Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

UConn denies ASU a spot in Final Four

Arizona State's Lauren Lacey (left), Kate Engelbrecht (center) and Sybil Dosty watch from the bench near the end of Tuesday's loss to  Connecticut in Trenton, N.J. Engelbrecht and Dosty are from Tucson.

Arizona State's Lauren Lacey (left), Kate Engelbrecht (center) and Sybil Dosty watch from the bench near the end of Tuesday's loss to Connecticut in Trenton, N.J. Engelbrecht and Dosty are from Tucson.

TRENTON, N.J. – Here’s the dilemma when playing undefeated No. 1 Connecticut as opposed to other teams in women’s college basketball.

You must choose between playing elite transition defense, especially to limit All-American forward and likely national Player of the Year Maya Moore, and getting successful rebounding position.

“We didn’t do either one,” Arizona State guard Danielle Orsillo said after UConn’s 83-64 NCAA Tournament victory over the Sun Devils on Tuesday in front of 4,758 at Sovereign Bank Arena. “Maybe if we would have chosen to rebound, it would have been better. Or chose to stop them in transition. But we just didn’t put enough of our attention to one of them, and that showed up.”

Connecticut (37-0) returns to the Final Four and a rematch Sunday with No. 2 Stanford (33-4), the last team to beat the Huskies, in the 2008 NCAA semifinals.

ASU missed out on its first Final Four appearance for the second time in the past three years.

Moore played all 40 minutes and scored 25 points, including five 3-pointers, and point guard Renee Montgomery, also named to the Associated Press All-America first team Tuesday, added 22.

Center Tina Charles, a second-team All-American, grabbed 13 rebounds and had 18 points. Moore and Montgomery each had nine rebounds as the Huskies had a staggering 45-19 edge on the glass.

No. 19 ASU (26-9), which had outrebounded its past three postseason opponents by an average of 33-27, had four fewer rebounds against UConn than its previous season low.

“We didn’t get the energy we needed to get,” ASU coach Charli Turner Thorne said. “What I’m telling them in every huddle, ‘Guys you’re not rebounding, get into your defense sooner, find Moore, find Montgomery.’ ”

Moore had Turner Thorne flashing back to former Stanford wing Lindsey Yamasaki, who as a trailing forward with long 3-point range also was extremely difficult to guard in transition.

“Maya at the four (power forward) is going to be a very tough matchup for Stanford,” Turner Thorne said.

Despite being outrebounded 24-6 in the first half, ASU trailed only 37-28. The Sun Devils still were within eight, at 59-51, after a Nia Fanaika 3-pointer with 10:47 remaining. But Moore hit consecutive 3-pointers.

ASU continued to play hard but could not get closer than 12, at 71-59, in the final six minutes.

Orsillo had 18 points, and Briann January, one of six ASU seniors, added 12. Former Salpointe Catholic High School star Sybil Dosty had a team-high five rebounds, and no other Sun Devils player had more than three.

“We were really concerned with their transition offense, and we weren’t crashing on our offensive end,” forward Kayli Murphy said. “They hit a lot of shots, so it was hard to get the rebounds. We just didn’t put it together. That’s the way we beat people on the boards when we have a really great transition offensive game, because they have to worry about getting back. That’s how they did it.”

Turner Thorne said ASU felt the absence of injured point guard Dymond Simon more than at any other time in NCAA Tournament play and that two-time Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year January showed some effects of a sprained ankle suffered eight days earlier by not being able to fully dig in defensively against Montgomery.

Oklahoma beats Purdue

Oklahoma 74, Purdue 68: In Oklahoma City, Courtney Paris will get the chance to back up her national championship guarantee in the Final Four.

Paris led the way with 19 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks as top-seeded Oklahoma surged ahead in the second half to earn its second trip to the Final Four in school history.

The Sooners (32-4) will face Louisville, an upset winner against top-seeded Maryland, in the national semifinals in St. Louis. Danielle Robinson scored 23 points for Oklahoma, which has made it this far for the first time since losing to Connecticut in the 2002 championship game.

Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton led sixth-seeded Purdue (25-11) with 20 points and 13 rebounds, and Lakisha Freeman scored 12 points.

The Associated Press

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

Search site | Terms of service