10:00 PM ET, January 26, 2006
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) -- Arizona State (No. 18 ESPN/USA Today; No. 19 AP) had been struggling on the road, but on Thursday night, aided by four players who attended high school within 100 miles of here, they snapped a four-game road losing streak to beat Washington State 75-65."Quite frankly, it's homecoming," said Sun Devils' star Emily Westerberg, who grew up about 90 miles away in suburban Spokane.Danielle Orsillo and Amy Denson led Arizona State (15-5, 6-4 Pac-10) with 13 points apiece.Amanda Durocher, a freshman guard like Orsillo, topped Washington State (6-13, 0-10) with 16 points."It's still hard (playing on the road); you're still facing adversity," Orsillo said.Orsillo, California's No. 3 all-time high school scorer, had been facing adversity from beyond the 3-point arc. She was hitting just 22 percent of her 3-point shots and averaging 6.9 points before nailing three of them in the first nine minutes Thursday night.Orsillo's third and final 3-pointer of the game pushed Arizona State ahead to stay at 22-21 with 11 minutes left in the first half.ASU led 39-27 after scoring the last eight points of the opening half. The Cougars pulled within five early in the second half, but a 3-pointer by Reagan Pariseau (a high school teammate of Westerberg) capped a 9-0 spurt that gave the Sun Devils a 52-38 lead with 12:40 to go.Arizona State had lost two in a row and four of six since starting the season 12-1."Today was a great time, where we came together," Orsillo said. "It's a good step in the right direction of where we can be. It was a lot of fun."The Cougars, of course, don't agree with that appraisal. WSU has lost 11 consecutive games overall and 13 in a row in the Pac-10."I'm so proud of our kids," WSU coach Sherri Murrell said, "because they're (Arizona State) the No. 19 team in the nation, and we had them on the ropes."Keisha Moore scored 14 points for Washington State and led all players with eight rebounds and three blocked shots. Ebonee Coates, a 6-foot-4 freshman center, went 5-for-6 from the field and scored a season-high 10 points for the Cougars.On Saturday afternoon, Arizona State visits Washington (14-5, 7-3).