10:00 PM ET, February 9, 2006
CORVALLIS, Ore.(AP) -- Arizona State was tougher, smarter and deeper than Oregon State on Thursday night, and it all added up to an easy win.Kristen Kovesdy scored 14 points, Emily Westerberg added 12 points and nine rebounds, and Arizona State (No. 17 ESPN/USA Today, No. 16 AP) beat Oregon State 77-67.Kim Butler had 19 points for the Beavers (10-11, 4-9 Pac-10). Mandy Close and Anita Rivera added 17, keying a second-half Oregon State comeback that came too late.The Sun Devils (19-5, 10-4) dominated inside, outrebounding the Beavers 37-24 en route to their fifth straight win.Reagan Pariseau added 11 for Arizona State, which evened its conference road record at 4-4."We thought the No. 1 key was controlling the boards," said Arizona State coach Charli Turner Thorne. "I thought we did a great job of accomplishing it, and tonight it was the difference."The Sun Devils led by as many as 12 in the first, as Oregon State struggled to rebound. Arizona State held a 14-2 rebounding advantage after the first 13 minutes of the game, and had 13 on the offensive end in the half.The Beavers went on a 7-0 run into halftime to get within 36-31. Oregon State got within two points early in the second half, but the Sun Devils took off on 14-0 run, including seven straight points by Amy Denson.With Arizona State leading 50-36, Jill Noe scored the Sun Devils' next three baskets and 6-foot-6 center Kirsten Thompson scored to push the lead to 20 points."I think we had a lot of confidence coming out at halftime that we had saved our best for the second half," Turner Thorne said. "We were playing good defense and we knew what we needed to do."Rivera and Close each had 10 points in the second half as the Beavers climbed their way back in it.The Beavers got within nine when Kim Butler converted a three-point play to make it 69-60 with 1:30 left. After Thompson scored inside for Arizona State, Anita Rivera hit a 3-pointer for the Beavers with 55 seconds left, but the Sun Devils made their free throws and held on.The Beavers were eight rebounds short of their season average and gave up 20 offense boards. After Butler, Close and Rivera, no one scored more than four points."We gave them too many second-chance looks and you can't beat a top-25 team that way," said Oregon State coach LaVonda Wagner.Wagner used just six players for most of the game. Turner Thorne, exploiting Arizona State's edge in depth, used 11 players, with nine playing at least 12 minutes.Noe and Thompson each had 10 points for the Sun Devils. Amy Denson added nine.