"Right now, this team is definitely jelling," Turner Thorne said. "We're absolutely playing our best basketball of the year."
The Devils led by seven at the half before watching the Women of Troy start the second half with a 12-1 run. The Women of Troy turned a 32-25 deficit into a 37-33 lead with 13:52 to play. The Devils missed their first seven shots and were outrebounded 10-2 during that stretch.
Turner Thorne called a timeout to calm her team down.
"I basically told them to take a deep breath," she said of her players. "We felt a slight sense of panic. We came out slow. We gave up our lead, and all of a sudden we were trying to get it all back on one shot."
"I just told them that we needed to work the ball in half-court so we can break the defense down and have a chance to get a second shot. We were getting great looks but we weren't finishing, so we had to get stops at the other end."
Following the timeout, ASU rattled off an 18-2 run that would be the deciding factor in the game. Jill Noe scored nine of her 11 points in the stretch that eventually gave ASU a 51-39 lead with 7:03 to play. USC would cut the lead to 10, before Dymond Simon connected on a jumper and free throws by Becca Tobin would give ASU its largest lead of the game at 58-44.
"We've had a season of being behind and having close games, so we're not a team that gets easily rattled," said Turner Thorne.
"When we made our run in the second half, we really pulled together."
Defending Pac-10 Player of the Week Lauren Lacey led the Devils with 14 points, while Kirsten Thompson added 10. USC, who was missing their leading scorer Nadia Parker with a knee injury, was led by Camille LeNoir's game high 19 points.
The Devils now will travel to San Jose next weekend for the Pac-10 Tournament where they will be the 3rd seed. ASU will face the Washington Huskies next Saturday at 11 AM in the Pac-10 Quarterfinals.
Lady Sun Devils Close Out Season with Win
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