Women's Hoops Hosts Oregon State and Oregon This Week
Jan. 18, 2005
TEMPE, Ariz. -
Coming off a split against then No. 19 UCLA and USC last weekend in Los Angeles, the Arizona State Sun Devils return home to wrap up the first half of the Pac-10 season, playing host to Oregon State (5-11, 1-6 Pac-10) and Oregon (12-4, 4-2) this week at Wells Fargo Arena. Thursday's game with the Beavers will tip off at 6:30 p.m., while Fox Sports Net will televise Saturday's contest with the Ducks to a national audience at 2 p.m. Arizona State brings a 12-5 overall mark into this week's games and is tied for fifth in the Pac-10 standings with a 4-3 league mark. The Sun Devils have split their last six games (3-3 record) and head into the weekend looking to add to a streak that has seen the team win 11 of its last 12 home games. On Thursday, ASU hopes to extend a stretch of eight straight home victories over Oregon State, while on Saturday, the Sun Devils look to add onto four straight home wins against Oregon at Wells Fargo Arena.
ExposureAll of Arizona State's games will be broadcast live or on tape delay on NBC 1190 AM with 28-year Valley broadcaster Jeff Munn (play-by-play) and Phoenix Mercury general manager Seth Sulka (color) calling the action. Munn, who is a fill-in radio play-by-play announcer for the Arizona Diamondbacks and the club's public address announcer, is in the first year of his second stint as ASU's play-by-play voice. All of ASU's radio broadcasts are available live on the internet at www.thesundevils.com.
Fox Sports Net will broadcast Saturday's game with Oregon to a national cable television audience with Trey Bender and Lanny Van Eman calling the action. It will mark the seventh television game of the season for the Sun Devils (3-3 record).
In the Series with Oregon StateThe series with Oregon State is tied 19-19 dating back to the 1983-84 season. ASU has won four of the last five games in the series and 11 of the last 15. Last year, the Sun Devils earned their first sweep in the series since 1998-99 with a 63-56 victory in Corvallis on Jan. 22 and a 73-60 win in Tempe on Feb. 21. Arizona State holds a 13-6 edge in games played in Tempe and will be looking to extend a streak of eight straight wins over the Beavers at Wells Fargo Arena dating back to the 1996-97 season.
Oregon State brings a 5-11 overall record and a 1-6 Pac-10 mark into Thursday night's game in Tempe. The Beavers got their first Pac-10 win of the year last weekend with an 83-55 victory over Washington State but fell to Washington 75-64 two days later. Senior guard Shannon Howell is leading the Pac-10 in scoring at 19.8 points per game. Last weekend, she became the second player in school history to score 30 points in back-to-back games with 33 against the Cougars and 34 against the Huskies. Junior forward Kim Butler, a transfer from Santa Clara, is adding 10.2 points per contest. Sophomore guard Casey Bunn is the team's top rebounder at 5.6 boards per game (12th in the league).
In the Series with OregonOregon leads the series with ASU 26-15 dating back to the first meeting between the two teams in 1980-81. Arizona State has gotten the better of the series of late, winning six of the last seven games. The Sun Devils swept the series last year, snagging a 69-67 victory at McArthur Court on Jan. 24 and a 65-40 win at Wells Fargo Arena on Feb. 19. Oregon holds a slim 10-9 advantage in games played in Tempe, but Arizona State has won the last four contests between the two squads at Wells Fargo Arena.
Oregon holds a 12-4 overall record and is tied for third in the Pac-10 with a 5-2 league mark. The Ducks have won their last three games and five of their last seven and will travel to Arizona on Thursday before heading to Tempe for Saturday afternoon's game. Senior forward Cathrine Kraayeveld is pacing Oregon in scoring with 15.5 points (fifth in the Pac-10) and 9.0 rebounds per game (second in the league), while senior forward Andrea Bills is adding 11.9 points (10th) and 6.6 boards per contest (fifth).
