Record Tenth Straight Win for ASU Women

Head coach Charli Turner Thorne knew it wasn't going to be easy heading into the Galen Center on Thursday night. The Women of Troy have the talent to be a top team, but they have been constantly hampered by injuries. USC (12-10, 5-6 Pac 10) gave the Sun Devils all they could handle, but ASU (18-6, 10-2) made history tonight as they held off USC 72-69.

It was just the second loss of the season for USC at the Galen Center. Their only other loss was to 4th ranked Duke in overtime early in the season.

"We know we have to win right now," ASU guard Dymond Simon said, "Every game is important, and this is just progress. We work really hard to win, and lately, we're doing it."

The game was back and forth at the start and ASU took their first lead on a pair of free throws by Dymond Simon with 13:15 to play in the 1st half. Briann January then hit a three and Kate Engelbrecht followed with a jumper that capped an 11-0 run and turned a four point deficit into a 15-8 lead.

After ASU led 20-13, USC stormed right back and closed the gap to 22-21 with 6:13 left in the half. ASU took a six point lead with 1:18 left in the half, but the Women of Troy hit their free throws to end the half and ASU took a 36-33 lead into the locker room.

The Women of Troy tied it on at 36-36 on a jumper by Briana Gilbreath with 19:14 left in the game. USC regained the lead with 16:05 left in the game when Gilbreath stole ASU's inbound pass and dished it to Hailey Dunham for the bucket and the Women of Troy led 44-43.

Back to back jumpers by Kayli Murphy gave ASU back the lead at 47-44 with 15:18 left. Heather Oliver tied the game up at 47-47 with a three with 13:30 to play. ASU regained a five point lead after Becca Tobin scored and Danielle Orsillo hit a three with 10:11 left.

The Women of Troy would hang around and eventually tied it up at 56-56 on a jumper by Kari LaPlante. Lauren Lacey quickly gave the Devils the lead back with a layup on the other end.

The Women of Troy continued the see-saw affair when Ashley Corral's three with 6:28 left gave USC a 59-58 lead.

Right back down on the other end, Danielle Orsillo nailed a three to regain the lead for the Devils at 61-59. Two free throws by Corral tied the score up and the teams traded missed baskets until Sybil Dosty was fouled with 5:00 to play. Dosty made the first and missed the second, but Becca Tobin got the rebound and scored to make it 64-61 Devils with 4:57 to play.

Corral's layup cut the lead to one, but Simon pushed it back to three with two free throws with 4:21 to play. Defense and free throws by Engelbrecht and January pushed that lead to 70-64 with 1:55 to play, but USC wasn't done yet.

Camille LaNoir stole the ball from Danielle Orsillo, drove down for a layup and Orsillo was called for an intentional foul. LeNoir made one of two free throws and ASU's lead was down to three with 1:20 to play.

LaNoir then missed a layup and Becca Tobin came down with the board for the Devils. Dymond Simon's turnover gave the Women of Troy hope. LeNoir hit a jumper to cut the lead to 70-69 with 15 seconds to play. January hit two clutch free throws and LeNoir's three to tie was no good and ASU held on for the win.

Simon led the Devils with 15 points and added three steals and three assists. Murphy, Orsillo and January all chipped in 10 points apiece; while Becca Tobin pulled down a career high 13 rebounds.

In contrary to last Thursday when she wasn't happy with her team's effort, Turner Thorne couldn't have been prouder of her team.

"I couldn't be happier or prouder of this team," said Turner Thorne, "USC is a very good team, and we knew we had to bring our A game, this might have been our 'A-minus' game, but that's OK. This is the time of year when everybody's got a sense of urgency right now, and the important thing is just to find a way to win."

The Devils will take their 10 game winning streak to Pauley Pavilion on Saturday to take on the UCLA Bruins (12-7, 6-5 Pac 10). ASU routed UCLA 68-44 in Tempe on January 15th. The Bruins dominated Arizona on Thursday, dropping the Wildcats 58-39. Tipoff is at 3PM on Saturday.

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