PULLMAN, Wash. -- Washington State coach Sherri Murrell
watches Arizona State play basketball and she can only wonder what
might have been if a few of the Sun Devils had come to WSU.
The 12th-ranked Sun Devils, who start four players who grew up
within 100 miles of the Washington State campus, throttled the
Cougars 66-41 Saturday afternoon.
"We recruited them all," Murrell said. "Unfortunately, when I
first came here, it was a situation where Arizona State was
established up here."
Jill Noe led Arizona State (21-3, 11-2 Pac-10) with 20 points
and eight rebounds. Noe sank all seven of her field-goal attempts,
including four 3-pointers, and both of her free throws.
Adriane Ferguson, the only other player with more than eight
points, led Washington State (5-18, 1-12) with 10 points. The
Cougars, who have lost 12 straight games, were held to season lows
in points and field-goal shooting percentage (22.8).
Noe, Arizona State's fifth starter from the Pacific Northwest,
grew up outside Portland, Ore. Noe said she wasn't aware of her
perfect shooting night until assistant coach Joseph Anders
approached her late in the game.
"Joe said, 'You have a perfect shooting night' before my two
free throws. Thanks -- no pressure," Noe joked.
Ferguson, a Spokane, Wash., native played with and against
several ASU players in high school and summer basketball.
"They're phenomenal athletes, and besides athletic ability,
they're really hard workers, so it doesn't surprise me they're
having the success they're having," Ferguson said.
Several dozen family members and friends were on hand to cheer
on the Sun Devils.
"Our parent support is awesome," said ASU point guard Briann
January, who grew up in nearby Spokane.
The Sun Devils, who have beaten WSU in six straight games and 19
of the last 20, led 35-15 at the half.
Arizona State was never threatened after outscoring the Cougars
16-1 while holding Washington State without a field goal for nearly
10 minutes in the first half.
Arizona State has more overall wins this season than Washington
State has posted in the past three seasons (19). The Sun Devils
have won more Pac-10 games this season than the Cougars have in the
past 10 seasons (10).