Feb. 22, 2013
For the second time in six days, the Arizona State women's basketball team will take on Arizona in a Territorial Cup Series match-up. The rematch of Tuesday's epic double-overtime battle in Tucson, won by the Sun Devils 81-77, will take place on Sunday at 1 p.m. in Wells Fargo Arena.
Sunday's game vs. Arizona will be the first of three games the Sun Devils (12-15, 4-11 Pac-12) will host before the annual Pac-12 Tournament in Seattle. ASU will close out regular season play next week when it hosts current No. 17 UCLA (Mar. 1) and USC (Mar. 3).
The Sun Devils were able to snap a seven-game losing streak in dramatic fashion with the aforementioned win over the Wildcats on Tuesday. Sophomore guard Promise Amukamara (21 points), redshirt junior center Micaela Pickens (11 points) and Micaela Pickens had five.
The Sun Devils (12-15, 4-11 Pac-12) and Wildcats (12-14, 4-11 Pac-12) come into Sunday's game tied for ninth place in the Pac-12 standings. Both teams currently trail eighth-place USC (8-18, 5-10 Pac-12) by one game. The top four finishing teams in the conference regular season standings will have first-round byes in the Pac-12 Tournament so regardless of what happens over the next three games, the Sun Devils will have a first-round game when tournament play begins on Thursday, March 7.
Sunday's game vs. Arizona will be ASU's annual Gold Game. Fans wearing gold to the game will be receive $5 general admission.
Sunday's game vs. Arizona can be seen live on Pac-12 Networks. Ann Schatz and Kyndra de St. Aubin will call the game.
Sunday's game can also be heard live on The Fan AM 1060. Pre-game coverage will begin at 12:30 p.m. Veteran broadcaster and the state of Arizona's 2010 Broadcaster of the Year Jeff Munn is in his ninth 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 has spent much of the season on the road (15 of 27 games) as it played six of its first nine regular season games away from home and on Feb. 8 completed a stretch in which it played eight of its first 12 Pac-12 games on the road. The Sun Devils captured their first road win in conference play on Jan. 25, defeating USC 60-53. They followed that up with a near upset of then-No. 19 UCLA, before falling to the Bruins, 54-50.
Seven of ASU's losses have been by eight or fewer points. ASU either led or was tied in the second half in eight of their losses.
ASU has had the same starting lineup in all but five games this season (G - Promise Amukamara, G - Micaela Pickens, F - Janae Fulcher, C - Joy Burke). Freshman G Arnecia Hawkins made her first career start (in place of Pickens) in ASU's game at Utah (Jan. 20). Hawkins also started in place of Pickens at UCLA on Jan. 27 and again at Stanford on Feb. 10. Elisha Davis and Eliza Normen both made their first career start vs. Washington (Feb. 3). Normen got the starting nod again (in place of Janae Fulcher - ill) at No. 6 Cal (Feb. 8). Amukamara is the only player to start every games this season.
ASU has shot better than 50 percent four times this season, already exceeding the number of times it shot above 50 percent last season (3 times).
ASU has had 14 or fewer turnovers seven times in its 13 last games.
ASU's bench has scored 25 or more points 10 times this season. Leading the way are freshmen Haley Videckis (6.4 ppg) and Arnecia Hawkins (5.6 ppg). Hawkins, who currently leads ASU in 3-point field goals (25), scored a season/career-best 18 points vs. Washington State (Feb. 1). Videckis scored a (then) season/career-best 11 points four times this season, including twice in consecutive road games earlier this month - at No. 6 Cal and at No. 4 Stanford. She exceeded that with her 18-point outing in ASU's double-overtime win at Arizona (Feb. 19).
The Sun Devils have had 15 or more assists 11 times this season. They recorded a season-high 24 assists at Arizona (Feb. 19). Adrianne Thomas (2.9 apg - 10th) is currently among the Pac-12's leaders in assists.
ASU's five-game winning streak earlier this season (snapped by Washington on Jan. 4) represented the 19th time since 2001 the Sun Devils have had a winning streak of five or more games.
ASU head coach Charli Turner Thorne became the third Pac-12 coach to win at least 300 games when the Sun Devils defeated USC 60-53 in Los Angeles on Jan. 25. Turner Thorne, who coached Northern Arizona for three seasons (40-40 record) prior to coming to ASU, needs nine more wins to reach 350 career victories.
As of Feb. 20, ASU ranks in the top half of the Pac-12 in assists (fourth, 13.4 apg), scoring defense (sixth, 60.1 ppg), rebounding margin (sixth, +2.0), field goal percentage (sixth, .394) and rebounding defense (sixth, 36.0 rpg).
SERIES NOTES VS. ARIZONA (ASU LEADS 51-26)
The Sun Devils have won 17 of the last 19 meetings. Their 11-game winning streak in the series was snapped by the Wildcats in 2011 in Tucson, 73-61. ASU's recent dominance aside, the games between the two schools have been extremely competitive as seven of the last 13 contests have been decided by eight points or less. Last season the Sun Devils won all three meetings against UA: 60-45 in Tempe, 70-63 in Tucson and 68-53 in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 Tournament.
IN CASE YOU ARE JUST JOINING US...
This season the Sun Devils return a young team - eight of 11 players on the current active roster are in their first or second year in the program.
Starting senior guard Deja Mann (the team's returning leading scorer from last season) is redshirting this season after suffering a knee injury in September.
Also sitting out this season is Katie Hempen who transferred to ASU last spring from SIUE. In 2012, Hempen was named the Ohio Valley Conference Freshman of the Year and was a member of the All-Newcomer team.
ASU won seven of eight games, including five in a row, prior to the start of Pac-12 play. The Sun Devils then lost their first two Pac-12 games at the Washington schools before rebounding the following week with home wins vs. Oregon and Oregon State. ASU went back on the road and dropped contests to Colorado (57-43) and Utah (66-46). ASU led Colorado at the half and led by five early in the second half before its offense went cold. One week later in Los Angeles, ASU overcame a 16-point second-half deficit to defeat USC 60-53. The Sun Devils, who did not have any players score in double figures, outscored the Trojans 40-17 and shot 59 percent in the second half. Two days later, ASU nearly upset then-No. 19 UCLA, before falling to the Bruins 54-50. ASU held UCLA, which came into the game No. 1 in the Pac-12 in scoring offense (71.4 ppg), 17.4 points below its scoring average. The loss to UCLA started a seven games losing streak for the Sun Devils, which they snapped with a dramatic 81-77 double-overtime win at Arizona (Feb. 19).
Led by as many as 22 in eventual 74-58 win over Florida.
Seven losses have been by eight points or less. Three of those seven those losses came to ranked teams (current AP ranking): vs. Dayton (14) - 59-65 on Dec. 2; at UCLA (17) - 50-54 on Jan. 27 and vs. Colorado (20) - 63-71 on Feb. 17. ASU led by 14 against Dayton and led by 12 against Colorado.
Leading scorer Janae Fulcher (head injury) did not play the last 30+ minutes of ASU's 60-54 loss at UTEP. She also did not play (ill) in ASU's 66-53 loss at No. 6 Cal (Feb. 8).
Starting guard Micaela Pickens was injured and forced to miss time in ASU's losses at UTEP and at Washington State and did not play at all in ASU's 54-50 loss at UCLA.