Oregon PipelineThe Sun Devils have four players on the roster who hail from the state of Oregon in seniors Betsy Boardman (Portland) and Carrie Buckner (Corvallis), junior Amy Denson (Central Point) and redshirt sophomore Jill Noe (Tualatin). 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. 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, who has been out for two seasons with ACL tears, 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.
Turner Thorne First in All-Time Wins at ASUWith Arizona State's 44-42 victory over then No. 19 UCLA on Jan. 14, ninth-year head coach Charli Turner Thorne became the all-time winningest coach in Arizona State women's basketball history. She now holds a 135-117 record at ASU and passed Juliene Simpson who notched a 134-92 mark in eight seasons in Tempe (1979-87). Turner Thorne tied Simpson's mark with ASU's Jan. 9 win over California.
Turner Thorne has led her Sun Devils to a school-record five consecutive postseason bids including WNIT appearances in 2000, 2003 and 2004 and ASU's first back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in 20 years in 2001 and 2002. ASU previously had advanced to postseason play in three straight seasons (NWIT runner-up in 1981, NCAA Sweet Sixteen in 1982 and 1983). After a 17-12 mark in 2003-04, Turner Thorne became only the second coach in school history to lead the Sun Devils to four consecutive winning seasons. The last time ASU had four straight winning campaigns was under Juliene Simpson from 1980-81 to 1983-84.
Since Turner Thorne took over the reins of the program in 1996-97, the Sun Devils have regained the national prominence the team enjoyed in the early 1990s. In 2000-01, Turner Thorne's Sun Devils captured ASU's first Pac-10 Championship, an NCAA berth, a return to the national rankings and the team's first 20-win season in nine years, while her 2001-02 squad tied the school mark for single-season wins with a 25-9 record, advanced to the NCAA Tournament and won the inaugural Pac-10 Tournament Championship.
Last Time OutMeghan Gnekow and Eshaya Murphy had 15 points to lead four Trojans in double figures as USC downed then No. 25 Arizona State 66-45 Sunday afternoon at USC's Lyon Center.
The Women of Troy took the early lead in the ball game, hitting five three-pointers to go up 23-13 with 7:16 to play. The Sun Devils cut the lead to three, 23-20 with 3:40 left in the half, after a three-pointer from freshman Reagan Pariseau and three points from sophomore Alisha Godette. USC capitalized on three ASU turnovers and outscored the Sun Devils 9-1 over the final minutes of the half to take a 32-21 halftime advantage.
In the second half, a jumper by junior Amy Denson cut the lead to nine points, but Gnekow hit a pair of three-pointers in a 12-4 run which put USC ahead 44-27 with 14:40 to play. Arizona State put together a 9-2 run capped off by a three-pointer by Denson to get within 10, 46-36 with 10:58 remaining. USC, however, quelled the Sun Devil comeback with a 9-2 run of its own to regain a 17-point advantage, and ASU never got any closer.
Denson led the Sun Devils with eight points, including a career-high two three-pointers, in ASU's second-lowest scoring output of the season. Sophomore Emily Westerberg and senior Carrie Buckner each had five rebounds to pace the Sun Devils, while Pariseau tied a career high with four assists. USC hit seven three-pointers and capitalized on 21 ASU turnovers in the victory.
Balanced ScoringThe Sun Devils have gotten balanced scoring so far this year with six different players leading the team in scoring in the team's 17 games. Freshman Reagan Pariseau led the team in scoring for the second time this year with 11 points Jan. 14 at UCLA, including a 3-of-5 effort from beyond the arc, while junior Amy Denson paced the team in scoring for the third time with eight points Jan. 16 at USC.
ASU's Dec. 27 game at Washington State exemplified that balance with three players (sophomore Emily Westerberg, Denson and junior Kristen Kovesdy) leading the team in scoring with 11 points each. Kovesdy has led the team in scoring six times, including 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting Dec. 29 at Washington and 18 on 8-of-11 shooting Jan. 3 against Arizona. Westerberg turned in 18 points in ASU's Dec. 21 win over No. 8 Connecticut and a career-best 22 Jan. 7 vs. eighth-ranked Stanford, while Denson became the sixth Sun Devil to lead the team in scoring with a season-high 14 points Dec. 18 at New Mexico.
