Lady Devils Capture Verizon ASU Classic

The Arizona State University Sun Devils topped Northern Arizona University in the Verizon Wireless ASU Classic Championship game, 85-72.

The Lady Devils played great defense and had a good offensive night against opponent NAU. The women really came together and played not just for the win, but for their absent teammates.

Although Senior Aubree Johnson, along with Senior Emily Westerberg and Junior Reagan Pariseau, were missing this evening as they attended the service for the death of Johnson's brother, they were on the minds of their team.

With just one upperclassman heading the way, Senior Jill Noe ultimately became the alternative leader for the Devils this evening. "It was a fantastic opportunity for her to step up," said Coach Turner Thorne. "Not only with basketball, but just in a leadership capacity and she was outstanding. . . Just her rebounding and her leadership presence was huge for us." This athletic individual finished with a career high 11 assists and 17 points and nine rebounds.

However, it was not just Noe that stood out this evening. Both Sophomore Kirsten Thompson and Sophomore Danielle Orsillo scored career high 19 point games a piece. Briann Johnson finished well with 13 points and Freshman Dymond Simon had nine points and tied her career high with five assists. January and Thompson were also named to the Tournament Team this evening, while Orsillo was named the Tournament MVP.

While the Devils were able to hold NAU at a 39% shooting accuracy until the half, they came back and answered with 55% in the second half. But, ASU was able to hold themselves ahead at a 59% shooting accuracy in the last half, giving them the advantage.

Though Arizona State played well, the disconnect on defense by NAU in the second half of the game was beneficial for the Devils, at one point leading by 18. The Devils also learned of their tremendous depth. "All the great teams in the country have depth," said Coach Turner Thorne and now ASU has it too.

The Lady Devils played well tonight, but NAU still had some strong players coming at them the entire game. Laura Dinkins, who played for 4o minutes, scored 15 points and 13 rebounds while Alyssa Wahl finished with 18 points and hit the top all-time spot for NAU with 645 rebounds. However, ASU was able to shut down NAU's top scorer, Kim Winkfield, who scored 23 points on Friday against Eastern Michigan and a mere six points this evening.

"This was a very challenging situation, very challenging week for us and [finished with] a story book ending," said Coach Turner Thorne. ". . . What my team did today in my mind is really special."

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