4:00 PM ET, February 24, 2007
TUCSON, Ariz. -- No. 10 Arizona State set a single-season school record for victories, but the Sun Devils found enough faults in a 59-54 triumph over Arizona not to be overly thrilled.The win helped Arizona State (26-3, 16-2) break the record set in 1982. The Sun Devils also moved within a half game of Stanford for the Pac-10 lead."We are not going to get very far in March if we don't start rebounding and playing better offensively," ASU coach Charli Turner Thorne said. "It is good to have a game like this as a wake-up call going into March and challenge ourselves that if we are going to focus on the wrong things than we are not going to be playing very long."ASU won its seventh straight game, but was out-rebounded 30-27 and had 14 of its 22 turnovers in the first half.Arizona's rally from a 10-point deficit in the final 4:50 didn't leave the Sun Devils very happy."Hopefully we look at this as a blessing because we need to know that we can't get away with things because we have been able to get up and stay up," Aubree Johnson said. "We need to continue to put the hammer on after we get a lead and have no let-ups."Arizona State's Emily Westerberg scored 14 of her 16 points in the second half, including four clutch free throws in the final 15 seconds. Westerberg became the school's sixth all-time leading scorer with 1,262 points."I was just trying to do whatever it takes to win. I wanted to win the game so I was trying to do whatever the team needed from me," Westerberg said. "I became more aggressive."Arizona cut the lead to 55-54 with 15 seconds left on a Malia ONeal jumper only to have Westerberg get fouled and make two free throws a second later. ONeal had a chance to tie the game but her 3-pointer with six seconds remaining hit the front of the rim. Westerberg sealed the outcome with two more free throws.Arizona State also got 16 points from Johnson.Joy Hollingsworth scored 24 points and Ashley Whisonant added 12 for Arizona (10-20, 4-14).Arizona went on an 11-2 run to get within 53-52 with 1:04 left on Whisonant's lay-in."I don't like moral victories but we got better today," Arizona coach Joan Bonvicini said. "We got better and played smart. Nobody is unbeatable. We approached this game as a game to win. We are disappointed we didn't."ASU's Reagan Pariseau hit a jumper from the baseline for her only basket of the game to give the Sun Devils a 55-52 lead with 29 seconds left.Arizona is 0-10 against ranked opponents this season."It would have been nice to get a win," Hollingsworth said. "We really played our hearts out. I think this was our best game of the year."Westerberg gave ASU its biggest lead at 51-41 after following her own miss.Arizona State started pulling away at the nine-minute mark after Westerberg hit two free throws, Briann January made a 3-pointer and Johnson made a free throw to give the Sun Devils a 46-37 edge with 7:54 left."Right now I don't know what (the record) means," Turner Thorne said. "It's a great team accomplishment, but we won't really reflect on it until everything is done."
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