PHOENIX (AP) -- There's a reason basketball is an indoor sport.
It's cold outside in mid-December, even in the desert, and it might
Just like it did Monday night.
Arizona State (No. 11 ESPN/USA Today, No. 10 AP) beat Texas Tech 61-45 when the second
outdoor game in women's college basketball history was called on
account of rain with 4:18 to play at Chase Field, home of
baseball's Arizona Diamondbacks.
"A basketball game has never been rained out before," Arizona
State's Emily Westerberg said, "so I think it's really cool to be
a part of that."
They pulled out the tarp but there wasn't time to close the roof
before the court got dangerously wet and the game was called
because of concern that players would be injured.
"I think it was a blast, actually," Arizona State's Danielle
Orsillo said of the game's damp finish. "I think it just added
more character to the game. It was really fun."
The temperature was a brisk 56 degrees at tip-off under partly
cloudy skies in downtown Phoenix and most of the crowd of 7,791 in
the 49,000-seat stadium were bundled up like Packers fans at
"It was really cold, like really cold," said Orsillo, one of
two ASU players who chose not to wear long-sleeve shirts under
In the second half, when Arizona State led by as many as 20
points, a slight wind made it even colder, then the raindrops came.
A month ago in the U.S. Virgin Islands, ASU canceled its game
against Rutgers in the championship of the Paradise Jam after the
younger brother the Sun Devils' Aubrey Johnson died in his sleep
there of an enlarged heart. So a little rain was no big deal.
"I just laughed. You've got to laugh," Sun Devils coach Charli
Turner Thorne said. "You've got to have a sense of humor. This
team's been through a lot these last few weeks, so you know what,
this was fun."
Orsillo led the Sun Devils with 16 points on 7-for-8 shooting.
Erin Myrick was the only Texas Tech player in double figures with
"We did what we do," Turner Thorne said, "even though we were
outside and it was a little nippy. It's a great challenge.
Obviously we could have played in the comforts of our home in Wells
Fargo Arena, but we kind of made a unique challenge out of it, and
I think they did a great job with it."
The Lady Raiders (8-4) took a 7-2 lead, but the Sun Devils
responded with a 22-5 outburst. Turner Thorne substitutes often and
in waves, and the reserves -- led by 5-foot-5 freshman Dymond Simon
-- triggered the run.
Simon's driving layup punctuated the surge and put Arizona State
ahead 24-12 with 7:49 left in the half.
The Lady Raiders twice cut it to seven late in the first half
and trailed 37-25 at the break.
Westerberg scored four in a 10-0 run early in the second half
that put the Sun Devils up 47-27 on Danielle Orsillo's basket with
15:12 to play. Texas Tech never got closer than 16 again.
"If they'd have had a little radar or something we could have
seen it coming and maybe closed the roof in time," Texas Tech
coach Kristy Curry said. "Keep an eye on the tracker. We've got
that on a channel back home."
The court used by the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury was moved from U.S.
Airways Center, a block away, and installed along the first base
side of the infield. The NCAA allowed players to wear long-sleeve
shirts under their jerseys. Four ASU starters and one Texas Tech
player did so. A couple of Arizona State players wore gloves on the
The first women's outdoor game also was held at Chase -- then
known as Bank One Ballpark -- in 2000, when Tennessee beat Arizona
Tennessee was invited to participate this year, too, but
declined, opting instead for the warmth of Wells Fargo Arena in
Tempe, where the Lady Vols handed Arizona State its only loss this
"It was a great experience and it was great for women's
basketball," said Curry, in her first year in Lubbock after a
highly successful tenure at Purdue. "I guess one thing you can't
control is the weather."