Sun Devils fall short of sweet 16
Chante Black scored a career-high 26 points and had 13 rebounds, and third-seeded Duke never trailed in a 67-59 victory over Arizona State on Tuesday night. Briann January scored 17 points and Lauren Lacey 13 for Arizona State (22-11). The Sun Devils were seeking to reach the round of 16 for the third time in four years.
After averaging only 10 turnovers over its previous two games, Arizona State had 10 at halftime and finished with 16.
Duke led 29-28 before a three-point play by Joy Cheek and a layup by Black sparked an 18-5 run that made it 47-34 with 11:19 to go.
But Arizona State made eight free throws in a 12-4 spurt that got the Sun Devils to 56-53. It was 59-57 before Black made two foul shots, and she added two more free throws with 29 seconds remaining to give Duke a six-point cushion.
Lacey, who often had the task of guarding Black, said, "She is an amazing post and all-around player who works extremely hard on both ends of the court."
Black had 12 points and nine rebounds in the first half, but the Blue Devils staggered into halftime with a 27-24 lead after going up by 10 with 4 minutes elapsed.
Arizona State got off to a slow start. After Thomas scored off the opening tap, the Sun Devils committed two turnovers, missed all four field-goal tries and missed two free throws while falling in an 8-0 hole.
It was 10-4 before baskets by Wanisha Smith and Black gave Duke a double-digit lead. But the Blue Devils scored only four points over the next 7 minutes, allowing ASU to close to 18-16.