Bruins Roll To 70-50 Victory Over Arizona State In Pac-10 Tournament
By JANIE McCAULEY
AP Sports Writer
March 6, 2004
San Jose, CA (AP) - Freshman Noelle Quinn didn't feel completely comfortable in the confines of a large arena, yet it hardly showed.
Quinn had 16 points and 10 rebounds and UCLA used a huge second-half run to defeat Arizona State 70-50 in the quarterfinals of the Pac-10 tournament Saturday night.
The fourth-seeded Bruins (17-11) have won eight of their last nine games and will play top-seeded Stanford in the semifinals Sunday in a game that will be broadcast live on the radio on XTRA Sports 690/1150 am and on television on Fox Sports Net. The 12th-ranked Cardinal beat California 80-55 earlier Saturday. Stanford has eliminated UCLA in the past two conference tournaments.
Quinn scored in double figures for the 19th straight game and recorded her eighth double-double of the season.
'It is very different on a neutral court,' she said. 'The baskets were very tight and my shots weren't falling, but this is a big opportunity for us. This is fun.'
Nikki Blue added 14 points and eight rebounds and Lisa Willis also scored 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 and sophomore Blue - and throw sophomore Willis into the mix and UCLA is getting big production from its youngest players.
'They work well with each other,' Olivier said. 'We were aggressive and we did a good job on the boards. Our defense gets us going offensively and hopefully generates some easy baskets.'
UCLA held a 37-32 rebounding edge.
Kristen Kovesdy had 14 points and five boards for the fifth-seeded Sun Devils.
'A lot of their putbacks and second shots just killed us,' Sun Devils guard Kylan Loney said. 'When we weren't scoring, we had to play better defense, and that didn't happen. It really stinks to look back and say we could 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 hurt her left knee in a 75-72 loss at Washington State last weekend. Boardman had an MRI, but the results haven't been released. The 6-foot-1 forward was averaging 10.6 points and 4.3 rebounds.
Arizona State already lost two other key players to knee injuries this season, including Jill Noe, the team's top returning scorer from last season.
UCLA and Arizona State split their regular-season series, with both teams winning at home.
The sloppy Sun Devils had 26 turnovers and went cold on offense in the second half. After Whitney Jones made a jumper to pull them within 37-36 at 13:55, 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 UCLA and we didn't do either of those things,' ASU coach Charli Turner Thorne said. 'That was the game. ... This was the first game without Betsy and that showed.'
After Arizona State won the inaugural Pac-10 tournament two years ago at Oregon, the Sun Devils have lost their tournament opener two years in a row.
The Bruins led 30-22 at halftime despite having no players in double figures in points and shooting 37.5 percent to Arizona State's 38.1 percent.
UCLA is looking forward to another shot at Stanford.
'Our seniors have never beaten Stanford, and it seems like we play them every other weekend,' Blue said.