Women's Basketball Hosts Washington State at 7 p.m. Saturday Night

Jan. 12, 2001

TEMPE, Ariz. - Following their heart-breaking 66-62 loss to Washington Thursday night, the Arizona State Sun Devils (9-6, 1-2 Pac-10) look to get back on the winning track when they take on Washington State (7-5, 2-0) Saturday night at Wells Fargo Arena. The Sun Devils look to avoid their first back-to-back losses of the season. Since opening the season with four straight victories, the Sun Devils have alternated a loss with a win five times, going 5-6 in the last 11 games. Washington State is 7-6 on the season and 2-1 in the Pac-10 after suffering a 97-58 loss at the hands of No. 22/24 Arizona Thursday night in Tucson.

Probable Starters	'00-01		Pos.	Ht.	Cl.	PPG	RPG	NOTES#23	Betsy Boardman	G/F	6-1	Fr.	10.7	3.5	Career-best 9 rebounds vs. UW#13	Leah Combs	F	6-2	Jr.	4.4	4.7	Career-best 4 assists at Stanford#35	Melody Johnson	C	6-2	Jr.	14.1	6.7	Led game with 22 pts, 11 rbs vs. UW#4	Amanda Levens	G	5-9	Jr.	13.7	2.9	12th double-figure outing vs. UW#33	Natalie Tucker	G	5-9	Sr.	5.8	3.3*	Season-best 12 points at Stanford

Off the Bench '00-01 Pos. Ht. Cl. PPG RPG NOTES#3 Liz Paulson G 5-11 Sr. 0.6 0.8* Coming off major back surgery#11 Aubrey McFadyen G/F 6-1 Sr. 1.8 0.7 Nine points vs. South Florida#12 Brett Leonard G 5-5 So. 2.7 1.8* 7-of-17 from three-pt land this year#31 Jen Albert F 6-2 Fr. 0.8 0.5 4 points vs. Cal State Northridge#32 Rainy Crisp G 5-6 Jr. 2.3 1.7 Hit 1st career trey at Stanford#34 Li'i Liu G/F 5-10 Fr. 0.3 0.7 Has team's highest vertical jump#52 Cian Carvalho F 5-11 Jr. 6.1 4.8 Career-best 12 points vs. Huskies* assists per game

ExposureASU's flagship station XTRA 910 AM will broadcast the game to the Valley of the Sun with Vince Marotta calling the action. The broadcast is also available via the ASU official athletics web site (www.thesundevils.com).

Cox Communications (Channel 9) will broadcast the Washington State game to a local cable audience with George Allen and Doug Gerlach calling the action. ASU is 2-1 when playing on television this year, including a 69-54 win over Wake Forest on Dec. 30 and a 58-47 victory at Cal last weekend on Fox Sports Net. Over the last two seasons, the Sun Devils are a perfect 7-0 when appearing on Cox Communications.

Last Time OutArizona State junior Melody Johnson turned in her second double-double of the season with 22 points and a career-high 11 rebounds, but it wasn't enough as the Sun Devils fell to the Washington Huskies 66-62 Thursday night at Wells Fargo Arena. For the Huskies, the victory snapped a three-game losing streak in Tempe and was the first win in the state of Arizona since 1997. The two teams battled to a 24-24 tie at the half with the Sun Devils outshooting the Huskies by a slim 34.5 to 32.1 percent margin and outrebounding UW 24-16. Johnson and junior Amanda Levens each turned in six points in the first half, while freshman Betsy Boardman pulled down eight rebounds.

In the second half, however, the Huskies slowly built a lead, taking a 46-36 edge with 48-38 to play when UW freshman guard Giuliana Mendiola completed a layup with 9:27 to play. Washington took a 58-44 lead with a layup by senior guard Jill Pimley with 4:33 to play, holding ASU to just one field goal in over 10 minutes.

The Sun Devils charged back into the game, however, with a 17-3 run that began when senior guard Natalie Tucker hit a three-pointer with 4:16 left to play. Junior Cian Carvalho made a layup to put the Sun Devils within three points, 62-59, with 41 seconds to play. Arizona State would get within three points two more times over the final seconds of the game, but Washington drained 4-of-6 free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.

Johnson led the game with 22 points and 11 rebounds, including eight points over the final two minutes of the game, while Carvalho turned in a career-best 12 points. Boardman added 11 points and a career-best nine rebounds for the Sun Devils. For Washington, Mendiola led the Huskies with 15 points and seven rebounds, including 10 points in the second half, while senior guard Megan Franza and Pimley each reached double figures with 13 and 10 points, respectively.

Keeping 'Em Off the ScoreboardArizona State ranks second in the Pac-10 Conference and among the best in the nation in scoring defense, allowing just 58.0 points per game so far this season. ASU has held six opponents to 50 points or less this season including 47 by Cal last Saturday, while four of those teams have managed 45 points or less (with a season-low 39 by South Florida). ASU held No. 2 Tennessee to just 67 points, 16.4 points short of the Lady Vols' season average of 83.4.

Prior to Saturday's 58-47 win at Cal, the last time ASU held a Pac-10 opponent under 50 points was in 1997-98 with a 69-49 win over Oregon State in Tempe, while 47 is the fewest points for a league opponent since defeating Oregon 79-42 in Tempe on Jan. 30, 1992. Prior to Saturday, ASU had never held a Pac-10 opponent to less than 50 points on the road in the previous 14 years of conference play.

