March 11, 2008

Pac-10 All-Touranment Team

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Here are the members of the 2008 State Farm Pac-10 Tournament Team:

All-Tournament Team

Most Outstanding Player -- Candice Wiggins, Stanford (her second consecutive honor)

Dymond Simon, Arizona State
Jayne Appel, Stanford
Kayla Pedersen, Stanford
Taylor Lilley, Oregon
Devanei Hampton, California

That's it for me from San Jose!

March 09, 2008

Bears 3, Sun Devils 0

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- With a 65-61 semifinal win, 3-0 is the final score of the meetings between Cal and ASU for the 2007-08 season.

After shaking of an slight ASU lead at the half, Cal came into the second half and opened up a shooting assault on the Sun Devils to take a comanding lead. With as much as ASU tried to fight back and stay in the game with a 14-6 run in the final four minutes of the game, Cal was able to hold on to secure the win.

"I'm just so proud of my team as this was one of those hard fought games that you play in March," said Cal coach Joanne Boyle. "To have two of them back-to-back, we are fortunate to have come out on top and looking forward to sitting in the stands and being able to watch as the first team to get to the championship game."

Cal got hot in the second half with their 46.2% shooting to help them be the first team in tomorrow nights championship game.

Leading all scorers for Cal was Hampton with 19 points and 16 rebounds for her eighth double-double of the season. In addition, VItal shipped in with 14 points and three rebounds and Walker rounded out the double digit scorers with 10 points and 10 rebound for her 13th double-double of the season (leading the Pac-10) in a highly physical game.

"There were times for Ashley and I when it was pretty hard down there, but we love the contact and the physical play," said Cal's Hampton.

ASU had the hot hands during the first half with their 48% shooting, but had too many problems connecting with the bottom of the net in the second half and shot a mere 32.3% from the field.

"We struggled to score in the second half and Cal did a great job in coming out and establishing their inside game more effectively," said ASU coach Thorne. "We got away from doing things we wanted to do defensively and the combination of those things led to our demise."

ASU was led by Simon's 22 points. January finished with 15 of her own and Noe capped off the ASU double-digit scorers with 11 points.

Stay tuned, our second semifinal game of the day between Stanford and UCLA is under way as Stanford is slowing building their lead with a15-8 run in the first half.

Welcome to Full Contact Basketball!

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Whoever does not think that women's college basketball is not a full contact sport should be watching this game.

ASU's Jill Noe was chasing down a bad pass between two Cal players when she took a tumble on the floor with Cal's Lauren Greif. As Noe tipped the ball to ASU's January, while on a fast break, who got tangled up with Cal's Alexis Gray-Lawson.

I give ASU bonus points for style and grace during each rumble while Cal gets bonus points on the technical side.

Cal is running away with this game, 59-43, while ASU continues to get cold in their shooting.

Stay tuned...

Cal 59
ASU 43
Time: 5:11

Dymond Day!

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- No, I do not have a typo in my title.

ASU's Dymond Simon, who is playing this year after sitting out last season with a torn ACL, is tearing up the net. She's now got 10 points trying her best to help her team cut into Cal's ever growing lead, a lead that is at an all time high of 12 points.

Stay tuned...
Cal 53
ASU 41

Time: 9:20

Feeling warm?

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- If you are on the Cal team than yes, you should be feeling warm in the home of the San Jose Sharks.

First off, it is cold in here. I realize that there is ice below us for the hockey rink that helps this facility be used through every indoor sports season, but even with a jacket on, I'm resorting to hot liquids in the form of coffee and tea to stay warm.

Second, Cal has come out playing with some fire. The Golden Bears are building on their lead with 4-of-7 shooting from the field and appearing to be too hot to handle for the Sun Devils.

Stay tuned...

Cal 43


There went the lead!

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- We are less than two minutes into the second half and Cal has come out ready to play with a 4-0 run to recaputre the lead.

Stay tuned...

Cal 37
ASU 34

Time: 18:39

Taking the lead

With 4.8 seconds left in the half, ASU's Jill Noe said 'No more lead Cal!' by sinking both of her free throws to give the Sun Devils a one-point lead heading into the half.

Cal's Hampton did not break the rebounding record for the Pac-10 tournament (at least not in this first half), but she'll get another chance in the second half.

Noteable stats from the first half include Hampton's 13 rebounds and Vital's 11 points. However it is their dismal 28.6% shooting from the field that is helping Hampton and her teammates (27 total) grab so many boards.

