Women's Hoops to Wrap Up Road Trip at Oregon State on Saturday

Jan. 31, 2003

CORVALLIS, Ore. -

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Following Thursday night's 68-52 loss at Oregon, the Arizona State Sun Devils (12-7 overall, 4-6 Pac-10) look to wrap up their trip to the state of Oregon, taking on the Oregon State Beavers (11-8, 5-5) at 7 p.m. PST/8 p.m. MST on Saturday night. Arizona State, which has now lost three of its last four games, is at the beginning of a streak that will see the team play five of its seven games on the road. On Saturday night, the Sun Devils look to snap a three-game losing streak at Oregon State's Gill Coliseum and win the team's third straight game over the Beavers. Oregon State has won four of its last five games, including Thursday night's 71-65 upset of 24th-ranked Arizona. The Beavers are 11-8 overall and 5-5 in the Pac-10.

In the SeriesOregon State holds a slim 18-17 advantage over Arizona State in a series that dates back to the 1983-84 season. ASU has won the last two games in the series, including a 70-58 victory over the Beavers on Jan. 2 in Tempe. Last year, the teams split two meetings with the Beavers winning 77-70 in Corvallis on Jan. 4 and the Sun Devils earning a 71-65 victory on Feb. 2 in Tempe. The Sun Devils have won nine of the last 12 games in the series and seven straight games at Wells Fargo Arena but have lost the last three games at OSU's Gill Coliseum. The Beavers hold a 12-5 advantage in Corvallis with ASU's last road win coming in 1998-99 with a 77-65 win on Feb. 21, 1999 to complete the team's second straight season sweep of the Beavers.

Oregon ConnectionsThe Sun Devils have four players who hail from the state of Oregon in junior Betsy Boardman (Portland), sophomore Carrie Buckner (Corvallis), freshman Amy Denson (Central Point) and Jill Noe (Tualatin). Boardman, who is sitting out the 2002-03 season after tearing her ACL in preseason practice, 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. A three-time all-league selection and the 2001 Valley League Player of the Year, Buckner helped her Crescent Valley High School to its eighth straight Valley League title as a senior and earned all-tournament honors at the Oregon 4A state tournament.

Denson was the 2002 Gatorade Player of the Year in Oregon after leading her Crater High School team to its second straight league title. The Oregonian's 4A State Player of the Year, she set the school career scoring record with 1,326 points in just three years and led the state in scoring as a senior with 20.7 points per game. Noe came to ASU from Wilsonville High School where she was named the state 3A Player of the Year in each of her last two years. Noe led her team to back-to-back 3A state titles in her final two seasons and was a three-time Tri-Valley League MVP.

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes...Head coach Charli Turner Thorne shook up her starting lineup in last week's upset of 19th-ranked Arizona, giving senior guard Rainy Crisp her second start of the season and freshman forward Jenny Thigpin the first start of her career. It marked the fourth different starting lineup of the season for the Sun Devils, while eight of the 12 players on ASU's active roster have now started at least one game this year. Here is the team's record with each different starting lineup:

ASU's Starting Lineup	RecordBuckner, Denson, Albert, Loney, Noe	5-1Noe, Buckner, Kovesdy, Loney, Crisp	1-0Denson, Kovesdy, Loney, Noe, Buckner	5-6Buckner, Denson, Thigpin, Loney, Crisp	1-0

Offensive FirepowerAfter leading the Pac-10 in most defensive categories in the last two years, this year's Sun Devils have also shown a little offensive firepower this season. This year, the team is averaging 67.8 points per game which ranks fifth in the Pac-10, including a season-high 82 points twice (last at Akron on Dec. 20). The team also ranks sixth in the Pac-10 in field goal percentage and three-point percentage, shooting 41.7 percent from the field (456-1094) and 33.9 percent from three-point land (77-227).

But Not to Forget the Defense...Despite the team's improved offensive performance, the Sun Devils still continue to be one of the top defensive teams in the conference. ASU is second in the Pac-10 in rebounding defense, allowing just 33.1 rebounds per game. The Sun Devils are also ranked third in the league in scoring defense, allowing just 62.4 points per contest. Arizona State has led the league in both rebounding and scoring defense in each of the last two years (2000-01 and 2001-02). Last year, the team set a Pac-10 record by giving up just 59.1 points per game, while the team's current average of 33.1 boards allowed per game would set the school record for rebounding defense, currently held by last year's team which allowed just 33.3 rebounds per game. Last week, the Sun Devils held Arizona to just 58 points and 28 rebounds, 20.8 points and 13.1 rebounds below the Wildcats' then Pac-10 leading 78.5 points and 41.1 rebounds per contest. ASU also held the Wildcats to just eight offensive rebounds in the game and none in the first half of that contest.

