UA Women's Basketball Edges Arizona State, 72-66
Feb. 23, 2002
Tucson, Ariz. (Feb. 23) -- Junior wing Krista Warren had a double-double off the bench to lead the Arizona women's basketball team (14-13 overall, 10-8 Pac-10) to a 72-66 win over rival Arizona State (21-8, 12-6) at home on Saturday. The victory ends a three-game losing skid for the Wildcats against the Sun Devils, becoming Arizona's first win over ASU since the 2000 season.
As expected with any rivalry game, the first half was very close, with three ties and nine lead changes. Neither team was able to get ahead by more than four points for the first 14 minutes of the contest, until Arizona scored nine unanswered points to gain a five-point (28-23) edge with 5:49 left in the first. ASU quickly cut that lead back down to one (28-27) just 35 seconds later, then the Cats answered with a 7-2 spurt that gave them a six-point (35-29) lead at 2:22. Arizona held onto a 40-33 advantage at halftime.
The Wildcats opened the second half with four straight turnovers and two missed shots, allowing Arizona State to climb back to within three (40-37). The Cats responded with a 7-0 burst, pushing out to a 10-point (47-37) lead with 14:23 left in the game. The Sun Devils scrapped back to within five (53-48) at 9:59, then the UA exploded for a 13-3 run to take a 15-point (66-51) lead with six minutes to play.
Arizona still had that spread with 3:25 left in the game and had to withstand a late 11-2 surge from the Sun Devils take the victory. The win gives Arizona its best Pac-10 mark since going 13-5 in conference action during the 1999-2000 season.
'Our team really wanted to win today. Arizona State is a fine team and a good program that really prides itself on defense. We made some adjustments today that really worked well for us,' said head coach Joan Bonvicini. 'After our last game against ASU, one of their players made a comment that Arizona doesn't like to play defense. I took that comment personally, and we really worked hard on our defense in practice this week.'
Sophomore guard Aimee Grzyb led the Wildcats with 16 points and a game-high-tying six assists, while Krista Warren finished with 11 points and a game-high 13 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the season. Sophomore Candice Allen racked up 15 points, six rebounds and a trio of assists, and senior center LaKeisha Taylor had 13 points and six rebounds while playing her final game in McKale Center. Only seven Wildcats saw action in the game.
For the Sun Devils, senior guard Amanda Levens led all scorers with 18 points, six rebounds and six assists. Fellow senior Melody Johnson tallied her sixth double-double of the year, with 14 points and a team-high 10 rebounds. Sophomore forward Betsy Boardman was the only other player to reach double digits in scoring, with 12.
Arizona will head up to Eugene, Ore., next weekend for the inaugural Pac-10 Conference Women's Basketball Tournament on Mar. 1-4. Tentatively, the Wildcats should go in as the No. 6 seed and should face the Sun Devils again in the first round on Saturday, Mar. 2, at 2:15 p.m. PST. The final seedings and pairings will be announced on Sunday, Feb. 24, after 5:30 p.m. MST.