The new Arizona State women’s basketball posts came up big Sunday night in an 83-51 win over Army at Desert Financial Arena.
Ja’Tavia Tapley, a grad transfer from USC, had a career high 18 points and sophomore Jayde Van Hyfte recorded her first double-double (12 points, 10 rebounds) as the No. 18 Sun Devils smoked a second straight service academy.
“They’re coming along and they’re going to get a lot better,” ASU coach Charli Turner Thorne said. “Tapley is really fitting in our system well and playing great.”
The 6-3 Tapley surpassed her USC scoring high (15) and also stuffed the box score with six rebounds, two assists and four steals in 15 minutes.
“I’m glad I could bring that to this team after not being able to for the last couple of years,” Tapley said. “I really appreciate coming here and making a difference. My teammates have my back and trust me on the court so that helps my momentum keep going.”
ASU big runs early in first 2 quarters
ASU bolted to a 15-2 lead, largely eliminating any outcome drama in the first four minutes.
Army was within nine, 24-15, at the end of the first quarter before a 13-1 ASU run to open the second, started by Tapley’s six straight points.
Taya Hanson drilled a 3-pointer and scored on a long pinpoint feed from Sydnei Caldwell later in the second, taking into the Sun Devils into halftime up 48-27.
ASU shot 50 percent in the first half with Hanson, Tapley and Van Hyfte combining for 25 points.
The Sun Devils padded their lead to 71-36 in the third quarter. They led by as many as 37 several times including 81-44 with four minutes remaining.
Ryan returns from foot injury
Senior guard Robbi Ryan, who sat out the first game with a foot injury, returned to play her allotted 15 minutes off the bench.
The two-year starter had 12 points, six rebounds and three assists. Late in the third quarter, she came up with a steal leading to a transition layup by Eboni Walker then hit a 3-pointer.
“It was really fun to be back,” Ryan said. “It’s always fun to play with my teammates and just play basketball. So I’m glad to be back.”
Van Hyfte said, “It was definitely nice having Robbi back. She’s a senior so she knows what to do, and she helps us a lot.”
Turner Thorne said Ryan practiced lightly Saturday then was cleared to play. “It’s very reassuring we know we have her back,” she said. “She immediately went and sat on No. 13’s (Lindsey Scamman) left hand that we knew she was going to use. That experience and toughness on both sides of the ball kind of showed up today so it was awesome to have her back out there.”
Senior center Jamie Ruden played just eight minutes in the first half and wore a boot on her right foot for the rest of the game as a precaution. Another starter, senior guard Reili Richardson left in the third quarter with what Turner Thorne said was a minor knee injury.
ASU pulls 30 offensive boards
ASU dominated in rebounding, 56-25, including 30 offensive boards.
The Sun Devils led big in all the points from categories with a 51-18 edge in bench scoring. Richardson was the only ASU player of 13 not to score.
ASU improved to 2-0 all-time vs. Army. The previous meeting was an 83-46 Sun Devils win in December 2011.
Scamman, a 6-0 forward from 29 Palms, Calif., who had a large cheering section on hand, led Army (0-2) with 12 points, all in the first half.
The Black Knights next are at Air Force, which lost 87-56 to ASU on Tuesday.
Turner Thorne thinks Air Force will win against Army on Wednesday in Colorado Springs although she’s a bit biased because she started her coaching career working for Falcons coach Chris Gobrecht, then at Washington.
ASU plays its road opener at Minnesota on Nov. 17. The Gophers are 1-1, losing to Missouri State (77-69) and beating Vermont (90-58) on Sunday. The game will be a homecoming of sorts for ASU’s Ruden and Kiara Russell, who are from Minnesota.
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