Arizona State Upset By UCLA, 60-59
March 5, 2006
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Noelle Quinn sank two free throws with 28.9 seconds left before Arizona State turned the ball over on its final chance, and UCLA shocked the 11th-ranked Sun Devils 60-59 on Sunday to reach the Pac-10 tournament championship game.
Lisa Willis scored 20 of her 27 points in the second half and Quinn finished with 16 points, 10 rebounds, three steals, two assists and two blocks for the Bruins (18-10), who snapped Arizona State's school-record 10-game winning streak with a sensational second half.
Kristen Kovesdy's two free throws with 1:12 remaining put Arizona State ahead 59-58, then Quinn calmly knocked down two to give the lead back to UCLA.
The Bruins were outrebounded (36-30) and outshot (45.1 percent-40.4) but made enough hustle plays when it mattered and forced 26 turnovers.
Arizona State is still likely to receive an at-large bid into the NCAA tournament after reaching the round of 16 last season for the first time in 22 years. The Sun Devils are the only team other than Stanford to win the conference tournament title, beating the Cardinal for the inaugural 2002 championship.
Kovesdy scored 18 points, including eight during Arizona State's 10-0 run to end the first half, and Emily Westerberg had 12 points and four assists for the Sun Devils.
UCLA began the second half with an 8-0 spurt, getting back-to-back 3-pointers from Willis to pull within 28-27. She hit another 3 with 15:22 remaining to give UCLA a 32-31 lead and finished 5-for-9 from long range - making four 3s in the Bruins' 41-point second half.
UCLA advances to play Monday night against the winner of Sunday's late game between No. 13 Stanford and Southern California for an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Top-seeded Stanford split two meetings with the Bruins this season.
The Sun Devils had to rally from a 16-point deficit to beat Oregon State in Saturday's quarterfinals. Despite Sunday's result, they're headed for a seventh straight postseason berth and probably their fourth NCAA tournament bid in six years.
Arizona State and UCLA split their two previous meetings this season, with each winning on its home floor. Arizona State won all three matchups last season, including in the conference tournament.
The Sun Devils started the game 1-for-5 with three turnovers and struggled to move the ball against UCLA's pressure defense. But the Bruins also had their problems, going 6-for-16 early and being held to 19 points - a season-low for a half. They were held scoreless over the final 5:39 and Arizona State led 28-19 at the break.
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