The Sun Devils also rank second in the league in three-point shooting defense, a category the team has paced the Pac-10 in during three of the last four years. This season, ASU is allowing its opponents to shoot just 29.2 percent from three-point land (47-161), while in the last three games, the Sun Devils have held their opponents to just 12.5 percent shooting from beyond the arc (3-24). On Thursday night at Oregon, ASU held the Ducks, the league's third-best three-point shooting team, to just 18.2 percent (2-11), down from their season numbers of 35.7 percent and 6.2 treys per game.

Last Time OutSophomore Kylan Loney scored 16 points as the Sun Devils fell to Oregon 68-52 Thursday night at Oregon's McArthur Court, snapping a four-game winning streak against the Ducks.

Arizona State trailed the whole game, falling behind 23-9 with 6:05 to play in the first half. The Sun Devils scored the next seven points to cut the Duck lead to seven, 23-16 with 4:29 to play, but Oregon closed out the half on a 12-5 run to take a 35-21 halftime lead. ASU knocked down just seven field goals and shot 33.3 percent in the first half.

In the second half, the Sun Devils scored the first five points of the half to cut the lead to nine, but the Ducks tallied the next seven points to maintain a 42-26 lead with 17:14 to play. ASU got within nine points, 52-43 with 7:50 remaining, but would not get any closer. Oregon scored their final 12 points of the game at the free throw line, knocking down 12-of-14 attempts over the final five minutes and 81.5 percent (22-27) in the game.

Loney led all scorers with 16 points, knocking down 4-of-6 three-pointers. She also added four assists. Freshman Kristen Kovesdy had 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting, and freshman Amy Denson, a native of Central Point, Ore., had 10 points. Sophomore Carrie Buckner, a native of Corvallis, Ore., led the team with seven rebounds, while Kovesdy and Denson each pulled down five boards.

For Oregon, freshman Carolyn Ganes led three Ducks in double figures with 13 points. Sophomore Andrea Bills led the team with nine rebounds.

Just Say NoeFreshman Jill Noe earned her second Pac-10 Women's Basketball Player of the Week honor of the season on Jan. 6 and became the first true freshman in the Pac-10 to earn two player-of-the-week honors in a season since Stanford's Nicole Powell did it in 2000-01. Noe was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week for Dec. 30-Jan. 5 after averaging 21.0 points, 10.0 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 4.5 steals in ASU's home wins over Oregon State and Oregon. She turned in a career-high 23 points and 11 rebounds in the victory over Oregon State and followed up that effort with 18 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in ASU's win over Oregon. On the weekend, Noe shot 41.7 percent from the field (10-24), 42.9 percent from three-point land (6-14) and 83.3 percent from the free throw line (15-18).

Noe was also named the Pac-10 Women's Basketball Player of the Week for Dec. 9-15. She came within one rebound and one assist of recording the 13th triple-double in Pac-10 history in ASU's 76-53 defeat of Denver on Dec. 9. Noe finished with 17 points, nine rebounds and nine assists, adding six steals in 26 minutes of play. She shot 7-of-11 (.636) from the field, including a 75.0 percent clip (3-of-4) from 3-point range. Noe also recorded two blocked shots and committed no turnovers in the victory over the Pioneers.

Noe has done it all for the Sun Devils this year, pacing the team in scoring (15.0 ppg), free throw percentage (.817) and steals (2.3 spg). She also ranks second on the team in three-point field goal percentage (.385) and assists (3.2 apg) and is third in rebounding (5.7 rpg). She is ranked third in the Pac-10 in steals, fifth in scoring, free throw shooting and three-point shooting, 10th in assists and 13th in rebounding. With 278 points, she already ranks fourth on the ASU single-season list for scoring by a freshman and is also threatening the school freshman records for steals (sixth with 44) and assists (ninth with 60).

Noe has scored in double figures 15 times in 19 games this year (with five 20-point games) and has paced the team in scoring in 11 of ASU's 19 contests this season, including 10 of the last 15. She notched career highs for scoring in back-to-back games with 21 points at California on Dec. 29 and 23 points Jan. 2 vs. Oregon State and matched her career best again with 23 points (including 18 in the second half) at Washington State on Jan. 11. Noe is also tied with fellow freshman Kristen Kovesdy for the team lead with three double-doubles on the year including 11 points and 11 rebounds Jan. 16 vs. UCLA.

Ball TheftsThe Sun Devils are ranked third in the Pac-10 in steals this season, averaging 10.9 steals per game. The team had a season-high 20 steals vs. UW-Milwaukee in the championship game of the Wells Fargo Holiday Classic on Nov. 30 and 19 in their victory over Denver on Dec. 9. ASU has tallied at least 10 steals in 11 of 19 games this year. Freshman Jill Noe leads the team and is ranked third in the Pac-10 with 2.3 thefts per game, including a career-high-tying six steals Jan. 2 vs. Oregon State. Eight Sun Devils have 12 or more steals on the year.

