Women's Hoops to Play Host to USC and UCLA This Week
Feb. 8, 2005
TEMPE, Ariz. -
Following a split on last week's trip to the Bay Area, the Arizona State University Sun Devils return home for the first time in 19 days, playing host to USC on Thursday night and UCLA on Saturday afternoon at Wells Fargo Arena. Thursday night's game with the Women of Troy (16-6, 10-3 Pac-10) will tip-off at 6:30 p.m., while Saturday's game with the Bruins (15-7, 9-4) will get underway at 4 p.m. After three straight road games, ASU heads into this week's home tilts with a 15-7 overall record and a 7-5 Pac-10 mark. Winner of three of their last five games and five of the previous eight, the Sun Devils are tied for fifth place in the Pac-10 Conference standings but are just a game and a half out of third place. ASU heads into this weekend looking to snap a five-game losing streak against USC and earn the team's fourth home win in five tries against UCLA.
ExposureAll of ASU'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.
AZ-TV will broadcast both of this weekend's games to a statewide audience with George Allen, Doug Gerlach and Kelly Burke (sidelines) calling the action. The broadcasts will mark the ninth and 10th television broadcasts of the season for the Sun Devils who hold a 3-1 record when playing on AZ-TV this year.
Governor Napolitano to Serve as Guest Coach ThursdayArizona Governor Janet Napolitano will serve as a guest coach for ASU on Thursday night for the Sun Devils' game against USC. Napolitano will sit on the bench with the Sun Devils during the game, be a part of team huddles and attend pre-game, halftime and post-game locker room meetings with the team. She holds a 1-0 record on the bench for the Sun Devils, helping to guide ASU to a 65-40 win over Oregon on Feb. 19, 2004.
In the Series with USCUSC leads the series with the Sun Devils 45-9, including a 21-5 advantage in games played in Tempe. USC has won five straight games in the series, including a sweep of the Sun Devils last season (a 68-65 victory on Jan. 17 in Tempe and a 65-50 win on Feb. 12 in Los Angeles) and a 66-45 win on Jan. 16 in the first meeting between the two teams this year. In 2000-01, ASU earned its first ever season sweep of the Women of Troy, while in 2001-02, the teams split the two meetings with USC earning a 68-49 victory on Jan. 19 in Los Angeles and ASU getting a 67-60 win on Feb. 14 in Tempe.
USC has won its last two games, turning in a 69-62 victory over Washington State and a 73-68 win over Washington last weekend in Los Angeles. The Women of Troy are second in the league standings with a 16-6 overall mark and a 10-3 Pac-10 record. Freshman guard Brynn Cameron is leading the team in scoring at 10.5 points per game, while junior guard Meghan Gnekow is USC's top rebounder at 5.6 boards per contest (ninth in the Pac-10).
In the Series with UCLAUCLA holds a 39-15 advantage in the series with the Sun Devils, including an 18-9 edge in games played in Tempe. The Sun Devils won the first meeting between the two teams this season with a 44-42 victory over then No. 19 UCLA at Pauley Pavilion on Jan. 14. ASU heads into this weekend looking for its third season sweep of the Bruins with the other two coming with four straight victories in 2000-01 and 2001-02. UCLA has gotten the best of the series recently, winning four of the last six games between the two schools. Last year, each team won on its home floor with ASU earning a 73-58 victory on Jan. 15 in Tempe and UCLA getting a 74-63 win on Feb. 14 in Los Angeles. The Bruins won the rubber match last season, earning a 70-50 victory on March 6 in San Jose at the Pac-10 Tournament.
UCLA brings a 15-7 overall mark and a 9-4 Pac-10 record (third place) into this weekend's games. The Bruins will play at Arizona on Thursday night before heading to Tempe. UCLA has won its last three games and four of the team's last five, including a sweep of Washington (86-81 win) and Washington State (68-63 victory) last weekend in Westwood. UCLA is still without the services of sophomore Noelle Quinn who ranks fourth in the Pac-10 in scoring (16.9 ppg) and rebounding (47.1 rpg). She is out up to six weeks with a knee injury. A total of four Bruins are averaging in double figures for scoring including junior Lisa Willis (15.6 ppg) and senior Nikki Blue (14.4 ppg) who are fourth and fifth in the league statistics, respectively.
Home-Court AdvantageArizona State holds an 8-1 mark at home this year, including a Dec. 21 upset of No. 8 UConn. The Sun Devils have won 13 of their last 14 games at Wells Fargo Arena and 26 of the last 29. 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 70-15 record at home in the last six seasons (.824, 1999-00 to present) and a 47-8 mark at Wells Fargo Arena over the last four campaigns (.855).
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).
