Women's Hoops Continues Road Trip at Oregon Saturday Afternoon

Jan. 23, 2004

EUGENE, Ore. -

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Following their 63-56 victory at Oregon State on Thursday night, the Arizona State Sun Devils wrap up their Northwest swing at Oregon on Saturday afternoon. Fox Sports Net will broadcast Saturday's game in Eugene, Ore., to a national television audience with tip-off slated for 12 p.m. Pacific Time (1 p.m. Mountain). With the win in Corvallis, ASU, which is fourth in the league at 5-3, snapped a four-game losing streak at Oregon State and picked up back-to-back Pac-10 road games for the first time since the 2001-02 season. Saturday at Oregon, ASU will be attempting to earn its first Pac-10 road sweep since winning at UCLA and at USC during the 2000-01 season and will wrap up a stretch of five of seven games on the road. Oregon is 10-8 overall and 2-6 in league play this season following a 70-66 loss to Arizona on Thursday night. The Ducks have lost seven of their last nine games and are just 1-3 at home in league play including Thursday night's loss to the Wildcats.

In the SeriesOregon leads the series with ASU 26-13 dating back to the first meeting between the two teams in 1980-81. Oregon holds a 15-4 advantage in games played in Eugene. Last year, the teams split a pair of meetings. ASU won its fourth straight game in the series with a 78-63 victory on Jan. 4, 2003 at Wells Fargo Arena, which marked the 100th win of Charli Turner Thorne's ASU career, while Oregon earned an 82-68 win on Jan. 30 in Eugene. The Sun Devils have won two of the last three games between the two teams at Oregon's McArthur Court, snapping an eight-game losing streak in Eugene with an 86-72 victory on Jan. 6, 2002, and earning a 64-58 victory in Eugene in the semifinals of the 2002 Pac-10 Tournament on March 2. Including last year's regular-season loss, ASU is 4-1 in its last five games at McArthur Court after capturing the inaugural Pac-10 Tournament title in 2002 with wins over Arizona, Oregon and then second-ranked Stanford.

Oregon PipelineThe Sun Devils have four players who hail from the state of Oregon in juniors Betsy Boardman (Portland) and Carrie Buckner (Corvallis) and sophomores Amy Denson (Central Point) and 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 is out for the season after tearing her ACL in preseason skillwork, 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.

Notes from the Oregon State GameSophomore Kristen Kovesdy scored a game-high 14 points to lead the Arizona State women's basketball team to a 63-56 victory at Oregon State Thursday night. With the win, ASU snapped a four-game losing streak at Oregon State's Gill Coliseum.

ASU got off to a slow start in the game, turning the ball over on seven of its first 11 possessions to fall behind 10-2 with 14:12 to play. The Sun Devils then broke the game open with a 19-0 run over the next nine minutes to go up 21-10 with 5:34 left in the half. Arizona State held Oregon State to just two field goals in the final 14 minutes of the half. The team led by as many as 15 points, but Oregon State hit 9-of-10 free throws over the final three minutes of the half and ASU had a 30-22 halftime lead.

Oregon State scored the first six points of the second half to cut the ASU lead to two points, 30-28 with 17:52 to play. Arizona State went back up by six points a minute later, but the Beavers took their first lead since early in the game over the next six minutes, going up 38-37 with 11:13 to play. ASU went on a 7-0 run to lead 46-39 with 7:46 remaining, while Oregon State answered with a 7-0 run of its own to tie the game at 46 with 6:10 to play.The Sun Devils solidified the victory by scoring the next five points, including a three-pointer by junior Kylan Loney, to regain a lead they would not relinquish en route to the 63-56 victory.

Kovesdy led four Sun Devils in double figures with a game-high 14 points on 5-of-6 shooting, while freshman Emily Westerberg had eight of her 13 points in the second half. Loney added 12 points, while junior Betsy Boardman had 11 points and a game-high six rebounds. Krystal Turner led the Beavers effort with 12 points on 4-of-4 shooting and five rebounds.Arizona State outrebounded Oregon State 38-29 and shot a season-high 45.4 percent from three-point land (5-11) but had 26 turnovers in the victory.