Young GunsThree of ASU's true freshmen continue to lead the team and rank in the top 20 in the Pac-10 in both scoring and rebounding. Freshman guard Jill Noe, a two-time Pac-10 Player of the Week this season, ranks first on the team and fifth in the Pac-10 in scoring at 15.0 points and third on the team and 13th in the Pac-10 in rebounding at 5.7 boards per contest. Noe has led the team in scoring in 10 of the last 15 games, including a career-best 23 points Jan. 2 vs. Oregon State and again Jan. 11 at Washington State. Freshmen forwards Amy Denson and Kristen Kovesdy lead the team and rank eighth and ninth in the Pac-10 in rebounding (6.5 rpg), while the pair is tied for second on the team and 16th in the Pac-10 in scoring at 11.1 points per game. Kovesdy also leads the team and ranks third in the Pac-10 in field goal percentage at 58.9 percent (79-132).

Quick Notes

- Starting this weekend at Oregon and Oregon State, Arizona State will play five of seven games on the road where the team has a 3-4 record. ASU is 1-3 on the road in Pac-10 play with the team's lone league road win coming at Washington State Jan. 11.

- The Sun Devils tied their season lows with 52 points and just 18 field goals Thursday night at Oregon. The team also set a season-worst mark with just 49 field goal attempts.

- A total of four Sun Devils rank in the Pac-10's top 20 in rebounding (Amy Denson-8th, Kristen Kovesdy-9th, Jill Noe-13th, Carrie Buckner-16th).

- Sophomore Carrie Buckner has turned up her game a notch in the last five games, averaging 7.6 points and 8.0 rebounds per contest. She turned in the first double-double of her career last week with 10 points and a career-high-tying 12 rebounds vs. Arizona, while she played a career-high 35 minutes in each of ASU's games vs. UCLA and USC, averaging 10.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.0 steals per game and taking the toughest defensive assignment in each contest. She held the Pac-10's scoring leader, UCLA senior Michelle Greco, to just six points, 12.6 points below her then average of 18.6 points per game and added 12 points and six rebounds, while against the Women of Troy, Buckner had eight points and matched her career best with five steals.

- On the year, Buckner is tied for fourth in the Pac-10 with 2.1 steals per game. With 40 takeaways this year, she has already matched her production of 38 steals from last year.

- Freshman Jill Noe has shot 86.3 percent from the free throw line in the last three games (19-22).

- The Sun Devils have already blocked 58 shots this season, which surpasses the 51 the team had all of last year and is the most since the 1998-99 team had 62 rejections. Last year, ASU finished ninth in the Pac-10 with just 1.5 blocks per game, while this season, the team ranks fifth with 3.1 per contest. Freshman Kristen Kovesdy leads the team and is tied for seventh in the Pac-10 in the category with 0.7 blocked shots per game. Her 14 blocked shots also put her in fifth on the ASU single-season list for blocks by a freshman and just five rejections out of second place on the list.

- ASU outrebounded UCLA 55-35 on Jan. 16, which marked a season high for the Sun Devils in rebounding and the most boards since the team turned in 55 in a win over Delaware State on Nov. 19, 2001. The last time ASU had 50 or more rebounds against a Pac-10 team came during the 1996-97 season when both Arizona State and Arizona had 50 rebounds in a 66-42 Wildcat win in Tempe.

- The Sun Devils are now leading the Pac-10 in the category with 15.4 offensive boards per game, including a season-high 17 vs. UCLA on Jan. 16. Freshman Kristen Kovesdy ranks fourth in the Pac-10 with 2.8 offensive rebounds per game.

- ASU's seven new players account for 64.4 percent of the team's scoring (830 of 1289 points) and 58.9 percent of the team's rebounding (419 of 711 boards) this year.

- Freshman Kristen Kovesdy is leading the team and ranks third in the Pac-10 in field goal percentage, knocking down 59.8 percent of her shots on the year (79-132). She knocked down her first 16 attempts of the season, including a perfect 7-of-7 performance in ASU's season-opening win over Chicago State, 4-of-4 vs. Northern Illinois and her first five shots vs. Portland State. Kovesdy did not miss her first shot until the 11:59 mark of the second half in that game vs. Portland State, ASU's third game of the year.

- Through ASU's 19 games, sophomore Kylan Loney leads the team with 33 three-pointers, surpassing the total of 14 she had all of last year. Loney is shooting 38.8 percent from three-point land this year (33-85), while freshman Jill Noe is second on the team at 38.5 percent (30-78). Loney drilled a career-best and team-high five three-pointers in ASU's Jan. 4 win over Oregon, while Noe has knocked down at least three treys in five games this year.

- In the last two games, Loney has shot 54.5 percent from three-point land (6-11), including a 4-of-6 effort Thursday at Oregon.

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