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Sun Devils rise to challenge, top Huskies in Pac-10 win

SEATTLE (AP) -- It wasn't a glamorous move Amy Denson made. With
the way Arizona State (No. 18 ESPN/USA Today, No. 19 AP) had played on the road, the senior
forward will take it.

Denson scored on a one-handed leaner with 44 seconds left, as
the Sun Devils held off Washington 67-61 on Saturday.

With the shot clock about to expire, Denson stepped between two
defenders and made the 14-foot shot to give the Sun Devils a 63-58
lead.

"It was not that skilled of a move," said Denson, who led
Arizona State with 18 points off the bench. "It definitely was a
lucky shot."

The Sun Devils (16-5, 7-4 Pac-10 Conference) had lost four of
their previous five on the road. Coach Charli Turner Thorne
challenged her team, saying Saturday's game was essentially for the
Pac-10 championship.

Her players responded.

"I'm definitely really proud of our team for staying with it.
It would have been easy given our road history to let up and not
stay aggressive," Turner Thorne said. "This is going to be huge
for our team."

The victory moved Turner Thorne into sixth place on the Pac-10
all-time wins list. She is now 163-127 with the Sun Devils.

Washington still had a chance after Denson's basket, but turned
the ball over on its next two possessions. Arizona State made four
free throws in the final 33 seconds.

"I didn't feel like our execution was there and the miscues
were really costly," Washington coach June Daugherty said. "The
game was still up for grabs with a minute to go."

Washington took a 58-57 lead with 3:38 left on a short jumper by
Breanne Watson. It was the Huskies (14-6, 7-4) first lead in more
than 10 minutes, and it didn't last long.

Emily Westerberg made a driving left-hander to give ASU the lead
again and Denson added a baseline jumper to push the lead to 61-58
with 2:35 left.

Washington then missed its next four shots. The Huskies shot
just 28 percent in the second half and 32 percent for the game.

"Unfortunately, we didn't execute on offense down the
stretch," Watson said.

Westerberg finished with 10 points for the Sun Devils, who won
at Washington for the first time since the 1995-96 season. Kristen
Kovesdy was held to nine points, three below her season average of
12.8. She scored a season-high 27 in the first meeting this season
against Washington.

The Sun Devils beat Washington State 75-65 on Thursday night in
Pullman. They had lost their previous four on the road at Southern
Cal, UCLA, California and Stanford.

Before Saturday, the Sun Devils' last road win came on Dec. 22
at Arizona. They will play five of their final seven Pac-10 games
at home.

"It's just knowing what it takes to win on the road," Denson
said. "We have to play this hard from now on."

Kristen O'Neill led four Huskies in double figures with 15
points off the bench. Watson and Cameo Hicks both scored 12 and
Andrea Plouffe added 10.

Arizona State turned the ball over 24 times, but made up for it
by shooting 51 percent. The Sun Devils pulled even with the Huskies
in the Pac-10 standings. Both are 1½ games back of first place
Stanford.

Washington, which led by as many as six in the first half, made
just one field goal in the final 7:55. Arizona State closed on a
12-6 run and the teams were tied at 34-34 at halftime.