Women's Hoops to Play Host to UCLA at 2 p.m. Saturday on Senior Day
Feb. 15, 2002
TEMPE, Ariz. -
Winners of 20 games this season including a 67-60 win over USC on Thursday night, the Arizona State Sun Devils play their final home game of the year Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. against UCLA. Winners of four of their last five games, the Sun Devils climbed back into second place in the Pac-10 and are now 20-7 on the year and 11-5 conference play, a half game ahead of Washington in the league standings. ASU looks to extend a seven-game home winning streak Saturday vs. the Bruins as the team honors its five seniors who will be playing in their last career home games. ASU's victory over USC on Thursday night matched its wins total from last year and marked the team's first back-to-back 20-win seasons since 1981-82 and 1982-83. UCLA is 7-17 overall and 3-11 in the conference following a 77-62 loss at Arizona on Thursday night.
ExposureASU's flagship station XTRA 910 AM will broadcast the UCLA 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).
Senior FarewellThe Sun Devils will honor its five seniors - Rainy Crisp, Cian Carvalho, Leah Combs, Melody Johnson and Amanda Levens - who will be playing in the final home game of their Sun Devil careers Saturday afternoon vs. UCLA.
Home Cookin'With a 12-2 home mark this year, the Sun Devils have once again tied the school mark for home wins. ASU has turned in a 34-8 record at home in the last three seasons. Last year, the team went 12-4 at home, tying the school record for home victories at Wells Fargo Arena, while the team has won its last seven games at Wells Fargo Arena and has a 7-1 Pac-10 home mark this year.
In its current seven-game home winning streak that began with a Dec. 23 win over Cal and was extended Feb. 2 with a win over Oregon State, ASU has averaged 70.1 points and 38.6 rebounds per game. In that stretch, the Sun Devils have shot 45.8 percent from the field (182-397) and 44.4 percent from beyond the arc (32-72). On the defensive side, ASU has allowed just 56.7 points, 31.6 rebounds and 25.8 percent shooting from three-point land (17-66) in those seven victories.
Fox Sports Net to Televise Arizona GameFox Sports Net will televise Arizona State's game at Arizona on Saturday, February 23 to a national television audience as its Pac-10 Conference wild card selection. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. MST. The addition marks the fourth television game of the season for the Sun Devils.
Turner Thorne Second in All-Time Wins at ASUWith an 85-84 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).
Last Time OutSenior center Melody Johnson scored a season-high 21 points to lead Arizona State to a 67-60 victory over USC Thursday night at Wells Fargo Arena.
The game stayed close in the first half until ASU used a 12-2 run, including eight points by Johnson, to go up 29-18 with 3:56 to play in the first 20 minutes. Johnson scored 16 points on 8-of-10 shooting in the first half to lead the Sun Devils to a 35-27 halftime advantage.
In the second half, USC cut the ASU lead to one point, 44-43, with 13:49 to play, holding the Sun Devils without a point for almost five minutes until senior Amanda Levens knocked down a crucial three-pointer to put Arizona State up by four, 47-43, with 12:47 to play. The Women of Troy tied the game at 47 with 10:58 to play on a layup by senior Tiffany Elmore, but Levens knocked down a pair of free throws and a leaning jumper to put the Sun Devils up again by four.
USC got within two points twice over the next five minutes on a pair of three-pointers by Elmore and sophomore Jessica Cheeks, but ASU sophomore Betsy Boardman had three steals over the final four minutes of the game and ASU scored 11 of the last 17 points of the half en route to the victory.
Johnson led all scorers with 21 points on 10-of-14 shooting and tied fellow senior Cian Carvalho with a game-high six rebounds. Four Sun Devils reached double figures for scoring with Levens turning in 15 points, Carvalho with 13 and Boardman with 12 to go along with a season-high five steals. Levens and freshman Kylan Loney each dished out five assists in the Sun Devil victory.
For USC, freshman Rachel Woodward led the team with 14 points, while sophomore Ebony Hoffman added 13. As a team, ASU outrebounded USC 34-24.
20 and Beyond...ASU's victory over USC on Thursday night marked the 20th win of the season for the Sun Devils, matching the team's wins total from last year. The win over the Trojans also marked the team's first back-to-back 20-win seasons since going 25-7 in 1981-82 followed by 23-7 in 1982-83. Last season, ASU posted a 20-11 mark, which marked the team's most wins since going 23-7 in 1982-83. The school record for wins in a season is 25 put up by the 1981-82 NCAA Sweet Sixteen squad which went 25-7 on the year.
