Devils Blow Lead, Fall to Nebraska

If you tuned into the early part of Sunday afternoon's contest, you would have thought that the Arizona State Sun Devil Women's Basketball team coasted to an easy victory on the road against Nebraska. A bad second half let the Cornhuskers back in the game and then snatch victory right from the Devils, winning 62-58.

The loss leaves ASU 0-3 against the Big 12, already losing at Oklahoma and at Texas. In the beginning, it looked as if ASU (8-4) would have no problem winning in Lincoln. Just seven minutes into the game, Nebraska (9-3) had just one point and ASU lead 10-1.

A jumper by Danielle Orsillo with 10:38 left in the first half capped a 8-0 run and gave the Sun Devils an 18-2 lead and it looked as if Charli Turner Thorne's bunch was in complete control of the game.

But Nebraska refused to go away and used the rest of the half to cut the lead to single digits before the break. ASU's offense couldn't sustain its early success and scored just 8 points in the final 10 minutes of the half, allowing the Huskers to get back in the game. A three pointer by Kaitlyn Burke closed the half on a 17-8 Nebraska run and ASU's lead was just 28-19 at the break.

Nebraska came out of the locker room and continued over the momentum they had gained at the end of the first half. Yvonne Turner hit a three on the Husker's opening possession and a jumper by Cory Montgomery plus a free throw by Dominique Kelley opened the half on a 6-0 run and ASU's lead was just 28-25.

The Devils looked as if they were going to thwart Nebraska's run and take back control with an 11-4 run and Kayli Murphy's jumper at 15:41 pushed ASU's lead back to double digits at 39-29. But Yvonne Turner answered again, hitting a three pointer that stopped the run and got Nebraska rolling again.

The Huskers responded with an 11-4 run of their own and a jumper by Catheryn Redmon cut the Devils lead back to three with 8:30 left.

The Devils kept trying to put the game away, but couldn't. Kate Engelbrecht's bucket with 4:41 to play gave ASU a 52-46 lead, but Nebraska wouldn't die easy.

Kaitlyn Burke's jumper with 3:11 left cut the lead to 56-55 and Dymond Simon's shot on the other end was blocked by Catheryn Redmon leading to a layup by Turner that gave Nebraska its first lead with 2:48 to play.

After a thirty second timeout by Turner Thorne, the teams traded turnovers before Briann January was fouled sending the senior to the line. January sunk both free throws and gave ASU a 58-57 lead with 1:48 left.

Cory Montgomery's shot tilted the lead back to the Huskers with 1:35 left and Nebraska got the ball back after a missed shot by January. But Montgomery missed a three and gave the Devils hope.

On that possession, Dymond Simon took an off-balance shot that was no good, but Kayli Murphy grabbed the offensive rebound. Instead of backing it out and holding for the last shot, Murphy forced up a shot that was partially blocked by Turner and missed everything. Nebraska hit both free throws and increased their lead to three with 18 seconds left. January's attempt to tie was no good and the Huskers held on for a come from behind 62-58 win.

Danielle Orsillo led the way for ASU with 16 points and Sybil Dosty added 14 points and 11 rebounds. Briann January struggled for really the first time this season and shot just 1-10 and had just 5 points. ASU shot just 38.7% and the team that is second in three point percentage in the NCAA, shot just 3-10 from beyond the arc.

ASU must put this behind them quickly, because their non-conference schedule is over and they open the Pac-10 with the conference's strongest two teams. #8 Stanford comes into Wells Fargo Arena on Friday evening and #9 Cal will be in Tempe on Sunday. If ASU doesn't get over this loss fast, they could be staring at an 8-6 record and a 0-2 conference start.

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