No. 22 Women's Basketball Heads to Oregon, Oregon State
Feb. 27, 2001
TEMPE, Ariz. -
In sole possession of first place in the Pac-10, the 22nd-ranked Arizona State Sun Devils continue their three-game road stretch with a trip to the Pacific Northwest, taking on Oregon Thursday night and Oregon State Saturday afternoon. Arizona State remained atop the Pac-10 by defeating intrastate rival Arizona 70-67 in overtime last weekend in Tucson, earning their first road win over the Wildcats in eight tries and sweeping that season series for the first time since 1992-93. With a 19-7 overall record and an 11-3 Pac-10 mark, ASU has surpassed both wins totals from last season and turned in the most victories since the 1991-92 team went 20-9 overall and 11-7 in the conference en route to ASU's last NCAA Tournament appearance. Winners of their last three games and 10 of their last 11 games, the Sun Devils hold a half-game lead over Washington (11-4) in the conference standings. The Oregon Ducks (14-11, 7-8) are in sixth place in the league, while Oregon State is tied for seventh (14-11, 6-9).
Probable Starters '00-01 Pos. Ht. Cl. PPG RPG NOTES#23 Betsy Boardman G/F 6-1 Fr. 11.7 4.2 15.8 ppg in the last six games#52 Cian Carvalho F 5-11 Jr. 6.5 5.1 6 of her 10 points in OT at Arizona#35 Melody Johnson C 6-2 Jr. 14.7 6.9 10-10 FGs for 23 points vs. UCLA#4 Amanda Levens G 5-9 Jr. 15.0 3.6 14 pts, 6 rbs, 4 asts, 2 stls vs. Arizona#33 Natalie Tucker G 5-9 Sr. 5.1 3.7* 7th in career assists at ASU (336)
Off the Bench '00-01 Pos. Ht. Cl. PPG RPG NOTES#3 Liz Paulson G 5-11 Sr. 0.6 0.4* 3 points, 1 steals vs. the Bruins#11 Aubrey McFadyen G/F 6-1 Sr. 2.0 0.9 9.0 points per game in last two#12 Brett Leonard G 5-5 So. 3.5 1.7* Career-best 7 assists at UA#13 Leah Combs F 6-2 Jr. 4.3 4.1 Out 3-4 weeks with knee injury#31 Jen Albert F 6-2 Fr. 0.7 0.4 3 rebounds in 11 minutes vs. UCLA#32 Rainy Crisp G 5-6 Jr. 2.5 1.8 4 points, 2 steals vs. the Wildcats#34 Li'i Liu G/F 5-10 Fr. 0.3 0.8 Has played in four games this year* assists per game
ExposureASU's flagship station XTRA 910 AM will broadcast both games to the Valley of the Sun with Vince Marotta calling the action. The broadcasts are also available via the ASU official athletics web site (www.thesundevils.com). Fox Sports Net will televise the game to a national cable audience as its wild card selection for March 3 with Paul Sunderland and Heather Cox calling the action. ASU is 9-1 when playing on live television this year.
Fox Sports Net to Televise Stanford GameFox Sports Net will televise the Stanford at Arizona State game to a national television audience as its wild card selection for March 10. The start time will be 2 p.m. MST. The addition gives the Sun Devils a total of 12 televised games this season.
Road WarriorsThe Sun Devils are in the middle of a stretch that will see the team play five of seven games on the road, including last Saturday's tilt in Tucson and this weekend's games in the Beaver state. The Sun Devils are 7-3 on the road this season, including a 5-2 mark in Pac-10 play. The team's seven road wins match the 7-5 mark of the 1992-93 squad, while the school record for road victories is nine which was accomplished by the 1980-81 Sun Devils. That team went 9-5 on the road en route to its national runner-up finish in the National Women's Invitational Tournament.
With their victory at Cal Jan. 6, the Sun Devils matched their total of three road victories from last season, while the victory at Haas Pavilion was the first for ASU since 1991-92. This season, ASU has also swept UCLA (snapping an eight-game skid at Pauley Pavilion) and USC on the road for the first time in school history, and the team has won games at Cal, USC and UCLA in a single season for the first time in school history. Last weekend, the Sun Devils also snapped a seven-game losing streak with their overtime victory over Arizona in Tucson. Last year, the Sun Devils earned two non-conference road victories but managed just one during the Pac-10 slate, ending the season with a 3-12 road record. ASU's 67-61 at Hawaii Nov. 25 marked the team's first road victory since defeating Washington State in Pullman, Wash., on Jan. 15 of last year, a span of eight consecutive road losses.
