Devils Win, Simon takes MVP at ASU Classic

On the heels of their victory against Cal Poly, the Lady Sun Devils continued their winning ways and captured the championship of the ASU classic as they prevailed 55-40 over New Mexico. Dymond Simon led all players with 18 points and was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament held at Wells Fargo Arena.

"Defense!" exclaimed ASU head coach Charlie Turner Thorne. "It was truly Sun Devils defense tonight, I was really proud of my team. We continued to have some offensive blows, but I am not too concerned with that.

"It was a slow start for us, but I think we stayed poised, and through all the missed shots we were still playing great defense."

The Lady Sun Devils (5-2) were sluggish out of the gate and saw the Lobos (5-3) jump to an 11-7 lead. Once ASU adjusted, they engineered a 14-2 run to go down to the locker room at the half with a 25-15 edge.

In the second half, Simon rapidly helped her team go on a 10-0 run against New Mexico increasing ASU's lead to 39-17 as the maroon and gold coasted the rest of the way for a Saturday evening win. The Lobos committed 24 turnovers in the loss.

Simon scored a tournament total of 31 points and according to Turner-Thorne the senior truly defined herself with her performance this weekend.

"She was in the zone today, that's a champion," Turner Thorne noted. "She wasn't going to let us lose the game tonight. She penetrated in the zone and made things happen, she did a great job and is just deadly".

Simon however wasn't ready to take full credit for ASU's performance on Saturday. "It wasn't just me, we have been working on getting those three-point shots and it definitely paid off tonight," she said.

Two members of the Lady Sun Devils were named to the ASU Classic All-Tournament team. First was Tenaya Watson who had 5 points tonight, but fouled out late in the game. "She creates plays for us and we need to get a few more people involved with that," Turner Thorne stated.

Joining Watson was Kimberly Brandon who was the star of last night's win over Cal Poly and versus New Mexico had 8 points in a winning effort. "I like her size and I am really happy with her," Turner Thorne commented. "We will see Brandon in the post a lot more".

ASU welcomed back forward Becca Tobin who returned to the starting lineup after missing last night's game with a strained foot and contributed 6 points. The ASU coach was naturally glad to have the senior back and added that "(Becca) never wants to sit out ever again her whole career. Becca is a tough kid, she needs some rest. I know her ankle was hurting her tonight. She played great defense tonight."

The mental and physical fatigue was noticeable in ASU's game last night so the maroon and gold will now welcome a seven-day break until their Saturday home contest against Colorado State.

"This week will help the team to improve," Simon admitted. "This is good for us and a test that we need to go through. We need to learn to play through the fatigue."

"It will be great to get some good rest," Turner-Thorne agreed. "It just gets tougher from here."

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