For ASU January is leading the team with 11 points. The Sun Devils have 14 total boards as a team, so if Hampton had grabbed one more board, she would have been doing the work of the 11 players on ASU.

Stay tuned...

Cal 33
ASU 34

Record Breaking Moment?

We're counting down the rebounds for Cal's Hampton as she currently has 13 boards for the half and the tournament record is 14 in a half.

She's on the bench catching her breath, but stay tuned as we could see a tournament record fall when she returns to the game.

Stay tuned...
Cal 29
ASU 25

Time: 1:39

Bring on January!

ASU has just cut deeper into Cal's lead thanks to a three-point shot just made by Briann January.

Ms. January has accounted for eight of the Sun Devils 25 points which has included some big time three-point shots.

ASU just did a mass substitution by replacing the entire lineup, so we'll see if some fresh feet on the court can help the Sun Devils take over the lead.

Stay tuned...

Cal 27
ASU 25

Time: 3:49


Cal is playing a tight man defense on ASU, so the Sun Devils are having, well, a devil of a time getting shots off, but that didn't just stop ASU's Noe from launching a three that is helping keep the game close.

Stay tuned...

Cal 17
ASU 12

Time: 11:33

First Five

We are at our first media time out with the score at 8-7 Cal with 15:27 on the clock.

In these first five minutes Cal's Hampton has grabbed five rebounds and doubled her made free throws from yesterday's game (she hit 1-of-10). Of course she has is having trouble making her shot from two feet from the basket, so Hampton may wish she was actually in the Hamptons instead of being here.

Stay tuned...

Starting up!

Clock updated, Check!

Coffee in hand, Check!

Starters announced, Checking...

Here are your starters for today's first semifinal game:

Sybil Dosty - C
Lauren Lacey - F
Reagan Pariseau - G
Briann January - G
Jill Noe - G

Devanei Hampton - F/C
Natasha Vital - G
Lauren Greif - G
Ashley Walker - F/C
Alexis Gray-Lawson - G

Stay tuned...

Springing into the semifinals

Good morning from lovely San Jose, Ca, and the Pac-10 women's tournament!

It's a picturesque day outside where it is bright, clear and crisp on this first day of daylight savings time (did you remember to spring forward???). After an early morning flight, I am inside the HP Pavilion where I will be blogging about all of the action from today's semifinals.

First up, it's No. 3 seed Arizona State (21-9, 14-4 Pac-10) taking on Bay Area favorite No. 2 seed Cal (25-5, 15-3) at high noon today.

The Sun Devils are riding high into today's game on a five-game winning streak, which is also their longest of the season. Coach Charli Turner Thorne's Devils are here after a convincing 83-64 win over Washington in one of yesterday's quarterfinal games. All five of ASU's starters scored in double figures in that win and were led by 6-foot-3 junior Sybil Dosty's 17 points.

ASU may be the underdog in this first game of the day, but if they can get everyone firing on all cylinders today and catch Cal not playing a full 40 minute game again, ASU could find themselves in their second consecutive Pac-10 tournament championship.

Cal on the other hand would love nothing more than to represent the Bay Area in tomorrow's championship final. Before Cal thinks about tomorrow, they need to use the experience of their quarterfinal game to get through a pesky Sun Devil team. The Golden Bears edged out Oregon 67-60 yesterday by fending off the Ducks who came within three (57-54) with 1:30 left in the game. Thanks to solid shooting from the free throw line (10-of-12), Cal was able to stay alive.

Leading Cal into today's game is 6-foot-3 junior Devanei Hampton, 6-foot-1 junior Ashley Walker and 5-foot-8 junior Alexis Gray-Lawson. Another player to keep an eye on is 5-foot-8 sophomore Natasha Vital who almost had a triple-double yesterday with her 14 points, nine assists and seven rebounds.

There's 45 minutes before we start, so stay tuned!

January 20, 2008

As tough as it gets

TEMPE, Ariz -- ASU football coach Dennis Erickson called this game before it even started when he told me that this was going to be a tough one.

Coach Erickson may know football, but it was his pre-game prediction of the 60-56 No. 7 Stanford (16-3, 6-2 Pac-10) victory over No. 25 ASU (11-7, 5-2 Pac-10) that is making him also look like his knows his women's college basketball.

"This is a tough place to play and coming in," said Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer. "I thought they had an enthusiastic crowd, they played hard, got us down, did things they really haven’t done since Charli has been here and we really struggled in the first half with finding the right shots we wanted."

