Women's Hoops to Wrap Up Road Trip at No. 3 Stanford Saturday Afternoon
Jan. 25, 2002
PALO ALTO, Calif. -
Winners of five of their last six following a 56-40 victory at Cal on Thursday night, the Arizona State Sun Devils complete a grueling four-game road stretch Saturday afternoon in Palo Alto, taking on third-ranked Stanford at Maples Pavilion. With its victory over Cal on Thursday to complete the season sweep over the Golden Bears, ASU improved to 16-5 on the season and 7-3 in the Pac-10, which puts the Sun Devils into a tie with Oregon State for second place in the league. As the team heads to Palo Alto, the Sun Devils look to snap a three-game losing skid to Stanford and get their first victory at Maples Pavilion since 1984, which would end a string of 17 straight losses in Palo Alto. Stanford (19-1, 9-0 Pac-10) remained perfect in the Pac-10 with a 76-62 victory over Arizona on Thursday night and has won its last 11 games.
Last Time OutSenior Cian Carvalho turned in 14 points and seven rebounds to lead Arizona State to a 56-40 victory Thursday night at Cal's Haas Pavilion. In a match-up of the Pac-10's top two defensive teams, the Sun Devils held the Golden Bears to a season-low 40 points, marking the third time this year that ASU, the Pac-10's leader in scoring defense, has held a team to that scoring low. It also marked Cal's lowest point production since Feb. 10, 2000, when the Bears dropped a 52-33 decision to Oregon State in Corvallis, Ore.
The two teams played it close in the first half with ASU taking its largest lead of the period with a 15-10 advatnage with 6:56 to play when senior Rainy Crisp had a layup. Cal closed the gap to one point late in the period, and ASU took a 24-22 lead into the locker room. Cal sophomore LaTasha O'Keith had 10 of her points in the first, and the Bears outrebounded ASU 18-14. Carvalho had seven points on 3-of-4 shooting and four rebounds in the first half to lead the Sun Devils.
In the second half, Arizona State jumped out to a 21-7 run, knocking down its first seven shots to go up 41-29 with 13:16 to play. Carvalho scored seven points in that run, while the Sun Devils held Cal scoreless for over nine minutes to take a 45-31 lead with 6:22 to play. Cal mounted a 6-2 run late in the half but never got closer than 11 points in the ASU victory.
Carvalho led the game in scoring and rebounding with her 14-point, seven-rebound performance, while senior Amanda Levens was the only other Sun Devil in double figures with 10 points. Freshman Kylan Loney led the Sun Devils with five assists, while senior Melody Johnson contributed eight points and six rebounds to the Sun Devil effort. Levens also added four rebounds and three assists in the win.
O'Keith was the only Cal player in double figures with 13 points. She also led the team with six rebounds. Senior center Ami Forney, Cal's leading scorer entering the game at 12.9 ppg, was held to only four shots from the field, ending the night with seven points.
After being outrebounded 18-14 in the first half, ASU held a 35-26 rebounding edge for the game. While ASU struggled from the perimeter, knocking down only 1-of-11 three-point attempts, the Sun Devils outshot the Bears 47.7 to 34.9 percent in the game.
ExposureFox Sports Net will televise the Stanford game to a national cable audience with Jim Watson and Mary Murphy calling the action. It marks the second television appearance of the year for the Sun Devils who won their first with a 63-49 victory over Cal. ASU was 9-4 when playing on live TV last year.ASU's flagship station XTRA 910 AM will broadcast the game to the Valley of the Sun with Vince Marotta calling the action. The broadcast is also available via the ASU official athletics web site (www.thesundevils.com).
Road WarriorsWith this weekend's trip to the Bay Area, Arizona State wraps up a stretch of four straight road games and will have played six of its last eight on the road. Prior to this stretch, Arizona State had not played four straight Pac-10 road games since the 1994-95 season when the team dropped four straight at Washington, Washington State, Stanford and Cal.
The Sun Devils are 5-2 in road games this season, including a 3-2 Pac-10 mark following Thursday's win over Cal. Last year, ASU finished the season with a 7-5 road record, including a 5-4 mark in Pac-10 play, which marked the most road wins since the 1992-93 squad turned in the same record. Following next weekend's home series with Oregon and Oregon State, ASU will play three of its last five regular-season games on the road.
Turner Thorne Second in All-Time Wins at ASUWith an 81-82 record at ASU, head coach Charli Turner Thorne has moved into sole possession of second place in all-time wins by a Sun Devil women's basketball coach. With ASU's victory over Arizona on Dec. 30, the 2001 Pac-10 Coach of the Year passed Maura McHugh who turned in a 75-65 record in her six seasons at the helm (1987-93). Juliene Simpson is the all-time winningest coach in ASU women's basketball history, notching a 134-92 record in eight seasons (1979-87).