ASU has three players averaging in double figures for scoring with just over one point separating the trio. Westerberg is leading the team and ranked 14th in the Pac-10 at 11.1 points per game, while Kovesdy checks in at 15th in the league at 10.9 points per game. Senior Kylan Loney is just out of the Pac-10 statistics at 10.0 points per game. In ASU's Nov. 27 win over Prairie View A&M, all 13 Sun Devils scored two or more points, while Arizona State has nine players averaging at least 3.0 points per game this year.
In addition to scoring, the Sun Devils are also getting balanced rebounding this season with seven different players leading the team in the category in at least one game. Senior Carrie Buckner is leading the team with 4.5 rebounds per game, while junior Amy Denson and sophomore Emily Westerberg are just behind at 4.4. Sophomore Aubree Johnson is fourth in the team with 4.2 rebounds per game and had a season-high seven Jan. 7 vs. Stanford. Denson pulled down seven rebounds, including a season-best six offensive boards, Jan. 9 against Cal. Buckner had a season-high eight rebounds Jan. 9 against the Golden Bears. Seven Sun Devils are averaging at least 2.0 boards per contest.
Defense Against Pac-10 OpponentsArizona State held No. 19 UCLA to just 42 points in its Jan. 14 victory, 31 points below the Bruins' then season average of 73.0 points per game. It marked the third time this year that ASU has held a Pac-10 opponent under 50 points and the fewest points that the Sun Devils have ever scored in a victory.
ASU held Washington State to just 39 points in the team's Dec. 27 victory, which set the school record for fewest points allowed in a Pac-10 game. Including a 69-47 victory over Arizona on Jan. 3, the Sun Devils have held a Pac-10 opponent to 50 points or fewer 13 times in ASU's 19 years in the league (three this year). Twelve of those 13 low-scoring efforts have come under ninth-year head coach Charli Turner Thorne. Turner Thorne's squads have led the Pac-10 in scoring defense in two seasons, setting the Pac-10 record for fewest points allowed at 59.1 points per game in 2001-02. Last year, ASU finished second in the league in scoring defense at 61.1 points per game, while this year, the Sun Devils are allowing a league-low 51.9 points per contest (seventh in the nation)
Arizona had come into the Jan. 3 game as the Pac-10 scoring leader at 73.5 points per game but was held 26.5 points below its season average. California was the best three-point shooting team in the league at 45.7 percent (75-164) but was held to 0-of-5 shooting behind the arc Jan. 9 against the Sun Devils. Cal senior guard Kristin Iwanaga was leading the nation in three-point field goal percentage at 65.8 percent (25-38) heading in the game but got off just one trey vs. ASU (0-1).
Home-Court AdvantageThe Jan. 7 loss to No. 8/8 Stanford snapped ASU's 10-game winning streak at Wells Fargo Arena and marked the team's first loss at home since Jan. 14, 2004. Arizona State holds a 6-1 mark at home this year, including a Dec. 21 upset of No. 8 UConn, and has won 11 of its 12 home games and 24 of the last 27. The school record for consecutive home wins is 13, set by the Sun Devils over the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons (last eight in 2001-02, first five in 2002-03). The Sun Devils hold a 68-15 record at home in the last six seasons (.819, 1999-00 to present) and a 45-8 mark at Wells Fargo Arena over the last four campaigns (.849).
The Sun Devils turned in a 13-1 record at Wells Fargo Arena last year, tying the school record for home wins for the third consecutive year and setting the school mark for home winning percentage in a season (.929). In 2002-03, ASU went 13-4 at Wells Fargo Arena which matched the school-record 13 victories the 2001-02 team had (13-2).
