4:00 PM ET, January 20, 2008
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- Stanford had overcome a halftime deficit three times this year.So after falling behind Arizona State by 11 at intermission, the Cardinal knew exactly what to do.Led by star senior Candice Wiggins, who scored 13 of her 18 points in the second half, the Cardinal (No. 6 ESPN/USA Today, No. 7 AP) rallied for a 60-56 victory over the Sun Devils (No. 25 ESPN/USA Today) on Sunday."We've been in this situation before," said Wiggins, whose 17.6-point average leads the team. "We really pulled together."Jayne Appel added 16 points and Kayla Pedersen, a freshman from nearby Fountain Hills, Ariz., had 12 for Stanford (16-3, 6-2 Pac-10). The Cardinal have won four straight after they were swept at UCLA and USC two weeks ago, and the victory moved the Cardinal into second place in the Pac-10, two games behind California. The Bay Area rivals meet Saturday in Palo Alto."I thought our team showed some heart," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. "We showed some toughness, and we stayed together really well. I'm really proud of how we did on the road."Briann January scored 20 points and Kayli Murphy had 12 rebounds for Arizona State (11-7, 5-2), which lost to California (No. 9 ESPN/USA Today, No. 8 AP) on Thursday and was swept at home in a Pac-10 weekend series for the first time since January 2003."ASU tradition is to win at home," Murphy said. "We almost never lose at home. To do this, we almost shame our tradition. we're just going to learn from this."Six of the Sun Devils' seven losses have come against ranked teams. Coach Charli Turner Thorne said her team needs to show more toughness, especially at the end of games."We were just not tough-minded enough to win this basketball game," said Turner Thorne, a Stanford alum who fell to 4-22 against her alma mater while at ASU.The Sun Devils lost for the first time in five games with Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano serving as a guest coach. Napolitano wore a maroon and yellow ASU jacket and sat on the Sun Devils bench.On a day its shots weren't falling, the Cardinal relied on defense. Stanford limited Arizona State to five second-half field goals, and the Sun Devils shot 34.5 percent from the floor for the game.Arizona State took a 31-20 lead halftime lead, a season first-half scoring low for Stanford. Baffled by Arizona State's 3-2 zone, Stanford had nearly as many turnovers (7) as baskets (8) at halftime.At halftime, VanDerveer urged her players to be more aggressive defensively, and the Cardinal opened the second half with a 19-7 run."I think the run at the beginning of the second half gave us confidence and maybe shook their confidence a little bit," VanDerveer said.Wiggins played a big role in the comeback. With ASU leading 38-34 midway through the second half, Wiggins stole a pass and raced downcourt for a lay-up, drawing a foul on Jill Noe. Wiggins made the free throw to cut the lead to 38-37."We count on Candice to make spectacular plays, and every game she does," VanDerveer said.Wiggins scored six points in the final 3:24. But the Cardinal needed help from others to survive a late upset bid in front of a season-high Wells Fargo Arena crowd of 8,516.Stanford led 57-51 with 47 seconds to play when ASU's Dymond Simon hit a short jumper and January nailed a 3-pointer to slice the lead to 57-56.Pedersen hit 1-of-2 free throws to give the Cardinal a 58-56 lead with 17 seconds remaining. After January missed a lay-up, Jeannette Pohlen made two free throws with 5 seconds left to ice the win."This is a huge confidence-builder for our team," Wiggins said. "We know how great of a team we are, but you've still got to come out on the road and show that."The victory gives the Cardinal some momentum heading into next week's game against the Golden Bears.VanDerveer said her team has plenty to work on in the next week. The Cardinal will start with their shooting.The Cardinal shot 16 percent (3-of-18) from beyond the arc and 60 percent (9-of-15) from the free-throw line. Both figures are well below Stanford's season averages -- 29.6 percent from beyond the arc and 69.2 percent from the free-throw line."I'm proud of our team for battling," VanDerveer said. "But in order to really take our game to the next level, we have to shoot a better percentage from the three and a better percentage from the free-throw line. We have to make that commitment."
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Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||24-57 (.421)||19-53 (.358)|
|3P Made-Attempted||3-18 (.167)||5-14 (.357)|
|FT Made-Attempted||9-14 (.643)||13-15 (.867)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||17 (0/0)||18 (0/0)|