Women's Basketball Downs Portland State 72-53 in the Wells Fargo Holiday Classic

Nov. 29, 2002

TEMPE, Ariz. - Freshman Amy Denson turned in her first career double-double with 12 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Arizona State women's basketball team to a 72-53 victory over Portland State Saturday night in the first game of the Wells Fargo Holiday Classic at Wells Fargo Arena.

With the victory, ASU improved to 3-0 on the season and will play Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the Wells Fargo Holiday Classic Championship game on Saturday at 6 p.m. The win also marked the 11th straight home victory for the Sun Devils who need just one more consecutive win to tie the school record of 12 set over the 1991-92 and 1992-93 seasons.

Arizona State trailed for most of the first half, getting down by as many as seven points early in the half. The team trailed 23-17 with 4:45 to play in the half when the Sun Devils went on a 7-0 run, including five points from freshman Kristen Kovesdy, to take a 24-23 lead with 3:23 to play. The two teams traded the lead over the last three minutes, and junior Iman Young hit a jumper for the Sun Devils with eight seconds left to tie the game at 30 heading into halftime. Denson and Kovesdy each had seven points in the first half to lead the Sun Devils, while Denson also pulled down seven rebounds in the first 20 minutes.

In the second half, the Vikings once again jumped out to an early lead, taking a 40-34 advantage with 16:42 to play, but the Sun Devils turned the tide with a 22-4 run over the next 10 minutes. In that run, freshman Jill Noe and sophomores Lauren Stagg and Kylan Loney each knocked down three-pointers. Portland State scored the next four points of the game to cut ASU's lead to eight points but never got any closer in the 72-53 Arizona State victory. The Sun Devils knocked down 51.5 percent of their shots in the second half (17-33) compared to just 29.6 percent (8-27) for the visiting Vikings and outrebounded Portland State 27-12 over the final 20 minutes.

Kovesdy came off the bench to lead the Sun Devils in scoring for the second straight game with 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting, while Denson became the third Sun Devil true freshman in as many games to turn in a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Junior Jen Albert turned in a career-high 11 points and blocked two shots, while freshman Jill Noe also added 11 points and six rebounds. Loney tied a pair of career highs with seven assists and six rebounds, while junior Iman Young chipped in with eight points and five assists.

For Portland State, now 2-1 on the year, senior guard Nikki Petticrew had 11 points and senior forward Niki Sadowski turned in 10 points and eight rebounds.

In the second game of the Wells Fargo Holiday Classic, Wisconsin-Milwaukee (1-2) downed Oklahoma State (0-4) 84-77. Wisconsin-Milwaukee junior center Maria Viall led all scorers with 23 points on 10-of-12 shooting, while Oklahoma State junior center Trisha Skibbe had 20 points.

On Saturday, Oklahoma State will take on Portland State in the consolation game at 4 p.m., while Arizona State will take on Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the championship game at approximately 6 p.m.

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