Head coach Thomas Davis likes to unleash his version of Nolan Richardson's "40 Minutes of Hell" on unsuspecting opponents, similar to the way former legendary Arkansas head coach used to do en route to a national championship in 1994. And much like that Razorbacks team, opponents tend to wilt as the game extends.
Such was the case in ASA's 76-56 win over Essex County Community College, Tuesday evening, in Newark, New Jersey, as ASA's women's basketball team blitzed the Wolverines in the second quarter to break an 18-all first-quarter tie en route to a convincing 40-20 halftime lead.
Led by Caitlin Roche's game-high 25 points, 16 points from Alexia Douglas, and Adriana Cordoba's double-double of 13 points and 18 rebounds, the Lady Avengers (14-5) buried the Wolverines in the second quarter and never looked back. ASA used a 22-2 second quarter to stymie a competitive Essex squad that was besieged by Davis's patented three-quarters press trapping defense and supreme ball denial from his guards when they switched it up and showed some zone defense.
All but one of Davis's seven players registered a steal, led by six from starting guard Sakara Hester-Torres and four from backup guard Carla Marfe. Roche added three thefts, which rounded out her stellar offensive game that also produced six threes.
The Wolverines briefly cut the deficit with a 16-4 run to start the second half, but that's when the Lady Avengers won the battle of attrition, stabilized themselves, and once again blitzed the home team with another trapping clinic that forced back-to-back turnovers, culminating with a three-pointer from Roche. The sophomore guard was involved in a three-on-one fastbreak, with the 6-foot-3 forward Cordoba leading the point and finding Roche, who instead of filling a lane and running towards the hoop, deftly fanned out to the right angle of the three-point line and coolly drained the triple. The play ignited the Lady Avengers and altogether sucked the gravity out of the once-raucous Fitness Center.
Davis eventually called off the attack midway through the fourth quarter with the margin already nearing 20 points. All seven players who saw action tallied points and contributed, which was one of ASA's more well-rounded outputs. Forward Nyasia Franklin, who is from neighboring East Orange, New Jersey, added eight points, seven rebounds, and two steals, while reserve forward Natasha Obeten was solid in the post by contributing six rebounds.
Up next for the Lady Avengers will be postseason action.