Lady Sun Devils Suffer Devastating Loss

ASU's women's basketball team has fought adversity all season long. Now they are going to have to do it again. Not only did the Devils lose for the 25th straight time at Maples Pavilion, but they suffered an even greater loss. Leading scorer Dymond Simon was lost for the season with another ACL injury and ASU couldn't overcome it and fell to Stanford 77-68 on Saturday.

What was on the line on Saturday was the Pac 10 Championship. If ASU could win and extend its winning streak to 16 games, they would have clinched a share of the title with the Cardinal. But with Simon going down at the 9:30 mark of the first half, it was an uphill battle that the Devils just couldn't win against the #2 team in the country.

"We're just completely devastated," said ASU Head Coach Charli Turner Thorne, "It's not even about the winning and losing. The kid has already been through this. To do it this late, and when it affects her for next season, you just feel so bad about it."

A layup by Lauren Lacey gave ASU its last lead of the day with 15:52 to play in the first half at 10-9. A layup by Simon cut the Cardinal lead to 13-12, but then Stanford rattled off a 9-0 run to take control of the game at 22-12 on a layup by Jane Appel.

Threes by Simon and January kept ASU close, but Stanford still led by nine with under ten minutes to play in the half when Simon exited with her injury.

The Devils certainly didn't die easy, even with their leading scorer on crutches. A jumper by Sybil Dosty with 2:30 to play in the half cut the one time 12-point Cardinal lead to 36-31. But Jeanette Pohlen drilled a three on the other end to stretch the lead back to nine. Dosty cut the halftime lead to 39-33 on a layup, but ASU still trailed by six at the intermission.

Stanford was able to execute against a tough Arizona State defense in the first half and shot 53.3% from the field.

A three from senior Kate Engelbrecht with 17:53 to play cut the Cardinal lead to five and Danielle Orsillo's jumper cut the lead to 47-43. The Cardinal answered with a 6-0 run to stretch the lead back up to nine with 15 minutes to play.

Stanford blew the game open with a critical 9-0 run that was capped by a three point play by Appel, who converted the free throw to make it 61-45 Cardinal with 10:21 to play.

ASU couldn't cut much into the lead until it was too late. Dosty's layup with 1:51 to play got it under double digits, but ASU couldn't cut it under six the rest of the way.

Jane Appel was too much inside for Stanford and she helped the Cardinal dominate ASU on the boards. The junior scored 29 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to help lead Stanford to another Pac 10 title. Stanford outrebounded ASU 43 to 29 and grabbed 17 offensive rebounds.

Briann January led the Devils with 19 points and dished out five assists. Danielle Orsillo and Sybil Dosty were also in double figures with 12 and 10 respectively.

For Stanford, the win means its 9th straight Pac 10 Championship and they will head to Los Angeles as the #1 seed once again for the Pac 10 Tournament.

The Sun Devils end their regular season with a 23-7 record and finish 15-3 in the Pac 10. ASU closed their season by winning 15 of their last 16 and will hold the #3 seed in the Pac 10 tournament.

Cal and ASU tied for the second behind Stanford, but the Bears have a better overall record than the Devils and that will give them the #2 seed because the two teams split their head to head matchups.

With the #3 seed, Arizona State will face the 6th seeded USC Trojans at 11 AM on Friday in the Pac 10 Quarterfinals. It will be an interesting matchup, because the tournament will be held on USC's home floor, the Galen Center. ASU is 2-0 against the Women of Troy this season, defeating USC 83-71 in Tempe and 72-69 at the Galen Center.

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