Busy Sun Devils Face Western Michigan

Nov. 23, 2001

TEMPE, Ariz. - A few days at St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands is usually the perfect way to relax. That won't be possible for Arizona State.

The 21st-ranked Sun Devils hope to rebound from their first loss of the season when they face Western Michigan on Saturday in the Paradise Jam Tournament.

Arizona State (2-1) is coming off a stretch that saw it play three games in five days. That total will rise to six games in 10 days after the Sun Devils finish this tournament with contests against Kansas State and Richmond.

After opening the season with wins over Delaware State and St. Peter's, Arizona State tasted defeat for the first time Wednesday, falling to Loyola Marymount 70-63.

Senior guard Amanda Levens continued her impressive play with 20 points and six assists in the loss. She is averaging a team-high 24.0 points this season.

The Sun Devils have struggled to find their shot in the early going. As a team, they are connecting on just 35.5 percent from the field, including a dismal 29.5 percent against Delaware State.

Their shooting hasn't been much better from the foul line, where they have hit only 69-of-117 (59 percent) this season.

One category where the Devils have proved successful is on the boards. They have outrebounded all three opponents, averaging 12.7 more boards per game than the opposition.

Western Michigan (1-2) couldn't protect a six-point lead in the final four minutes Wednesday, and lost to Tulsa 62-59. The Broncos lost to Arkansas State 72-62 on Nov. 16 in their season opener, and beat Eastern Washington 72-56 the next night for their only win.

Sophomore forward Kristin Koetsier is the team's leading scorer at 17.3 points per game, while senior forward Karen Deurloo adds 13.7 points and 9.3 rebounds.

Arizona State beat Western Michigan 79-69 on Dec. 31, 1992, in the only meeting between the schools.

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