ASU Hosts Oregon Saturday to Wrap Up First Half of Pac-10 Play

Jan. 21, 2005

TEMPE, Ariz. -

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Following a 50-38 victory over Oregon State on Thursday night, the Arizona State Sun Devils wrap up the first half of the Pac-10 season with the Oregon Ducks (12-5, 4-3) Saturday afternoon at Wells Fargo Arena. Fox Sports Net will televise Saturday's contest with the Ducks to a national audience with tip-off scheduled for 2 p.m. Arizona State holds a 13-5 overall mark and a 5-3 league record, which puts the Sun Devils in a four-way tie for third place in the Pac-10 standings. Thursday night's victory over the Beavers set the school record for fewest points allowed in a Pac-10 game and marked ASU's 12th win at home in 13 tries. Saturday against Oregon, the Sun Devils look to add onto a streak of four straight home wins over the Ducks before embarking on a tough three-game road stretch that includes trips to Arizona, California and Stanford.

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 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 12-5 overall record and a 5-3 league mark. The Ducks dropped a 69-60 decision at Arizona on Thursday night, which snapped the team's three-game winning streak. Senior forward Cathrine Kraayeveld is pacing Oregon in scoring with 15.0 points (sixth in the Pac-10) and 8.8 rebounds per game (second in the league), while senior forward Andrea Bills is adding 11.8 points (12th) 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.

Defense Against Pac-10 OpponentsFor the second time this season, Arizona State set the school record for fewest points allowed in a Pac-10 game, holding Oregon State to just 38 in Thursday night's 50-38 victory. Earlier this season, ASU had held Washington State to 39 points in a Dec. 27 win. Last week, Arizona State allowed then No. 19 UCLA 42 points in its Jan. 14 victory, 31 points below the Bruins' then season average of 73.0 points per game. ASU's 44 points in that game marked the fewest points that the Sun Devils have ever scored in a victory.

Including a 69-47 victory over Arizona on Jan. 3, the Sun Devils have held a Pac-10 opponent to 50 points or fewer four times this year and 14 times in ASU's 19 years in the league. Thirteen of those 14 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 (2000-01 and 2001-02) and set the Pac-10 record for fewest points allowed at 59.1 points per game in 2001-02. This year, the Sun Devils are allowing a league-low 51.1 points per contest (seventh in the nation), while last year, ASU finished second in the league in scoring defense at 61.1 points per game.

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 pacing 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).

Fewest Points Allowed by ASU in a Pac-10 Game1.	38	vs. Oregon State (50-38 win), 1/20/052.	39	at Washington State (67-39 win), 12/27/043.	40	vs. Oregon (65-40 win), 2/19/04	40	at California (56-40 win), 1/26/02	40	vs. Washington (68-40), 1/12/026.	42	vs. UCLA (44-42 win), 1/14/05	42	vs. UCLA (64-42 win), 2/16/02	42	vs. Oregon (79-42 win), 1/30/93

Home-Court AdvantageIncluding Thursday night's victory over Oregon State, Arizona State now holds a 7-1 mark at home this year, including a Dec. 21 upset of No. 8 UConn. The Sun Devils have won 12 of their 13 games at Wells Fargo Arena and 25 of the last 28. ASU's Jan. 7 loss to No. 8/8 Stanford snapped the team's 10-game winning streak at Wells Fargo Arena and marked the team's first loss at home since Jan. 14, 2004. 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 69-15 record at home in the last six seasons (.821, 1999-00 to present) and a 46-8 mark at Wells Fargo Arena over the last four campaigns (.852).

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).

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 136-117 record at ASU and has 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 OutArizona State set the school record for fewest points allowed in a Pac-10 game, downing Oregon State 50-38 Thursday night at Wells Fargo Arena. The game stayed close in the first half as both teams struggled from the field. ASU took a 7-2 lead with 13:00 to play, but Oregon State scored six of the next seven points to tie the game at 8 with 8:19 to play. Things stayed close over the final minutes of the opening frame, and senior Betsy Boardman knocked down a three-pointer with 13 seconds left to give ASU a 17-14 halftime lead. The two teams combined for 23.5 percent shooting in the first half (ASU 6-27, OSU 6-24) as Boardman led all scorers with seven points.

