March 3, 2012
TUCSON, Ariz. - Alex Earl scored 11 of her team-high 14 points in the second half to help lift the Arizona State women's basketball team to a 70-63 win over Arizona on Saturday.
Kimberly Brandon scored 12 points and Micaela Pickens added 10 for the Sun Devils (19-8, 10-18 Pac-12), who had to overcome an 11-point second-half deficit and foul trouble to defeat Arizona (14-16, 5-13 Pac-12) for the 15th time in the last 17 meetings between the two teams.
Also coming through with a strong performance for ASU was Kali Bennett, who came up just short of a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds.
After Arizona shot 52 percent in the first half to take a 38-28 halftime lead, the Sun Devils would turn the tables in the second half, shooting 52 percent in the final 20 minutes while limiting Arizona to 33 percent. The Sun Devils, who were outrebounded 42-35, did not allow the Wildcats to make a 3-pointer in the second half (0-4) after the Wildcats made 67 percent (4-6) of their long-distance shots in the first half.
The Sun Devils also helped their cause by committing a season-low nine turnovers, including only two in the second half. The Wildcats, on the other hand, had 18 turnovers, which the Sun Devils were able to convert into 16 points.
Earl (6 points) and reserve guard Adrianne Thomas (4 points) combined for 10 points during a 12-0 run by the Sun Devils that helped turn a 46-35 deficit into a 47-46 lead with 12:48 left in the game.
Arizona would counter with a 6-0 run of its own to take a 52-47 lead, but the Sun Devils would once again battle back, eventually taking the lead for good after Pickens connected from long range to put the Sun Devils up 63-61 with 3:06 left.
Pickens, who played only six minutes in the second half after picking up her fourth foul with 14 seconds left in the first half, helped carry the Sun Devils down the stretch as she scored eight of ASU's final 16 points of the game. Her go-ahead 3-pointer began a 10-2 run the Sun Devils used to close out the game.
Brandon led ASU with eight points in the first half as very little went right for the Sun Devils after jumping out to an early 7-0 lead. The Wildcats would respond by scoring the next 11 points to take a four-point lead.
Brandon's jumper with 4:47 left in the first half got the Sun Devils to within 26-24, but Arizona would then close the half with a 12-4 run to take a 38-28 halftime lead.
Arizona guard Davellyn Whyte, who had game highs of 17 points and 11 rebounds, led the Wildcats in the first half with 10 points and eight rebounds.
The Sun Devils were whistled for 14 fouls in the first half, but the Wildcats were not able to take full advantage of the opportunity as they made 10 of 18 free throws (17-28 for the game).
With the win, the Sun Devils claimed the State Farm Territorial Cup Series point in women's basketball for the 2011-12 season as ASU also defeated the Wildcats 60-45 on New Year's Eve in the Pac-12 opener for both teams.
The Sun Devils return to action next week when they travel to Los Angeles for Pacific Life Pac-12 Basketball Tournament.