Road WarriorsAfter finishing with a 4-11 road record last year (4-8 away, 0-3 neutral), the Sun Devils have already turned in a 6-4 mark away from home this season, including an upset at then No. 11/14 Georgia on Dec. 7, a win in the team's Pac-10 opener at Washington State on Dec. 27 and a Jan. 14 victory at No. 19/19 UCLA. This season, ASU is 3-4 in away games and 3-0 at neutral-site contests, playing eight of its first 12 games of the year and four of its first seven Pac-10 games away from home.
ASU already has a pair of league road wins (at WSU and 19th-ranked UCLA) this season after going 3-6 in Pac-10 road games last year (victories at California, Oregon State and Oregon). The team played six of its last eight games away from Wells Fargo Arena last season, dropping their last six (0-5 away, 0-1 neutral).
Against Ranked OpponentsArizona State holds a 4-2 record against ranked opponents this season, including a 61-50 upset of No. 8/8 Connecticut on Dec. 21, a 67-49 victory over No. -/25 Arizona on Jan. 3 and a 44-42 win over then No. 19/19 UCLA Jan. 14 in Los Angeles. The team's losses have come at then No. 3/2 LSU on Nov. 12 and Jan. 7 against then No. 8/8 Stanford. ASU's 67-57 win at No. 11/14 Georgia on Dec. 7 marked the team's first victory over a ranked opponent on the road since the Sun Devils defeated then No. 15 USC 64-55 on March 11, 1993.
Last year, the Sun Devils went 2-4 against ranked opponents last year, upsetting then No. 24 Washington 84-81 in overtime on Dec. 27 and No. 7 Stanford 73-53 on Feb. 7, both at Wells Fargo Arena, while in 2002-03, ASU upset three ranked opponents (3-4 mark). ASU's last win over a team ranked in the top five came against then No. 2 Stanford when the Sun Devils upset the Cardinal 70-63 on March 4 in the 2002 Pac-10 Tournament championship game
In the RankingsArizona State has been ranked in three weeks this season and has been receiving votes in every poll this year. ASU was ranked 25th in last week's USA Today/ESPN/WBCA coaches' poll but fell out after a Jan. 16 loss at USC. ASU debuted at 23rd by Associated Press poll and 25th by the coaches on Dec. 13 but fell out of the rankings after just one week (loss at New Mexico). The team has climbed as high as No. 21 in the Dec. 27 AP poll and No. 23 in the Dec. 28 coaches' rankings this year.
The Dec. 13 poll marked the first time that the Sun Devils were ranked in the national top 25 since Jan. 14, 2002 (23rd in AP poll that week). During the 2001-02 season, ASU was ranked in three weeks. That year, the Sun Devils won a school-record 25 games, captured the inaugural Pac-10 Tournament title and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Getting It Done on DefenseArizona State has established itself as one of the top defensive teams in the Pac-10 Conference. The Sun Devils have led the league in at least one defensive category in each of the last seven seasons (1998-99 to present). Last year, ASU paced the Pac-10 in rebounding defense (32.2 rpg) and three-point field goal defense (30.4 percent allowed) and finished second in scoring defense (61.1 ppg). By allowing just 32.2 rebounds per game, ASU set a school record for rebounding defense in 2003-04, besting the previous low of 33.3 by the 2001-02 Pac-10 Tournament championship squad. ASU also led the Pac-10 in three-point defense for the third straight year and the fifth time in six seasons in 2003-04.
This season, the Sun Devils lead the Pac-10 in scoring defense (51.9 points per game), rebounding defense (30.6 rebounds per game) and three-point defense (22.6 percent). Arizona State is also ranked seventh in the nation in scoring defense. ASU has held 11 of its 17 opponents under 60 points and three under 40 points, setting the school record for fewest points by a Pac-10 opponent in a Dec. 27 win at Washington State (67-39). The Sun Devils tied the school record for fewest points allowed after holding Prairie View A&M to just 30 points on Nov. 27. The very next game, ASU almost tied the school record again with a 71-31 victory over Alabama State. ASU also outrebounded Prairie View A&M by a margin of 43-9 in the victory.
In the last seven seasons (since the start of the 1998-99 season to present), the Sun Devils have allowed opponents to just 61.9 points and 33.7 rebounds per game and 28.9 percent shooting from beyond the arc (12,126 points, 6,610 rebounds, 535-1852 three-pointers, 196 games).
