Lady Devils Watch Another Game Slip Away

It seems like a broken record, on more than one count. The Arizona State Women's basketball team held a big lead in the second half once again, but couldn't hold on. The other part of that broken track is ASU's inability to beat the Stanford Cardinal. The 8th ranked Cardinal used a 38-21 run to come back to give the Devils a heartbreaking 64-61 loss on Friday night at Wells Fargo Arena.

ASU hasn't had much luck against one of the best women's programs in the country and they haven't defeated Stanford since 2005. Charli Turner Thorne has won just four times against the Cardinal since taking over the program in 1995.

The early part of the game was a back and forth affair, but ASU seemed to have the game in control, but couldn't extend their lead mainly due to missed free throws.

Becca Tobin's jumper with 10:51 to go in the first half gave ASU a 17-11 lead, but just like that Stanford closed the gap to 17-16 on a layup by Jillian Harmon.

A layup by Kayla Pedersen with 4:41 to play in the first gave Stanford the lead at 22-21, but ASU then snapped off a 10-3 run to close the half and the Devils went into the break up 31-24.

The only three previous times that Stanford had trailed at the half this season the Cardinal ended up falling to Baylor, Duke and Tennessee. It looked like that trend could continue as the Devils came out of the locker room with a 6-0 run and a Dymond Simon jumper gave ASU a 37-24 lead. Another jumper by Simon gave ASU its biggest lead at 40-26 with 17:16 to play.

Stanford star Jayne Appel then went to the bench with four fouls and it seemed like everything was going ASU's way.

Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer didn't waste much time bringing her senior back into the game. ASU then tried too much to foul out Appel and then scoring became a problem for ASU. The Devils couldn't get anything going and it was just the window Stanford needed to make a comeback.

ASU kept its lead at 11 when Appel was on the bench and she checked back in with ASU leading 44-33 and 15:10 on the clock.

In just over ten minutes after rejoining the action, Appel scored seven points in a 20-8 Stanford run that was capped by a Harmon jumper that gave the Cardinal a 53-52 lead. Kayla Pedersen hit a three right after and Stanford led 56-52 with exactly four minutes left.

If you could get past the fact that the Sun Devils had blown a 14 point lead, the ending of this one was outstanding. Dymond Simon hit a shot out of a timeout to cut the Stanford lead to two, but Appel answered on the other end to make it 58-54.

Briann January then connected for a critical shot with 3:14 to go and Stanford's lead was 58-56 heading to the media timeout.

After an Appel turnover, Sybil Dosty was fouled on the other end and made one of two to cut the lead to 58-57. Another Stanford turnover gave ASU the ball back and Dymond Simon scored to give ASU the lead back at 59-58 with 1:54 to play.

Kayli Murphy fouled Pedersen on the other end, but she missed both free throws. Jayne Appel got the offensie rebound however, but missed her layup. The Devils still couldn't get the rebound as Jillian Harmon pulled it down and scored to give Stanford the lead at 60-59 with 1:09 to play.

After a timeout, Kayli Murphy pulled up around the foul line and scored with 53 seconds left and ASU was back in front at 61-60. But Fountain Hills native Kayla Pedersen scored what was the game winning bucket at the other end, laying one up and in with 34 seconds left to give Stanford a 62-61 lead.

ASU called timeout, but turned the ball over on the inbound and were force to foul Harmon. Harmon made just one of two and ASU trailed by two with 19 seconds left.

Danielle Orsillo rushed an off balance shot on the other end that fell off no good and Pedersen was sent to the free throw line to try and ice the game. She made just one of two and gave the Devils a sliver of hope, but Simon's three for the tie at the buzzer was no good and Stanford was victorious.

Harmon scored 18 points and 10 rebounds to lead the way for Stanford and Pedersen had 17. Briann January led the way for ASU with 21 points and Dymond Simon had 11 for the Devils.

Just like at Nebraska, ASU couldn't hold a lead. As the San Antonio Spurs are to the Phoenix Suns, Stanford is to the Sun Devils and ASU just couldn't shake that monkey off their backs on Friday.

As crushing as the defeat was to the Devils, they can't sulk for too long, because another top ten team is coming to town. The #9 Cal Golden Bears will hit Wells Fargo on Sunday with tipoff set for 2PM.

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