Women's hoops beats Cougars
Kimberly Brandon scored 15 of her career-high 21 points in the second half as the Arizona State women's basketball team overcame a 27 percent shooting effort to defeat Washington State 55-47 on Saturday.
With the win Arizona State (16-8, 8-6 Pac-10) recorded back-to-back wins for the first time since the opening weekend of the conference season. The Sun Devils also moved one-half game in front of USC (15-9, 7-6) for third place in the Pac-10 standings. USC hosts California tomorrow before traveling to Tempe to face the Sun Devils on Thursday.
Brandon, who was the only Sun Devil to score in double figures, recorded her fifth double-double of the season as she also added 10 rebounds and tied a career high with four steals in the win.
Rosetta Adzasu led Washington State (8-19, 6-9 Pac-10) with 11 points.
Despite their troubles on the offensive end, the Sun Devils did several things well that helped them stay within striking distance.
After allowing Washington State to shoot 53 percent from the floor (including 65 percent - 11-17 - from 3-point range) in a 70-65 loss to the Cougars last month in Tempe, the Sun Devil defense clamped down on Saturday as the Cougars shot 39 percent. Equally important was ASU's ability to force Washington State into an 18-percent effort (2-11) from beyond the arc.
Offensively, the Sun Devils committed a season-low 12 turnovers and although they had their troubles from the floor during the normal flow of the game, they made the most of their opportunities from the line where they shot 81 percent (21-26) for the game.
The Cougars led by as many as seven on two occasions, the second time coming after a free throw by Cougar center Carly Noyes gave Washington State a 39-32 lead with 8:20 remaining.
The game-changing run from the Sun Devils came after a basket by Cougar Ireti Amojo gave Washington State a 44-38 lead with 6:38 left. On the ensuing possession Brandon scored on a layup which began a 9-0 ASU scoring run. A 3-pointer by Dymond Simon capped the run, giving the Sun Devils a 47-44 lead.
After the Cougars tied the game at 47-47 with 2:01 left, Brandon took over as she scored ASU's next four points while also collecting a pair of steals and a rebound in the final two minutes.
Tenaya Watson, who scored all eight of her points from the line (8-8 FTs), connected on four free throws in the final 18 seconds to clinch the win for the Sun Devils, who allowed Washington State to score only three points and make one field goal over the last six-plus minutes of the game.
The Sun Devils return to action on Thursday (6:30 p.m.) when they host USC at Wells Fargo Arena.