10:00 PM ET, March 19, 2007
LOS ANGELES -- Arizona State missed every kind of shot possible in the first 12 1/2 minutes, from layups to short jumpers to 3-pointers.And the Sun Devils weren't coming close."I'm not going to comment on what I was saying inside," ASU coach Charli Turner Thorne would say later.She said that with a smile, something she could afford to do because her Sun Devils rallied to beat Louisville 67-58 on Monday night despite missing their first 15 shots. The victory moved ASU into the third round of the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three years.The Sun Devils needed their second major comeback in two games to make that happen, rallying from a 14-point deficit in the final 11 minutes."We knew there was a point when we were going to turn it around because of our defense," said ASU's Emily Westerberg, who scored 12 points. "That's why we stayed in the game. Our defense allows us to stay in the game no matter what."The 10th-ranked Sun Devils (30-4) face the winner of Tuesday night's game between second-seeded Vanderbilt and seventh-seeded Bowling Green in Saturday's round of 16 at Greensboro, N.C."I could not be more proud of our team, to be standing with only 16 teams left," Turner Thorne said. "I know this team and I know that they want to go even further and take another step."Briann January matched her career-high with 22 points to lead the Sun Devils, who won by outscoring the Cardinals 31-8 to finish the game. After shooting 6-of-29 in the first half, they went 15-of-29 in the final 20 minutes to win going away.ASU came back from 15 points down to beat 14th-seeded UC Riverside 57-50 in the first round, outscoring the Highlanders 19-2 down the stretch.Louisville's Yuliya Tokova was helped off the court with a torn ligament in her left knee after just 2:03 of play. The 6-1 junior entered averaging 7.3 points, 5.9 rebounds and a team-leading 1.8 blocked shots."It definitely depleted our bench," Louisville coach Collen said.ASU's pressure defense did the rest. The Cardinals committed 13 of their 19 turnovers in the second half, while the Sun Devils had only four of their 13 after halftime."The combination of their pressure and us having a shorter bench than usual wore us down," Collen said. "They just keep it on you and keep it on you and keep it on you. We were gassed."Jazz Covington led Louisville (27-8) with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Angel McCoughtry, the Big East player of the year averaging 21.9 points and 10.6 rebounds, was held to seven points and three rebounds before fouling out with 57.9 seconds left. She played only 20 minutes because of foul trouble.January's layup with 2:58 remaining gave Arizona State a 58-56 lead, and the Sun Devils were on top the rest of the way. Covington's basket with 40 seconds left made it 61-58, but ASU scored the game's last six points to win going away.Not only did January score 22 points, she was the primary defender on McCoughtry."I definitely think that was the biggest key to winning," Turner Thorne said. "Briann did a great job denying her the ball."Seldom-used freshman Kala Faulkner, averaging 1.4 points and 4.8 minutes per game, scored five straight points to give Louisville a 50-36 lead with 11 1/2 minutes remaining.It was 54-42 when the Sun Devils came alive, scoring 14 straight points including five each by January and Jill Noe to take their first lead at 56-54 with 3:38 to play.Covington tied the game before January's basket put the Sun Devils ahead for good."I have to give ASU credit," said Covington, a senior playing her final game at Louisville. "It had a lot to do with their pressure defense. We really haven't had to deal with that kind of pressure a whole lot."Louisville scored the game's first nine points and led 19-4 before freshman Kayli Murphy made ASU's first field goal, a jumper from the foul line with 7 1/2 minutes left in the first half. That basket triggered a 19-9 run to finish the half, cutting the Cardinals' lead to 28-23.The game was played before an announced crowd of 1,209 at Galen Center -- the 10,258-seat arena on the Southern California campus that opened last fall. It was the second between ASU and Louisville; the Sun Devils beat the Cardinals 59-56 in the 1983-84 season.
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Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||21-52 (.404)||21-58 (.362)|
|3P Made-Attempted||3-12 (.250)||7-13 (.538)|
|FT Made-Attempted||13-19 (.684)||18-24 (.750)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||26 (0/0)||18 (0/0)|