In the RankingsArizona State moved up another spot to 22rd in the Feb. 26 Associated Press poll. ASU has been ranked in each of the last four AP polls, marking the first time in 18 years that the team has been ranked in consecutive weeks. The Sun Devils were ranked in all 17 polls during the 1982-83 campaign, climbing as high as ninth and finishing at 17th in the final poll. ASU broke into the national top 25 three weeks ago, checking in at 23rd in the Feb. 5 Associated Press poll and marking the team's first national ranking since March 1, 1992 when the Sun Devils were ranked 25th by the Associated Press. As a team, Arizona State has been ranked a total of 38 weeks in the team's history. The Sun Devils spent most of the 1981-82 and 1982-83 seasons ranked in the national polls (32 straight weeks including all 17 polls in 1982-83). ASU is also receiving 45 votes (26th) in the Feb. 26 USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll and was ranked 21st this week by womenscollegehoops.com. Neither Oregon nor Oregon State is ranked, although Oregon is receiving 11 votes in the coaches poll and two votes from AP this week.
ASU vs. Ranked OpponentsWith its 70-67 overtime win over the 23rd-ranked Wildcats last weekend, Arizona State holds a 3-3 record vs. ranked teams this year. The team's other wins were a 67-57 victory over then No. 23/25 Arizona Wildcats Jan. 27 and a 73-63 win over then No. 22/21 Oregon Feb. 3. Prior to that, the team's last upset over a ranked opponent was a 77-76 win over then undefeated and No. 7 Washington at Wells Fargo Arena on Jan. 8, 1998. Before its wins over the Wildcats and the Ducks, ASU had come up short in three contests with ranked teams this year, including a pair of losses under five points, falling to then No. 22 North Carolina State 54-51 Nov. 26 in the championship game of the Rainbow Wahine Classic and to then No. 2 Tennessee 67-63 Dec. 27 in the AstraZeneca Hoops for the Cure Classic.
In the Conference RaceArizona State has never won a Pac-10 Conference title in the league's 14-year existence, while the team's best finish in the Pac-10 was a tie for fourth in 1993 (10-8). The Sun Devils' most Pac-10 victories came in 1991-92 when the team notched an 11-7 record and a fifth-place finish en route to 20-9 overall mark and an NCAA Tournament bid. ASU finished third on two occasions while a member of the Western Collegiate Athletic Association (1981-82 and 1982-83), while its highest conference finish ever was a second-place showing in the Pacific West Conference in 1985-86.
Last Time OutJunior Cian Carvalho scored six of her 10 points in overtime as No. 23 Arizona State downed Arizona 70-67 last Saturday in Tucson. With the victory, ASU completed the series sweep of Arizona for the first time since 1992-93 and earned its first victory in Tucson in eight tries. It was also the first home loss in 14 games for Arizona, which had won six straight conference games at McKale Center.
Freshman Betsy Boardman added 16 points and junior Amanda Levens had 14 for the Sun Devils. Boardman turned in one of the most complete games of her young career with eight rebounds, a career-high five assists and four steals, while Levens added six boards, four assists and two steals.
The score was tied at 61 heading into overtime, and Carvalho put Arizona State ahead for good at 68-67 on two free throws with 1:15 remaining. Levens added two more foul shots with 18 seconds left. Senior Reshea Bristol's three-point attempt from the top of the key fell short at the buzzer for Arizona. Freshman Veranda James led the Wildcats with 22 points. Junior Elizabeth Pickney had 19 points, and Bristol 10 points and 14 assists.
Injury UpdateJunior Leah Combs will be out for three to four weeks after suffering a meniscus tear in her left knee vs. Washington on Feb. 10. Combs, who underwent arthroscopic surgery on Feb. 15, started the first 18 games of the season and was averaging 4.3 points and 4.1 rebounds per game before her injury.
