Stanford Sails Past ASU

March 1, 2003

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) - No. 9 Stanford got its momentum back while Arizona State got to see how good Nicole Powell is.

Powell scored 26 points, grabbed eight rebounds, had six assists and two blocked shots as Stanford came back from a loss to Arizona earlier in the week to defeat Arizona State 63-53 on Saturday.

'She's definitely a great player,' Arizona State's Carrie Buckner said.

Buckner had to guard Powell much of the afternoon, getting called for four fouls.

'She uses her height well and she has good body control, so I mean it's tough when I feel like I dig in and I really don't have the height to block her shot,' the 5-foot-9 Buckner said of the 6-foot-3 Powell.

Powell disrupted Arizona State's defense, which is the third-best in the Pac-10. Four different players fouled Powell a total of nine times. She made 8-of-9 free throws.

'You want to draw fouls and get people out of the game,' Powell said. 'You know, get some free throws. That's a free shot. (I'm) certainly not disappointed at that.'

Stanford (23-4, 15-3) led by as much as 12 - 33-21 at halftime - but Arizona State (15-12, 7-11) got within 44-42 with 9:30 left to play.

Then, Chelsea Trotter hit a basket, Kelley Suminski made two of three free throws and Powell converted a three-point play to give Stanford a 51-42 advantage.

The Sun Devils never got closer than five.

'It just seems like we're this close,' Arizona State coach Charli Turner Thorne said. 'We had good looks at the end and we had silly defensive letups that are not characteristic of our team. It's just our learning curve as a young team.'

The Sun Devils have one senior, guard Rainy Crisp, who played five minutes Saturday, and start three freshmen.

Kylan Loney had 13 points and eight assists for the Sun Devils, who had won four straight at home. Stanford, first in the conference in defense allowing 59.7 per game, held Arizona State to 36 percent shooting (17-of-47).

Arizona State also committed 17 turnovers.

Arizona State ran out to a quick 10-3 lead before Powell disrupted the Sun Devils' momentum.

Stanford went on a 13-2 run while Arizona State went cold, missing eight straight shots and going 4-of-18 from the field after a 3-for-5 start.

Stanford finished the half on a 15-5 run to take a 33-21 lead, their biggest of the game.

Powell had 13 points, four rebounds, two assists and a steal in first half.

The Cardinal clinched the conference's regular-season title last week, and the accompanying No. 1 seed in next week's Pac-10 tournament in San Jose, Calif.

Arizona State finished eighth in the conference and will play ninth-place California in the first round of the conference tourney Friday.

Stanford will get the winner of that game Saturday.

'The tournament is going to be very tough,' VanDerveer said. 'I think the thing that is going to be real important is as well as Nicole played today, and she had a great game, she can't play 40 minutes in three (consecutive) games.

The key to our tournament success will be the depth of our team and other people really stepping up.'

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