No. 14 ASU Women's Basketball Team Falls To No. 8 North Carolina 79-72
Nov. 25, 2005
CANCUN, Mexico - Despite shooting 56 percent for the game and having four players score in double figures, the No. 14 (USA Today/ESPN coaches poll) Arizona State women's basketball team fell to No. 8 North Carolina, 79-72 at the Caribbean Classic taking place in Cancun, Mexico.
For the Sun Devils (3-1), the difference in the game came down to North Carolina's ability to rebound the basketball as the Tar Heels (3-0) out-rebounded ASU 38-28, including a 24-15 advantage in offensive rebounding.
'Our inability to rebound hurt us today,' said ASU head coach Charli Turner Thorne following the game. 'We did not box out and do the things we talked about doing when it came to rebounding and that is that made the difference today.'
The final score of Friday's game was the exact same score the Tar Heels won by when they played ASU in the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament last March in Tempe.
'It's kind of ironic that it was the exact same score,' noted Turner Thorne. 'If that is where we are with seven new players - and I include Jill Noe as a `new' player - here in November, knowing we are fully capable of doing the things we did not do today, then I have to say that I am really excited about what this team is capable of this season. But I take my hat off to North Carolina. They put us in our place today and challenged us to get better.'
Leading the Sun Devils was redshirt junior G Jill Noe, who had 20 points. Noe had all four of ASU's three-point field goals, shooting 80 percent from three-point range for the game (4-5). Also scoring in double figures for ASU were senior F Kristen Kovesdy (17 points), junior F Emily Westerberg (11 points), and junior F Aubree Johnson (10 points).
The Tar Heels were paced by junior G Ivory Latta, who scored a game-high 28 points to go along with five assists. For the game, Latta made all 10 of her free throw attempts. Also scoring in double figures for North Carolina were freshman F Rashanda McCants (16 points) and senior F La'Tangela Atkinson (10 points). Also contributing for the Tar Heels was sophomore F Erlana Larkins, who pulled down 12 rebounds while also scoring nine points.
In the first half the Sun Devils and Tar Heels went back and forth, playing each other on even terms for much of the half. The score was tied at 22-22 with just over five-and-a-half minutes remaining in the first half before the Tar Heels started to put some separation between themselves and the Sun Devils. A 15-5 run to end the half gave North Carolina a 10-point lead at the intermission.
North Carolina would score the first five points of the second half to extend out to its biggest lead of the game (15) at 42-27. ASU would fight back time and again, trimming the Tar Heels' lead to single digits several times in the second half. ASU would get as close as seven points five times in the last seven minutes, however could get no closer the rest of the game.
The Sun Devils return to action tomorrow evening when they take on Mississippi State at 6:10 p.m. (Arizona time) in Cancun.