WHAT: No. 20/22 Sun Devil Women’s Basketball (22-6, 11-5 Pac-12) at Oregon (13-14, 4-12 Pac-12)
WHEN: Friday at 7 p.m. PT/8 p.m. MT
WHERE: Matthew Knight Arena, Eugene, Ore.
LIVE STREAM: http://pac-12.com/videos/university-oregon-2
RADIO: NBC Sports Radio AM 1060 (coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. MT)
The No. 20/22 Arizona State University women’s basketball team closes out the regular season portion of its schedule this weekend when it makes the first of two consecutive trips to the Pacific Northwest to take on Oregon (Friday at 7 p.m. PT/8 p.m. MT) and Oregon State (Sunday at 1 p.m. PT/2 p.m. MT).
The Sun Devils will make the trek back to the very same region next week when they travel to Seattle, Wash., for the 2014 Pac-12 Tournament.
Who the Sun Devils will play against in the Pac-12 Tournament and on what day they will commence competition still has yet to be determined. ASU (22-6, 11-5 Pac-12) comes into the final weekend of conference play tied with Oregon State for third place. The Beavers and Sun Devils are one game behind second-place Cal (20-7, 12-4) and two games ahead of Washington (16-11, 9-7) USC (16-12, 9-7) and Washington State (15-13, 9-7), who are all tied for fifth place. At stake for the Sun Devils this weekend is securing one of the first-round byes in next week’s tournament that will go to the top four finishers in the conference.
ASU controls its own destiny as far as holding on to its current No. 3 spot in the conference. If the Sun Devils sweep both of this weekend’s contests then they will be no lower than third. If ASU wins both games it’s still possible it could move into the No. 2 slot depending on how Cal fares at home against the Washington schools. If the Sun Devils finish second or third it would be the 10th time since 2001 that they have finished in third place or higher in the Pac-10/12.
ASU snapped a three-game losing streak and improved to 14-1 at home following their wins last weekend over Colorado (55-51) and Utah (60-40).
Deja Mann (9.5 ppg, 6-12 FGs, 6-6 FTs) and Katie Hempen (9.0 ppg, 5-10 FGs, 4-4 FTs) combined to average 18.5 ppg in last week’s wins. Both players shot 50 percent from the floor and were perfect from the line. Sophie Brunner (6.0 rpg), Kelsey Moos (5.5 rpg) and Elisha Davis (5.0 rpg) combined to average 16.5 rebounds in the two games. Davis also averaged 3.5 assists for the weekend.
Friday’s game at Oregon is a rematch of a game played in Tempe on Super Bowl Sunday. Joy Burke posted career highs in points (22), field goals (11) and rebounds (15) to help lead ASU to a 97-94 win over the Ducks. Also posting double-digit scoring totals for the Sun Devils, who shot 51 percent from the field and overcame an eight-point second-half deficit, were Promise Amukamara (19 points), Katie Hempen (16 points) and Elisha Davis (11 points). Deja Mann added a career-high nine assists for ASU while Adrianne Thomas scored all nine of her points from the free throw line (9-12).
Burke, Hempen and Davis combined for 49 of the 53 points the Sun Devils received from their bench.
ASU had season highs in points (97), field goals (38), assists (26), bench points (53) and rebounds (52)
Both of this weekend’s game will be streamed live on the Internet. Friday’s game at Oregon can be seen by going to http://pac-12.com/videos/university-oregon-2 and Sunday’s game at Oregon State can be seen by going to http://pac-12.com/videos/oregon-state-university.
Both games can also be heard live on NBC Sports Radio AM 1060. Coverage will begin at 7:30 p.m. MT on Friday and 1:30 p.m. MT on Sunday. Veteran broadcaster and the state of Arizona’s 2010 Broadcaster of the Year Jeff Munn is in his 10th season as the voice of ASU women’s basketball.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
• ASU was one of three schools – current No. 5 Stanford and Colorado – to start Pac-12 play with only one loss in non-conference play. For ASU, it was the sixth time since 1986-87 (first season of Pac-10/12 play) that it entered league play with only one loss.
• With their win over Arizona on Feb. 4, the Sun Devils have now won 20 or more games 10 times since the 2000-01 season. Only Stanford (13) has accomplished the feat more in the Pac-10/12 during that span.
• The storyline of ASU’s success this season has been teamwork. Ten Sun Devils have scored in double figures; seven have led/tied for team lead in scoring; seven have led/tied for team lead in assists; and six have led/tied for team lead in rebounds.
• ASU has been ranked as high as No. 11 in the AP poll this season (Feb. 3).
