ASU Defeats Oregon In Pac-10 Semi No. 1, 64-58
March 3, 2002
By LANDON HALL
AP Sports Writer
EUGENE, Ore. - Amanda Levens scored 13 of her 19 points duringa key second-half run as Arizona State advanced to the championship gameof the Pac-10 tournament with a 64-58 victory over Oregon on Sunday.
Melody Johnson added 13 points for the third-seeded Sun Devils(23-8), who will face the winner between Oregon State and top-seededStanford in Monday night's title game.
Levens, held to just 10 points on 1-of-11 shooting in ArizonaState's quarterfinal win over Arizona, hit five of her team's seven freethrows in the last 42 seconds to preserve the win.
Shaquala Williams scored 21 points, Andrea Bills had 12 and CathrineKraayeveld added 11 rebounds for the seventh-seeded Ducks (17-13), whogot a big lift from the home crowd at McArthur Court but appeared totire out late in their third game of the tournament.
After a layup by Edniesha Curry pulled Oregon to 57-55 with 1:51left, the Ducks didn't score again until Williams' meaningless 3-pointerwith eight seconds left.
Oregon trailed 31-19 at halftime but outscored the Sun Devils 22-2during a span of just over eight minutes early in the second half. Ajumper by Williams put the Ducks ahead 47-40 with 9:19 left.
Oregon coach Bev Smith then made a pivotal decision by giving Curry,the Ducks' quickest player, a rest. Curry had been guarding Levens muchof the time, and with her on the bench, Levens started draining jumpers.
She made a twisting bank shot, a long 3-pointer and a floatingbaseline jumper, followed by a free throw, to give ASU the lead for goodat 48-47. After two more free throws, Curry came back, but Levens sankanother 3 to complete the run and give the Sun Devils a 53-47 lead with5:23 left.
Trailing by eight with just under four minutes to play, the Duckshad one more surge of energy left.
Jamie Craighead missed the second of two free throws, and Kraayeveldgrabbed the rebound. Craighead got the ball back and made a 3-pointer,cutting it to 57-53. Then Curry, minutes after being knocked to thefloor by Cian Carvalho's elbow, drove the lane to make it a two-pointlead.
While Arizona State had a bye in the first round, the Ducks had toplay twice to get to the semis, and they looked weary in the first halftrying to guard the Sun Devils' post players, Johnson and Carvalho.
On consecutive trips, Johnson grabbed offensive rebounds and bankedin shots. Tied at 15-all, the Sun Devils started an 11-0 run with twoinside baskets but then went to the perimeter.
Betsy Boardman made a 3-pointer, and with the shot clock runningdown, Levens heaved a shot off the glass that made it 26-15.
Oregon shot 44 percent in the half but committed 18 turnovers.