About Oregon and Oregon StateOregon brings a 14-11 overall record and a 7-8 conference mark (sixth in the Pac-10) after splitting on their road trip to Los Angeles last weekend with a 70-68 loss to UCLA on Feb. 23 and a 74-66 win over USC on Feb. 25. Senior forward Angelina Wolvert leads the team in scoring and is ninth in the Pac-10 at 13.7 points per game, while junior guard Jamie Craighead is second on the team at 11.0 points per game. Craighead also leads the Pac-10 with an average of 2.64 three-pointers per game and is fourth in three-point percentage, hitting 41.8 percent of her attempts. Senior center Jenny Mowe paces the Ducks in rebounding at 5.5 boards per contest. As a team, Oregon is first in the Pac-10 in field goal percentage defense (38.9) and three-point field goal defense (30.7).
Oregon State has won three straight games, including last weekend's sweep in Los Angeles, the team's longest winning streak since opening the season with six consecutive wins. The Beavers are 14-11 overall and 6-9 in the Pac-10 (tied for seventh) and will play host to Arizona on Thursday night. Junior guard Felicia Ragland leads a trio of Beavers in double figures in scoring at 19.6 points per game (2nd in the league). The 5-9 junior also paces the club and is fifth in the Pac-10 in rebounding with 7.1 boards per game. As a team, Oregon State is second in the Pac-10 in scoring margin (+6.5), field goal percentage defense (40.3), three-point defense (30.7) and rebounding defense (34.0)
In the SeriesOregon leads the series with the Sun Devils with a 24-9 advantage dating back to the 1980-81 season. Arizona State snapped an 11-game losing streak to Oregon earlier this season with a 73-63 win over then No. 22/21 Oregon on Feb. 3. The Sun Devils will be looking to end another streak when they head to Eugene this weekend, having lost their last seven games at McArthur Court. Oregon holds a 2-13 advantage in games played in Eugene, while ASU last defeated the U of O in Eugene on Feb. 25, 1993 with a 77-63 victory at McArthur Court.
Oregon State holds a slim 16-15 advantage over Arizona State in a series which dates back to the 1983-84 season, while the Sun Devils have won seven of the last eight games including a 58-51 decision Feb. 1 in Tempe. The Beavers hold a 10-5 advantage in Corvallis including a 64-51 victory in Corvallis last year on Feb. 4 (after the Sun Devils arrived in Corvallis at about 3 a.m. on game day following a long flight delay in Phoenix). Before that loss in Corvallis last year, the Sun Devils had won five straight in the series including sweeps in each of the two previous seasons.
Oregon ConnectionsThe Sun Devils have two players who hail from the state of Oregon in senior Liz Paulson (Lake Oswego) and freshman Betsy Boardman (Portland). A 1996 graduate of Lakeridge High School, Paulson led the Beaver state in scoring as a junior at 21.6 points per game. She arrived at ASU last year after spending two years at Pepperdine University (redshirting one) and one at Central Florida Community College. Boardman came to ASU from Beaverton High School where she was an honorable-mention high school All-American in each of her last three seasons and runner-up for Oregon Player of the Year following her senior season. In 2000, Boardman led her Beavers to the school's first Metro League championship and was selected as the league's MVP.
Oregon State assistant coach Stephanie (Osburn) Norman lettered for Arizona State from 1985-88. Currently in her first year as a Beaver assistant coach, Norman led the Sun Devils in free throw percentage in her senior year, knocking down 77.1 percent of her attempts from the charity stripe in 1988. Prior to becoming an assistant coach at OSU, she also spent time at Oregon in the same capacity and was the assistant athletics director at Marist High School in Eugene.
Earlier This Season vs. Oregon & Oregon StateArizona State downed Oregon State 58-51 on Feb. 1 and then No. 22/21 Oregon 73-63 on Feb. 3 in the first meetings earlier this season in Tempe.
Arizona State streaked out to an early 16-6 lead against Oregon State and held a 29-22 advantage at halftime, outshooting the Beavers 41.4 to 27.3 percent in the first 20 minutes. The Sun Devils jumped ahead 27-14 with 4:01 to play in the half, but the Beavers finished the half on an 8-2 run. Freshman Betsy Boardman, a native of Portland, Ore., and junior Amanda Levens each had eight points in the first half. In the second half, Oregon State narrowed the lead to six points on three separate occasions and got within four points, 50-46, with 2:59 to play after forcing three straight Arizona State turnovers. Levens' layup with 2:27 remaining in the game put the Sun Devils up by six, while ASU hit 6-of-10 free throws down the stretch to earn the 58-51 victory.
