ASU Falls To UCLA, 70-50, In Pac-10 Tournament

March 6, 2004

By JANIE McCAULEY
AP Sports Writer

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Freshman Noelle Quinn didn't feel completelycomfortable in the confines of a large arena, yet it hardly showed.

Quinn had 16 points and 10 rebounds and UCLA used a huge second-halfrun to defeat Arizona State 70-50 in the quarterfinals of the Pac-10tournament Saturday night.

The fourth-seeded Bruins (17-11) have won eight of their last ninegames and will play top-seeded Stanford in the semifinals Sunday. The12th-ranked Cardinal beat California 80-55 earlier Saturday. Stanford haseliminated UCLA in the past two conference tournaments.

Quinn scored in double figures for the 19th straight game and recordedher eighth double-double of the season.

'It is very different on a neutral court,' she said. 'The baskets werevery tight and my shots weren't falling, but this is a big opportunity forus. This is fun.'

Nikki Blue added 14 points and eight rebounds and Lisa Willis alsoscored 14 as UCLA took control late against scrappy Arizona State (17-11),which has lost three straight games and shot 34.8 percent.

Bruins coach Kathy Olivier has come count on the tandem of Quinn andsophomore Blue - and throw sophomore Willis into the mix and UCLA isgetting big production from its youngest players.

'They work well with each other,' Olivier said. 'We were aggressive andwe did a good job on the boards. Our defense gets us going offensively andhopefully generates some easy baskets.'

UCLA held a 37-32 rebounding edge.

Kristen Kovesdy had 14 points and five boards for the fifth-seeded SunDevils.

'A lot of their putbacks and second shots just killed us,' Sun Devilsguard Kylan Loney said. 'When we weren't scoring, we had to play betterdefense, and that didn't happen. It really stinks to look back and say wecould have done A, B and C and won, and we didn't do those things.'

The Sun Devils played without leading scorer Betsy Boardman, who hurther left knee in a 75-72 loss at Washington State last weekend. Boardmanhad an MRI, but the results haven't been released. The 6-foot-1 forward wasaveraging 10.6 points and 4.3 rebounds.

Arizona State already lost two other key players to knee injuries thisseason, including Jill Noe, the team's top returning scorer from lastseason.

UCLA and Arizona State split their regular-season series, with bothteams winning at home.

The sloppy Sun Devils had 26 turnovers and went cold on offense in thesecond half. After Whitney Jones made a jumper to pull them within 37-36 at13:55, they were held scoreless for the next 8:37. UCLA went on a 23-2 run.

'You have to rebound and you have to take care of the ball against UCLAand we didn't do either of those things,' ASU coach Charli Turner Thornesaid. 'That was the game. ... This was the first game without Betsy andthat showed.'

After Arizona State won the inaugural Pac-10 tournament two years agoat Oregon, the Sun Devils have lost their tournament opener two years in arow.

The Bruins led 30-22 at halftime despite having no players in doublefigures in points and shooting 37.5 percent to Arizona State's 38.1percent.

UCLA is looking forward to another shot at Stanford.

'Our seniors have never beaten Stanford, and it seems like we play themevery other weekend,' Blue said.

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