for this game

Appel's big game leads Stanford past Arizona State

Feb 26, 2010 - 5:28 AM TEMPE, Ariz.(AP) -- Jayne Appel knew clinching the Pac-10 regular-season title wouldn't be easy. Stanford's games at Arizona State never are.

"I think that's what to be expected," said Appel, who had 19 points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots in leading the second-ranked Cardinal past the Sun Devils 62-43 on Thursday night.

"I don't think in four years I've ever had an easy game at ASU," said Appel, who's four rebounds from tying Lisa Leslie's Pac-10's career mark for rebounds with 1,214.

"So I'm happy we came out with the win, even if it was ugly," Appel said.

It was the Cardinal's 17th straight win and sixth consecutive outright Pac-10 regular-season championship.

Kayla Pedersen added 12 points, six rebounds and four assists for Stanford (26-1, 16-0), which has shared or won the conference title outright for 10 years in a row. The Cardinal has won 19 Pac-10 titles overall.

"We win by 19 points, (but) different people just did not have their usual good days," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. "I just feel we should be able to execute better."

Danielle Orsillo scored 12 points for Arizona State (16-10, 8-7), which has lost three of its last five. The Sun Devils haven't lost 10 regular-season games since the 2003-04 season. Arizona State has had 10 straight postseason appearances, the last five in the NCAA tournament, including making the regional finals in two of the last three years.

Stanford has won all but one of its conference games by at least 15 points and league's best defense held the Sun Devils to 16 of 52 (30.8 percent) shooting from the field.

"Well, I think we executed part of our game plan, in the sense that we were pretty much even with possessions," Arizona State coach Charli Turner Thorne said. "We slowed the game down, we were pretty even on the boards and we did a fairly good job defending. Obviously, make your layups, make your free throws and you are right there."

The Sun Devils missed 13 shots up close and seven free throws in the worst scoring night of the season.

Having secured the top seed for the conference tournament, the Cardinal still remain focused on a bigger goal, Pedersen said.

"We're not guaranteed anything in the NCAA," Pedersen said. "So winning the (Pac-10) tournament would be great, and, of course, trying to show everybody why we deserve a No. 1 seed."

The Cardinal didn't pull away until midway through the second half after the Sun Devils had gotten within 40-32 with 14:12 left. Appel scored six points in a span of 1 minute, 45 seconds to help Stanford get a 53-39 advantage with 4:50 remaining.

"We just didn't get the right people the ball at the right time," Turner Thorne said. "We wanted to use the clock, we wanted to be patient. We did a pretty good job of being patient with our shots, but we didn't do a good job of getting the right people the right shot."

Stanford quickly ran out to a 10-0 lead after Arizona State missed its first six shots - four from the field and two free throws - in the first four minutes. But the Cardinal, the third-best shooting team in the nation coming into the game, went 5 of 14 from the field the rest of the half and held a 29-20 lead at the break.

Stanford hasn't lost since falling 80-68 to No. 1 Connecticut on Dec. 23. The Cardinal have also beaten Arizona State nine straight times, and in 13 of the last 15 meetings.