Kovesdy Coming On StrongSophomore forward Kristen Kovesdy led the team in scoring for the sixth time this season, turning in 14 points on 5-of-6 shooting Thursday night at Oregon State. In Pac-10 play, Kovesdy leads the Sun Devils in scoring and field goal percentage. She is second in the league in field goal percentage in conference games, knocking down 61.8 percent of her attempts (42-68), and ranks ninth in the Pac-10 in scoring in league games with 13.9 points per game.

Kovesdy is second on the squad and 17th in the Pac-10 in scoring at 10.6 points per game and has led the team in scoring six times this year. Kovesdy turned in the fourth double-double of her career and her first of the season with a then career-high 20 points on 9-of-12 shooting and 12 rebounds in ASU's Dec. 10 win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. She was also just one rebound shy of tying her career best in the category. Kovesdy led the team in both categories at then top-ranked UConn, turning in 13 points and five rebounds Dec. 18 against the Huskies and paced the team with 10 rebounds in its Dec. 27 win over Washington State.

After starting the season shooting just 19.0 percent in the first four games (4-21), Kovesdy has made 63.3 percent of her field goals in the last 13 (62-98). Kovesdy now ranks third in the Pac-10 in field goal percentage at 55.5 percent (66-119). She is also tied with sophomore Amy Denson for the team lead in rebounding and ranks 18th in the Pac-10 at 5.3 rebounds per game.

Scoring DefenseIncluding its 63-56 win at Oregon State on Thursday, Arizona State has allowed just 58.8 points per game in its last five games after giving up a season-high 81 points in each of the team's previous two. ASU allowed UCLA just 58 points on Jan. 15, while ASU held No. 7 Stanford to 60 points on Jan. 8, 13.1 points below the Cardinal's season average of 73.1 points per game and the lowest total for Stanford this season at Maples Pavilion. The Sun Devils also held California to its lowest scoring output of the season in ASU's 56-52 win on Jan. 10. On the season, ASU ranks fifth in the Pac-10 in scoring defense at 62.0 points allowed per game and is 7-2 on the year when allowing its opponents 59 points or less.

On Board with BoardmanJunior Betsy Boardman continues to lead the team and is ranked 11th in the Pac-10 in scoring at 11.9 points per game. In the last nine games, Boardman has averaged 12.9 points, 3.7 assists and 4.2 rebounds per contest. She has also shot 46.3 percent from the field in that span of games (31-67). In ASU's Jan. 15 win over UCLA, she turned in 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting and tied her career high with four three-pointers (4-of-7 from beyond the arc), while against USC on Jan. 17, she led the team with 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting and had five rebounds and four steals.

Boardman has led the team in scoring five times and scored in double figures 12 times in 16 games this season, including a career-best 20 points against Western Michigan on Dec. 5, when she knocked down 4-of-7 attempts from three-point land, and 16 points in ASU's Dec. 20 win at Holy Cross. She knocked down a season-best 75.0 percent of her attempts at Holy Cross (6-8) and was 2-of-3 from beyond the arc.

Boardman also leads the squad in three-pointers with 27 treys and is third on the team in assists (49) and rebounding (4.7 rpg). Boardman is tied for 10th in the Pac-10 in assists (3.1), ninth in three-point field goal percentage (.375) and seventh in three-pointers made (1.69).

Hot HandsArizona State has continued to shoot the ball well from beyond the arc, knocking down a season-best 45.4 percent of its three-pointers Thursday night at Oregon State (5-11). In the last 11 games, the Sun Devils have shot 40.3 percent (56-139) from three-point land and are now ranked fourth in the Pac-10 in three-point shooting, knocking down 36.2 percent of their attempts (72-199). The Sun Devils tied the school record with nine three-pointers (9-22) in their Dec. 27 victory over Washington State, a feat that has been accomplished four other times in school history.

Junior Kylan Loney leads the team and ranks sixth in the league in three-point shooting at 39.7 percent (23-58), while junior Betsy Boardman is second on the squad and ninth in the league, knocking down 37.5 percent of her attempts from beyond the arc (27-72), including 4-of-7 shooting in a Jan. 15 win over UCLA. Loney tied her career highs with five treys and nine three-point attempts Dec. 27 vs. Washington State. After sarting the season shooting just 15.4 percent from the three-point line (2-13) in the first five games, Loney has shot 46.7 percent in the last 12 tilts (21-45). In Pac-10 play, Loney is ranked seventh in the league at 46.2 percent (12-26) and Boardman is ninth at 40.5 percent (15-37). Boardman has knocked down two or more treys in seven games and has had at least one three-pointer in all but one game this season.