Westerberg's WaysLeading the team in scoring in Pac-10 play, sophomore forward Emily Westerberg has also moved into the overall scoring lead. She paces the team and ranks 14th in the Pac-10 with 11.1 points per game. Westerberg turned in a career-high 22 points Jan. 7 against No. 8 Stanford and is also leading the Sun Devils at 11.1 points per game in Pac-10 play. She is pacing the team with 10 games in double figures this season. Westerberg scored 18 points in ASU's Dec. 21 upset of eighth-ranked Connecticut and finished second on the team with 13 points Jan. 3 vs. Arizona.
A first-team Pac-10 All-Freshman selection last season, Westerberg continues to be outstanding from the free throw line. She is ranked third in the Pac-10 and 27th in the nation at 86.0 percent from the charity stripe (49-57), including a 6-of-6 effort Dec. 21 against the UConn Huskies and 6-of-7 night Jan. 7 against the Cardinal.
Keeping Up with KovesdyJunior forward Kristen Kovesdy leads the Pac-10 in field goal percentage this season, shooting 63.1 percent from the field (82-130). She would also rank seventh in the NCAA but falls three field goals short of the statistical minimum (5.0 per game). In the last eight games, she has shot a blazing 69.6 percent from the field (39-56), including a 6-of-6 effort Dec. 21 vs. UConn, a 6-of-7 showing Dec. 29 at Washington and an 8-of-11 night Jan. 3 against Arizona. Kovesdy finished second in the Pac-10 in field goal percentage last year at 55.7 percent, the seventh-best season effort by a Sun Devil, and already ranks second on the Arizona State career field goal percentage chart at 55.6 percent (291-523).
Kovesdy is second on the team and ranked 15th in the Pac-10 in scoring at 10.9 points per game this season. She is second on the team with nine games in double figures for points and has led the team in scoring in a team-best six games. Kovesdy paced the team with 16 points on 7-of-8 shooting in ASU's season-opening victory over Virginia on Nov. 11. She turned in a season-high 21 points on 9-of-11 shooting in the win against Gonzaga in the championship game of the Wells Fargo Holiday Classic on Dec. 4. Dec. 21 against No. 8 UConn, she finished second on the team with 14 points, going 6-of-6 from the field, and paced the team with 13 points at Washington on Dec. 29. She had a team-best 18 on 8-of-11 shooting Jan. 3 against then No. 25 Arizona.
Loney Lights It UpIncluding a 4-for-4 effort from three-point land Jan. 7 against No. 8 Stanford, senior guard Kylan Loney has knocked down 33.8 percent of her long-range attempts (27-80) this year. In ASU's Dec. 7 upset of No. 11/14 Georgia, Loney tied her career bests with five three-pointers and nine three-point attempts and was named the U.S. Bank Pac-10 Player of the Week for the second time in her career. Loney is third on the team in scoring with 10.6 points per game. She had been leading the squad in scoring but has fallen to third after averaging just 4.6 points in the next five games. Despite battling a case of the flu, Loney did have five huge points Dec. 27 at Washington State, knocking down a jumper and a three-pointer in Arizona State's second-half run to regain a double-digit lead.
Loney, who also ranked sixth in the Pac-10 last year at 37.8 percent, was shooting just 16.7 percent from three-point range (2-12) in the first three games of the season. In the next five games, she knocked down 58.6 percent of her threes (17-29) but looks to break out of another shooting slump in the last seven contests that has seen her shoot just 20.5 percent (8-39). Loney had a similar start last year, shooting 15.4 percent in the first five games and lighting it up for 41.0 percent in the last 24 contests (41-100).
The 2004 first-team All-Pac-10 selection has climbed to second on the ASU career list for three-pointers made with 130 and needs just four more this season to tie the school record, held by Crystal Cobb who had 134 three-pointers from 1989-94.
