March 21, 2009


DULUTH, Ga. (AP) -Arizona State relied on its defense Saturday, holding Georgia to 20 first-half points to beat the Lady Bulldogs 58-47 in the NCAA tournament's opening round.

The sixth-seeded Sun Devils entered the tourney with a two-game losing streak after point guard Dymond Simon tore a ligament in her left knee.

Arizona State (24-8) led 27-20 at halftime and stretched the lead to 16 at 44-28. Christy Marshall scored for No. 11 seed Georgia (18-14) with 4:45 remaining to cut the lead to 48-41. Kayli Murphy, who had 12 points and 11 rebounds, scored Arizona State's next three baskets to push the lead back to double digits.

Lauren Lacey and Becca Tobin also had 12 points each for Arizona State.