ASU Rally Comes Up Short Against No. 9 Cal
Jan. 17, 2008
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) - Devanei Hampton scored a career-high 28 points, 17 in the first half, and No. 9 California beat Arizona State 64-51 Thursday night to take sole possession of first place in the Pac-10.
Ashley Walker added 13 points, seven in a row over a 2:19 span of the second half to lift the Bears out of trouble en route to their eighth consecutive win. The school record is 10 straight victories.
California (16-2, 7-0 Pac-10) is off to its best start since going 17-2 in the 1983-84 season. The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for the unranked Sun Devils (11-6, 5-1), who rallied from 23 down in the first half to cut the lead to four in the second.
Cal led 16-0 and 33-10 but a 15-1 run late in the first half and early in the second helped Arizona State close it to 40-36. Hampton, though, scored five consecutive points to lift the Bears back into control, 45-36 with 12:23 to play.
Arizona State climbed back one more time by making 6-of-8 free throws, the last two by Kirsten Thompson, to slice the lead to 47-42 with 8:08 to go. Walker scored three times inside, the second one for a three-point play, and Cal led 54-42 with 5:24 to go. The Sun Devils never got closer than 10 after that.
Hampton, a 6-foot-3 junior who missed the first nine games of the season while recovering from surgery on her right knee, dominated inside early, going 8-for-11 in the first half. She finished 13-for-23 overall.
She scored six in a 10-0 Cal run that put the Bears ahead 33-10 with 2:36 left. The Sun Devils finally got their offense rolling, outscoring California 11-1 over the final 2 1/2 minutes of the half to cut the lead to 34-21 at the break.
The run reached 15-1 when Arizona State scored the first four points of the second half, cutting the lead to 34-26 on Dymond Simon's steal and layup. Natasha Vital's 3-pointer boosted the lead to 37-26 with 18:30 to play, and it was 40-28 when Alexis Gray-Lawson made a 3 with 17:14 to go.
A pair of blocked shots by ASU's Kayli Murphy and one by Jill Noe highlighted the 8-0 run that cut it to 40-36 on Simon's two free throws with 13:21 left. But Hampton followed a 3-point play with an inside basket and Cal was on top 45-36 12:33 before the end.