6:00 PM ET, January 14, 2006
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- Arizona State didn't want to get lulled into a close game twice.The Sun Devils (No. 13 ESPN/USA Today, No. 15 AP), who needed a 3-pointer in the final seconds to beat Oregon by one point on Thursday, ran away from Oregon State in the second half for a 69-51 victory Saturday night."We talked about the extra effort we needed at halftime, and so I think the push came from us knowing what we had to do," Emily Westerberg said. "Coming out strong was important for us."Freshman Kirsten Thompson scored 11 of her season-high 15 points in the second half. She also had a season-high eight rebounds, seven after the break.Thompson thought hard work with coach Charli Turner Thorne paid off."Charli works with me a lot, and this game it came out and showed," the 6-foot-5 center said.Westerberg had 13 points and Kristen Kovesdy 10 for the Sun Devils (14-3, 5-2 Pac-10).Oregon State's Kim Butler had 20 points, and Mandy Close finished with 10 and five assists.Arizona State led 29-25 at halftime, and Close's layup 16 seconds into the second half cut that to two. But Arizona State's Reagan Pariseau answered with a 3-pointer, and the Sun Devils grabbed a 38-30 lead on a 3-pointer by Jill Noe 3:31 in.Things got worse for Oregon State when Butler shoved Kovesdy on a rebound, drawing her fourth foul with 14:41 to go."They hit a couple of 3's, caught us off guard, and we started turning the ball over," said Butler, fourth-highest scorer in the conference. "I think turnovers in the second half was our story. I'm trying to stay out of foul trouble. We're really looking at everything I do, but we've got to adapt."Amy Denson made a basket and two free throws during an 8-1 surge that got the Sun Devils to 52-36 with nine minutes left. The lead reached 65-41 on a layup by Westerberg at the 5:10 mark.Oregon State (7-7, 1-5) led only once, 18-16 with 5:09 left in the first half, after Butler scored eight points in a 10-2 spurt.The Sun Devils tied it, and Thompson put back Westerberg's missed free throw for a 20-18 Arizona State lead at the 4:06 mark. After a basket by Casey Nash, Westerberg had a three-point play, lifting the Sun Devils to a 23-20 lead.