Scarlet Knights End Lady Devils NCAA Run

Monday afternoon marked the completion of the 2006-2007 basketball season for the Arizona State Sun Devils after losing to the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, 64-45. The disappointing loss for the Sun Devils has the Scarlet Knights traveling to Cleveland, OH to compete against LSU in one of the Final Four match-ups in the NCAA tournament.

After a rough start with four loses in their first seven games, the Scarlet Knights quickly bounced back and have now created two upsets in the tournament with the fourth seated team defeating the first and third seated teams in their bracket.

Rutgers exploded on the court, challenging the Sun Devils both offensively and defensively. Randomly implementing full court coverage throughout the game and creating confusion on offense for their opponent, Rutgers controlled the momentum on the court.

With a successful three-pointer by Danielle Orsillo at the 13:58 mark the Sun Devils gained the lead for nearly two minutes before it was snatched away by Rutgers for the remainder of the game starting with Matee Ajavon's three-pointer. The Scarlet Knights led at the half, 31-25.

In position to catch their opponent, the ASU Sun Devils attempted to aggressively block go-to shooters, including Ajavon and Kia Vaughn and take more chances on offense to hit the open shots. However, this was not executed well.

Known to exhaust their opponents in the second half leaving the Sun Devils refreshed, due to excessive substitutions, this tactic did not faze the Scarlet Knights. Rutgers continued to hit baskets and block shots throughout the second half, while ASU was at a stale mate for a good portion of the time. Their intensity and control was not up to par despite their many attempts to get back on track.

In the second half, Epiphanny Prince increased the gap on the boards to ten points with a successful free-throw with 13:11 on the clock and it kept increasing until the final buzzer. The largest gap was 22 points, which occurred multiple times throughout the second half.

Ajavon scored a team-high 20 points, followed by Vaughn with 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Prince made 10 points and similarly grabbed 10 rebounds. Briann January had a team-high 12 points for the Devils, while Aubree Johnson paced ASU with five rebounds.

Though this was not the picture perfect ending for seniors and life long friends Emily Westerberg and Johnson, following both of their graduations Westerberg will be married on July 8 of this year to ex-Sun Devil football player Grayling Love with Johnson by her side as the maid of honor.

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