Junior Melody Johnson paced the ASU squad with 14 points and nine rebounds, while Levens finished with 13 points and a team-best four assists for the Sun Devils. Juniors Cian Carvalho and Leah Combs each added eight rebounds, while Carvalho also chipped in with a career-best four steals. Oregon State senior Syesha Thomas led the game with 17 points, while freshman Hollye Holbrook added 10 points. Junior Felicia Ragland, the Beavers' leading scorer, was held to just nine points on 3-of-13 shooting but chipped in with nine rebounds, six assists and four steals. As a team, ASU outshot OSU from the field 40.4 to 31.8 percent and outrebounded the Beavers by a 45-37 margin.
Two nights later, Johnson scored 20 points and Boardman added a career-best 19 as Arizona State snapped an 11-game losing streak to the Ducks. Oregon, which trailed 39-34 at halftime, overcame foul trouble early in the second half and closed within 49-47 on Lindsey Dion's breakaway layup with 11:56 left. Junior Leah Combs hit a hook shot to put the Sun Devils 51-47, while Boardman knocked down a jumper, one free throw and then a three-pointer with 2:28 left to put ASU ahead 69-57.
Johnson scored the Sun Devils' first six points and 10 of the team's first 13. She scored 14 of her 18 points in the first half and finished the night shooting 8-of-12 from the field. Boardman scored 19 points on 6-of-9 shooting, including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc, while Levens had 18 points. Jamie Craighead scored 17 points and Lindsey Dion added 13 for the Ducks. As a team, the Sun Devils turned in season high performances from the field (54.5 percent) and the three-point line (66.7 percent) and outrebounded the Ducks 33-21.
Winning the Close Ones LatelyThe Sun Devils have been winning the close games of late including last week's 70-67 overtime win at Arizona. While that was the first overtime contest for Arizona State this season, the Sun Devils are 4-3 this year in games decided by five points or less including wins in their last three contests that close. This season, the team is 10-4 in games decided by 10 points or less including wins in the last 10 games that came down to that margin.
As Emeril Would Say...A number of Sun Devils have kicked it up a notch in Pac-10 play. In fact, five players have increased their scoring averages, six have upped their rebounding averages and six have better shooting percentages in conference action. Junior Melody Johnson leads that group, averaging 16.1 points and 7.1 rebounds per league game (up from 14.7 ppg and 6.9 rpg in all games). The 6-2 junior is also shooting nearly 60 percent from the field in Pac-10 games (59.3). Over the last six games, Johnson has averaged 17.3 points and shot 62.3 percent from the field (43-69). Freshman Betsy Boardman has upped her scoring and rebounding to 12.7 ppg and 5.3 rpg (compared to 11.7 ppg and 4.2 rpg), while junior Amanda Levens is averaging 3.1 assists per game (10th in the Pac-10) in conference play (up from 2.8 assists per game in all games), including an average of 4.7 per game over the last three. Leven is also shooting 45 percent from three-point land compared to a 42.3 percent from beyond the arc in all games.
Keeping 'Em Off the ScoreboardArizona State leads the Pac-10 Conference in scoring defense, allowing just 60.8 points per game so far this season. ASU has held six opponents to 50 points or less this season including 47 by Cal on Jan. 6 and 51 points by Oregon State on Feb. 1, while four of those teams have managed 45 points or less (with a season-low 39 by South Florida). ASU held then No. 2 Tennessee to just 67 points, 16.4 points short of the Lady Vols' season average of 83.4, while conference scoring leader Arizona had just 57 and 67 points in both games vs. the Sun Devils compared to its season average of 80.9. Prior to ASU's 58-47 win at Cal, the last time ASU held a Pac-10 opponent under 50 points was in 1997-98 with a 69-49 win over Oregon State in Tempe, while 47 is the fewest points for a league opponent since defeating Oregon 79-42 in Tempe on Jan. 30, 1992. Prior to that, ASU had never held a Pac-10 opponent to less than 50 points on the road in the previous 14 years of conference play.
