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Women's hoops defeats UC Riverside in season opener

November 11, 2011

Kimberly Brandon scored 11 points and grabbed seven rebounds as Arizona State opened its season with a 66-46 win over UC Riverside on Friday.

Micaela Pickens and Kali Bennett added eight points each for the Sun Devils, who shot 51 percent from the field (37-53) while limiting UC Riverside to 29 percent (14-48) for the game.

ASU had overwhelming advantages in both points in the paint (42-8) and bench scoring (27-9) as it won its season opener for the 13th time in the last 14 years.

Deja Mann, who had a game-high five assists, scored four points early as the Sun Devils jumped out to an 8-2 lead three minutes into the game. The Highlanders would get within three (10-7) before the Sun Devils used a 27-8 run to take a commanding 37-15 lead following Jada Blackwell's 3-pointer with 1:51 left.

Eight different Sun Devils scored during the scoring run led by Brandon who had six points.

Pickens led the Sun Devils in both scoring (8 points) and rebounding (5) in the first half while Brandon added six points and three assists. As a team the Sun Devils shot 58 percent in the first half, accumulating 12 assists on their 18 baskets.

Defensively, ASU limited the Highlanders to only 24 percent shooting during the first 20 minutes as it held UC Riverside without a field goal during one stretch of more than 12 minutes.

Trailing by 21 points at the half (41-20) the Highlanders came out and scored the first four points of the second half to get within 17. ASU would counter with a 14-4 run of its own to take its largest lead of the game, 55-27, following Mann's three-point play with 13:27 remaining.

The Highlanders would get no closer than 19 points the rest of the game.

TreShont Nottingham (14 points) and Jessica Ogunnorin (13 points) combined to score 27 of UC Riverside's 46 points.

The Sun Devils return to action on Sunday (2 p.m. MT) when they go on the road to face Colorado State. The game can be heard live on 1440 AM KAZG.