CANCUN, Mexico -- Arizona State is getting used to slow
starts for their seasons.
Kirsten Thompson's layup with three seconds to go gave
Arizona State (No. 13 ESPN/USA Today, No. 14 AP) a 60-58 win over Iowa in the final game of the
Caribbean Challenge on Friday.
Last year, the Sun Devils nearly lost a 35-point lead against
Western Kentucky, but managed to win 67-63 in the Paradise Jam in
the U.S. Virgin Islands.
"We were about this place last year too, we were sloppy, our
defense was not quite sharp, we nearly lost against Western Kentuky
and barely held on to win," Arizona State coach Charli
Turner-Thorne said. "We have to forget about the expectations and
just play baksetball."
Lauren Lacey scored 19, Sybil Dosty had 12 and Briann January
added 11 for the Sun Devils, who bounced back after a loss to Oklahoma (No. 11 ESPN/USA Today, No. 10 AP) on Thursday.
Kristi Smith lead the Hawkeyes (4-1) with 18 points.
Arizona State (3-2) had a 10-point lead in the first half, but a
jump shot by Smith at the buzzer gave Iowa a 28-27 halftime lead.
The Sun Devils trailed most of the second half until Jill Noe
nailed a three pointer with 3:34 remaining for a 54-53 lead.
Smith tied it at 58 with 25 seconds to go, but Thompson got the
ball in the low post with seconds to go and easily scored the
"We were trying to isolate Jill Noe, but they kind of doubled,
and our next option was Thompson, who struggled all day, but she's
a great target and great finisher too and they executed
perfectly," Turner-Thorne said.
Smith had one last chance, but lost the ball.