Lady Devils Complete Washington Sweep

There are some games that you simply must have if you want to be successful in the Pac-10; Saturday in Pullman was one of them for the Arizona State Women's Basketball team. Facing a team that had yet to win a conference game, the Lady Devils used a strong second half to propel past the Washington State 59-40 in front of 673 at Friel Court.

The Devils were led in the first half by the resurgent offense of Senior Jill Noe. Noe, who has struggled to find her offensive groove in Pac 10 play, hit her first five shots of the afternoon and scored 7 of her team-high 13 in the first half. Noe missed only one of her shot attempts on the day, an improvement from her 21% mark in the Pac 10.

Pullman always brings out the best in Noe, who went 7-7 at Friel Court last season.

"If I knew the answer, I would bottle it up and sell it," said Noe, "I have no idea. I just like this place. I got my shots out of our offense - where I normally take shots. I didn't do anything out of the ordinary."

"She is almost always perfect in Pullman," Head Coach Charli Turner Thorne said. "I can remember when Jill was a freshman, which was a little while ago, and she was here and we were in a one-possession game. Jill basically took over the game in the second half and down the stretch and hit the game-winning shot.

"She's just enjoyed playing here ever since. This was the perfect solution (for her), great timing. Now we're going to bring her home and keep it going."

ASU built an 11 point first half lead, before watching the pesky Cougars go on a 12-7 run in the last 6 minutes of the half to get within 6, trailing 30-24.

The Cougars continued their run into the second half, when a layup by Jasmine Williams cut the ASU lead to four. It looked like the Devils were going to have another second half nightmare, but they responded with a 19-4 run to control the game, as the Cougars wouldn't get within 15 points the rest of the way. Seven different Devils scored during the nine minute scoring run. The largest lead of the night was 21 with 1:49 to play after two free throws by Becca Tobin. The Devils controlled the second half despite turning it over 15 times.

"I think that our depth usually wears a lot of teams down," Turner Thorne said.

"We kept running, even though we did not convert in our transition game. We kept pushing it, and we kept pressure on team, just making them kind of dribble around and work. And I think that's why they missed open shots."

The Sun Devils played excellent defense, holding Washington State to just 31% from the field, and only 7% from behind the arc. The Devils also controlled the glass outrebounding Washington State by 21. ASU was led on the glass by Sybil Dosty and Kate Engelbrecht who both pulled down seven boards. Engelbrecht's seven boards were a career high for the junior.

The Cougars were led by Junior Katie Appleton who had a game-high 14 points.

The Devils return home to open up the second half of the Pac-10 season against Oregon State on Thursday. The Devils defeated the Beavers 69-60 in Corvallis on January 5th. Tipoff is set for 6:30 at Wells Fargo Arena.

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