IRVINE, Calif. (AP) -- Arizona State may have room for
improvement, as its coach says, but that didn't stop the Sun Devils
from extending a two-season stretch of dominance Thursday night.
Emily Westerberg and Dymond Simon scored 13 points apiece to
lead Arizona State (No. 11 ESPN/USA Today; No. 10 AP) to a 75-46 rout of UC Irvine.
Aubree Johnson and Danielle Orsillo each added 12 points for the
Sun Devils (9-1), who earned their fifth consecutive victory and
18th in 19 regular-season games since last season.
"It's a work in progress," said Arizona State coach Charli
Turner Thorne, who noted that Westerberg is playing inside for the
first time in three seasons, and that the Sun Devils missed two
crucial reserves for most of this season.
"We've had a tough go of it these last few weeks and we just
finished finals," Turner Thorne said. "We've been off for eight
days so it was nice just to get back on the floor."
Angie Ned and Naomi Halman scored 11 points apiece for the
Anteaters (2-6), who have lost five of six. Christina Zdenek added
10 points and Stephanie Duda grabbed 11 rebounds.
Irvine played without leading scorer Kelly Cochran, who averages
12.4 points. She missed her third consecutive game after injuring
her right knee last week in practice.
Arizona State took a 17-0 lead in the first 6:11 of the game. UC
Irvine did not score a point in the first 6:27 and did not make a
basket until 10:23 remained in the first half.
"Arizona State has a great defense," said UC Irvine coach
Molly Tuter, whose team played UCLA, another Pacific-10 Conference
contender, on Dec. 4.
"UCLA is very talented; Arizona State is talented and very
disciplined," Tuter said. "(The Sun Devils are) deep. I can't
really name a weakness they have."
The Sun Devils built a 25-point halftime lead, then started the
second half with a 14-4 run powered by six points from Westerberg.
Arizona State led by as many as 44 points.