ASU-USC Preview

Feb. 15, 2001

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) - Arizona State looks for its first ever season sweep of Southern Californiawhen the No. 24 Sun Devils play host to the Trojans on Thursday.

The Sun Devils have beaten the Trojans in consecutive games just once,spanning the 1998-99 and 1999-2000 seasons.

Arizona State is appearing in the Top 25 in back-to-back weeks for the firsttime since the 1982-83 season.

The Sun Devils (16-7, 8-3), who have not lost back-to-back games thisseason, are tied for first in the Pacific 10 with Stanford and Washington. Itmarks the latest in the season that Arizona State has led the Pac-10. The SunDevils have never won the Pac-10 and finished as high as fourth in 1993.

Arizona State is coming off a 79-60 loss at Washington on Saturday. The SunDevils were led by Melody Johnson, who scored 16 of her 19 points in the secondhalf. Amanda Levens had 17.

The Arizona State bench, which averages 16.3 points, contributed only two inthe loss to Washington.

Levens and Betsy Boardman have both been strong offensive forces for the SunDevils. Levens is shooting 50 percent (20-of-40) from 3-point range in her lasteight games. Boardman is averaging 16.3 points in her last three games, fivepoints higher than her season average.

The Sun Devils beat USC 66-59 in Los Angeles on Jan. 20 as Levens finishedwith 15 points behind an 8-for-8 performance from the foul line. Arizona Statejumped out to an 18-8 lead and never trailed. Johnson had 14 points and ninerebounds.

Arizona State leads the Pac-10 in scoring defense at 60.4 points.

Southern California is coming off a 61-56 home win over UCLA that ended atwo-game losing streak. Tiffany Elmore and Denise Woods each had 13 for theTrojans. Woods also tied a career high with blocked hosts.

USC leads the all-time series by a lopsided 40-6 margin.

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