Double TroubleSenior Melody Johnson notched back-to-back double-doubles last week in Washington, the first back-to-back efforts of her career and her fourth and fifth double-doubles of the season. She had 13 points and 10 rebounds at Washington State on Feb. 7 and followed that up with 13 points and a career-high tying 12 rebounds at Washington on Feb. 9. In her last five games, Johnson has averaged 15.6 points and 7.8 rebounds per contest, including a season-high 21 points Thursday vs. USC, up from her season averages of 12.2 ppg and 6.6 rpg.
The Colorado Springs, Colo., native and 2001 first-team All-Pac-10 selection has nine double-doubles in her short ASU career. Her first double-double this year came with 16 points and 11 rebounds vs. Richmond Nov. 26 to earn Paradise Jam MVP honors.
Loney Sets ASU Freshman Assists RecordWith 90 assists already this year, true freshman point guard Kylan Loney has set the ASU school record for assists by a Sun Devil freshman. Loney overtook Jodi Rathbun who had 80 assists in her freshman year in 1982-83. Loney ranks 10th in the Pac-10 with 3.3 assists per game and has the fifth-best assist-to-turnover ratio in the league at 1.45. She is the highest ranked Pac-10 freshman in the category, while Cal's Kristin Iwanaga is the only other rookie in the top 10 (seventh).
Loney has started all 27 games this season and is second on the team in playing time with 27.6 minutes per game. Her 27.6 minutes played are the fourth-most by a freshman in the Pac-10 this season. The Ames, Iowa, native scored a career-best 10 points Feb. 7 at Washington State and has averaged 6.1 points per game over her last 10 games (61 points).
Assists by an ASU Freshman1. 90 Kylan Loney, 2001-022. 80 Jodi Rathbun, 1982-833. 71 Cassandra Lander, 1979-804. 70 Toya DeCree, 1981-825. 69 Leaf Newman, 1997-986. 68 Stephanie Freeman, 1997-987. 65 Karen O'Connor, 1987-888. 64 Lynda Englehart, 1978-799. 55 Sherry Poole, 1983-8410. 49 Patti Peppler, 1983-84
The Battle of the BoardsThe Sun Devils have outrebounded 22 of their 27 opponents this year, including a 34-24 advantage over USC on Thursday night. In the last four games, ASU has averaged 39.5 rebounds and outrebounded its last four opponents by an average of 10.5 boards per contest. ASU holds an 18-4 record when outrebounding its opponents this year. The Sun Devils are averaging 38.0 rebounds per game compared to a Pac-10 low 32.4 for their opponents and held both Rutgers and Oregon (Jan. 6) to a season-low 23 rebounds. ASU also led the Pac-10 in rebounding defense last year, holding its opponents to just 33.5 boards per contest.
Turning Up the 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 58.7 points allowed per game. The Pac-10's best defensive team, the Sun Devils rank in the top three in the league in six defensive categories this year, including scoring defense (1st), rebounding defense (1st), three-point defense (1st), turnover margin (3rd), scoring margin (3rd) and rebounding margin (3rd).
ASU has held six teams under 50 points, including a season-low 40 points on three occasions (Fordham-Dec. 1, Washington State-Jan. 12 and Cal-Jan. 24). The Sun Devils are 14-0 on the season when holding opponents to 59 points or less. 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, while Washington State had just 15 points in the first half in ASU's 68-40 win on Jan. 12.
Defending the ThreeThe Sun Devils continue to lead the league in three-point field goal defense, allowing their opponents to shoot just 30.5 percent from beyond the arc (74-243). 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 17 opponents to just 26.9 percent shooting from three-point range (49-182) and has kept 10 of its last 14 opponents under 30 percent from beyond the arc, including an 18.2 percent showing by Oregon on Jan. 31 (2-11).
