Defense Leads Devils to 13th Straight

Everywhere you turn in the Arizona State locker room or anything that comes out of their mouth starts with defense. They want to always get back to playing "Sun Devil Defense". That defense held Washington to 8 first half points and cruised to a 55-32 victory at Wells Fargo Arena, their 13th straight.

"Defense, defense," said ASU Head Coach Charli Turner Thorne, "We'll take it. We played great defense. We expended a lot of energy to totally lock that team down, and I love it."

All week the Devils preached perimeter defense, especially on Husky guard Sami Whitcomb who torched ASU in Seattle. ASU held Whitcomb to just seven points on Thursday.

"We didn't give them an inch," said Turner Thorne "We can maybe count their clean looks for Kingma and Whitcomb on one hand."

"It was great perimeter defense. I thought Dymond was tremendous defensively. She set the tone by just working the players up top. That's what we need from her. That was some of her best ball pressure."

The 24th ranked Devils played great defense with a limited Briann January. The defending Pac 10 Defensive Player of the Year was questionable, but played 18 minutes with a bruised kidney.

Washington didn't get on the board for the first 10:19 of the game. The Devils had a double digit lead by that time and wouldn't relinquish that double digit lead the rest of the way.

ASU (21-6, 13-2 Pac 10) started the game on a 19-2 run, keyed by senior Kate Engelbrecht's seven points.

"For the past two weeks, defense has been our focus," said Engelbrecht "We have posters all around our locker room saying, 'Defense first.' We've really been focusing on it, so it was nice to see our hard work paid off in a game."

Washington (6-20, 2-14 Pac 10) shot an astounding 8.7% (2 for 23) in the first half. The eight points allowed was a school record for the Devils defense in one half by one point.

Danielle Orsillo led the Devils with 10 points and added 3 assists in just 17 minutes of play. Kate Engelbrecht added nine, while Kayli Murphy and Sybil Dosty each chipped in seven.

Engelbrecht played the most minutes out of anyone with 25, the blowout allowed Turner Thorne to give rest to players, especially January.

One home game remains for the Devils and it should be an emotional one. ASU fans will get one last chance to send off six seniors, including one that could go down as the best player in Sun Devil history, January.

Senior day festivities will be held off until after the game on Saturday against Washington St. Tipoff is at 4PM on Saturday against the Cougars, who ASU beat 66-47 in Pullman earlier this season.

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