ASU made five of its first nine shots in the second half and used a 17-4 run to take a 31-18 lead with 14:44 to play. Oregon State cut the lead to eight points, 35-27 with 8:04 remaining, but junior Kristen Kovesdy made a free throw and a layup to regain the double-digit lead. The Beavers never got closer than nine over the final minutes of the game.

Senior Betsy Boardman and junior Kristen Kovesdy each had 13 points to lead the Sun Devils. Boardman became the 14th player in school history to score 1,000 points and now has 1,010 career points, while Kovesdy, the Pac-10's leader in field goal percentage at 63.0 percent, knocked down 5-of-8 attempts from the field. Sophomore Emily Westerberg pulled down a career-best 14 rebounds, while sophomore Aubree Johnson had a season-high nine boards for the Sun Devils who outrebounded the Beavers 50-31.

OSU senior Shannon Howell finished with a game-high 16 points. Howell leads the Pac-10 in scoring at 19.6 points per game but had just four points at halftime and five through the first 30 minutes of the contest.

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 18 games. Most recently, senior Betsy Boardman and junior Kristen Kovesdy each had 13 points in Thursday's victory over Oregon State. ASU has three players averaging in double figures for scoring with just over one point separating the trio. Kovesdy is leading the team and ranked 14th in the Pac-10 at 11.0 points per game, while sophomore Emily Westerberg 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 9.8 points per game. In a 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.

Kovesdy has led the team in scoring seven times, including 18 points 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 Loney scored a season-high 23 points, including 5-of-9 three-point attempts, in ASU's Dec. 7 victory at then No. 11/14 Georgia.

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. Westerberg is leading the team and tied for 20th in the league with 4.9 rebounds per game, including an average of 10.0 in the last three games, while senior Carrie Buckner (4.5), junior Amy Denson (4.4) and sophomore Aubree Johnson (4.3) trail right behind. Westerberg pulled down a career-best 14 rebounds Thursday night against Oregon State, while Johnson had a season-best nine rebounds in that game. 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.

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 (51.1 points per game), rebounding defense (30.7 rebounds per game) and three-point defense (22.7 percent). Arizona State is also ranked seventh in the nation in scoring defense. ASU has held 12 of its 18 opponents under 60 points and four under 40 points, setting the school record for fewest points by a Pac-10 opponent in Thursday night's 50-38 win over Oregon State. 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 61.7 points and 33.7 rebounds per game and 28.9 percent shooting from beyond the arc (12,164 points, 6,641 rebounds, 536-1856 three-pointers, 197 games).

Westerberg's WaysSophomore forward Emily Westerberg is leading the Sun Devils in scoring in Pac-10 games with 10.6 points per game. She also leads the team in rebounding for all games with 4.9 boards per game (20th in the league) and is second on the squad and 15th in the Pac-10 in overall scoring at 10.9 points per game, just 0.1 ppg behind junior Kristen Kovesdy (11.0).

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 tied for first on the team with Kovesdy 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. She has moved into the team rebounding lead after averaging 10.0 boards per game in the last three contests, including 11 Jan. 14 at UCLA and a career-best 14 Thursday night against Oregon State.

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 85.2 percent from the charity stripe (52-61), 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 63.0 percent from the field (87-138). 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 nine games, she has shot a blazing 68.8 percent from the field (44-64), 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 ASU career field goal percentage chart at 55.7 percent (296-531).

Kovesdy leads the team and is ranked 15th in the Pac-10 in scoring at 11.0 points per game this season. She is tied for first with 10 games in double figures for points and has led the team in scoring in a team-best seven 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.

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.

A Little Help From Their FriendsArizona State ranks second in the Pac-10 and 29th in the NCAA with an average of 16.4 assists per game. In the last 14 games, the Sun Devils have averaged 16.9 assists per contest, including a season-high 30 Nov. Prairie View A&M (237 assists). In those 13 games, ASU has had an assist on 72.3 percent of its field goals made (237-328), including 17 of 21 Dec. 21 vs. UConn, 18 of 23 Jan. 7 against Stanford and 13 of 15 Thursday night against Oregon State.