Levens Lighting Up the ScoreboardAfter scoring a game-high 26 points Feb. 2 vs. Oregon State, senior guard Amanda Levens is ranked second in the Pac-10 in scoring at 18.2 points per game. Already the winner of two Pac-10 Player-of-the-Week honors this season, Levens has scored 20 points or more on 11 occasions this season, while her 26 points vs. Oregon State marked her first 20-point game since she had a game-high 20 points before leaving the Washington game on Jan. 10 with a high ankle injury. She has led the team in scoring in 16 of 26 games this year. Levens was leading the Pac-10 in scoring at 20.2 points per game before spraining her ankle. She missed the first game of her career vs. WSU on Jan. 12 and has been slowed by the injury ever since, averaging just 11.7 points per game in her last nine games (105 points).
The transfer from Old Dominion University and 2001 first-team All-Pac-10 selection 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 turned in 18 20-point games, led ASU in scoring in 31 of 58 games and has had 18 efforts with 20 points or more. With 448 points this year, she needs just 22 to match the 470 she had all of last year, a total which was eighth on ASU's single-season scoring charts.
About UCLAUCLA is 7-17 and 3-12 in the Pac-10 following a 77-62 loss at Arizona on Thursday. The Bruins have lost eight of their last 10 games and three straight Pac-10 contests. Sophomore forward Whitney Jones is leading the team in scoring at 9.9 points per game, including back-to-back career bests with 21 points at USC last week and 24 Thursday at Arizona, while senior center Malika Leatham is pacing the squad in rebounding at 6.4 boards per game. Earlier this year, the Bruins lost their two top scorers, Michelle Greco (repeated concussions) and Kristee Porter (professional volleyball).
In the SeriesUCLA holds a commanding 35-12 advantage in the series with the Sun Devils, including a 17-7 edge in games played in Tempe. ASU has won the last three games in the series, including a 70-57 victory in Los Angeles on Jan. 17. That victory at Pauley Pavilion game gave ASU its longest winning streak over UCLA in school history at three. The Sun Devils swept the series with the Bruins last year for the first time in school history and can do so again with a victory on Saturday afternoon.
Southern California ConnectionsThree members of the Sun Devil program have ties to southern California, including senior Leah Combs and freshman Alexis Tate. Combs hails from Yorba Linda, Calif., where she graduated from Esperanza High School in Anaheim. Combs concluded her career as the all-time leading scorer (1,348 points) and rebounder (768 rebounds) at Esperanza, leading the team to a 22-6 record and a Sunset League championship in 1996-97.
Tate comes to ASU from Rancho Bernardo High School in Escondido, Calif., where she was a four-time team captain and three-year team MVP despite missing her senior year with an ACL tear. Ranked 60th in the Blue Star Index of the top 100 high school seniors heading into her senior year, Tate also earned two letters in track and field, anchoring her team's 4x400 meter relay team in the state tournament as a junior and winning a league title in the high jump as a senior.
Head coach Charli Turner Thorne graduated from Bishop Alemany High School in Mission Hills, Calif., in 1984.
Last Time vs. UCLASenior Cian Carvalho scored 13 points to lead then No. 23 ASU to a 70-57 victory over UCLA Jan. 17 at Pauley Pavilion. Five Sun Devils scored in double figures in the victory for the first time this season, while the victory marked the third straight over the Bruins, ASU's longest winning streak in the series.
The game stayed close for the first 14 minutes with seven ties and no team enjoying more than a two-point advantage. ASU took the lead for good, going up 19-18 with 5:51 left on a pair of free throws by senior Leah Combs and outscored the Bruins 11-3 over the rest of the half to go into the locker room up 30-21.
In the second half, ASU closed out the victory by shooting 80 percent from the field, knocking down 16-of-20 attempts. The Sun Devils built a 15-point lead and UCLA never got closer than eight.
For the Sun Devils, sophomore Betsy Boardman had 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting, knocking down 3-of-4 three-point attempts, while senior Amanda Levens, ASU's leading scorer who played just 24 limited minutes due to an ankle injury, scored 11. Freshman Carrie Buckner and senior Melody Johnson added 10 each. Whitney Jones scored 15 points, and Malika Leatham added 10 for the Bruins who shot 35 percent (21-of-60) for the game.
Joining 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 1,229 points in her career (302 points at ODU, 917 at ASU), while Johnson has now scored 1,240 points in her career. Johnson had 440 points in her two seasons at Colorado and has 790 so far at ASU, while the Colorado Springs, Colo., native has also topped the 500-board mark and has 590 career rebounds (199 at Colorado, 397 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 83 more points, while Johnson needs 200 to accomplish that feat.
