Arizona State women’s basketball tasked with stopping Creighton

After a tough schedule in November, Arizona State women’s basketball is slowly taking off.

While there’s still a lot to learn about the young team in a league made up of veterans, ASU coach Charli Turner Thorne saw the team’s best rebounding effort all season in the 61 compiled rebounds in last week’s 91-54 win over Harvard. Forward Mael Gilles, the team’s most consistent rebounder with 8.3 rebounds per game, had 12 in the game. Center Imogen Greenslade had 11 rebounds in 14 minutes on the ground.

“I want to maintain it, but I’m not too happy yet. It was the biggest takeout of the weekend,” Turner Thorne said. “You pass a team by 40, you win by 40.”

Sunday’s date at Creighton (5-2) will put the improvements to the test when ASU takes on the fiery Bluejays. The Bluejays are riding a four-game winning streak that includes wins over South Dakota State and Northern Iowa.

“They’re probably going to be the toughest team we’ve kept this year,” Turner Thorne said. “They really do a great job of getting the right shots for the right people.”

ASU enters the game with three straight wins that all come from tournament play. Struggling with a trying schedule, the Sun Devils added veteran forward Jayde Van Hyfte to the roster against UTSA, while turning guards Isadora Sousa and Ayzhiana Basallo in the last five games. The additions have benefited the team as Sousa is emerging as one of the best rebounding guards, while Van Hyfte is a proven force on the boards.

For ASU, guard Jade Loville leads with 12.6 points per game, while Jaddan Simmons is averaging 9.7 points. As a team, the Sun Devils are averaging 39.6 rebounds per game.

Creighton is headlining forward Emma Ronsiek’s impressive performance with 14.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game and nine blocks this season. Guard Tatum Rembao currently averages five assists per game. Morgan Maly (11.9 ppg) and Lauren Jensen (10.4 ppg) also remain in double digits.

“I feel like it’s like a Pac-12 game. I look at this team and I’m like, okay, this is what we need,” Turner Thorne said.

ASU announces at 12 p.m. MT from Omaha, Nebraska with the game to be broadcast at 2:40 p.m. KAZG.

Contact the reporter at [email protected] or 602-647-4122. Follow her on Twitter @jennarortiz.

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