Taking Care of the BallArizona State is averaging a Pac-10 low 17.1 turnovers per game in 2000-01 which may not sound so good until you consider that the team had 20.5 turnovers per game last season. The Sun Devils turned in a season-low nine turnovers vs. La Salle and has had 16 or less giveaways in 11 of the team's 26 games this year. The Sun Devils have also won the turnover battle (having fewer turnovers than their opponents) in 19 of 26 games including a 24-21 advantage over then No. 2 Tennessee and a 20-11 edge at then No. 21/22 Stanford. Last year, the lowest turnover total for the team was 13 in their final game of the season in the WNIT vs. Colorado State.
The Sun Devils are second in the Pac-10 in turnover margin, forcing 2.92 more turnovers than they commit per game. ASU is also third in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio at 0.85 (375 assists to 441 turnovers). Senior Natalie Tucker, who leads the team with an average of 3.7 assists per game (seventh in the Pac-10), is third in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.66).
Comeback KidsCounting their Feb. 15 victory over USC, the Sun Devils have overcome four halftime deficits for victory this season and are 4-6 overall when trailing at halftime. ASU has trailed at the half in three of their last five games and come up with victories in two of those contests. Their previous three wins after trailing at halftime had been on the road (at Northern Arizona, at California, at Washington State).
Tough on the BoardsArizona State also leads the league in rebounding defense, allowing just 33.8 boards per game. In ASU's last five home games, the Sun Devils have allowed their opponents just 29.8 rebounds per game including a season-low 21 by the Oregon Ducks Feb. 3. As a team, ASU averages 35.4 rebounds per contest, which is ninth in the league, but has won the battle of the boards in 14 of its 25 games and is 13-1 in those games. The team's only loss when outrebounding its opponent came against Washington Jan. 11 in Tempe. Washington came into the game leading the Pac-10 in rebounding but lost that battle to the Sun Devils 40-35.
First and Facts About This SeasonSo far this season, the Sun Devils have accomplished a number of things that the team has not done in at least seven years:
* The Sun Devils won seven consecutive Pac-10 games (Jan. 11 to Feb. 8) for the first time in school history and turned in their longest overall winning streak since the 1991-92 squad opened the season with a school-record nine wins.
* ASU has defeated USC and UCLA twice this year, marking the first season sweeps over those schools in ASU history.
* Arizona State has also cracked the national top 25 for the first time since 1991-92 and has been ranked in consecutive weeks for the first time since 1982-83.
* ASU earned its first victory over Arizona in seven years, snapping a 14-game losing streak with its 67-57 win on Jan. 27, and then completed the first season sweep of the Wildcats since the 1992-93 season with a Feb. 24 win in Tucson, the team's first win at McKale Center in eight tries.
* ASU's win over the No. 22/21 Ducks on Feb. 3 ended an 11-game skid vs. Oregon.
* The Sun Devils have upset three ranked opponents this season which the team had not done in a single season since the 1991-92 NCAA Tournament-bound Sun Devils downed No. 17 Kansas, No. 21 Cal and No. 5 Stanford.
* With wins at UCLA and USC, Arizona State completed its first Pac-10 Conference road sweep since 1992-93 and notched its first sweep over the Los Angeles schools since the 1981-82 season and the first ever on the road.
* ASU's win at UCLA snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Bruins and marked the team's first victory at Pauley Pavilion since 1991-92, while the Sun Devils' victory at Cal also marked the first for the team since that same season.
Bench ProductionWhile Arizona State's bench turned in a season-low two points at Washington on Feb. 10, the team has averaged 15.6 bench points per game this year. ASU's reserves turned in a season-high 34 points vs. Cal State Northridge on Dec. 21, while the biggest output in conference play came at UCLA on Jan. 18 with 32 points including a career-high 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting from sophomore Brett Leonard. Leonard has averaged 4.6 points per game over the last 11 games (up from her season average of 3.5 ppg). ASU got 16 points from its bench in wins over USC and UCLA, led by senior Aubrey McFadyen who had a season-high 12 points and four rebounds vs. the Bruins. McFadyen paced the bench in scoring again at Arizona Feb. 24 with six points on 3-of-4 shooting.
