Women's Hoops Continues Pac-10 Play With Washington on Monday Night

Dec. 28, 2003

TEMPE, Ariz. -

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Coming off a 68-61 win over Washington State in their Pac-10 Conference opener on Saturday, the Arizona State Sun Devils continue league play, hosting the 24th-ranked Washington Huskies on Monday night at Wells Fargo Arena. The game will tip off at 7:30 p.m. and will follow the ASU men's game against San Diego in the men's azcentral.com Hoops Classic, which tips off at 5 p.m. With the team's win over WSU, the first in a Pac-10 opener since 1999-00, Arizona State has now won five of its last six games and will be looking to open the Pac-10 schedule with a 2-0 mark for just the second time in school history. The Sun Devils also look to extend a streak that has seen them win seven straight home games and 11 of their last 12 at Wells Fargo Arena. Washington, which is ranked 24th in this week's coaches' poll, brings a 7-3 overall record and an 0-1 league mark to Tempe after falling at Arizona 89-74 on Saturday afternoon.

In the SeriesWashington leads the series with Arizona State 24-12, while the teams split a pair of meetings last year with each school winning on its home floor. The Huskies turned in a 69-56 victory in Seattle on Jan. 9, and the Sun Devils upset then No. 20 Washington 62-56 on Feb. 8 in Tempe. The series is knotted 9-9 in games played in Tempe, while ASU will be looking for its third straight home win over the Huskies on Monday night. The Sun Devils have won five of the last six meetings between the two teams at Wells Fargo Arena with the only loss in that stretch a 66-62 defeat on Jan. 11, 2001. That stretch of home success dates back to the 1997-98 season when Arizona State dealt then undefeated and seventh-ranked Washington a 77-76 loss on Jan. 8, 1998 in Tempe.

ASU in Pac-10 OpenersWith Saturday night's win over Washington State, Arizona State won its first Pac-10 Conference opener since the 1999-00 season, snapping a three-game losing streak in league starters. The game with the Cougars marked just the first time in five years that ASU had not opened the Pac-10 season with Stanford On Monday night vs. Washington, the Sun Devils will be looking to start the Pac-10 season with a 2-0 record for just the second time since joining the league in 1986-87. The team won its first two Pac-10 games for the first time in school history in 1999-00, downing Stanford 74-68 on Jan. 6, 2000 and then defeating California 69-59 on Jan. 8 at Wells Fargo Arena.

Notes from the Washington State GameJunior guard Kylan Loney scored a career-high 24 points, including five three-pointers, to lead Arizona State past Washington State 68-61 Saturday night in the Pac-10 Conference opener for both teams.

Junior guard Carrie Buckner added a season-best 15 points for the Sun Devils, who have won five of their last six games. Senior Bianca McCall had 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting for the Cougars, who lost their fourth in a row.

The Sun Devils overcame a 34-percent shooting night (21 of 62), making 9-of-22 from beyond the 3-point line to tie the school record for three-pointers in a game.

Washington State led 35-30 at the half and 43-28 with 12:32 remaining, but ASU went on a 14-5 run over the next six minutes and led the rest of the way. In addition to her career-best 24 points, Loney tied her career bests with five three-pointers and nine three-point attempts.

Buckner added four steals for the Sun Devils, while junior guard/forward Betsy Boardman knocked down three three-pointers and added 11 points, a career-high seven assists and four steals in the victory.

Home-Court AdvantageThe Sun Devils have won all six of their home games so far this season and a total of seven straight games at Wells Fargo Arena where the team has won a school-record 13 games in each of the last two seasons. Including this year's six wins, ASU has won 11 of its last 12 home games dating back to a Jan. 23 win over then No. 19 Arizona last season. Last year, ASU turned in a 13-4 record which matched the school-record 13 victories the 2001-02 team had (13-2). The Sun Devils won their first five home games in 2002-03 to set a school record with 13 straight home wins, a streak that dated back to the last eight home games of the 2001-02 season. Arizona State has turned in a 55-13 record (.809) at Wells Fargo Arena in the last five seasons (1999-00 to present).

Against Ranked OpponentsMonday night's game against Washington, which is ranked 24th in this week's USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll, will mark ASU's third contest against a ranked opponent this season. The Sun Devils are 0-2 against ranked opponents this year, falling to then No. 9/8 Kansas State 59-50 on Nov. 28 and then at No. 1/1 UConn 81-55 on Dec. 28. ASU turned in a 3-4 mark against ranked opponents last season, turning in upsets of three ranked teams, including wins over No. 14 Georgia, No. 19 Arizona and No. 20 Washington.

Wiping the GlassArizona State currently leads the Pac-10 Conference in rebounding offense, offensive rebounds, rebounding defense and rebounding margin. The Sun Devils have outrebounded all but three of their opponents this season and are averaging 42.0 boards per game to just 31.3 for their opponents. On the offensive glass, the team is averaging a league-best 17.1 rebounds per game, including a season-high 28 against Western Michigan on Dec. 5. Defensively, ASU has held its opponents to just 9.3 offensive rebounds per game, including a season-low seven by George Washington Nov. 29.

