- Associated Press - Saturday, March 22, 2014

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Charli Turner Thorne kept sending different players in - wave after wave of Arizona State Sun Devils.

It was more than Vanderblit could handle.

“When we’re playing like we did today, we feed off each other,” said Turner Thorne, Arizona State’s coach. “They did a great job of stepping up.”

Katie Hempen scored 16 points, and the ninth-seeded Sun Devils handed eighth-seeded Vanderbilt a rare first-round loss in the NCAA tournament, holding off the Commodores 69-61 on Saturday. Arizona State had more than enough balance and depth to overcome foul trouble to a couple of key players.

“If we get tired and pull on our jerseys and say we need a sub, we know the next person coming in is going to do the exact same thing we do,” Hempen said. “I think that gives us confidence.”

The Sun Devils (23-9) shot 62 percent to win this matchup between two teams who struggled coming into this tournament. Arizona State had lost three in a row and six of eight. Vanderbilt’s loss Saturday was its fifth straight and 10th in 12 games.

In the second round Monday, Arizona State will face unbeaten Notre Dame, the regional’s top seed.

Marqu'es Webb scored 18 points for the Commodores (18-13), overpowering Arizona State inside, and senior star Christina Foggie added 16.

“All year, everyone’s been telling me to just shoot the ball,” Webb, a freshman, said with a laugh. “They’ve had trust and belief in me the whole season.”

Vanderbilt was making its 15th straight NCAA tournament appearance and had lost in the first round only once in the previous 11 years. The Commodores might have pulled this one out, but they couldn’t take advantage of Arizona State’s foul trouble. The first 23 free throws of the game were attempted by Vanderbilt - the Sun Devils didn’t shoot any until the last 1:40.

But the Commodores couldn’t capitalize, finishing only 14 of 27 from the line.

Deja Mann, Arizona State’s leading scorer, did not attempt a shot in the first half and finished with only eight points. It didn’t matter.

Neither did the 19 turnovers by the Sun Devils.

“This is what we’ve done all year long, is we’ve been able to score well,” Turner Thorne said. “It has offset turnovers, or not rebounding as well as we need to.”

Arizona State used 11 players, and they were all in for at least six minutes.

Story Continues →