10:00 PM ET, December 28, 2006
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) -- For years now, Charli Turner Thorne's teams at Arizona State have won by wearing down opponents with an up-tempo offense and swarming defense all over the floor.It took a half for the Sun Devils to finally show that signature style against California.Jill Noe had 16 points, six rebounds and five assists and Arizona State (No. 11 ESPN/USA Today; No. 10 AP) used a big second-half run to win its eighth straight game, 74-58 over the Golden Bears (No. 19 ESPN/USA Today; No. 18 AP) on Thursday night."Hallelujah for the second half," Turner Thorne said. "A really slow start. The first half we weren't working hard enough. ... We were sluggish."Emily Westerberg added 14 points, 10 in the second half, and five rebounds and Aubree Johnson had 11 points, four rebounds and four assists in the Sun Devils' 11th straight Pac-10 victory. Danielle Orsillo added 10 points as the team extended its road winning streak to seven games dating to last season.Arizona State (12-1 overall, 2-0 Pac-10), which beat rival Arizona by 27 points in its conference opener last week, hasn't lost since an 83-74 defeat to No. 4 Tennessee on Nov. 19.Next up is a date with No. 14 Stanford on Saturday. Arizona State last won at Stanford in 1984."Ah, it's time to win at Maples," Turner Thorne said.Ashley Walker scored in double digits for the 12th straight game this season, finishing with 16 points and eight rebounds. She also helped Cal plug the middle on defense to make it tough for the Sun Devils to establish an inside game.Devanei Hampton added 14 points and five rebounds.Westerberg made back-to-back layins from the left side to pull ASU to 44-43 with 14:04 remaining and added another basket during the decisive 20-2 run that turned a 44-39 deficit into a 57-46 lead and put the game away. The Bears went cold and gave up second and third chances on the defensive end during the stretch."We just gave them that little run and we didn't withstand it," Walker said. "We were cold. They capitalized on our mistakes. That's what top ranked teams do."The Sun Devils, typically among the top defensive teams in the conference, came out in a full-court press but needed a strong effort in the second half to beat the Bears.Cal (9-3, 1-2) had won five of six, splitting its opening games of conference play last week in Los Angeles -- losing in overtime at UCLA before beating USC.But the Bears couldn't maintain their offensive pace from the first half against a scrappy Arizona State team that has a knack for making teams tired. Cal did not make a 3-pointer (0-for-5)."They're a great team and they're playing their best basketball ever," Cal coach Joanne Boyle said. "I'm very pleased with my team's effort. In the first half we executed the game plan to a T. The second half we fell apart and I was most disappointed we were not getting stops. We had to work for everything."The teams split the series last season, each winning on their home court.Cal added two walk-on guards Tuesday -- Natalie Nurnberg and Julia Numair -- to boost the depth in their backcourt after losing point guard and reigning Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Alexis Gray-Lawson for the season with a right knee injury that will require surgery, probably next week.The Bears shot 60 percent in the first half on the way to a 31-29 lead at the break.ASU made four of its first five shots with three 3-pointers to build a quick 11-4 lead, but Cal answered with 13 straight points and the Sun Devils missed their next 13 field-goal attempts and went nearly 8 minutes without scoring before Orsillo's basket at 9:09.Turner Thorne's halftime talk focused on being more aggressive to create opportunities."We had to get back to getting points off our defense," Noe said. "That's what we're all about."
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press