Junior forward Cian Carvalho broke into the starting lineup vs. Arizona on Jan. 27 after scoring a career-best 16 points to lead the team at UCLA Jan. 18, the third consecutive game that she notched a career scoring best. Carvalho has started the last eight games and is averaging 7.5 points and 5.7 rebounds over the last 12, including 10 points (six in overtime) at Arizona Feb. 24. Also providing sparks off the bench is junior guard Rainy Crisp who had seven points at USC Jan. 20, a career-best nine vs. Arizona Jan. 27 and six vs. Oregon Feb. 3.
Tucker's TaleSenior point guard Natalie Tucker has started 82 consecutive games, every game of her three-year career at Arizona State. Since transferring to ASU from Texas A&M following the 1996-97 season, Tucker has proved to be a beacon of consistency for the Sun Devils. She has led the team in assists in each of the last three seasons, averaging 3.7 assists per game this season and 4.1 per contest in her career. Tucker has topped the century mark in assists in each of the last two seasons and is just four assists shy this season with 96. Tucker ranks seventh at ASU in career assists (336) and is just three shy of sixth place. She also ranks in the top 10 in career free throw percentage and three-pointers made.
Notes From the Charity StripeThe Sun Devils have gotten to the line 316 times more than their opponents (669-353) this year, an average of 25.7 attempts per game to just 13.6 for their opponents ... In the last five games, ASU has been to the line an average of 29.8 times and knocked down 69.7 percent of those attempts (122-175) ... In the last three games, ASU has shot 76.7 percent from the free throw line (69-90) ... Arizona State turned in a season-high 80.9 percent performance from free throw line vs. USC on Feb. 15, knocking down 38 of 47 attempts (both numbers were also season highs) ... The team's previous season high in that category also came against the Women of Troy when ASU shot 80 percent (16-20) from the line in Los Angeles on Jan. 20 ... ASU knocked down 15-of-15 attempts in the first half and its first 18 of the USC game with its first missing coming six minutes into the second half ... Since shooting just 40.9 percent from the free throw line (9-22) in its season opener vs. Texas-San Antonio, ASU has shot 66.3 percent from the charity stripe since (429-647) ... Junior Amanda Levens is shooting a team-best 79.0 percent from the free throw line (128-162) which is good for fourth in the Pac-10 ... Levens has attempted twice as many free throws as all three players ahead of her, while junior Melody Johnson leads the Pac-10 in free throw attempts with 175 trips to the charity stripe ... Levens' miss in the second half vs. Arizona ended a streak of 17 consecutive free throws (last three attempts vs. WSU, 4-4 at UCLA, 8-8 at USC, 2-3 vs. Arizona), while earlier this season, she had a streak of 16 consecutive free throws that ended in the Stanford game.
Notes From Beyond the ArcArizona State has knocked down 35.9 percent of its three-pointers (112-312), which ranks second in the conference. In conference play, the Sun Devils are third in the league, draining 37.2 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc (61-164). In the last six games, the Sun Devils have shot 42.1 percent from three-point land (30-71) including a season-high 66.7 percent (6-9) in their victory over Oregon Feb. 3. The team has had eight treys on three occasions (most recently vs. UCLA on Feb. 17), which was one shy of the school single-game record of nine three-pointers made in a contest.
Junior Amanda Levens has met success on 42.3 percent of her attempts and is shooting better from three-point land than she is from the field (42.3 to 38.5 percent). In the last six games, she has shot 50 percent from beyond the arc (16-32). Levens has a team-best 47 three-pointers on the season which is already tied for fourth on ASU's single-season charts and just nine shy of the school record (56) set by Crystal Cobb in 1990-91. The 5-9 junior ranks third in the Pac-10 in three-point field goal percentage and eighth in three-pointers made (1.81 treys per game). She has hit three treys in three of the last six games and at least one in each of the past 11games. In those 10 games, Leven has been successful on 51.1 percent of her attempts (23-45). Her best performance from three-point land this season was a career-high 4-of-4 three-pointers in ASU's win over Washington State on Jan. 13.
Levens has drained at least one three-pointer in 22 games and more than one in 16 of those contests, while freshman Betsy Boardman has at least one trey in 17 games. Boardman has hit 35.8 percent of her attempts (29-81) including a stellar 3-of-4 effort from beyond the arc vs. Oregon Feb. 3, a 2-of-3 showing at Washington State Feb. 8. and a 2-of-2 effort at Arizona Feb. 24.
