Sun Devils Stun No. 19 Wildcats

Jan 23, 2003

TEMPE, Ariz. - Freshman Jill Noe scored 22 points, and the Arizona State women's basketball team held No. 19 Arizona 20 points below its Pac-10-leading average in a 73-58 upset Thursday night at Wells Fargo Arena.

The Sun Devils improved to 12-6 overall and 4-5 in the Pac-10 with the win, the team's second over a ranked opponent, while the 19th-ranked Wildcats fell to 12-5 and 6-3 in the Pac-10. ASU also notched its third straight win over Arizona at Wells Fargo Arena and its fifth in the last six meetings with the Wildcats.

Arizona State led the whole game, jumping out to a 21-6 lead with 12:24 to play. The Wildcats cut the lead to four points with a 13-2 run, but the Sun Devils went into the locker room with a 32-24 halftime lead. Noe and fellow freshman Amy Denson each had six points in the first half to lead the Sun Devils, while sophomore Carrie Buckner turned in four points and seven rebounds in the first 20 minutes. The Sun Devils outrebounded the Wildcats 22-10 and didn't not allow the Wildcats an offensive rebound in the first half.

Arizona State, which had turned the ball over an average of 27.0 times per game in its previous two games, committed just six turnovers in the second half to build on its halftime lead. Arizona cut the Arizona State's lead to 47-46 with 8:50 left, but Noe made a pair of free throws and turned a steal into a layup to put the Sun Devils up 51-46 with 8:18 to play, and the Wildcats couldn't get any closer.

Noe finished with 22 points, including 16 in the second half, while Buckner turned in the first double-double of her career with 10 points and a career-high-tying 12 rebounds. It also marked the ninth double-double of the season for ASU and the first by someone other than a true freshman.

Sophomore Dee-Dee Wheeler had 14 points to lead the Wildcats, while ASU freshman Jenny Thigpin, in her first start of the season, helped hold Arizona redshirt freshman Shawntinice Polk, the conference's second-leading scorer, to 11 points, seven below her average.

Polk didn't score a basket until there was 15:30 left in the game and was 3-of-7 from the field before fouling out with 7:13 left. Thigpin and Polk were teammates at Hanford (Calif.) High School.

Arizona State hits the road next week, traveling to Oregon on Jan. 30 and Oregon State on Feb. 1. Both games will tip off at 7 p.m. Pacific Standard Time and can be heard on ASU's flagship station, NBC 1190 AM, locally or via the internet at www.thesundevils.com.

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