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 its 50-38 victory on Jan. 20. Earlier this season, ASU had held Washington State to 39 points in a Dec. 27 win. Arizona State allowed then No. 19 UCLA 42 points in its Jan. 14 victory, 31 points below the Bruins' then league-leading 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 53.0 points per contest (ninth 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 is the top three-point shooting team in the league and third in the country, but ASU held the Golden Bears to 0-of-9 shooting in the meetings this season. ASU also held Cal senior Kristin Iwanaga, the league's top three-point shooter at 64.0 percent to 0-for-3 shooting in two games. The Sun Devils also held Stanford, the league scoring leader at 76.8 points per game, to just 67.5 points per game in two meetings this season.
Turner Thorne First in All-Time Wins at ASUWith Arizona State's 44-42 victory over then No. 19 UCLA on Jan. 14 in Los Angeles, ninth-year head coach Charli Turner Thorne became the all-time winningest coach in Arizona State women's basketball history. She now holds a 138-119 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 OutSenior Kylan Loney led ASU with 13 points, but it wasn't enough as the Sun Devils fell at No. 4/2 Stanford 67-53 Saturday afternoon at Maples Pavilion, ending a stretch of three straight road games for ASU.
ASU missed its first eight field goal attempts in the first half and fell behind 11-2 before sophomore Emily Westerberg drained the first of four ASU three-pointers to keep ASU in the game. Senior Lauren Stagg knocked down the last of the four treys to cut the Stanford lead to six, 22-16 with 6:20 to play. The Cardinal had four free throws to incread its lead to 10, but Westerberg had four points and senior Kylan Loney knocked down a pull-up jumper to cut the Stanford halftime advantage to eight, 30-22. ASU shot just 25.9 percent shooting in the first half.
In the second half, ASU cut the lead to eight points three times but could not get any closer. A pair of free throws by junior Amy Denson cut the lead to 39-31 with 12:49 to play, but the Cardinal scored the next nine points to quell the Sun Devil rally.
Loney led the Sun Devils with 13 points, going 5-of-7 from the field and 3-of-3 from three-point land. Westerberg added 10 points, while junior Kristen Kovesdy added eight. Sophomore Aubree Johnson led the squad with six rebounds. Freshman Candice Wiggins led Stanford with 20 points, while junior Brooke Smith had 15 points and eight rebounds.
Loney Sets Career Three-Point MarksWith a pair of three-pointers Jan. 26 at Arizona, senior Kylan Loney set the school record for career three-pointers made. The 2004 first-team All-Pac-10 selection has now drained 142 treys in her career, passing Crystal Cobb who had 134 from 1989-94. Fellow senior Betsy Boardman ranks third on the ASU career list with 125 three-pointers made, while Loney has also surpassed Cobb's career mark of 392 three-point tries with 401.
Loney has shot 63.2 percent of her long-range attempts over the past four games (12-19), including a 4-of-5 evening Feb. 3 at Cal and a perfect 3-for-3 effort Feb. 5 at No. 4/2 Stanford. She is on the way to shaking the slump that had seen her shoot just 18.2 percent (8-44) from beyond the arc in the previous 10 contests. This season, she has shot 37.5 percent from three-point land (39-104), which ranks 10th in the Pac-10. Loney is also fifth in the Pac-10 in three-pointers made (1.77 per game) and is shooting 35.7 percent in Pac-10 play (20-56).
Loney, who finished sixth in the Pac-10 in three-point shooting last year at 37.8 percent, shot just 16.7 percent from three-point range (2-12) in the first three games of this 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).
Loney ranks third on the team and 19th in the Pac-10 in scoring at 10.4 points per game. She had been leading the squad in scoring but has fallen to third with 9.3 points per game in league action. Loney has started to heat up a bit recently and has averaged 13.0 points in the last four games.
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. Against Stanford on Jan. 7, she knocked down 4-of-4 three-pointers and finished second on the team with 14 points, while last week, she had a team-best 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting against the Cardinal.
Keeping Up with KovesdyJunior forward Kristen Kovesdy leads the Pac-10 in field goal percentage this season, shooting 61.6 percent from the field (106-172). She would also rank eighth in the NCAA but falls four field goals short of the statistical minimum (5.0 per game). In Pac-10 play, Kovesdy has shot 62.0 percent from the field (57-92), including 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 55.8 percent (315-565).
Kovesdy is second on the team and 14th in the Pac-10 in scoring at 11.1 points per game this season, less than a point behind sophomore Emily Westerberg for the team lead (11.8). Kovesdy has paced the Sun Devils in scoring in a team-best eight games and is second on the squad with 12 games in double figures for scoring. She led the Sun Devils 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. On 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 also had a team-best 18 on 8-of-11 shooting Jan. 3 against then No. 25 Arizona.
