Dosty Leads Lady Devils into Pac-10 Semifinal

The Washington Huskies were riding high heading into the Women's Pac-10 Tournament, fresh off a stunning 74-66 upset of #9 Cal last week. The Arizona State Sun Devils made sure that a similar upset wouldn't occur Saturday, using a strong first half to storm past the Huskies 83-64 at HP Pavilion in San Jose.

"It was a great team win," said ASU Head Coach Charli Turner Thorne, "I think we've really been playing our best basketball here down the stretch and really starting the game strong, which has been fun. You don't expect to have a 20-point lead in the post season."

The Huskies would hang with the Devils early, but the turning point would come at 9:57 to play in the first half. ASU held a six point lead over UW when Husky senior Emily Florence went to the bench with foul trouble. After Florence was forced to leave, ASU went on a 22-7 run to close out the half up 43-22.

The first half of play was probably one of the cleanest ASU has played all season long. Their passing was phenomenal and created open shots that they knocked down. ASU forced 12 Husky turnovers in the first have and only committed four of their own. Washington shot 45% in the first half but took only 20 shots, compared to the Devils' 33. ASU shot 57.6% in the half and out rebounded the Huskies 17-12. Lauren Lacey and Sybil Dosty led the way at halftime with eight points each.

The Huskies came out strong in the second half and eventually cut the Sun Devil lead to nine at 65-56. Dosty would score inside and senior Reagan Pariseau would hit a three to build ASU's lead back to 14 with 3:03 to play. After the three by Pariseau, the Devils were on cruise control the rest of the way, outscoring Washington 13-7.

"The second half we started a little bit slow, but honestly, we prepared for a one-possession game and that was a great luxury today," said Turner Thorne, "I thought we did a great job of holding off a very aggressive, talented Washington team, which we knew was not going to go away."

"They gave us their best push, a couple of them and we withstood them and stepped up and made some big plays to finish strong. It was our big goal. Sometimes we'll have a big half, but we really wanted to finish that game strong."

All five of ASU's starters finished in double figures, leading the way was Dosty, who had 17 points and 10 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the season. Briann January had 13 points and five assists and Lauren Lacey and Pariseau had 12 points apiece. Jill Noe was the fifth Sun Devil in double figures with 10 points, as ASU scored its highest point total of the season.

"The past few games we've had, things have been clicking for us, people have been working hard and we've been able to put two halves of basketball together," said Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year Briann January, "Being able to do that, you can just feel the confidence throughout the team and everybody knows that somebody is going to step it up any given night."

"You know you have your teammates there and know that anybody can hit a big shot, so that trust we have in each other gives us confidence."

Freshman Katelan Redmon led UW with 15 points and nine rebounds. Laura McLellan and Sammi Whitcomb also scored double figures for the Huskies, who ended their season at 13-18.

ASU advances to the semifinals of the Pac-10 tournament tomorrow afternoon at 1PM MST against the 9th ranked California Golden Bears, who snuck past Oregon 67-60 earlier today. Cal swept ASU in both meetings this season.

"We're very excited to get to play Cal again, especially the last game when we lost a game I thought we played well. We did have a two-minute stretch when we really let them go on a run, but other than that we were winning for a lot of the game," said Turner Thorne, "It will be an exciting opportunity for us to play a team like Cal, a top 10 team, one of the top teams in the country, here on a neutral floor."

Lauren Lacey and Sybil Dosty know the key to upsetting the Bears is stopping their dynamic duo and First-Team All Pac-10 forward Devanei Hampton and Ashley Walker.

"Cal has a great inside game and they've obviously been consistent over there the last few years they've been here in the Pac-10. Sybil and I are just going to approach it like we've got to get our work done down low," said Lacey, "We're both feeling confident right now and know that our teammates have our back no matter what. Cal has a great inside game; we just have to be ready to bring it tomorrow."

Dosty is excited for the challenge.

"I think with Cal it's going to come down to a big battle on the boards. For me it's really exciting, and I'm sure for Lauren also, they've got great rebounders and I think we're pretty decent rebounders also. I think at the same time it's a challenge, but it's also a lot of fun."

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