NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Even after a 36-point win, Arizona State coach Charli Turner Thorne knows her team will have to play a lot better Saturday when it faces No. 9 Xavier.
Becca Tobin scored 14 points and the 14th-ranked Sun Devils held Yale scoreless for more than 9 minutes in the first half en route to an 82-46 victory Thursday night. The young Sun Devils had 28 turnovers and committed 20 fouls against an undersized Yale team.
"I think a lot of that was focus," Turner Thorne said. "I credit Yale, but we're going to have to get a lot better. That's the key to that game — taking care of the ball. It's more us. I was very disappointed in that today. We won't have a chance on Saturday."
With the game tied 2-all, Arizona State (2-0) scored the next 16 points as Yale missed 12 straight shots and had six turnovers. It could have been a lot worse, but the Sun Devils were nearly as sloppy with eight turnovers during the spurt.
Melissa Colborne finally ended the Bulldogs' drought with 9:18 left in the first half when she hit a hook shot in the lane to make it 20-4. Yale came as close as 22-9 when Ericka von Kaeppler hit a jumper, but Arizona State scored the next eight points and led 34-20 at halftime.
"We missed a lot of shots we're capable of making," Yale coach Chris Gobrecht said. "Part of that is Arizona State's pressure, but we let the shadows guard us. We just needed to score it."
The Sun Devils started the second half with an 11-3 run. Yale got no closer than 16 the rest of the way.
Megan Vasquez scored eight points to lead Yale (2-1), which was outrebounded 61-21. The Sun Devils had 27 offensive boards.
"When you give someone three times to score the ball each trip, sooner or later it will catch up to you," Gobrecht said. "This team has great character. We need to go do some boxing out drills."
Kimberly Brandon and Alex Earl each added 12 points, and freshman Janae Fulcher had a season-best 11 for the Sun Devils.
This was a far different Arizona State team than the one Turner Thorne led to the Trenton regional finals last season. The Sun Devils lost six seniors and leading scorer Dymond Simon is out for the year as she rehabs a knee that she injured in March.
"It's a process. We're a lot farther than we were in the beginning," senior guard Danielle Orsillo said.
The game against Yale was a chance for Turner Thorne to coach against her mentor. Turner Thorne was a graduate assistant at Washington when Gobrecht was the head coach. Sun Devils associate head coach Meg Sanders played for Gobrecht while she was coaching at Cal State Fullerton.
"It's hard," Turner Thorne said of facing her mentor. "We obviously coached against each other in the Pac-10. At least now we see each other once in a decade or so. I think the world of her. I owe her a ton as far as me getting started in coaching."