(Tempe, AZ) Despite Tyi Skinner’s career high-tying, 29-point performance, the short-handed Sun Devil women’s basketball team was unable to overcome Missouri in a 71-60 loss to the Tigers in the final game of the Briann January Classic.
For the second time in three games, Skinner dropped 29 points, the fifth time in the last seven games the junior guard has scored 24 or more points. In ASU’s come-from-behind win at Grand Canyon on Wednesday, Skinner scored 15 of ASU’s 35 points in the fourth quarter – the most points ever scored in a quarter by ASU – in helping the Sun Devils overcome an 11-point deficit.
In that game, Skinner was one of several Sun Devils who stepped up to make the comeback possible. Among the many players who contributed: fellow junior guard Jaddan Simmons(the team’s second-leading scorer), senior guard Isadora Sousa (averaged seven rebounds in her three most recent outings in addition to providing the team with an important defensive presence) and freshman forward Journey Thompson (after accounting for six points, four rebounds and one block in the win at GCU, had her first career double-double vs. UMass on Friday).
Against the Tigers (9-1), ASU’s assignment was exponentially more difficult as it had to play without Simmons, Sousa and Thompson, who were all out of the lineup on Sunday (the availability of all three players is being evaluated on a game-to-game basis).
Freshman Trayanna Crisp earned her first start in lieu of Simmons’ absence and scored 11 points to go with five assists and a career-high four rebounds while playing all 40 minutes. Outside of the guard duo, it was a hard afternoon for the Sun Devils (6-3), who scored a season-low 60 points.
“Of course, we were a little shorthanded. But I watched our group respond. We talked about playing on the defensive end for 40 minutes; playing with effort, energy,” ASU head coach Natasha Adair said. “I thought from the tip to the final buzzer we did that.”
In Missouri’s win over UMass on Saturday, the Tigers, who came into Sunday’s game second in the SEC in 3-point FG pct. and third in 3-pointers per game, knocked down 15 triples.
On Sunday, the Sun Devils came out and responded to what Adair stated would be an important factor if ASU was going to come out on top as it held the Tigers to a single make from long range in 13 attempts over the first 20 minutes.
With Missouri up 15-10 after one period, Skinner welcomed the second quarter with back-to-back 3-pointers to ASU get within one, 17-16. Crisp’s layup tied the game at 20-20, but Mizzou responded with a layup to go up by two. From then on, ASU and Missouri were in a tug-of-war.
Imogen Greenslade‘s layup provided ASU with its first lead of the game. Two free throws from Treasure Hunt added to the Sun Devils’ lead to give them their largest lead of the contest, 28-24. A triple by Skinner, who had 15 points in the first half, gave ASU a 31-28 lead at the intermission.
Although ASU’s effort never waned, the math that concerned the Sun Devils at the start of the game – playing without three significant contributors and Missouri’s ability to score – slowly started to become a major factor in the outcome.
A chaotic Missouri and-one to introduce the second half was an early indication that the tail end of the game would be less than kind to the Sun Devils. A three-point swing and free layup in transition turned the Sun Devils’ three-point lead into a two-point deficit.
What was a one-possession contest at the outset of the half became a nine-point advantage for the Tigers after they outscored ASU 24-12 in the third quarter.
A 3-pointer to open the final frame, gave the Tigers a double-digit lead they maintained for the remainder of the game.
After ASU outrebounded the Tigers 24-18 in the first half and allowed zero second chance points, the Tigers were plus-14 in the second half (24-10) and had nine points that were the product of a 9-4 advantage on the offensive glass. Missouri also shot 54.5 percent in the second half and saw an improvement in its shooting beyond the arc (5-13/38.5 percent).
Junior guard Sydney Erikstrup was perfect from the free throw line (6-6) and redshirt freshman post Meg Newman, who was one of ASU’s two reserves on Sunday along Greenslade, had a team-high nine rebounds.
Sunday’s game vs. Missouri concluded a stretch in which ASU played six games in 15 days. The Sun Devils will close out non-conference play with games at Stephen F. Austin next Sunday and back at home vs. Prairie View A&M on Dec. 17.
Press Release courtesy of Sun Devil Athletics – Lauren Gonzalez, SDA Media Relations