Westerberg's WaysSophomore forward Emily Westerberg is leading the Sun Devils and ranked 11th in the Pac-10 in scoring at 11.8 points per game. She is also ASU's top rebounder this year, pulling down 4.8 boards per game. In Pac-10 play, Westerberg is averaging 12.4 points (10th in the league) and 5.9 rebounds per game (ninth) to pace the squad, including 22 points Jan. 7 against Stanford and a career-best 26 Jan. 22 against Oregon.
Westerberg has turned in a team-best 14 games in double figures this season. She scored 18 points in ASU's Dec. 21 upset of eighth-ranked Connecticut and has moved into the team rebounding lead after averaging 6.9 boards per game in the last seven contests, including 11 Jan. 14 at UCLA, a career-best 14 Jan. 20 vs. Oregon State and nine Thursday night at California.
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 24th in the nation at 86.4 percent from the charity stripe (70-81), including a 6-of-6 effort Dec. 21 against UConn. In the last seven games, Westerberg has made 86.2 percent of her free throw attempts (25-29), including a perfect 8-for-8 afternoon Jan. 22 against the Ducks.
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 22 games. Sophomore Emily Westerberg scored a career-best (and team season-high) 26 points in a Jan. 22 win over Oregon, while senior Betsy Boardman and junior Kristen Kovesdy each had 13 points in a Jan. 20 victory over Oregon State Kovesdy tied her season high with 21 points Thursday night against Cal, including 19 in the second half, while Westerberg and senior Kylan Loney each added 16 points vs. the Golden Bears. ASU has three players averaging in double figures and ranked in the Pac-10's top 20 for scoring with less than two points separating the trio. Westerberg is leading the team and ranked 11th in the league at 11.8 points per game, while Kovesdy checks in at 14th in the Pac-10 at 11.1 points per game. Loney is third on the team and 19th in the league at 10.4 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 eight times, including 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting Jan. 3 against Arizona and 21 Feb. 3 vs. Cal. Westerberg has accomplished the feat six times, turning in 18 points in ASU's Dec. 21 win over No. 8 Connecticut and 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 with 4.8 rebounds per game, including an average of 6.9 boards in the last seven games, while sophomore Aubree Johnson (4.6), senior Carrie Buckner (4.4) and junior Amy Denson (4.2) trail closely behind. Westerberg pulled down a career-best 14 rebounds Jan. 20 against Oregon State, while Johnson had a season-best nine rebounds in that game and seven two days later against Oregon. Denson pulled down seven rebounds, including a season-best six offensive boards, Jan. 9 against Cal and had seven Jan. 22 against the Ducks. Buckner grabbed 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 and the nation. 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 (53.0 points per game), rebounding defense (31.2 rebounds per game) and three-point defense (23.5 percent). Arizona State is also ranked ninth in the nation in scoring defense. ASU has held 14 of its 21 opponents under 60 points and four under 40 points, setting the school record for fewest points by a Pac-10 opponent in a 50-38 win over Oregon State on Jan. 20. The Sun Devils tied the school record for fewest points allowed (in all games) 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 (12,408 points, 6,776 rebounds, 544-1885 three-pointers, 201 games).
A Little Help From Their FriendsArizona State ranks second in the Pac-10 and 32nd in the NCAA with an average of 16.3 assists per game. The Sun Devils have had assists on 70.6 percent of their field goals this season (359 on 508 field goals), including 17 of 21 Dec. 21 vs. UConn, 18 of 23 Jan. 7 against Stanford and 13 of 15 Jan. 20 against Oregon State.
Like in scoring and rebounding, the Sun Devils have remarkable balance in assists with senior guard Kylan Loney averaging 2.4 assists per game and junior forward Amy Denson averaging 2.3. Loney has 52 assists, while Denson has 50 on the year. Senior guard Carrie Buckner (49, 2.2 pg) and sophomore Emily Westerberg (47, 2.1 pg) trail right behind. Denson turned in a career-best seven in ASU's Nov. 27 win over Prairie View. Denson 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.
Buckner has averaged 2.6 assists per game in league play (31) and has the best overall assist-to-turnover ratio on the squad (1.44) with 49 assists and 34 turnovers. She would rank fourth in the Pac-10 in the category but falls short of the minimum of 3.0 assists per game. Loney dished out a season-high six Dec. 4 against Gonzaga, and with 350 assists in her four years at ASU, she is ranked seventh on the ASU career lists and should finish her career in ASU's top five.
Sun Devil Quick Hits
... ASU associate head coach Meg Sanders attended Poly High School in Riverside, Calif., where she was a high school teammate of former USC standout Cheryl Miller.
... This weekend's games will pit the Pac-10's top three leaders in steals. UCLA leads the league with 12.6 steals per game, USC is second at 11.4 and ASU ranks third at 10.8 thefts per game.
