Women's Hoops Wins Wells Fargo Holiday Classic

Nov. 30, 2002

TEMPE, Ariz. - Sophomore Kylan Loney scored a career-high 20 points to lead the Arizona State women's basketball team to the Wells Fargo Holiday Classic championship with an 81-65 victory over Wisconsin-Milwaukee Saturday night at Wells Fargo Arena.

Loney earned tournament MVP honors as the Sun Devils (4-0) won their second straight Wells Fargo Holiday Classic title and tied the school record with 12 straight home victories. That 12-game winning streak, which dates back to the last eight home games of last season, ties the school record set over the 1981-82 and 1982-83 seasons.

Joining Loney on the all-tournament team for the Sun Devils were junior Jen Albert and freshman Amy Denson. Wisconsin-Milwaukee senior guard Jessica Wilhite, Oklahoma State senior guard Shelby Hutchens and Portland State senior guard Nikki Petticrew rounded out the Wells Fargo Holiday Classic All-Tournament team.

Arizona State held a lead for most of the first half, taking a five-point advantage four minutes into the game when sophomore Lauren Stagg got a steal and a layup to give ASU a 9-4 lead with 15:42 to play. ASU's lead ranged from five to seven points over the next eight minutes until the Sun Devils went on a 9-0 run to take a 26-12 lead with 6:43 to play when junior Iman Young knocked down a three-pointer. The Panthers cut the lead to six points on two occasions over the final minutes of the half, but ASU scored the final five points of the half to take a 38-27 halftime lead into the locker room.

The Sun Devils got balanced scoring in the first half with nine of the 10 players who got into the game putting points on the board, led by Loney who had eight points including a pair of three-pointers. Stagg and freshman YoVanna Rosenthal each had four steals in the first 20 minutes for the Sun Devils who had a total of 12 takeaways in the first half.

In the second half, Wisconsin-Milwaukee cut the lead to four points over the first six minutes and got to within three points, 51-48, with 9:59 to play. Arizona State answered with a 10-2 lead, however, to regain a double-digit lead with a 61-50 advantage with 7:20 left. Sophomore Carrie Buckner scored four points and had a steal in that run for the Sun Devils. The Panthers got within eight points about two minutes later, but ASU outscored Wisconsin-Milwaukee 18-10 over the final minutes of the ball game, knocking down 9-of-12 free throws to come away with the 81-65 win and the Wells Fargo Holiday Classic title.

Loney led the Sun Devils with a career-high 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting, including a 4-of-6 effort from three-point land, and dished out four assists. Denson turned in 13 points, while Albert had 10 points, four rebounds and three assists. Buckner turned in another stellar game with eight points, five rebounds and three assists, while sophomore Lauren Stagg finished with eight points and a career-best five steals. Rosenthal also finished with five steals, and junior Iman Young dished out a team-high five assists.

For Wisconsin-Milwaukee, now 1-3 on the year, Wilhite paced the team with 24 points and six assists. Sophomore guard Teri Huff had 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting, while senior center Maria Viall chipped with 10 points and a game-high seven rebounds.

In the consolation game of the Wells Fargo Holiday Classic, Oklahoma State (1-4) downed Portland State (2-2) 68-51. Hutchens and senior guard Thia Willis each turned in 16 points for the victorious Cowgirls, while Petticrew had 12 points and nine rebounds for Portland State.

Arizona State returns to action Monday night for the first of back-to-back games against top 10 opponents, taking on eighth-ranked Georgia at 6 p.m. at Wells Fargo Arena.

On Saturday, Dec. 7, the Sun Devils will host the second of its top 10 opponents, playing host to No. 10 Notre Dame in the AstraZeneca Hoops for the Cure Classic II at Wells Fargo Arena. ASU will take on Notre Dame at 12 p.m., followed by a game between No. 6 Purdue and No. 9 Vanderbilt. Proceeds from the doubleheader will benefit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

For tickets to any of ASU's upcoming games, call the Arizona State ticket office at (480) 965-2381 or log on to ASU's official web site at www.thesundevils.com.

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