A Little Help From Their FriendsArizona State ranks second in the Pac-10 and 29th in the NCAA with an average of 16.7 assists per game. In the last 13 games, the Sun Devils have averaged 17.2 assists per contest, including a season-high 30 Nov. Prairie View A&M (224 assists). In those 13 games, ASU has had an assist on 71.6 percent of its field goals made (224-313), including 17 of 21 Dec. 21 vs. UConn and 18 of 23 Jan. 7 against Stanford.
Senior guard Kylan Loney and junior forward Amy Denson are virtually tied for first on the team (and just out of the Pac-10's top 10) with 2.5 and 2.4 assists per game, respectively (42 for Loney, 41 for Denson). Denson turned in a career-best seven in ASU's Nov. 27 win over Prairie View. Denson, who has led the team in the category in six games this year, has continued to improve her passing in each of her three seasons at ASU. Last year, she nearly doubled her assists total from her freshman year, averaging 1.5 assists per game compared to 0.8 in her rookie season.
Loney dished out a season-high six Dec. 4 against Gonzaga. With 338 assists in her four years at ASU, Loney is ranked eighth on the ASU career lists and should finish her career in ASU's top five.
Sun Devil Quick Hits
... Senior guard/forward Betsy Boardman needs just three points to become the 14th Sun Devil in school history to join the 1,000-point club. The fifth-year senior, who has come back from two ACL tears (one on each knee), has scored 997 career points.
... Sophomore Emily Westerberg has pulled down an average of 8.0 rebounds per game in the last two contests, including a career-best 11 rebounds in ASU's win at No. 19 UCLA last weekend.
... The Sun Devils have averaged just 44.5 points per game in their last two contests, down from a season average of 63.7 ppg. The two games in Los Angeles marked the two lowest scoring games of the year for the Sun Devils (44 at UCLA, 45 at USC).
... ASU is shooting just 25.6 percent from three-point land in Pac-10 play (20-78) compared to 32.1 percent in all games. On the flip side, the Sun Devils are only allowing Pac-10 opponents to shoot 18.8 percent from beyond the arc (16-85).
... Freshman Reagan Pariseau has shot 58.3 percent from the field in the last three games (7-12), including 4-of-7 attempts from beyond the three-point arc. She led the team with 11 points with three treys in ASU's win over the Bruins last week. She also tied a career high with four assists Jan. 16 at USC.
... The Sun Devils have averaged 39.7 rebounds per game in the last three contests. On the year, ASU is averaging 35.5 rebounds (ninth in the Pac-10) but is holding opponents to a league-best 30.9 rpg.
... ASU's win at then No. 19 UCLA on Jan. 14 marked the team's season lows for points scored (44), field goals made (17), free throws made (five), free throws attempted (nine). ASU also held UCLA to 23.1 percent shooting (12-52) which was the worst effort from the field by a Sun Devil opponent this year. ASU matched its low for field goals made two days later at USC (17).
... Turnovers continue to plague the Sun Devils in league play. ASU is averaging 20.4 turnovers per game in Pac-10 action and holds a -1.3 turnover margin since beginning conference play on Dec. 27.
... ASU averaged 25.0 miscues per game in its first three contests of the season but averaged just 16.7 in its next seven non-conference games. On the season, ASU is turning the ball over 19.8 times and forcing 23.1 turnovers per game (fifth in the Pac-10 in turnover margin at +3.3).
... The Sun Devils hold an 11-0 record this season when scoring 60 points or more and are 12-0 when holding opponents to 59 points or less.
... ASU got to the free throw line a combined total of just 21 times in its two games last weekend (9 at UCLA, 12 at USC) compared to a season average of 18.9 attempts per game.
... Six of ASU's opponents have shot more free throws than the Sun Devils this season (2-4 record in those games). ASU has attempted more free throws (322) than all but one team in the league (Cal at 331) but is connecting on just 65.5 percent of the team's attempts from the line (ninth in the Pac-10).
