Women's basketball takes ASU Classic
Kimberly Brandon scored 12 of her game-high 16 points in the second half to help lead the Arizona State women's basketball team to a 77-54 win over Illinois State in the championship game of the ASU Classic.
Brandon, who earned tournament MVP honors after averaging 14 points and seven rebounds in ASU's wins over Eastern Washington and Illinois State, was 8-10 shooting for the game, including 6-7 in the second half.
After recording 18 assists in Friday's win over Eastern Washington, the Sun Devils had 22 on Saturday. Leading the way was Alex Earl, who had a career-best eight assists.
ASU (6-1) held Illinois State (4-3) more than 17 points below its scoring average (71.7 ppg) coming into Saturday's game.
The Sun Devils dominated on both ends of the floor during the early stages of the game, using a 14-2 run to take a 20-4 run seven minutes into the game.
ASU opened the game with a strong shooting performance as its made 10 of its first 14 shots (.714) while limiting the Redbirds to 15 percent (2-13).
Illinois State slowly got back into the game over the last 13 minutes of the first half, getting as close as 33-24 before eventually going into the locker room down by 11, 37-26.
Kali Bennett, who was joined by Pickens on the ASU Classic All-Tournament Team, led the Sun Devils with seven points and five rebounds in the first half.
Illinois State shot 31 percent in the first half, however it was able to stay in the game by making all nine of its free throws.
The Sun Devils opened the second half with a 14-5 scoring flurry to extend their advantage to 51-31. Pickens accounted for nine points during the scoring run.
Later in the half it was Brandon who got the hot hand as she scored eight straight points within a span of 1:32 to give the Sun Devils a 71-49 lead with under five minutes remaining.
Saturday's win gave the Sun Devils their 10th ASU Classic Tournament title in the last 11 years. It was also ASU's fourth win in five lifetime meetings against the Redbirds, who were represented by Candace Sykes (13 points, seven rebounds, four steals on Saturday) on the ASU Classic All-Tournament team
The Sun Devils return to action on Tuesday when they host Cal State Fullerton. Game time is 6:30 p.m. at Wells Fargo Arena.