Lady Devils Tip Trojans

In a defense dominated game, the Arizona State Women's Basketball team victoriously exited Wells Fargo Arena after their 62-54 win over the University of Southern California on Sunday evening.

The game was highlighted by offensive struggles for both ASU (18-2, 8-1 Pac-10) and USC (11-8, 5-4). ASU led USC in the first half in field goal percentages, 41-28, yet the score remained at a close 31-27 ASU lead.

USC was unable to get their top scorer and the Pac-10 scoring leader Shay Murphy going. The senior chipped in just 11 points and struggled from the field converting 5 of 24 shots. "Offensively we struggled because of them (ASU)," said USC Head Coach Mark Trakh. "They did a tremendous defensive job on Shay. "

Turnovers were also high for both ASU and USC, with 22 and 26 consecutively. However, ASU used this to their advantage, giving them multiple opportunities on offense. A sliding steal by sophomore Guard Danielle Orsillo followed by a quick toss to senior forward Emily Westerberg, landed ASU another two points on the board in the first half. Similarly, a steal by sophomore guard Kate Engelbrecht, from the high scoring USC point guard, Jamie Hagiya, gave Orsillo the opportunity to hit an easy three-point jump shot a few minutes later.

"We had two good defensive games in a week," said Coach Turner Thorne. "A win in a half court game in noteworthy." However, although the Lady Devils have improved on defense, this was not a particularly good game for the team for another reason.

A season ending injury to freshman guard Dymond Simon has left the team in a vulnerable position. The mid-game injury occurred during an offensive foul, damaging Simon's anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee. After being helped off the floor and into the training room, Simon returned to the bench in the second half wearing a brace and being supported by crutches. Her entrance was greeted by appreciative applause from fans and players within the arena. "We lost Dymond Simon for the season. It's a big whole to fill," said ASU Head Coach Charli Turner-Thorne. "They (the remainder of the team) will have to step up. Our margin of error is gone."

Though disappointed by the loss of a team member, Coach Turner Thorne also expressed her confidence knowing she still has a great team and the depth needed to win games. It is just a matter of evaluating the situation and adjusting to new ones.

"Dymond is going to be missed a lot," said sophomore teammate Briann January, with tears welling in her eyes. Nonetheless, ASU were able to put that very unpleasant event aside and went on to play well the remainder of the game. January and Westerberg were the high scorers with 12 and 10 points respectively, while Senior Aubree Johnson had a game high 12 rebounds. However, USC out rebounded ASU 46-36,

Though ASU struggled on offense they finished with a 79% shooting accuracy from the free throw line and shot the ball from the field at 44% clip. Interestingly, both in the first half and second half ASU scored 31 points, while USC followed with 27 in each period.

The Arizona State Women's Basketball team is currently at 51-3 at Wells Fargo Arena Since the 2003-2004 Season and has won 17 of their last 18 Pac-10 games.

This coming week the 10th ranked Lady Devils will face off against No. 21 Cal on Thursday and No. 9 Stanford on Saturday.

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