WHAT: No. 20/22 Sun Devil Women’s Basketball (20-6, 9-5 Pac-12) vs. Colorado (14-11, 4-10 Pac-12)
WHEN: Friday at 6:30 p.m. MT
WHERE: Wells Fargo Arena, Tempe, Ariz.
RADIO: NBC Sports Radio AM 1060 (coverage begins at 6 p.m.)
PROMOTION: Play 4Kay Pink Game for Breast Cancer Awareness. Fans who will PINK will receive $5 admission. There will also be a FREE Spirit Squad Youth Clinic (ages 12 and under). Mobile Onsite Mammogram will also on the NE side of Wells Fargo Arena from 5-6:30 p.m. (appointment required).
The No. 20 Arizona State women’s basketball team hosts its final two home games of the 2013-14 season this weekend when Colorado (Friday at 6:30 p.m. MT) and Utah (Sunday at 1 p.m. MT) visit Wells Fargo Arena.
This weekend’s games will be the final at home for Sun Devil seniors Joy Burke, Deja Mann and Adrianne Thomas. The trio will be recognized in a ceremony following Sunday’s game vs. Utah.
Friday’s game vs. Colorado will be ASU’s annual `Play 4Kay’ game. The 2014 Play 4Kay initiative is an opportunity for a nation of coaches to raise breast cancer awareness and funds for research on the court, across campuses, in communities and beyond.
Since its inception in 2007, the Play 4Kay initiative has raised more than $2.8 million to support women’s cancer research. The Kay Yow Cancer Fund is the official charity of the initiative.
The Sun Devils are coming off a tough stretch that saw them drop three straight games – all on the road. Most recently, ASU became the fifth Pac-12 team this season to leave the Bay Area winless after being knocked off by current No. 5 Stanford (61-35) and current No. 18 Cal (74-63) last week. Most of ASU’s woes in last week’s setbacks came on the offensive end where it shot 31 percent in the two games, including 14 percent from 3-point range. ASU was also not able to help its cause at the free throw line where it shot 52 percent (15-29).
With four games remaining in the regular season, the Sun Devils (20-6, 9-5 Pac-12) come into Friday’s game in a three-way tie for third place in the Pac-12 with Oregon State (17-9, 9-5) and USC (16-10, 9-5). All three teams are one game behind second-place Cal (18-7, 10-4) and one game ahead of Washington State (14-12, 8-6) and Washington (15-10, 8-6), who are tied for sixth place. There will be three head-to-head meetings this weekend involving the aforementioned six teams behind first-place Stanford (24-2, 13-1). Oregon State will play at Washington on Friday and at Washington State on Sunday while Cal will play at USC on Sunday.
Both of ASU’s games this weekend are rematches of contests that came down to the final possession last month. On Jan. 24 at Utah, the Utes came back from an eight-point deficit in the final minutes to take the lead before the Sun Devils recovered to claim a 65-62 win. Two days later at Colorado, Adrianne Thomas connected on a pair of free throws with 4.4 seconds left to provide the winning points in ASU’s 68-66 win.
After this weekend’s games the Sun Devils will close out the regular season on the road at Oregon (Fri., Feb. 28) and at Oregon State (Sun., Feb. 2).
Friday’s game vs. Colorado can be seen live via live stream at http://pac-12.com/videos/arizona-state-university. Sunday’s game vs. Utah can be seen live on Pac-12 Networks (Arizona & Mountain). Ann Schatz (play by play) and Julie Rousseau (analyst) will call the action
Both games can also be heard live on NBC Sports Radio AM 1060. Coverage will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday and at 12:30 p.m. 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. He will be joined by former Sun Devil head coach Maura McHugh.
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 five 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 (21-6 as of Feb. 19). 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.
• ASU is No. 22 in NCAA’s most recent RPI (Feb. 17). ASU is one of five Pac-12 schools among the Top 55: Stanford (No. 3)/Cal (No. 18)/Oregon State (No. 37)/USC (No. 51).
• 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 recent 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 10x 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 17 games. ASU has had 16 or fewer turnovers 12x during that span, including a season low of seven vs. Oregon State (Jan. 31).
• Twelve 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 11-0 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 three points or less (vs. UCLA, at Utah, at Colorado, vs. Oregon State, vs. Oregon), ASU has shot 57 percent from the floor and is +5 in turnover margin (1/6).
• As of Feb. 19, ASU is ranked among the top third in the Pac-12 in rebounding defense (2nd/35.3 rpg), offensive rebounds (2nd/14.6 rpg), FG pct. (3rd, 42.4), scoring margin (4th, +6.0), steals (4th/8.7 spg), FT pct. (4th/68.3) and turnover margin (4th/+1.3).
• 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 15.2 points per game (30.5-14.8). It has scored 40 or more points 4x, including a season-best of 53 vs. Oregon (Feb. 2).
• Freshman Sophie Brunner (83), senior Joy Burke (63) and freshman Kelsey Moos (58) have combined for 204 of ASU’s 379 offensive boards.
• Ten different Sun Devils have scored in double figures this season – Mann (16x), Hempen (12x), Thomas (10x), Brunner (10x), Burke (9x), Moos (8x), Amukamara (7x), Davis (4x), RS-sophomore Eliza Normen (1x) and freshman Quinn Dornstauder (1x).