Levens Lighting Up the ScoreboardDespite missing the first game of her career with a sprained ankle vs. Washington State on Jan. 12 and playing some limited minutes last weekend in Los Angeles, senior guard Amanda Levens is ranked second in the Pac-10 and 21st in the nation in scoring at 18.8 points per game. Levens, already the winner of two Pac-10 Player-of-the-Week honors this season, has scored 20 points or more on 10 occasions this season, including a game-high 20 points against Washington on Jan. 10. She has led the team in scoring in 15 of 21 games this year.
The transfer from Old Dominion University scored a career-high 30 points in ASU's season-opening win over St. Peter's, while at the Paradise Jam, Levens just missed tying her career high with 29 points in ASU's win over Kansas State. Leven's 30-point effort vs. St. Peter's marked the most points for a Sun Devil since Molly Tuter scored 32 in a 70-66 victory over Southern Utah on Nov. 8, 1997.
In her short ASU career, Levens has led ASU in scoring in 30 of 52 games and has had 17 efforts with 20 points or more. With 354 points this year, she needs just 94 to match the 470 she had all of last year, a total which was eighth on ASU's single-season scoring charts.
Notes on the Match-up Between Arizona State and Stanford
- Saturday's game will also prove an interesting matchup as Stanford leads the league in scoring, rebounding and three-point shooting, while Arizona State paces the Pac-10 in scoring defense, rebounding defense and three-point defense.
- Saturday's match-up also pairs the top two three-point shooting teams in the Pac-10 with the Cardinal knocking down 41.4 percent and the Sun Devils shooting 34.5 percent from beyond the arc. The two schools are also 1-2 in field goal shooting with Stanford leading the Pac-10 at 48.7 percent and ASU second at 43.2 percent.
- In the first meeting between ASU and Stanford, the Sun Devils held a 36-33 halftime lead, marking the only time this year that the third-ranked Cardinal has trailed at halftime.
Scoring DefenseAfter leading the Pac-10 in scoring defense last year (61.5 ppg), ASU has continued its stingy ways in 2001-02, pacing the league again at just 57.8 points allowed per game. ASU has held six teams under 50 points, including a season low of 40 points by three teams, most recently by Cal on Thursday night.
The Sun Devils set a school record by holding Chicago State to just nine points in the first half of its 83-43 victory Dec. 13. Washington State had just 15 points in the first half in ASU's 68-40 win on Jan. 12, while Cal scored 18 in the second half on Thursday night.
The Battle of the BoardsAfter being outrebounded by previous two opponents, ASU returned to its previous ways on Thursday night, outrebounding California 35-26. The Sun Devils have outrebounded 17 of their 21 opponents and hold a 15-2 record in those games. ASU is averaging 38.1 rebounds per game compared to a Pac-10 low 32.8 for their opponents. ASU held both Rutgers and Oregon to a season-low 23 rebounds earlier this year, while Cal had just 26 rebounds on Thursday night. ASU also led the Pac-10 in rebounding defense last year, holding its opponents to just 33.5 boards per contest.
Woes at the Free Throw LineArizona State has shot just 55.4 percent from the free throw line (46-83) over the last four games, including a season-low 50 percent in its loss at USC last week (9-18).
While the Sun Devils have gotten to the free throw line 547 times this year (26.0 times per game and over 100 times than any other Pac-10 school), the team has struggled a bit at the charity stripe, knocking down just 62.5 percent of its attempts (342-547). ASU has shot below 60 percent from the line nine times this year.
Defending the ThreeAfter holding Cal 0-for-5 from three-point land on Friday night, the Sun Devils continue to lead the league in three-point field goal defense, allowing their opponents to shoot just 30.1 percent from beyond the arc (52-178). Although they finished ninth in the category last year, ASU led the league in three-point defense in 1998-99 and 1999-00.
ASU has held its last 12 opponents to just 23.1 percent shooting from three-point range (27-117) and has kept its last eight opponents under 30 percent from beyond the arc. Earlier this season, ASU held Stanford, the Pac-10's best three-point shooting team at 41.4 percent and 7.4 three-pointers per game, to just 33.3 percent on 3-of-9 shooting.
