Sun Devils have easy time post­ing a home vic­tory

The Arizona Republic - - Sports - Michelle Gard­ner DAR­RYL WEBB/SPE­CIAL FOR THE REPUB­LIC sun­dev­­cen­ NO. 17 ARI­ZONA ST. 69, SOUTH­ERN U. 47 FG FT Reb M-A M-A O-T 0-1 0-0 0-1 3-4 3-5 0-1 6-17 0-0 0-3 3-6 0-3 2-5 2-5 0-0 0-2 0-0 0-0 1-1 0-0 0-0 0-1 1-1 0-0 0-4 1-4 0-0 0-1 0-1 0-0

The ASU women’s bas­ket­ball team has had a cou­ple of tough losses, two to top five teams. So vet­eran coach Charli Turner Thorne wel­comed the chance for a less com­pet­i­tive con­test where she could fo­cus on her team’s ex­e­cu­tion and get a lot of play­ers in­volved in the of­fense.

Eleven play­ers fac­tored in the scor­ing as the Sun Devils cruised to a 69-47 win over vis­it­ing South­ern Univer­sity on Fri­day night at Wells Fargo Arena.

It wasn’t a great per­for­mance for the Sun Devils but it was ad­e­quate. With the play­ers com­ing off a week of fi­nals, it was about what the coach ex­pected.

“I was glad to have a game we could be less than our best and still come away with a win,” she said. “We didn’t have a great week of prac­tice. It’s al­ways a bal­anc­ing act try­ing to fig­ure how out much to prac­tice. We were about av­er­age this week and we played av­er­age.”

The con­test was never close. ASU (6-2), which moved up two places to No. 17 na­tion­ally this week, stormed out to a 9-2 lead on a fast-break bucket by Jamie Ru­den and never looked back.

The Sun Devils led 24-6 af­ter the first pe­riod and 41-29 at the half as South­ern (2-5) shot just 36.8 per­cent (7 for 19) and had 11 turnovers.

It didn’t get any bet­ter for the visitors from Ba­ton Rouge, La.

For the game ASU shot 43.1 per­cent (22-for-51) from the field and ben­e­fited from a 39-20 ad­van­tage on the boards. Se­nior guard Court­ney Ek­mark had a sea­son-best 19 points with four as­sists while se­nior for­ward Kianna Ibis added 10 with six re­bounds. Se­nior cen­ter Charnea John­son-Chap­man chipped in with seven points and a team-high eight re­bounds.

Ek­mark also added that the Sun Devils got a lit­tle com­pla­cent with the out­come in hand from the start.

“We’re try­ing to work on play­ing fo­cused ev­ery pos­ses­sion,” she said. “We had some good pos­ses­sions and we had some bad pos­ses­sions. If we want to be an elite team we have to be fo­cused ev­ery sec­ond. We have high stan­dards here so we’re not happy with the fo­cus tonight.”

South­ern, which has lost five straight af­ter a 2-0 start, shot just 37.5 per­cent (18 for 44) and was led by se­nior guard Sky­lar Bear with 16 points. The Jaguars were also done in by 20 turnovers.

The Sun Devils hit the road for their next two games, first trav­el­ing to Colorado State (4-3) for a game on Sun­day then tak­ing on Kansas State in La Crosse,

ASU men play late

❚ The Ari­zona State men played Ne­vada late Fri­day night. Visit

for a re­cap. Wis., a week later.

The Colorado State game was one ASU picked up at the last minute af­ter an­other foe backed out of a game.

ASU’s Court­ney Ek­mark puts up a shot against South­ern's Sky­lar O'Bear in the first half on Fri­day in Tempe.

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