10:00 PM ET, February 1, 2007
SEATTLE -- Arizona State coach Charli Turner Thorne got the response she expected -- stingy defense, balanced scoring, and a rediscovery of the Sun Devils' quick-strike offense.Reserves Jill Noe, Danielle Orsillo and Kate Engelbrecht combined for 35 points and keyed a second-half run that propelled the Sun Devils (No. 10 ESPN/USA Today, No. 12 AP) to a 75-64 win over Washington on Thursday night.It was exactly the type of performance Turner Thorne wanted to see after the Sun Devils 73-65 overtime loss to Stanford (No. 9 ESPN/USA Today, No. 8 AP) last weekend. In the process, Turner Thorne picked up her 100th Pac-10 Conference victory, becoming the sixth current coach to reach 100 wins. She is 100-92 with the Sun Devils."This team didn't get to be 20-3 by happenstance. They have tremendous character, tremendous toughness. We've been through a lot this season and they're just a very resilient group of young ladies," Turner Thorne said.Noe finished with 13 points, while Orsillo and Engelbrecht scored 11 apiece. Emily Westerberg added 10 points for Arizona State (20-3, 10-2 Pac-10), which held Washington to 37 percent shooting and outscored the Huskies 21-9 at the free-throw line.Most important though was the Sun Devils' transition offense, which fully returned for the first time since the Sun Devils' lost guard Dymond Simon for the season with a knee injury on Jan. 21. Arizona State recovered from a 10-point first-half deficit, then used its transition game to ignite the decisive second-half spurt."We've been a transition team all season long. We went through a little bit of a blip ... but we've had some time to work through some things now and we look more like what we did before," Turner Thorne said.Cameo Hicks led the Huskies (13-10, 6-6) with 16 points, but Washington's midseason slide continued. The Huskies lost for the sixth time in their last seven games, a skid that began with an 88-83 loss at Arizona State on Jan. 7. The Huskies dropped their sixth game to a ranked opponent this season."These losses are really tough," Hicks said. "We played with ASU all night, except for two runs."Orsillo, Arizona State's second-leading scorer, hit a pair of challenging jumpers as part of a 15-4 run the Sun Devils made midway through the second half that finally shook the pesky Huskies. Noe added a 3-pointer and Reagan Pariseau's driving layup capped the run that gave Arizona State a 66-53 lead.Washington made a final push to get within eight. Hicks' jumper then spun around the rim and out, and Westerberg converted a three-point play at the other end to put the game away."We knew we could come back with our defense, just getting out and running and getting into passing lanes," Noe said.Washington led by 10 early in the first half before its scoring struggles of the last three weeks returned. The Huskies went nearly 8 minutes with just two points. By the time Stefanie Clark slashed through the lane to score with 4:48 left in the half, the Sun Devils led 26-23."It's tough because you want to close the door on a team when you get up like that," Washington coach June Daugherty said. "They answered right back with their transition game."Washington closed the half on a 8-2 run and Cheri Craddock's 18-footer with 5 seconds left gave the Huskies a 35-34 halftime lead.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press