Soft TouchASU's senior frontcourt of Cian Carvalho, Leah Combs and Melody Johnson has combined to shoot 59.2 percent (67-113) over the last six games. Johnson, ASU's career leader in field goal percentage at 56.1 percent (270-481), is shooting 66.7 percent in the last six games (32-48), including an 8-of-9 outing at Oregon on Jan. 6. On the year, Johnson ranks second in the Pac-10 in the category, knocking down 54.7 percent of her attempts from the field (98-179), including a perfect 7-for-7 effort Dec. 13 at Chicago State.
Combs is shooting 68.4 percent (13-19) over the last six games and 51.4 percent on the year (36-70), while Carvalho has connected on 47.8 percent of her shots (22-46) in the last six contests, including a 6-of-9 showing Thursday night at Cal.
Carvalho and sophomore Jen Albert have also shown the ability to hit the three this season with Carvalho knocking down 39.3 percent of her attempts (11-28) from beyond the arc (50 percent in Pac-10 play) and Albert shooting 33.3 percent from three-point land on the year (3-9).
Double TroubleSenior Melody Johnson turned in her third double-double of the year with 16 points and 11 rebounds last weekend at USC. The Colorado Springs, native, and 2001 All-Pac-10 selection has eight double-doubles in her short ASU career, including 14 points and a career-high 12 rebounds vs. Arizona Dec. 30. She turned in her first double-double of the season with 16 points and 11 rebounds vs. Richmond on Nov. 26 to earn Paradise Jam MVP honors.
About StanfordCurrently riding an 11-game winning streak, third-ranked Stanford is 19-1 overall and 9-0 in the Pac-10 this year, following a 76-62 victory over Arizona on Thursday night. Senior Lindsey Yamasaki leads the Cardinal in scoring at 16.3 points per game (5th in the Pac-10) while sophomore Nicole Powell paces the conference in rebounding at 10.1 boards per game and is second for Stanford in scoring at 15.1 ppg. As a team, Stanford leads the Pac-10 in just about every category including scoring, rebounding, field goal percentage, three-point shooting, assists and blocked shots.
In the SeriesStanford holds a 32-8 advantage in the series with Arizona State, including a commanding 19-1 lead in Palo Alto. ASU has lost the last three games in the series, including a 75-66 decision on Dec. 21 in Tempe. The Sun Devils' last victory against the Cardinal came two seasons ago when ASU snapped a dubious 14-game losing streak to Stanford with a 74-68 victory in Tempe on Jan. 8, 2000. The Sun Devils look to snap an even more dubious streak as they look to snap a 17-game road losing streak with their first and only win at Maples Pavilion coming in an 84-72 decision on March 3, 1984.
Stanford ConnectionsArizona State head coach Charli Turner Thorne is also no stranger to the Stanford program, lettering four years under Cardinal head coach Tara VanDerveer. The Sun Devil mentor co-captained the 1987-88 Cardinal squad which advanced to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen. An Academic All-Pac-10 selection, Turner Thorne was twice voted Most Inspirational Player by her teammates and won Stanford's H-Block award in 1988, an honor given to the senior female student-athlete with the highest grade-point average.
Ranked OpponentsSaturday's game at third-ranked Stanford will mark the second of the year against a ranked opponent for the Sun Devils who notched three wins over ranked opponents last year (Arizona twice, Oregon) and lost to two others by a combined seven points last year, including a 67-63 loss to then No. 2 Tennessee. Earlier this season, ASU opened the Pac-10 slate with a 75-66 loss to then No. 6 Stanford on Dec. 21 at Wells Fargo Arena.
In Saturday's game vs. third-ranked Stanford, ASU will be looking for their first victory over a team ranked in the national Top 10 since downing then undefeated and No. 7 Washington 77-76 at Wells Fargo Arena on Jan. 8, 1998. ASU's last victory over a Top 5 team came in 1991-92 when the team defeated then No. 5 Stanford 77-65 on Feb. 27, 1992, while the Sun Devils' only victory over a team ranked in the national Top 3 came in the form of a 53-51 home win over then No. 2 USC on Feb. 15, 1982.
Last Time vs. StanfordSenior guard Amanda Levens scored a game-high 28 points as ASU fell to Stanford 75-66 in the team's Pac-10 season opener at Wells Fargo Arena on Dec. 21. Stanford sophomore Nicole Powell was 10-of-15 from the field for 25 points, while senior Lindsey Yamasaki had 22 for the Cardinal.
In the first half, ASU took control early with a 15-2 run that gave it a 34-21 advantage with 5:02 remaining before the half. Levens scored nine of ASU's 15 points in that run and finished with 16 in the first half. Stanford got back into the game with a 12-2 run over the final four minutes, and ASU led just 36-33 at intermission.