... ASU ranks third in the Pac-10 with 11.3 steals per game after finishing third in the Pac-10 in the category last season (10.0 steals per game). The Sun Devils reached double figures for steals in 19 of 29 games last year with a season high of 17. Arizona State has been in double figures for steals in 13 of its 17 games this year and turned in a season-high 19 steals in its Nov. 20 win over San Diego with four Sun Devils turning in three steals apiece in the victory.
... Senior Carrie Buckner is leading the team and ranked fifth in the Pac-10 with 2.7 steals per game. She had a season-high five in ASU's Dec. 4 win over Gonzaga and five again Dec. 29 at Washington. Buckner is ranked fourth on the ASU career list with 200 steals in her four seasons in Tempe.
... Junior Amy Denson would rank ninth in the Pac-10 in field goal percentage at 47.4 percent (46-97), but is five field goals short of the league's statistical minimum. Denson is shooting 57.1 percent from three-point land in Pac-10 play (4-7), including a career-best 2-of-2 effort last week at USC.
... Prior to shooting 29.5 percent Dec. 18 at New Mexico, ASU had been leading the Pac-10 in field goal percentage this year at 47.0 percent and is now fifth in the league at 43.3 percent. Prior to New Mexico, ASU had shot 49.4 percent from the field in its previous four games, including a season-high 62.3 percent (38-61) Nov. 27 against Prairie View A&M.
... ASU has shot just 24.2 percent from three-point land in its last eight games (24-99), including a season-low 0-for-6 effort Jan. 9 against California. In the previous five games, the Sun Devils had shot 53.6 percent from three-point land (30-56), including a season-high 60.0 percent in their Nov. 27 win over Prairie View A&M. ASU tied the school record with nine three-pointers made in the game vs. the Lady Panthers. ASU knocked down 50.0 percent of its three-pointers (7-14). Dec. 7 at then No. 11/14 Georgia.
... The Sun Devils had climbed as high as second in the Pac-10 in three-point shooting but have dropped to seventh after the team's recent drought (32.1 percent on the season, 60-187). Last year, the team finished fifth in the Pac-10 in three-point shooting (33.8 percent) but shot just 20.0 percent from beyond the arc in their first three games this year (6-30).
... Seniors Kylan Loney and Betsy Boardman rank second (130) and third (121) on the Arizona State career list for three-pointers made. On Dec. 7 at No. 11/14 Georgia, the pair passed honorable-mention All-American Amanda Levens who is now fourth on the list with 117 three-pointers in her career (2000-02). Crystal Cobb holds the ASU career record with 134 treys (1990-94).
... So far this season, ASU is averaging 2,943 fans per game, which is the highest total in school history and ranks 34th in the nation. The 2000-01 Pac-10 co-championship squad set the school mark with 2,384 fans per home game.
Tough SlateArizona State has put together one of the toughest schedules in the nation this season. The Sun Devils will take on eight teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament last year, including a Dec. 21 match-up with three-time defending NCAA champion Connecticut. Including a Nov. 12 game at then No. 3/2 LSU, the Sun Devils have taken on five teams that have been ranked this season (including four in the most recent polls) with three more on the horizon. ASU faced three of the preseason top five squads in the country during the non-conference slate (Georgia, LSU, UConn) and has an unofficial strength of schedule of 14th in the country (Jan. 18 by www.collegerpi.com). The team upset then No. 11/14 Georgia 67-57 in Athens, Ga., on Dec. 7 and then No. 8/8 Connecticut 61-50 on Dec. 21 at Wells Fargo Arena.
March MadnessArizona State University and Wells Fargo Arena have been selected to host the Tempe Regional of the 2005 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship. ASU will play host to games on March 26 and 28 in Tempe. Tickets for the NCAA Tempe Regional are on sale now at the ASU ticket office, by calling (480) 965-2381 or by logging on to www.thesundevils.com.
Up NextFollowing this weekend's games with Oregon State and Oregon, Arizona State will hit the road for three straight games, traveling to Arizona, California and No. 5/3 Stanford over the next two weeks. The team returns to Wells Fargo Arena on Feb. 10 and 12, playing host to USC and UCLA, respectively.
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