ASU women hold on to beat Northern Iowa

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Joy Burke with 14 points and Micaela Pickens with 13 points tied their career highs in scoring to help the Arizona State women’s basketball team defeat Northern Iowa 66-63 during the first day of play at the South Point Thanksgiving Shootout.
 
The Sun Devils (1-2) shot a season-high 47 percent to pick up their first win of the season. Burke (6 for 12), Pickens (6 for 8) and Elisha Davis (4 for 7), who scored nine points, combined to shoot 59 percent from the field.
 
UNI (2-2), which connected on 47 percent of its 3-point field goals, was led by Jacqui Lewis with 14 points, Jess McDowell with 14 points and Sharnae Lamar with 11 points.
 
After trailing by as many as eight in the second half, the Panthers clawed their way back to eventually take a 43-42 lead after McDowell’s 3-pointer capped a 12-4 run.
 
ASU would counter with a 10-3 run of its own to take a 51-45 lead with 10:01 left.  Janae Fulcher, who returned to action after leaving ASU’s contest at UTEP last Sunday with an injury, scored four of her six points during the scoring spurt.
 
In what became a game of runs, the Panthers would bounce back with a 10-4 run, once again capped by a McDowell 3-pointer to give UNI a 55-54 lead with 6:34 left.
 
The Panthers’ final lead of the game would last all of 13 seconds after Burke’s layup gave ASU a 56-55 lead. Another layup by Burke extended ASU’s advantage to 60-55 with 4:18 left.
 
The Panthers would get as close as two on three different occasions over the last 3:32 of the game but would get no closer. UNI would have a final chance to tie the game in the closing seconds, but ASU’s defense did not even allow the Panthers to get off a potential game-tying 3-pointer.
 
Aiding ASU in the win were decisive advantages in points in the paint (32-16) and second-chance points (16-8).
 
The Sun Devils led by as many as seven points in the first half after Burke connected on her first career 3-pointer to give ASU a 15-8 lead with 13:32 remaining. The Panthers would use a 12-2 run over the next 3:32 to take a 20-17 advantage.
 
ASU would counter with a 17-8 run over the last 9:50 of the half to take a 34-28 lead into the locker room. The Sun Devils, who shot 52 percent in the first half, allowed the Panthers to make only two field goals over the last nine-plus minutes of the first half.
 
Pickens led ASU with nine points in the first half while Haley Videckis scored seven of her nine points during the first 20 minutes.
 
The Sun Devils would take their largest lead of the game after Burke’s field goal 20 seconds into the second half gave ASU a 36-28 lead.
 
The Sun Devils continue play at the South Point Thanksgiving Shootout tomorrow when they take on N.C. State at 2:30 p.m. PT/3:30 p.m. MT.