Stanford took its first lead of the game on the strength of a 17-5 run to open the second half. The Cardinal took the lead at 39-37 on a Powell lay-up at 18:22 and built the lead to 50-41 just 3:27 later. The Sun Devils cut the lead to five with 11:17 remaining, but Stanford went on a 10-2 run behind six points from Yamasaki to push the lead to 62-49 at the 7:58 mark. The Sun Devils got no closer than seven points the rest of the way.
In the PollsArizona State dropped out of the national polls again after returning last week at 23rd in the Jan. 14 Associated Press poll following a seven-week hiatus. ASU was ranked in the first three polls of the year, climbing as high as 21st, but dropped out after back-to-back losses in November. The Sun Devils are receiving votes in both polls (27th-AP, 38th-USA Today/ESPN Coaches). Cal is unranked, while Stanford moved up one spot to third in each poll.
The 1,000-Point ClubSeniors Amanda Levens and Melody Johnson have each surpassed the 1,000-point mark for their careers this season. Levens, who came to ASU after two seasons at Old Dominion, has scored 1,148 points in her career (302 points at ODU, 846 at ASU), while Johnson has now scored 1,146 points in her career. Johnson had 440 points in her two seasons at Colorado and has 706 so far at ASU, while the Colorado Springs, Colo., native has also topped the 500-board mark and has 547 career rebounds (199 at Colorado, 348 so far at ASU).
The pair also has a shot at becoming the 13th and 14th Sun Devils to join ASU's 1000-point club and the first since Olivia Jones (1980-83) to do it in just two seasons. Levens needs 154 more points, while Johnson needs 286 to accomplish that feat.
Amanda From Beyond the ArcSenior guard Amanda Levens has knocked down a team-best 39 treys and is shooting 40.6 percent from beyond the arc (39-98), which ranks seventh in the league. Levens has had at least one three-pointer in all but two games this year and all but seven games in her Sun Devil career. She has also had more than one three-pointer in 11 games this year, including a career-best 6-of-9 performance in ASU's win over Kansas Dec. 5 and a 4-of-9 effort Jan. 10 vs. Washington.
Levens has moved into third place on ASU's career list with 99 three-pointers in her career and needs just one more to become just the third Sun Devil in school history to hit 100 treys in her career. Levens needs 17 three-pointers to tie with Molly Tuter (1994-97) for second all time at 116, while Crystal Cobb (1989-94) holds the ASU school record with 134 three-pointers in her career.
SINGLE-SEASON THREE-POINTERS MADE1. 60 Amanda Levens, 2000-012. 56 Crystal Cobb, 1990-913. 52 Ryneldi Becenti, 1992-934. 49 Crystal Cobb, 1991-925. 47 Molly Tuter, 1996-976. 44 Stephanie Freeman, 1997-987. 39 Amanda Levens, 2001-028. 38 Ryneldi Becenti, 1991-92 38 Molly Tuter, 1995-9610. 36 Betsy Boardman, 2000-01
Kicking It Up a NotchPortland, Ore., native Betsy Boardman has kicked it up a notch in Pac-10 play, averaging 11.3 points per game, up from her overall scoring average of 8.6 ppg. She is also shooting 45.0 percent from the field and 44.4 percent from beyond the arc in league action.
A Pac-10 All-Freshman selection last year, Boardman has scored in double figures in seven of the last 10 games, including a season-high 17 points at Oregon on Jan. 6 and a game-high 16 vs. Washington State on Jan. 12. After shooting just 24 percent from three-point land in the first 11 games of the year, Boardman has shot 44.4 percent from beyond the arc in the last 10 games (16-36). Boardman now ranks ninth in the Pac-10 in three-point shooting at 35.4 percent (23-65) on the year, including a 3-of-4 effort at UCLA on Jan. 17.
Dishing It OutASU's starting backcourt of senior Amanda Levens and true freshman Kylan Loney is averaging 7.8 assists per game so far this season, the most since Natalie Tucker and Kitch Kitchen averaged 8.4 assists as the second-best tandem in the Pac-10 in 1998-99. At 4.6 assists per game, Levens ranks fifth in the Pac-10 in the category. She has led the team in the category in 10 of her last 12 games, including a career-high nine assists at Oregon State on Jan. 4 and a game-high five vs. Washington on Jan. 10, while Loney is averaging 3.4 per game. Levens is sixth in the Pac-10 in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.44, while Loney is fifth at 1.5.