Amanda From Beyond the ArcAfter a perfect 4-of-4 night Feb. 2 vs. Oregon State, senior guard Amanda Levens has knocked down a team-best 47 treys and is shooting 37.6 percent from beyond the arc (47-125) on the year, which ranks seventh in the league. Levens has had at least one three-pointer in all but five games this year and all but nine games in her Sun Devil career. She has also had more than one three-pointer in 13 games this year, including a career-best 6-of-9 performance in ASU's win over Kansas Dec. 5 and a 4-of-4 effort Feb. 2 vs. Oregon State. Against the Beavers, Levens knocked down three treys on three consecutive possessions and four in the game, two that were at least six feet beyond the arc.
Already ASU's single-season leader with 60 treys last year, Levens has moved into third place on ASU's career list with 107 three-pointers in her career. With her three-pointer in the first half vs. Oregon on Jan. 31, Levens became just the third Sun Devil in school history to hit 100 treys in her career. Levens needs nine 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 Amanda Levens, 2001-02 47 Molly Tuter, 1996-977. 44 Stephanie Freeman, 1997-988. 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 11.4 points per game, up from her overall scoring average of 9.3 ppg. She is also shooting 41.7 percent from the field and 41.1 percent from beyond the arc in league action. While she does not rank in the overall Pac-10 statistics, Boardman is 16th in scoring and fifth in three-point percentage in the statistics for conference games.
A Pac-10 All-Freshman selection last year, Boardman has scored in double figures in five of her last six games and 12 of 16 Pac-10 contests, including a season-high 17 points at Oregon on Jan. 6 and a game-high 15 vs. at Stanford on Jan. 26. After shooting just 24 percent from three-point land in the first 11 games of the year, Boardman has shot 41.1 percent from beyond the arc in the last 16 (23-56).
Soft TouchSenior Melody Johnson continues to sit atop the Arizona State career charts for field goal percentage, knocking down 56.7 percent of her career attempts (306-540). This year, she is shooting 56.3 percent (134-238), which ranks second in the Pac-10, including a perfect 7-for-7 effort Dec. 13 at Chicago State, an 8-of-9 outing Jan. 6 at Oregon and a 10-of-14 showing Thursday night vs. USC. In Pac-10 play, she is also second in the league statistics at 57.6 percent (83-144).
Dishing It OutASU's starting backcourt of senior Amanda Levens and true freshman Kylan Loney is averaging 7.6 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 4.5 assists per game, Levens ranks fifth in the Pac-10 in the category. She has led the team in the category in 15 of her last 17 games, including a career-high nine assists at Oregon State on Jan. 4 and 11 in ASU's sweep over the Oregon schools two weeks ago, while Loney is averaging 3.3 per game, which ranks 10th in the Pac-10. Loney is fifth in the Pac-10 in assist-to-turnover ration at 1.45, while Levens is sixth at 1.33.
Quick Hits- Four Sun Devils are scoring in double figures in Pac-10 play, led by senior Amanda Levens who is averaging 15.34 ppg in Pac-10 play and senior Melody Johnson who is averaging 12.4 points per game in conference action.
- ASU is 14-0 on the year when outshooting its opponents.
- Seven Sun Devils have nabbed at least 21 steals so far this season, led by sophomore Betsy Boardman who has 44.
- 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 56 assists to just 23 turnovers on the season (2.4).
- The Sun Devil rotation includes 11 players this year with nine 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 8.7 minutes per game, respectively. Senior Amanda Levens is leading the team in minutes played at 28.5 per game, while true freshman point guard Kylan Loney is second at 27.6 minutes per game, which is fourth among Pac-10 freshmen.
- 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.
- ASU's win over Oregon on Jan. 31 marked the team's second ever season sweep of the Ducks with the other coming in the 1992-93 season.
- ASU's bench has averaged 16.6 points per game this season (449 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 14-2 on the year when outscoring their opponents' bench.
- ASU emerged from the non-conference slate with nine victories for the first time since the 1991-92 season.
- ASU's crowd of 2,419 at the Stanford game on Dec. 23 was the largest home crowd of the year for the Sun Devils. ASU has averaged 1,571 fans per home game so far in the Pac-10 season.
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