Lady Sun Devils open NCAA tournament on road against Georgia

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TEMPE -- As the Arizona State Sun Devils reeled off a school-record 15 straight wins this season, coach Charli Turner Thorne thought she might have one of the best teams in school history.

Then ASU lost leading scorer Dymond Simon with a knee injury at Stanford on the regular season's final weekend.

It was a double blow to the 19th-ranked Sun Devils.

They lost both games since Simon was hurt, then were dropped to a sixth seed in the NCAA tournament's Trenton Regional.

To top it off, ASU will have to face 11th-seeded Georgia tomorrow in Duluth -- not far from the Lady Bulldogs' campus in Athens.

That's why Turner Thorne and her players aren't celebrating a school-record fifth straight trip to the NCAAs.

The Sun Devils have made it seven times in nine seasons under Turner -- four more than in the 15 years before she arrived in Tempe.

If ASU beats Georgia, it would face third-seeded Florida State or 14th-seeded North Carolina A&T in the second round.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)