Levens Repeats as Pac-10 Player of the WeekSenior guard Amanda Levens was named the Pac-10 Women's Basketball Player of the Week on two consecutive weeks (Dec. 10 and 17) after leading ASU to four straight victories. She became the first Sun Devil to ever earn back-to-back selections and the first to earn two conference player-of-the-week honors in a season since Ryneldi Becenti in 1992-93. The Player-of-the-Week honors were the second and third of Levens' career and the 19th and 20th all-time selections for ASU.
- Four Sun Devils are scoring in double figures in Pac-10 play, led by senior Amanda Levens who is averaging 17.4 ppg in Pac-10 play and sophomore Betsy Boardman who is averaging 11.3 points per game in conference action.
- The Sun Devils have scored just 52.5 points per game over the last two games, including a season-low 49 points at USC last weekend.
- The Sun Devils rank in the top three in the league in five defensive categories this year, including scoring defense (2nd), rebounding defense (1st), three-point defense (1st), scoring margin (2nd) and rebounding margin (3rd).
- ASU is 11-0 this season when outshooting its opponents.
- With a miss in the second half at Cal on Thursday night, senior Amanda Levens snapped a streak of 16 consecutive free throws. She has knocked down her last six at Oregon on Jan. 6, went 2-for-2 in the next three games and was 6-of-7 at Cal on Thursday night. She is shooting 91.7 percent from the charity stripe in her last five games (22-24). Last year, she turned in streaks of 16 and 17 consecutive free throws made.
- Levens has already been to the free throw line 144 times this year and has knocked down 79.2 percent of her attempts, which ranks seventh in the Pac-10 (114-144). Last year, Levens set school single-season marks for free throws (146) and was second in attempts (183) and is on pace to eclipse those marks this year.
- ASU shot a season-low 9.1 percent from three-point land Thursday night, knocking down just 1-of-11 attempts. The Sun Devils are averaging 4.1 three-pointers per game and have had just three games all year where the team has knocked down just one trey.
- In two of its last three games, ASU has turned in stellar shooting performances in the second half. At UCLA on Jan. 17, ASU shot 80 percent in the second half (16-20), while the Sun Devils had a 55 percent showing (11-20) Thursday night at in their win at Cal.
- The Sun Devils have turned in their top two shooting performances of the season on the road, shooting 57.4 percent (27-47) at Oregon on Jan. 6 and 58.3 percent (28-48) at UCLA on Jan. 17.
- Senior Rainy Crisp, who made her first career start vs. Washington State on Jan. 12, has the best assist-to-turnover ratio on the team this year, dishing out 49 assists to just 20 turnovers on the season (2.45).
- After shooting just 36.8 percent from the field in its first four games (87-236), ASU has shot 44.8 percent in the last 17 (411-917). From three-point land, ASU has improved from 24.4 percent (10-41) in its first four games to 36.5 in the last 17 (77-211).
- Since the first Pac-10 statistics of the year were released five weeks ago, ASU has climbed from sixth to second in field goal percentage and from 10th to second in three-point shooting.
- The Sun Devil rotation includes 11 players this year with eight averaging at least 10 minutes per game, and sophomore Jen Albert and freshman Lauren Stagg just shy of the 10-minute mark at 9.8 and 9.1 minutes per game, respectively. Senior Amanda Levens is leading the team in minutes played at 28.7 per game, while true freshman point guard Kylan Loney is second at 26.7 minutes per game.
- The Sun Devils have already defeated both Oregon and Washington this season, marking the first time since 1992-93 that ASU has downed both schools in a single season. That year, ASU swept both meetings with both schools. ASU's 86-72 victory at Oregon's McArthur Court on Jan. 6 snapped an eight-game road losing streak against the Ducks and was the first for ASU since the 1992-93 season.
- The Sun Devils' 87-point effort vs. Arizona on Dec. 30 marked the most for the Sun Devils since the team scored 96 in a 96-52 win over Gonzaga on Dec. 5, 1998, a span of 96 games.
- ASU's bench has averaged 18.3 points per game this season (391 points), including a season-high 27 points at Chicago State on Dec. 13. ASU's bench has had 20 or more points in six games this year, including 23 vs. Washington State on Jan. 12. The Sun Devils are 13-2 on the year when outscoring their opponents' bench.
- The Sun Devils turned in a 70-57 win at UCLA on Jan. 17, marking their third straight win over the Bruins, ASU's longest winning streak in the series.
- ASU's seven-game winning streak, which was snapped with a Dec. 23 loss to then No. 6 Stanford, was the longest for the Sun Devils since the team won seven consecutive Pac-10 games last year from Jan. 13 to Feb. 8.
- ASU's 86-72 victory at Oregon on Jan. 6 snapped an eight-game road losing streak at McArthur Court and was the team's first victory in Eugene since the 1992-93 season.