Arizona State - Arizona Preview
Feb. 23, 2001
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Arizona State has never won the Pac-10championship. It only seems like theSun Devils have never won in Tucson.
In position for the first conference title in school history, the23rd-ranked Sun Devils go for their first victory at the McKale Center ineightyears Saturday when they battle archrival Arizona.
Arizona State (18-7, 10-3) leads second-place Washington by a game inthePac-10 standings with five to play. The Sun Devils, who have never been atopthe conference this late in the season, posted their highest finish whentheyended up fourth in 1993.
That same year was the last time Arizona State managed to knock off itsin-state rival at the McKale Center. The Sun Devils have lost seven straighttrips to Tucson since a 73-72 victory on Jan. 23, 1993.
Earlier this season, the Sun Devils ended a 14-game losing streak totheWildcats with a 67-57 triumph in Tempe. Arizona State leads the all-timeseries32-26.
The Sun Devils are opening a three-game road trip that also includesgamesat Oregon on Thursday and Oregon State next Saturday. They have had successonthe road this season, going 6-3 overall and 4-2 in Pac-10 play.
Arizona, meanwhile, has yet to lose at home, going 13-0. The Wildcatshavewon 18 of their last 19 games at the McKale Center.
The Sun Devils are putting their conference-leading defense against anArizona offense which tops the Pac-10 with 80.9 points per game. ArizonaStateis giving up 66.7 points per game, having held six opponents under 50 pointsand 12 foes under 60.
Amanda Levens has shined offensively for the Sun Devils, scoring indoublefigures in 11 consecutive games. She had 14 points Saturday in a 78-60victoryover UCLA.
Point guard Reshea Bristol has been the Wildcats' top player of late,havingaveraged 21.5 points, 8.5 assists and 6.5 rebounds in home wins over UCLAandUSC last week.
Arizona has won two straight and four of six after beating SouthernCalifornia 77-61 last Saturday.