It was the early minutes of the game where each team traded baskets which forshadowed a close game. Yet even after ASU jumped out to an eight point lead with 9:01 left in the first half, the Cardinal kept fighting back. ASU refused to let its lead slip away and even jumped out to as much as 14-points on Stanford, but it was a three-pointer by Stanford's JJ Hones with 1:06 in the half that was the beginning of Stanford getting the game back under control.

The first half was controlled by ASU, but it was the second half which would see Stanford take control of the game. The Cardinal took a 7-0 run in the first two minutes of the second half and then ultimately took the lead with 8:09 left to play.

"The run at the beginning of the second half gave us the confidence and maybe shook their confidence," said VanDerveer. "We got right back in it immediately in the second half and then we were right there. We just battled point-by-point. I thought we did some nice things, got some good shots and made some hustle."

However the Cardinal could only see their lead grow to as much as six points as ASU never gave up on trying to not be swept at home this weekend. Unfortunately for the Sun Devils, it was the Cardinal who gave them a devil of a time by holding onto the lead until it was solidified with a pair of freethrows by Stanford's Jeanette Pohlen with six-tenths of a second left on the clock.

"That's kind of the story of this team right now -- finishing things and staying with things consistently through the course of an entire basketball teams," said ASU coach Charli Turner Thorne, whose team has not been swept at home during Pac-10 play since the 2002-03 season against the Bay Area schools. "We can get away with some teams in playing 30 minutes or so, but obviously with a team like Stanford, it has to be 40 minutes. You have to finish out the game and keep your aggressiveness. Our goal was to stay energized and aggressive, and we didn't do that."

Statistical leaders for Stanford included Candice Wiggins with 18 points, Jayne Appel with 16 points and Kayla Pedersen with 12 points. Appel and Pedersen co-led the Cardinal with eight rebounds each.

ASU was paced by Briann January's 20 points and Kayli Murphy's 12 rebounds.

Stanford will next host No. 8/9 California on January 26 in what could be a preview of the Pac-10 tournament final while ASU travels up to face the Washington schools next weekend.

That's it for the Pac-10 blogapalooza this weekend!

Make the freebies!

TEMPE, Ariz -- Of all my pet peeves in women's basketball, ASU's Dymond Simon just illustrated one of them -- missing the free throw.

Yes, you've worked so hard to draw and get the foul called against the other team, so once you get to the free throw line, please make your shots! Instead, Simon missed the first of two and with Stanford widening its lead, this is not the time to miss those free shots.

Stay's crunch time!

Stanford 53
ASU 47

Time: 1:29

Cold as ice

TEMPE, Ariz -- Stanford's Wiggins won the battle of 'ice vs. ace' last month when Stanford played Tennessee, but right now, she is shooting cold as ice in this game.

Wiggins is shooting a dismal 4-for-14 from the field and 2-for-7 from three-point land for the game.


Stay tuned...

Stanford 47
ASU 42

Time: 3:55

Oh Noe You Don't!

TEMPE, Ariz -- ASU's Jill Noe (pronounced no) just drove the lane into Stanford's trees and was quickly shown to a seat on the floor.

After trading baskets, Stanford is enjoying the lead for the moment, 43-40.

Stay tuned...

Time: 6:59

It's all about the knees

TEMPE, Ariz -- ASU is currently up by four points during our time out and with so many ACL injuries in women's college basketball this season, it's about time to start a knee brace or taped knee count.

In this game ASU has 1 taped player (January) and two braces (Dymond Simon and Sybil Dosty) while Stanford is 0-2 in the count.

Since starting this entry Stanford has chopped-up ASU's lead and taking over with a slight edge.

Stay tuned...

Stanford 39
ASU 38

Time: 9:12

Running down a lead

TEMPE, Ariz -- It's the first time out of the second half and Stanford has come out with guns blazing.

The Cardinal are on a 7-0 run here in the first three minutes of the half and just warming up.

Stay tuned...

Stanford 27
ASU 31

Time: 17:00

Bad Karma Boyko?

TEMPE, Ariz -- ASU's Briann January just took down Stanford's Candice Wiggins to the ground on an out-of-control layup. Everyone gasped, either in fear of one of the players being injured or to see how Wiggins would react. Instead, Wiggins quickly jumped up to her feet and moved away from January laying on the floor. While Wiggins was being surrounded by her teammates Hays raised an eyebrow in my direction.