Junior forward Amy Denson and senior guard Kylan Loney are virtually tied for first on the team (and just out of the Pac-10's top 10) with 2.4 and 2.3 assists per game, respectively (43 for Denson, 42 for Loney), while senior Carrie Buckner trails right behind with 40 assists (2.2 apg). 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

... Thursday was an exciting night for senior guard/forward Betsy Boardman who made her first start of the year and became 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), got to 1,000 with a free throw in the first half. She tied for first on the team with 13 points against the Beavers and now had 1,010 career points.

... Boardman has played in 109 career games with 92 starts and has averaged 9.3 points per game in her five years in Tempe.

... Sophomore Emily Westerberg has averaged 10.0 rebounds per game in the last three tilts. She had a then career best 11 last week at UCLA and surpassed that with 14 Thursday night against OSU.

... The Sun Devils pulled down a season-high 50 rebounds, including 21 offensive boards, in Thursday night's win over the Oregon State Beavers. The team also made a season-low 15 field goals but had 19 free throws in the 50-38 victory over the Beavers.

... ASU has averaged just 46.3 points per game in the last three contests, down from a season average of 62.9 ppg, but has turned in a 2-1 mark in those three games. The last three games have marked three of the four lowest scoring outputs of the year for the Sun Devils, who had a season-low 44 points in last week's 44-42 win over then No. 19 UCLA. ASU has also shot just 34.8 percent from the field in that stretch of three contests (49-141), down 42.6 percent for the year.

... The Sun Devils have averaged 41.0 rebounds per game in the last four contests, including a season-high 50 Thursday night. On the year, ASU is averaging 36.3 rebounds (eighth in the Pac-10) but is holding opponents to a league-best 30.7 boards per tilt.

... The Sun Devils hold an 11-0 record this season when scoring 60 points or more and are 13-0 when holding opponents to 59 points or less.

... ASU is shooting just 23.6 percent from three-point land in Pac-10 play (21-89) compared to 30.8 percent in all games. On the flip side, the Sun Devils are only allowing Pac-10 opponents to shoot 19.1 percent from beyond the arc (17-89).

... Senior Kylan Loney, who finishes sixth in the Pac-10 in three-point shooting last year at 37.8 percent, looks to break out of a slump that has seen her shoot just 18.2 percent (8-44) from beyond the arc in the last eight contests.

... Loney shot just 16.7 percent from three-point range (2-12) in the first three games of the season but knocked down 58.6 percent of her threes (17-29) in the next five. She 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).

... ASU had just 15 turnovers in Thursday night's game after averaging 22 per game in the previous three. Turnovers haved plague the Sun Devils in league play. ASU is averaging 19.8 turnovers per game in Pac-10 action and holds a -1.2 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 22.6 turnovers per game (fifth in the Pac-10 in turnover margin at +3.1).

... ASU got to the free throw line 31 times on Thursday night against Oregon State after shooting just a combined total of just 21 times in its two games last weekend (9 at UCLA, 12 at USC). The team has a season average of 19.6 free throw 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 (353) than any team in the league but is connecting on just 65.2 percent of the team's attempts from the line (ninth in the Pac-10).

... ASU ranks third in the Pac-10 with 10.9 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 18 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 tied for fifth in the Pac-10 with 2.5 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.

... Freshman Reagan Pariseau has shot 53.8 percent from the field in the last four games (7-13), including 4-of-8 attempts from beyond the three-point arc. She led the team with 11 points with three treys in ASU's Jan. 14 win over UCLA. She also tied a career high with four assists Jan. 16 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 42.6 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 22.7 percent from three-point land in its last nine games (25-110), including a season-low 0-for-6 effort Jan. 9 against California and a 1-of-11 night on Thursday vs. OSU. 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 eighth after the team's recent drought (30.8 percent on the season, 61-198). 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 (122) 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).

Up NextFollowing Saturday afternoon's game with 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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