It may have been another blowout victory, but as a whole, the team themselves were unhappy in the end. No. 17 ASU (6-2) took hold of the game early and finished well on top with a 69-47 blowout of the Southern University Jaguars (2-5) Friday night. Senior forward Courtney Ekmark led the way for the Devils, scoring a season-high 19 points. She was 50 percent from the field and 6 of 6 at the free-throw line.
“My teammates were finding me the ball,” Ekmark said. “They had a couple of sweet dimes to me. That really helps.”
Ekmark was not only the first person to be pleased with the performance of her and her team, but to point out the critiques as well.
“One of the main things were trying to work on right now is playing focused every possession,” she explained. “We had some good and some bad with our focus tonight. If we want to be an elite team, we have to bring that every single minute we are playing. We have high standards in this program and we are not happy with our focus tonight.”
It was evident as the game went along.
In the first quarter, ASU dominated, putting up 24 points and only allowing six. In the half, they scored 18 points off 11 turnovers and held the Jaguars to just 19 points.
In the third quarter, the Jaguars started off on fire, scoring three consecutive three-pointers in just the first four minutes. In the half they were only able to score six points off of nine turnovers. The scoring percentage in the half plummeted from 50 to 35%.
“We always keep the mindset that every day is a chance to get better,” senior center Charnea Johnson-Chapman said. “No matter who we are playing, we have to focus on getting better ourselves.”
Coach Charli Turner Thorne started off her post-game press conference with a rather simple sentiment.
“What they said.”
Much like opening night against Incarnate Word, the team dominated the stat sheets, but as a whole, felt like they could have played better.
“We just didn’t sustain things,” coach said. “We didn’t have a great week of practice with finals week. You try to balance time off and practice, and it was average, and I thought they played average tonight. They feel the same way.”
It was an advantage however for the Devils in terms of their depth on the roster. With a Sunday afternoon game and an early departure to Fort Collins, CO tomorrow morning, Turner Thorne said she was pleased to be able to spread minutes around.
“It’s good to get the win and not have anyone overplayed,” coach said. “Everyone should be able to turn around and give a great effort at Colorado State.”
It will be ASU’s first road game in nearly two weeks. They have won their last four going back to November 24th against Southern Illinois.