Cal Runs Past Lady Devils

The Arizona State Women's Basketball team saw this weekend as critical in determining the Pac-10 champion. The first test of the spring semester was Thursday night and the Devils didn't pass. Arizona State fell to the 9th ranked California Golden Bears 64-51 in front of 3,426 at Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe.

The Devils fell behind 16-0 in the first half, and didn't score their first points until 8:01 into the first half on a lay up by Jill Noe, her only points of the game.

"Against a team as good as Cal, you don't want to dig that big of hole," said Head Coach Charli Turner Thorne, "I'm perplexed; we did not practice like this. The only thing I can ever come up with as a coach, when something like this happens is that we just tried too hard. We put too much pressure on ourselves."

Starting slow has become a habit for the Sun Devils (11-6, 5-1 Pac-10).

"We do that a lot, and that's not a good thing," said Forward Lauren Lacey, "We've done that the majority of our Pac-10 games, obviously against a Top 10 team and the #1 team in the Pac-10 at the current time you can't do that."

Leading the Bears (16-2, 7-0 Pac-10) to their fast start was defending Pac-10 Player of the Year Devanei Hampton, who is just recovering from a knee injury. Hampton scored 17 of her game high 28 points in the first half.

" After the first three shots, the basket just kept getting bigger and bigger, I just kept going at them because that's what Coach told us to do," said Hampton, "The energy that my team was giving me I was just feeding off of that, it was just everything."

After trailing 34-14, Arizona State responded by going on a 7-0 run to end the first half down by 13. A three pointer by Regan Pariseau, and then a lay up by Dymond Simon cut the Bears' lead to eight early in the second half. Yet every time the Devils would make a surge, Cal would extend its lead back to double digits. ASU would only get as close as four points in the second half.

"We made a push," said Guard Briann January, "Charli said it in one of our timeouts, we made a push and then we started letting up again. It's a matter of just sustaining that push. We should have used the support of our fans because they were incredible tonight, and we didn't."

Arizona State's offense was slowed by a measly 32% shooting percentage. Most of ASU's shooting woes had to do with poor shot selection.

"Charli was not happy about our shot selection. We definitely have to pick our shots more wisely," said January.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Cal took good shots, and shot 47% from the field. Cal shot 58% in the first half, and they found themselves getting easy lay up after easy lay up.

"We knew that we had to take good shots," said Cal Head Coach Joanne Boyle, "You go back and watch tape, when we fade; we take bad shots, and when we take bad shots they are rebounding and running. I think we did a really good job, Devanei especially, of taking really good shots."

The fast start was good enough to lead the Bears to their first win in Tempe since 1999.

"It's never an easy game with ASU. I mean it's just not. It's nice to get out of Tempe with a win," said Boyle.

The Devils must now rebound and get ready for an equally tough match up with #7 Stanford on Sunday. Tip-off is at 2 P.M. at Wells Fargo Arena.

"You take what we learned from this game and put it towards the Stanford game. You don't want to dwell on a loss like this. It's still early in the Pac-10," said January.

Her teammate Lauren Lacey agreed.

"We have two days to prepare for Stanford, and we have to figure out how to start strong."

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