Individually, sophomore Kristen Kovesdy is the team's top rebounder, tying for 12th in the Pac-10 at 6.3 rebounds per game, including a team season-high 12 in ASU's win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Dec. 10 and a game-high 10 on Saturday night vs. Washington State. Sophomore Amy Denson is second on the team at 5.1 boards per game, while juniors Betsy Boardman (4.9) and Carrie Buckner (4.8) trail closely behind.

Hot HandsArizona State has recently found its hot hand from beyond the arc, shooting 39.5 percent (30-76) from three-point land in the last five games, up from its season mark of 34.6 percent. The Sun Devils tied the school record with nine three-pointers (9-22) in Saturday night's victory over Washington State, a feat that has been accomplished four other times in school history. ASU turned in then season highs with seven three-pointers and 19 attempts in games against both Binghamton and top-ranked Connecticut, while the team shot a season-high 44.4 percent from beyond the arc (4-9) in its Dec. 20 win at Holy Cross.

Junior Kylan Loney leads the team in three-point shooting, knocking down 39.0 percent of her attempts from beyond the arc (16-41). She has also recently found her touch, tying her career highs with five treys and nine three-point attempts Saturday night vs. Washington State. After starting the season shooting just 15.4 percent from the three-point line (2-13) in the first five games, Loney has shot 50.0 percent in the last five (14-28). Loney and junior Betsy Boardman, who is second on the team in three-point shooting (.366, 15-41), have been especially hot in the last two games, shooting a combined 54.5 percent from beyond the arc (Loney 7-13, Boardman 5-9).

Quick Notes

- Arizona State continues to lead the Pac-10 with an average of 18.6 assists per game, including a season-high 27 in its Dec. 20 win at Holy Cross. Junior Kylan Loney leads the team with 3.3 assists per game, while junior Carrie Buckner is just behind at 3.2 dishes per contest. Buckner also owns the league's fourth-best assist-to-turnover ratio (2.29). Loney is already ranked ninth on the ASU career list with 241 assists in her two-plus seasons and tied her career high with eight assists Dec. 20 at Holy Cross.

- While ASU had 19 turnovers in Saturday night's win over Washington State, the team turned the ball over just six times in its second-half comeback. ASU also tied its season high with six blocked shots in the game vs. the Cougars.

- Junior Betsy Boardman led the Sun Devils in scoring for the third time this season with 16 points in ASU's Dec. 20 win at Holy Cross. She knocked down a season-best 75.0 percent of her attempts in the game (6-8), including 2-of-3 from three-point land. Boardman continues to lead the team and is tied for 12th in the league in scoring at 11.3 points per game.

- ASU's bench continues to produce in every game and has been outscored just three times in 10 games this season. The Sun Devil bench players are turning in an average of 27.6 points per game this year. Sophomore YoVanna Rosenthal is the team's leading scorer off the bench at 6.9 points per game, while true freshmen Alisha Godette (4.8 ppg), Emily Westerberg (4.4) and Aubree Johnson (4.5) are all turning solid scoring efforts in relief as well.

- The Sun Devils shot a then season-best 55.2 percent (32-58) in its Dec. 10 win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and then bested that two games later with a 58.2 percent effort (32-55) in its win at Holy Cross on Dec. 20. The Sun Devils shot a season-best 65.4 percent (17-26) in the first half of that game vs. the Crusaders.

- With their 81-56 win at Holy Cross on Dec. 20, the Sun Devils snapped a seven-game road losing streak (dating back to the last six games of last year and a Dec. 18 loss at UConn). Counting its Pac-10 Tournament loss to Cal last year and its two neutral-site games this year in the Bahamas, ASU had lost its last 10 games away from the friendly confines of Wells Fargo Arena before its win at Holy Cross. Prior to that win, the Sun Devils' last road win came on Jan. 11, 2003 when the team turned in a 66-58 victory over Washington State in Pullman.

- The Sun Devils have allowed just 58.5 points per game in their last two contests after giving up season highs in scoring in the previous two contests (77.5 ppg), allowing 74 points by Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Dec. 10 and 81 points by No. 1 Connecticut on Dec. 18. On the season, ASU is ranked fourth in the Pac-10 in scoring defense, allowing just 59.7 points per game.

- Sophomore YoVanna Rosenthal continues to make the most of her minutes, averaging 6.9 points, 2.4 assists and 2.0 steals in just 14.9 minutes per game. She had two of the best games of her career in the Wells Fargo Holiday Classic on Dec. 5-6, averaging 9.5 points, 3.0 steals and 2.5 assists in just 13.0 minutes per game. She also shot 52.9 percent from the field on the weekend (9-17) en route to being named to the all-tournament team. Rosenthal leads the team and is ranked ninth in the Pac-10 in steals (20).

- After starting three true freshmen and two sophomores last year, the 2003-04 Sun Devil active roster is still a very young one featuring just one senior, four juniors, three sophomores and three freshmen.

Up NextFollowing Monday's game with No. 24 Washington, the Sun Devils hit the road for three tough conference games, heading to Tucson to take on intrastate rival Arizona on Friday, Jan. 2 and then to the Bay Area to take on No. 9/7 Stanford and California on Jan. 8 and 10. ASU will not return to Wells Fargo Arena until Jan. 15 and 17 when the Sun Devils play host to UCLA and USC, respectively.

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