10:00 PM ET, January 8, 2004
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) -- Nicole Powell is still annoyed with all the shots she missed in an overtime loss to Tennessee last month. She forced it on offense and fell short on her final 10 attempts in regulation.Powell was cool in the clutch Thursday night.She scored 11 straight points in the second half and finished with 29 and nine rebounds, and No. 7 Stanford remained undefeated in Pac-10 play with a 60-46 victory over Arizona State on Thursday night."Tennessee was a really good lesson for me," said Powell, who went 8-for-17 from the floor and 9-for-9 at the free-throw line Thursday. "In crunch time, you have to make sure everyone's involved."It was an ugly offensive performance for both teams -- that is until Powell took over the game late.But the Cardinal (12-2, 5-0) did enough right to improve to 8-1 this season at Maples Pavilion, where their only loss was to the fifth-ranked Lady Vols. Stanford won 15 straight at home last season before Minnesota snapped the Cardinal's 26-game home winning streak in the second round of the NCAA tournament."It was a defensive battle," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. "I thought we responded to the challenge of their aggressiveness. I liken it to a prize fighter who has to get a bloody nose before he starts throwing some punches."Powell, Stanford's leading scorer and an All-America candidate, is still nursing a sprained left ankle she hurt in a loss at Texas Tech on Dec. 21. While she seemed to favor her ankle, it didn't do anything to her shooting touch."You've got to learn how to play great players like that who know they need to get the ball in crucial situations," Arizona State guard Betsy Boardman said. "I don't think we were very consistent guarding the 3-point, something we tried to focus on early. We got away from it and it showed."Powell made back-to-back 3-pointers to give Stanford a 48-42 lead with 5:49 left to play. Arizona State's Kylan Loney made a 3 on the other end after Powell hit her first from long range, then Powell came up big again with another 3. She converted two free throws with 4:30 left and a three-point play 46 seconds later.She received a standing ovation when she left the game with 13.2 seconds left."Nicole made some huge shots," said Stanford guard Susan Borchardt, who added 13 points.Kristen Kovesdy led the Sun Devils (8-5, 2-2) with 16 points and had her own impressive second-half run. She scored three straight baskets to keep Arizona State within a point at 40-39. The Sun Devils have lost two in a row after a three-game winning streak.The Cardinal made 17 of 18 free throws and held a 31-24 rebounding advantage. They committed 13 first-half turnovers but settled down in the second half to finish with 19."Obviously, our objective was to try to control the temp of the game and not get into a running game with Stanford," Arizona State coach Charli Turner Thorne said.Turner Thorne gave birth to her third son, Quinn, last week, and was back on the Sun Devils' bench three days later. The infant was in the stands at Maples Pavilion with his grandmother.Turner Thorne played four years at Stanford, three of them under VanDerveer.Stanford missed 10 of its first 15 shots but led 27-21 at halftime because Arizona State was worse from the floor, going 8-for-23 against the Cardinal's in-your-face pressure defense.
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