Before the game I was telling Hays the story about the incident at the end of the UCLA at USC women's game yesterday when it was determined that if another altercation breaks out in today's game, I may be the bearer of bad karma in a game.

Yeah, I may have a few women's basketball sports information directors not allow me to cover the games if I go 2-for-2 this weekend in altercations.

ASU is on a high as they have extended their lead to 11 in this heated battle.

Stay tuned...

Stanford 17
ASU 28

Time: 1:38

Get rid of the lid

TEMPE, Ariz -- My title may be what is going through the mind of the Stanford players right now.

The Cardinal are shooting a sad 20% from the field while ASU is lighting up the scoreboard with its 44% shooting.

Yes, Stanford is taking some bad shots, but there have been more than a few shots that have gone in and out of the basket.

Stay tuned...

Stanford 11
ASU 17

Time: 7:27

The Yellow Submarine Strikes First

TEMPE, Ariz -- The Beatles are one of my favorite bands of all time and with the sea of ASU yellow in the crowd, I am reminded of a certain song by the Beatles that shares this color.

It early in the game and if these two teams can keep up their intensity for next 35 minutes, this may be another game this weekend that will come down to the wire.

After trading missed opening shots, ASU got on the board first and is currently holding a slight edge over Stanford.

Stanford has opted for a man defense in the opening minutes while ASU is in a 3-2 zone.

ASU just did its first mass substitution to keep fresh legs on the floor and we are at a time out.

Stay tuned...

Stanford 6
ASU 10

Supporting The Sun Devils

TEMPE, Ariz -- We still have a few minutes before starting here in the Wells Fargo Arena and while walking back from the press room with and savoring my last bites of pizza, I see ASU football coach Dennis Erickson walking down the ramp towards the court.

Yup, the Pac-10 Football Coach of the Year is on hand to support one of the other ASU teams.

Before he took his seat here is what Erickson told me of his impression of today's match-up:

"This is going to be a tough one."

Stay tuned...

Of Sun Devils and Trees

TEMPE, Ariz -- It's a blogapalooza for Pac-10 women's basketball this weekend as we are llive from downtown Tempe for No. 7/6 Stanford visiting No. 25 ASU.

This was supposed to be one of the biggest match-ups of the year in Pac-10 women's basketball, but with Stanford having dropped two Pac-10 games while in Los Angeles two weeks ago and ASU having a rough time during the preseason, both teams still have a lot of questions surrounding them.

Stanford is coming off a Thrusday night 89-64 blowout of Arizona in Tucson and looking to make it two weeks in a row of sweeping their opponents. In their last game the Cardinal were led by Arizona native and freshman Kayla Pedersen with 22 points on 8-of-10 shooting and nine rebounds. Sophomore Jayne Appel recorded her fifth double-double of the season with her 16 points and 11 rebounds. In total there were five Stanford players who finished with double-doubles (senior Candice Wiggings, sophomore JJ Hones and junior Morgan Clyburn rounded out the five) and the team finished with a season-high 60.7% shooting.

Yet with all of the momentum the Cardinal have coming in today, the Sun Devils are hoping to pick-up another Pac-10 win after losing to visiting Cal, 51-64, on Thursday. In addition, it was a year ago when these two teams duked it out through overtime only to see Stanford come out on top, 73-65.

ASU is being paced by junior transfer Lauren Lacey's 12.6 ppg and 6.4 rpg and junior Briann January's 11.8 ppg. The real key for the Sun Devils is how long it will take for them to find their identity for this season. The Sun Devils entered this season with lots of momentum after finishing in the Elite Eight -- the program's best finish in its history -- but not enjoying the same kind of success. ASU finished the preseason with a 6-5 record and has dropped to the bottom of the top 25 after being ranked No. 12 in the preseason Women's Basketball Coaches Association poll.

Today's game should be lively as it is part of the NCAA's "Pack the House Challenge" and there's a full house along press row. Along with sitting next to Graham Hays of, Fox Sports is to my right, the Sun Devil Sports Network radio is to my left and across the court there is media sitting on the floor among the officials.

Stay tuned, we are tipping off in 30 mintues...

December 13, 2007

Recap: Big 12 Texas Tech beats Pac-10 Arizona State

LUBBOCK,TX--It was a tight game from the tip-off and wasn't over until 3 seconds remained on the clock as Jordan Murphree sank the last point of the game on a free throw to send the Sun Devils back to Arizona with a loss.

This game saw 13 lead changes and 12 ties.