SINGLE-SEASON THREE-POINTERS MADE1. 56 Crystal Cobb 1990-912. 52 Ryneldi Becenti 1992-933. 49 Crystal Cobb 1991-924. 47 Amanda Levens 2000-01 47 Molly Tuter 1996-976. 44 Stephanie Freeman 1997-987. 38 Ryneldi Becenti 1991-92 Molly Tuter 1995-969. 34 Rosalind Senior 1988-89 34 Kristine Sand 1999-00
Head Coach Charli Turner ThorneSince Charli Turner Thorne took over the reins of the program in 1996-97, the Sun Devils have begun a steady climb back to the national prominence that the team enjoyed in the early 1990s. She has improved the team's wins total in each of her five seasons and guided ASU to five consecutive double-digit win seasons in as many years. In 1999-2000, Turner Thorne led the Sun Devils to a 14-14 regular-season record and a 7-11 mark in the Pac-10 Conference, both of which marked the school's most victories since 1992-93, while the team has surpassed both of those marks so far in 2000-01. Turner Thorne's Sun Devils also earned the team's first postseason appearance in eight seasons, falling to Colorado State 66-54 in Fort Collins, Colo., in the first round of the 2000 Women's National Invitation Tournament.
The Sun Devils' victory over Oregon on Feb. 3 marked the 100th win of head coach Charli Turner Thorne's coaching career and her 60th while at ASU. She has notched a 64-73 record in four-plus seasons at Arizona State and was 40-40 in her three seasons at Northern Arizona. With the team's win over Oregon, Turner Thorne has also led her Sun Devils to victories over every Pac-10 school in her four-plus seasons at ASU.
Super JuniorsAfter sitting out last season as Division I transfers, juniors Amanda Levens and Melody Johnson have made themselves right at home this season. The pair is 1-2 in scoring this season and has also been named all-tournament in both of ASU's tournaments this season (Asahi Rainbow Wahine Classic and ASU Holiday Classic)
Levens, a 5-9 guard who transferred from Old Dominion University, is pacing the ASU squad at 15.0 points per game and ranks sixth in the Pac-10 in that category. Levens has notched double figures in all but three of ASU's games this season. Johnson, a 6-2 guard from the University of Colorado, is second on the squad and seventh in the Pac-10 in scoring at 14.7 ppg and has scored in double figures in 24 of 26 games and had nine points in each of the other two. Levens, who was the Jan. 29 Pac-10 Player of the Week, has hit a team-best 47 three-pointers, while Johnson, who earned the first conference player-of-the-week award this year, leads the Sun Devils in rebounding at 6.9 boards per game which is good for sixth in the Pac-10.
Welcome AdditionsArizona State's top four scorers are making their debuts for the Sun Devils this season, led by junior Amanda Levens, a transfer from Old Dominion University who is averaging 15.0 points per game. Junior Melody Johnson, who transferred from the University of Colorado, is averaging 14.7 points and a team-best 6.9 rebounds, honorable-mention high school All-American Betsy Boardman is averaging 11.7 points (15th in the Pac-10) and junior Cian Carvalho, a junior college transfer from Hutchinson (Kan.) Community is fourth on the team with 6.5 points per game and second with 5.1 rebounds per contest. ASU's newcomers have been the leading scorers in each of ASU's 26 games this season, most recently with Levens scoring 22 vs. USC on Feb. 15, Johnson matching her career best with 23 points on 10-of-10 shooting vs. UCLA on Feb. 17 and Boardman turning in 16 points at Arizona on Feb. 24.
Home-Court AdvantageWith 11-3 home marks in each of the last two seasons, the Sun Devils have turned in an 22-6 mark at home in the last two seasons. Those 11 wins are tied for second on the ASU list for home victories in a season with the 11-1 mark of the 1981-82 team. The 1982-83 Sun Devils hold the school record for most home wins with a 12-3 mark in Wells Fargo Arena, while the 79.0 winning percentage in each of the last two seasons ranks third in school history behind the 91.7 percentage in 1981-82 and the 80.0 percentage in 1982-83.
Last year, the Sun Devils won their first eight home games of the season, while this year's squad has won its last six games and seven of its last eight at Wells Fargo Arena.