ASU Rallies Into Sweet 16, 67-58

March 19, 2007

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LOS ANGELES (AP) - Second-half comebacks are becoming a way of life for Arizona State.

The third-seeded Sun Devils overcame a horrendous start, and later rallied from a 14-point deficit in the final 11 minutes to beat sixth-seeded Louisville 67-58 on Monday night to reach the round of 16 for the second time in three years.

Briann January matched a career-high with 22 points and Emily Westerberg scored 12 for the Sun Devils, who won by outscoring the Cardinals 31-8 down the stretch. They missed their first 15 shots, but went 15-of-29 in the second half to win going away.

Louisville committed 13 of its 19 turnovers in the second half, while ASU had only four of its 13 after halftime.

ASU came back from 15 points down to beat 14th-seeded UC Riverside 57-50 in the first round, outscoring the Highlanders 19-2 to finish the game.

The 10th-ranked Sun Devils (30-4) face the winner of Tuesday night's game between second-seeded Vanderbilt and seventh-seeded Bowling Green in Saturday's round of 16 at Greensboro, N.C.

Jazz Covington led Louisville (27-8) with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Angel McCoughtry, the Big East player of the year averaging 21.9 points and 10.6 rebounds, was held to seven points and three rebounds before fouling out with 57.9 seconds left. She played only 20 minutes because of foul trouble.

January's layup with 2:58 remaining gave Arizona State a 58-56 lead, and the Sun Devils were on top the rest of the way. Covington's basket with 40 seconds left made it 61-58, but ASU scored the game's last six points to win going away.

Seldom-used freshman Kala Faulkner, averaging 1.4 points and 4.8 minutes per game, scored five straight points to give Louisville a 50-36 lead with 11 1/2 minutes remaining.

It was 54-42 when the Sun Devils came alive, scoring 14 straight points including five each by January and Jill Noe to take their first lead at 56-54 with 3:38 to play.

Covington tied the game before January's basket put the Sun Devils ahead for good.

The Sun Devils shot 6-of-29 from the floor in the first half, but the Cardinals led by only five points at halftime. The game was that close because ASU shot 4-of-8 from 3-point range and Louisville shot 1-of-7 from beyond the arc and 9-of-27 overall.

Louisville scored the game's first nine points and led 19-4 before freshman Kayli Murphy made ASU's first field goal, a jumper from the foul line with 7 1/2 minutes left in the half. That basket triggered a 19-9 run to finish the half, cutting the Cardinals' lead to 28-23.

McCoughtry picked up two fouls early, and was limited to three points and two rebounds in nine first-half minutes.

Louisville's Yuliya Tokova was helped off the court with an injured left knee after just 2:03 of play and didn't return. The 6-1 junior entered averaging 7.3 points, 5.9 rebounds and a team-leading 1.8 blocked shots.

The game was played before an announced crowd of 1,209 at Galen Center -- the 10,258-seat arena on the Southern California campus that opened last fall. It was the second between ASU and Louisville; the Sun Devils beat the Cardinals 59-56 in the 1983-84 season.


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