Continue reading "Recap: Big 12 Texas Tech beats Pac-10 Arizona State" »

Tech wins in a thriller

Despite only shooting 6-14 from the floor and missing two free throws with 5 seconds left, Maria Moore may have saved the Lady Raiders from falling to the Sun Devils.

Continue reading "Tech wins in a thriller" »

Tech pulls away

LUBBOCK, TX--After a timeout, Simon made her return.

An ASU turnover led to two points for Maria Moore. After Briann January knocked down two, Moore hit another big shot for the Lady Raiders.

Off a Simon miss, Ashlee Roberson got the board then dished it to Stanecia Graham in the paint for two.

Afetr two January free throws two cut the Tech lead to two, Raquel Christian also found Graham in the paint for two.
The score is now 65-61 with 3:30 left to play.

Simon goes down after great start to half

a2 7 pts

seals and 1 on the inbound from moore to tie and take lead with 16:15 left.
moore miss layup
a22 for 3
a11 stl; a23 miss
tt24 for 2
a21 for 2
moore off foul

Continue reading "Simon goes down after great start to half" »

Half time at Texas Tech vs Arizona State

LUBBOCK, TX--It's halftime and a tie game.

Its been a back and forth first half between the Lady Raiders and the Lady Sun Devils. There have been four lead changes and four tied moments.

Continue reading "Half time at Texas Tech vs Arizona State" »

Tech on top

Dominic Seals is making plays for the Lady Raiders.

Continue reading "Tech on top" »

Arizona State stumbles but takes takes the lead

In the opening 2:21, Arizona State won the tip and then Texas Tech didn't give them nothing else. The Lady Raiders went on a 9-4 run. ASU was also quickly out-rebounded 3-1, right off the bat.

After a timeout, the Lady Devils came out with six quick points to take the early lead at 10-9. Two buckets from Reagen Pariseau and one from Jill Noe got the Devils on top.

Big 12 Texas Tech-Pac 10 Arizona State

LUBBOCK, TX--The Texas Tech Lady Raiders and the Arizona State Sun Devils are getting set to tip-off against each other for the sixth time. The Lady Devils currently hold the series lead over Tech, 3-2 after a 61-45 victory last season.

Continue reading "Big 12 Texas Tech-Pac 10 Arizona State" »

November 11, 2007

Carolina pulls away for win vs. ASU

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- As the second half started, North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell could be heard above the noise of the Smith Center crowd as she implored her team to play better defense than it did in the game's first 20 minutes.

Continue reading "Carolina pulls away for win vs. ASU" »

Tar Heels taking control late

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- The wheels are starting to fall off of Arizona State. There might not be any further proof needed than the fact that they just forgot entirely to guard Erlana Larkins.

Continue reading "Tar Heels taking control late" »

Heels coming together, Devils struggling

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- It seems like every time the Sun Devils hit a big 3-pointer to cut Carolina's lead to a point, something happens to the Tar Heels, and they respond by remembering how to make good passes and play together on offense -- something that wasn't happening very much in the first half.

Continue reading "Heels coming together, Devils struggling" »

Baptism by fire for UNC freshmen

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell has certainly been getting her freshmen some big-time game experience, at times without veteran help around them.

Continue reading "Baptism by fire for UNC freshmen" »

Carolina has slight edge at half

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- The Tar Heels had worked their way to a double-digit lead briefly in the later moments of the first half, but Arizona State kept pushing back and trailed by just a point, 43-42, at halftime.

Continue reading "Carolina has slight edge at half" »

Random sights and sounds

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- What else is there to do during the final television timeout of the first half other than watch what's going on around you? Not much, really. Luckily, there are a few funny things going on.

Continue reading "Random sights and sounds" »

Back and Forth

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Even though it's the Tar Heels who are known for running the floor with the best of them, the Sun Devils are giving UNC a taste of its own medicine.

Continue reading "Back and Forth" »

Carolina big early on boards

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- North Carolina started its scoring with a Heather Claytor 3-pointer, but since then, most of the Tar Heels work has been inside.

Continue reading "Carolina big early on boards" »

Tar Heels, Sun Devils set for showdown

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - The Smith Center has seen plenty of great games as the home to the North Carolina men, but it's going to be quite a showing of women's basketball here today with four ranked teams squaring off. Things get started with No. 12 Arizona State taking on the host Tar Heels, who are ranked seventh.

Continue reading "Tar Heels, Sun Devils set for showdown" »