... The Sun Devils have shot 48.3 percent from three-point land in the last two games (14-29) up from their season percentage of 33.1. The team shot 58.3 percent from three-point land Feb. 3 at Cal, making seven of 12 three-pointers. That marked ASU's best long-range shooting performance since the team drained a season-high 60.0 percent of its treys in a Nov. 27 win over Prairie View A&M (9-15).
... Arizona State is shooting 30.5 percent from three-point land in Pac-10 play (46-151), compared to 33.1 percent in all games. On the flip side, the Sun Devils are only allowing Pac-10 opponents to shoot a conference-low 21.2 percent from beyond the arc (25-118).
... ASU scored 76 points in its Feb. 3 win over California, which was the most points the team has scored in Pac-10 action this year. The Sun Devils had averaged just 52.4 points per game in their previous five contests. ASU is scoring an average of 58.8 points per league outing compared to 63.0 points per game overall.
... The team scored 74 points in a Jan. 22 victory over Oregon, snapping a stretch that had seen the Sun Devils score just 46.3 points per game and turn in three of their four lowest scoring outputs of the year in the previous three contests.
... ASU holds a 7-0 mark when scoring 70 points or more this year. The Sun Devils hold an 13-0 record this season when scoring 60 points or more and are 14-1 when holding teams to 59 points or less.
... ASU is on pace to set its school single-season marks for both scoring and rebounding defense. The Sun Devils are allowing just 53.0 points and 31.2 rebounds per game, while the school records are 59.1 points and 32.2 boards per contest and were set by the 2001-02 and 2003-04 Sun Devil teams, respectively.
... Junior Kristen Kovesdy is also on pace to set ASU's single-season field goal percentage mark. She is shooting a league-best 61.6 percent from the field this year, while Monique Ambers holds the school mark with a 58.8 percent effort in 1992-93 (142-243).
... Sophomore forwards Emily Westerberg and Aubree Johnson have both stepped up their rebounding during league play. Westerberg is grabbing 5.9 boards per league contest up from 4.8 in all games, while Johnson is pulling down 5.2 rebounds in Pac-10 action compared to 4.6 in all games. Johnson had a season-high nine rebounds Jan. 20 against Oregon State and has averaged 6.6 boards in the last five games, leading the team in the category in three of the five.
... Senior guard/forward Betsy Boardman made her first two starts of the season Jan. 20 and 22 against Oregon State and Oregon. With 13 points Jan. 20 against Oregon State, she 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 in each knee), now has 1,019 career points. Boardman has played in 113 career games with 92 starts and has averaged 9.0 points per game in her ASU career.
... ASU is 13-1 when leading at halftime. The team lost its first game when leading at the half Jan. 26 at Arizona. The Sun Devils led 27-23 at halftime in Tucson but were outscored 33-22 in the second half in the 56-49 loss.
... Turnovers have troubled the Sun Devils this season. ASU is averaging and forcing 19.9 turnovers per game in Pac-10 action. On the season, ASU is turning the ball over 19.6 times and forcing 22.5 turnovers per game (fifth in the Pac-10 in turnover margin at +2.9). ASU averaged 25.0 miscues per game in its first three contests of the season but had just 16.7 in its next seven non-conference games.
... Only nine of ASU's 22 opponents have shot more free throws than the Sun Devils this season (3-6 record in those games). The team has a season average of 19.1 free throw attempts per game and is connecting on just 67.4 percent of the team's attempts from the line (seventh in the Pac-10).
... ASU ranks third in the Pac-10 with 10.8 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 15 of its 22 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 sixth in the Pac-10 with 2.3 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 206 steals in her four seasons in Tempe.
... Freshman Reagan Pariseau has shot 46.2 percent from the field in the last eight games (12-26), including 6-of-13 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 career high with four assists Jan. 16 at USC and Feb. 3 at Cal. Pariseau is averaging 4.1 points per game and is second on the team in free throw percentage, knocking down 76.3 percent of her attempts from the charity stripe (29-38).
Tough SlateArizona State has put together one of the toughest schedules in the nation this season. The Sun Devils has taken 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 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), while the team's non-conference schedule is ranked the fourth-toughest in the nation by the WBCA/Summerville RPI. ASU has an unofficial strength of schedule of 16th in the country (Feb. 8 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.
Up NextFollowing this week's home games with USC and UCLA, ASU completes its stretch of five of seven games on the road the following week, traveling to Oregon and Oregon State on Feb. 17 and 19. The Sun Devils will wrap up the regular season on Feb. 24 and 26 with Washington and Washington State at Wells Fargo Arena.
Looking for their sixth straight postseason appearance and first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2002, the Sun Devils will head to San Jose, Calif., for the fourth annual Pac-10 Conference Tournament March 4-7.
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