About Washington StatePrior to its 97-58 loss to No. 22 Arizona in Tucson on Thursday night, Washington State was off to a 2-0 conference start for the first time since 1991-92. The Cougars earned their first sweep over the Los Angeles schools in six years with a 79-78 win over USC and a 74-52 defeat of UCLA last weekend. Their two Pac-10 wins already double their conference wins from one season ago. Junior center Brittney Hawkes is pacing the Cougar roster in scoring (10.2 ppg) and rebounding (6.1 rpg) so far this season, including her second double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds vs. the Wildcats.

In the SeriesArizona State holds a 17-11 advantage in the series with Washington State, sweeping the series last year for the second consecutive season with a 64-54 victory in Pullman on Jan. 15 and a 74-53 win at Wells Fargo Arena on Feb. 10. The Sun Devils have earned victories in the last four games and five of the last six games against the Cougars. ASU holds an 11-3 record in games played in Tempe and has won the last three games at Wells Fargo Arena.

Washington ConnectionsSenior Aubrey McFadyen, who transferred to ASU from Colorado State three years ago, attended Redmond (Wash.) High School where she was a first-team all-league selection in 1995-96.

Three-Dot DataArizona State turned in a better field goal percentage (34.5-32.1), more rebounds (40-35) and fewer turnovers (17-13) than the Washington Huskies but came up short in the end in points (66-62) ... Washington came into the game leading the Pac-10 in rebounding but lost that battle to the Sun Devils ... the Washington loss was the first of the year for the Sun Devils when outrebounding their opponent ... Arizona State's top four scorers are making their debuts for the Sun Devils this season, led by junior Melody Johnson, a transfer from the University of Colorado who is averaging 14.1 points per game ... Arizona State has three players ranked in the top 15 in scoring in the Pac-10 (Johnson at 6th, junior Amanda Levens at 9th, freshman Betsy Boardman at 15th) ... Johnson also ranks seventh in the Pac-10 in rebounding (6.7 rpg) and fourth in field goal percentage (54.2 percent) ... Johnson has turned in double figures in all but two of ASU's 15 games this year with nine points in each of the others, while Levens had 10 points vs. Washington, her 12th double-figures effort of the year ... ASU is ranked 20th in the country in attendance, averaging 2,767 fans per home game ...ASU has overcome two half-time deficits for victories this season, both on the road (at Northern Arizona and at California) ... Arizona State is outscoring its opponents by an average of 6.3 points per game this year with the team's biggest win being a 36-point victory over Cal State Northridge (80-44) on Dec. 21 ... ASU is averaging 13.7 assists per game in 2000-01 with 12 of 13 players getting into the action ... Senior Natalie Tucker leads the team in assists for the third straight season at 3.2 assists per game ... ASU has held 12 teams to four three-pointers or less this season including three teams with no three-pointers (Texas-San Antonio, Stephen F. Austin, Hawaii).

Taking Care of the BallArizona State is averaging just 16.2 turnovers per game in 2000-01 which may not sound so good until you consider that the team had 20.5 turnovers per game last season. The Sun Devils turned in a season-low nine turnovers vs. La Salle and has had 16 or less giveaways in eight of the team's 15 games this year. The Sun Devils have also won the turnover battle (having fewer turnovers than their opponents) in 14 of 15 games including a 24-21 advantage over No. 2 Tennessee and a 20-11 edge at then No. 21/22 Stanford. Last year, the lowest turnover total for the team was 13 in their final game of the season in the WNIT vs. Colorado State.

The Sun Devils lead the Pac-10 in turnover margin, forcing an average of 4.87 more turnovers than they commit per game. ASU also stands in third in the league in assist-to-turnover margin at 0.83 (206 assists to 243 turnovers). Senior Natalie Tucker, who leads the team with an average of 3.2 assists per game, is fourth in the Pac-10 in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.53).

Attendance RecordsWith 16,782 fans in attendance at the AstraZeneca Hoops for the Cure Classic Dec. 27 at Bank One Ballpark, the Sun Devils shattered their own single-game attendance record of 5,271 set vs. Arizona on Feb. 26, 2000 at Wells Fargo Arena. The game is the second highest attended college women's basketball game so far this season, surpassed only by the 16,845 fans which attended the Utah-New Mexico game in Albuquerque, N.M., last weekend. ASU also set the Pac-10 women's basketball single-game record which was previously held by the University of Oregon with 9,738 fans at McArthur Court in a game vs. Oregon State (March 8, 1996).

The event, which was the first outdoor women's college basketball game and raised $10,000 for breast cancer research, treatment and education in the Valley of the Sun, also became the largest attended women's college basketball contest in the state of Arizona since the University of Arizona's single-game record is 5,272 (March 4, 2000 vs. Oregon).

Head Coach Charli Turner ThorneSince Charli Turner Thorne took over the reigns of the program in 1996-97, the Sun Devils have begun a steady climb back to the national prominence that the team enjoyed in the early 1990s. She has improved the team's wins total in her four seasons and guided ASU to three consecutive double-digit win seasons in as many years. In 1999-2000, Turner Thorne led the Sun Devils to a 14-14 regular-season record and a 7-11 mark in the Pac-10 Conference, both of which marked the school's most victories since 1992-93. Turner Thorne's Sun Devils also earned the team's first postseason appearance in eight seasons, falling to Colorado State 66-54 in Fort Collins, Colo., in the first round of the 2000 Women's National Invitation Tournament. The Sun Devils' 73-56 win over La Salle in the first game of the ASU Holiday Classic on Dec. 1 marked the 90th win of head coach Charli Turner Thorne's coaching career and her 50th while at ASU. She has notched a 54-72 record in four-plus seasons at Arizona State and was 40-40 in her three seasons at Northern Arizona.

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