TEMPE, Ariz.- Cal State Fullerton put up enough bricks to build a house in its 63-49 loss at Arizona State Tuesday night.
The Titans (3-5) shot only 23 percent (17-of-74) and were 3-of-23 from long range, unable to capitalize off of ASU’s (7-1) poor rebounding.
“We did enough that we can wake up tomorrow and still feel we are headed in the right direction,” ASU interim head coach Joseph Anders said.
The Sun Devils also limited the Titans’ leading scorer, senior guard Megan Richardson, to nine points –half her season average- on 4-of-12 shooting. Point guard Lauren Chow (who usually shoots 44 percent) was 2-of-11, including 1-of-8 from three-point range.
Putting the poor shooting aside, the Titans did convert 18 second-chance points, while grabbing 27 offensive rebounds, compared to nine and 10 for ASU.
Coach Anders said when a team usually gets that many offensive boards, it scores 80 points.
“I takes no talent to give great effort and play outstanding defense, but you can’t play that great of a defense and give that many offensive rebounds,” he said. “We were still able to get back and make them take a difficult shot.”
The diamond in the rough was ASU senior forward Kali Bennett, who was 6-for-7 from the floor, scoring 14 points, with 11 rebounds and four blocks.
“I’m proud of myself for getting out of my finishing funk,” Bennett said. “I think last year I hadn’t been finishing as well as I should have, so it was nice to put the ball in the basket.”
Freshman Promise Amukamara also scored 12 points (5-of-7), mostly being the outlet option, as ASU scored eight fast-break points, compared to the Titans’ zero.
“I would just break away when we’d get the offensive rebounds and got down the court,” Amukamara said. “ I’m pretty used to this, I did it in high school, so I just carried it on through college.”
Jada Blackwell of ASU and the Titans’ Jasmine Grayson tied with eight rebounds, and Alex Thomas was Fullerton’s top scorer with 13, although seven of those were from the line.
A six-point spread at the half, it was a four-point game early in the second, before an 11-3 Sun Devil run opened the lead.
Dec. 16, the Sun Devils travel to Chicago for a meeting with No. 20 DePaul – a team they defeated 79-66 last season at Wells Fargo Arena, as now-graduated Dymond Simon and Tenaya Watson combined for 49 points.
“Having that game back in their place, I’m sure the players who are returning will remember that, and if they don’t, I’m sure their coaches are going to make them remember that,” Anders said.
The Titans host Nevada Dec. 10.