• ASU’s non-conference schedule included a pair of wins over Top 25 teams. The Sun Devils defeated then-No. 11 North Carolina 94-81 in OT at the Cancun Challenge on Nov. 29. On Dec. 30, ASU came from behind to beat then-No. 20 Syracuse, 63-60, in Tempe. ASU’s only loss in non-conference play came on the road in the season’s second game to a San Diego squad, which had its best start in school history winning its first 15 games (22-6 as of Feb. 26). The Sun Devils led by as many as 11 in the first half of their 85-78 loss at Washington State (Jan. 3). The difference in the game for ASU proved to be 15 missed free throws (28-43). ASU recorded its third win against a Top 25 opponent when it defeated then-No. 15 Cal 68-59 in Tempe on Jan. 17, ending the Bears’ Pac-12, regular-season winning streak at 19 games. The Sun Devils dropped their first contest to a ranked opponent when then-No. 4 Stanford came to Tempe and defeated ASU 80-56 on Jan. 20. Stanford would hand the Sun Devils another defeat, 61-35, on Feb. 14 in Palo Alto as would Cal in the rematch (74-63) on Feb. 16 in Berkeley.
• ASU is No. 22 in NCAA’s most recent RPI (Feb. 17). ASU is one of four Pac-12 schools among the Top 35: Stanford (No. 3)/Cal (No. 18)/Oregon State (No. 32).
• ASU’s earlier 10-game winning streak tied the second-longest run in program history. The string was ASU’s longest since it won a school record 15 straight in 2009 (after losing first two Pac-10 games won next 15). ASU’s five-game winning streak in Jan. - Feb. represented the 21st time since 2001 that it has had a winning streak of five or more games.
• ASU has scored 80 or more points 9x this season, has shot 50 percent or higher 8x and has had 15 or more assists 15x, including a season-best 26 vs. Oregon (Feb. 2).
• ASU has held to opposition to 25 percent or less from 3-point range 11x this season. On Jan. 26, ASU did not allow a 3-pointer at Colorado, ending CU’s streak of making at least one triple in 285 straight games. On Feb. 14, ASU held Stanford without a 3-pointer, the first time the Cardinal did not connect from long range in more than a year.
• After averaging 20.9 turnovers in its first nine contests, ASU is averaging 15.1 in its last 19 games. ASU has had 16 or fewer turnovers 14x during that span, including a season low of seven vs. Oregon State (Jan. 31).
• Thirteen of ASU’s wins this season have come when they were either trailing or ahead by only one point or tied at some juncture in the last five minutes of regulation. • The Sun Devils are 12-0 in games decided by five points or less AND/OR overtime.
• In the final minute of its Pac-12 wins that have been decided by four points or less (vs. UCLA, at Utah, at Colorado, vs. Oregon State, vs. Oregon, vs. Colorado), ASU has shot 57 percent from the floor and is +6 in turnover margin (1/7).
• As of Feb. 26, ASU is ranked among the top third in the Pac-12 in rebounding defense (2nd/34.8 rpg), FG pct. (3rd, 42.3), offensive rebounds (3rd/14.4 rpg), scoring margin (4th, +6.4), scoring defense (4th, 64.2 ppg), steals (4th/8.5 spg) and turnover margin (4th/+1.5).
• ASU has won the battle of the boards in all but nine games this season. They are 4-5 in those contests – at San Diego (Nov. 13 - L), vs. Miami (Dec. 21 - W), vs. UCLA (Jan. 12 - W), vs. Stanford (Jan. 20 - L), at Colorado (Jan. 26 - W) vs. Oregon State (Jan. 31 - W), at Arizona (Feb. 9 - tied in rebounds - L), at Stanford (Feb. 14 - L), at Cal (Feb, 16 - L).
• ASU’s bench is outscoring the opposition’s bench by an average of 14.5 points per game (30.0-14.5). It has scored 40 or more points 4x, including a season-best of 53 vs. Oregon (Feb. 2).
• Freshman Sophie Brunner (89), senior Joy Burke (65) and freshman Kelsey Moos (63) have combined for 217 of ASU’s 402 offensive boards.
• Ten different Sun Devils have scored in double figures this season – Mann (17x), Hempen (13x), Thomas (10x), Brunner (10x), Burke (10x), Moos (8x), Amukamara (7x), Davis (4x), RS-sophomore Eliza Normen (1x) and freshman Quinn Dornstauder (1x).
SERIES NOTES VS. OREGON (ASU LEADS 28-26 SINCE 1986-87)
ASU has won 23 of the 27 meetings since the 2000-01 season. Oregon’s 82-81 win in Eugene in 2010 snapped a 10-game ASU winning streak in the series. ASU won the only meeting last season, 60-45 in Tempe. Current Sun Devil Joy Burke (11 points) was one of two Sun Devils who scored in double figures in that contest.
Burke had career highs in points (22) and rebounds (15) in last month’s win over Oregon in Tempe. Also posting double-digit scoring totals for the Sun Devils (19-3, 8-2 Pac-12), who shot 51 percent from the field, were Promise Amukamara (19 points), Katie Hempen (16 points) and Elisha Davis (11 points). Deja Mann added a career-high nine assists for ASU while Adrianne Thomas scored all nine of her points from the free throw line (9-12).