Kovesdy Scores 18 to Lead ASU to 69-47 Win over Arizona.
Jan. 3, 2005
TEMPE, Ariz. - Junior Kristen Kovesdy scored a team-high 18 points to lead the Sun Devils to a 69-47 victory over Arizona Monday night in the team's Pac-10 home opener.
Both teams held identical 10-3 overall marks and 2-1 Pac-10 records after the game. ASU won its 10th straight home game and 23rd in 25 tries, while ninth-year Sun Devil mentor Charli Turner Thorne climbed within one win of the ASU mark for career coaching victories. With a 133-115 mark at ASU, Turner Thorne will have a chance to tie Juliene Simpson (134-92, 1979-87) as the all-time winningest coach in school history Friday night against eighth-ranked Stanford, her alma mater.
ASU took a 14-7 lead eight minutes into the first half, but Arizona cut the lead to two four minutes later. The Sun Devils scored the next five points to regain the seven-point advantage, 23-16 with 5:38 to play. After UA senior Dee-Dee Wheeler's layup cut it to five with 4:51 to play, the Sun Devils ended the half on a 12-0 run to take a 37-20 halftime advantage. Kovesdy was 5-of-5 from the field and made a pair of free throws for 12 first-half points, while sophomore Emily Westerberg added 11.
In the second half, ASU began the half on an 11-3 run to take a 48-23 lead with 16:53 to play. The Sun Devils pushed their lead to 28 after a three-pointer by junior Amy Denson four minutes later. Wheeler knocked down a pair of threes to cut the lead to 22, 57-35 with 11:41 to play, but the Wildcats would not get any closer. ASU led by as many as 30 points en route to the 69-47 victory, the team's fifth straight win over the Wildcats at Wells Fargo Arena.
Kovesdy led the Sun Devils with 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting. The Pac-10 leader for field goal percentage is shooting 80.6 percent from the field in her last four games (25-31). Westerberg had 13 points, a team-high five assists and a career-best two blocks, while Denson and senior Betsy Boardman each pulled down five rebounds to lead the Sun Devils.
Wheeler finished with a game-high 26 points for the Wildcats, knocking down 11-of-18 field goal attempts including three treys. Junior Natalie Jones added a game-high seven rebounds for Arizona, which was without starting center Shawntinice Polk due to a knee injury.
ASU scored 34 points on a season-high 28 turnovers by Arizona, while the Sun Devils outrebounded the Wildcats 37-27. Both teams struggled from the free throw line with Arizona missing 13 of their 19 attempts (31.6 percent) and ASU missing 12 of 26 (53.8 percent).
ASU returns to action Friday night, playing host to the eighth-ranked Stanford Cardinal at 6:30 p.m. at Wells Fargo Arena. The Sun Devils will wrap up their three-game homestand on Sunday, Jan. 9 with the visiting Cal Golden Bears at 2 p.m.
Both games can be heard locally on NBC 1190 AM with Jeff Munn and Seth Sulka calling the action, while Friday night's game with the Cardinal will be televised statewide by AZ-TV.