiar spot as it prepares for the second round of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament. For the sixth straight year, the Sun Devils have reached the second round, but for the last three seasons, the Sun Devils’ season has ended at this stage. It’s the elephant in the room for Arizona State as it faces Miami Sunday for a spot in the Sweet 16. “This group that we have missed out on the Sweet 16 so this has been a little bit elusive for them,” ASU coach Charli Turner Thorne said Saturday. No one on this Sun Devils team was a part of the last team to make the Sweet 16, which was in 2015. The senior quartet of Kianna Ibis, Courtney Ekmark, Charnea Johnson-Chapman and Sophia Elenga will look to break through in their final run. “I know one thing that’s sticking out towards the seniors is just breaking the streak of only getting to the second round of the NCAA Tournament,” Johnson-Chapman said. “We kind of want to go farther than that so we’re looking forward to it.” As the lower seed, the Sun Devils have played tight games in the second round, including...

Read More

Sweet 16 and always been missed: ASU women hope to advance in NCAA Tournament

Sam Ficarro Saturday, March 23, 2019 Sweet 16 and always been missed: ASU women hope to advance in NCAA Tournament CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The Arizona State women’s basketball program is in a familiar spot as it prepares for the second round of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament. For the sixth straight year, the Sun Devils have reached the second round, but for the last three seasons, the Sun Devils’ season has ended at this stage. It’s the elephant in the room for Arizona State as it faces Miami Sunday for a spot in the Sweet 16. “This group that we have missed out on the Sweet 16 so this has been a little bit elusive for them,” ASU coach Charli Turner Thorne said Saturday. No one on this Sun Devils team was a part of the last team to make the Sweet 16, which was in 2015. The senior quartet of Kianna Ibis, Courtney Ekmark, Charnea Johnson-Chapman and Sophia Elenga will look to break through in their final run. “I know one thing that’s sticking out towards the seniors is just breaking the streak of only getting to the second round of the NCAA Tournament,” Johnson-Chapman said. “We kind of want to go farther than that so we’re looking forward to it.” As the lower seed, the Sun Devils have played tight games in the second round, including...

Read More

ASU women’s basketball team turns back clock in NCAA Tournament win over UCF

Sam Ficarro Friday, March 22, 2019 ASU women’s basketball team turns back clock in NCAA Tournament win over UCF CORAL GABLES, Fla. – In today’s basketball, the game is defined by flashy offenses. On Friday, however, Arizona State and Central Florida played a throwback, rough-and-tumble game with the players, and even Sun Devils coach Charli Turner Thorne, taking some battle wounds. “They were talking about, ‘I got hit here, I got hit here,’ ” Turner Thorne said. “I said, ‘Yeah, I lost two nails.’ ” The Sun Devils defeated the Knights in the first round of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament 60-45 in a battle of two stingy defenses. Both teams entered the game allowing less than 60 points per game this season, but the Sun Devils’ balanced scoring effort was too much for UCF. Senior forward Courtney Ekmark had one of the best games in her career with 20 points on 8-for-13 shooting. Her fellow senior, Kianna Ibis, picked up her third double-double of the season tallying 12 points and 10 rebounds. “Obviously, excited to keep playing and you know usually the way this goes,” Turner Thorne said. “Teams that have deep runs, just keep playing better, keep playing better and that’s our plan.” Arizona State played stout defense all night, limiting the Knights to 32 percent shooting from the field, breaking a school record for fewest points...

Read More