Boardman ranks fourth on the ASU career list for three-pointers with 100, becoming just the fourth Sun Devil in school history to knock down 100 career treys after draining one three-pointer Thursday night at Oregon State. Loney ranks seventh on that list with 81 three-pointers in her career.

Wiping the GlassArizona State currently leads the Pac-10 in rebounding defense and rebounding margin, ranks second in offensive rebounds and is third in rebounding offense. The team has outrebounded three of its last four opponents, including a 38-29 advantage over Oregon State on Thursday night. After outrebounding seven of its first nine opponents this year, ASU has been outboarded in five of the last eight contests, including a 41-38 advantage by USC on Jan. 17. The Sun Devils are averaging 39.1 boards per game to just 31.9 for their opponents.

On the offensive glass, the team is averaging 14.8 rebounds per game, including a season-high 28 against Western Michigan on Dec. 5. Defensively, ASU has held its opponents to just 10.6 offensive rebounds per game, including a season-low six by California on Jan. 10. ASU outrebounded Cal 19-6 on the offensive glass in that game, including a 12-4 margin in the second half.

Individually, sophomores Amy Denson and Kristen Kovesdy are tied for first on the team and rank 18th in the Pac-10 in rebounding at 5.3 rebounds per game. The pair waged a dogfight for the team rebounding lead all last year as well with Kovesdy winning the battle at 6.1 rebounds per game (T10th in the Pac-10, 183 rbs.) and Denson second on the team and 15th in the league at 6.0 rpg (179 rbs.). In fact, the race was so close that ASU's coaches gave both players the rebounding award at the year-end banquet.

Denson paces the team in rebounding in Pac-10 play, averaging 5.8 rebounds per league contest (eighth in the Pac-10). She led the team in rebounding in both games last weekend with a game-high 12 against UCLA and a team-best nine vs. USC.

Quick Notes

- ASU has won two of its last three games but has turned the ball over 81 times in those three games, including a season-high 29 turnovers in its Jan. 15 win over UCLA and 26 in each of its last two contests.

- The Sun Devils have held their opponents to just 15.2 percent from three-point land in the last six games (7-46), including 1-of-9 shooting by Oregon State on Thursday night. ASU allowed no three-pointers by then No. 25 Arizona on Jan. 4 (0-3), Cal on Jan. 10 (0-6) and USC on Jan. 17 (0-4). Arizona State ranks second in three-point defense for league games, allowing its opponents to shoot just 25.0 percent from beyond the arc in Pac-10 play (17-68).

- With Thursday night's win at Oregon State and a 56-52 victory at Cal on Jan. 10, Arizona State has earned its first back-to-back Pac-10 road wins since the 2001-02 season when the team turned in an 86-72 win at Oregon on Jan. 6 and a 70-57 victory at UCLA on Jan. 17. ASU turned in a 4-5 road mark in Pac-10 play that year en route to a 12-6 Pac-10 record (T2nd) and a 25-9 overall record. Both ASU's overall and league marks tied school records for most wins in a season, while the Sun Devils won the Pac-10 Tournament and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament that year.

- The team is 2-2 on the road in Pac-10 play so far this season after going 1-8 on the road in league action last year. The Sun Devils snapped an eight-game Pac-10 road losing streak with their 56-52 win over California on Jan. 10. Prior to the victory over the Golden Bears, the Sun Devils' last Pac-10 road win came on Jan. 11, 2003 when the team turned in a 66-58 victory over Washington State in Pullman.

- Saturday at Oregon, ASU has a chance to earn its first Pac-10 road sweep since turning in a 78-68 win at UCLA on Jan. 18, 2001 and a 66-59 victory at USC on Jan. 20. In 2000-01, ASU, which turned in a 5-4 road mark in league play, finished the season 20-11 and 12-6 in the Pac-10 and earned a share of the first Pac-10 basketball title in school history.

- The Sun Devils shot 50.0 percent at Oregon State on Thursday night (21-42), marking the fifth time this year that ASU has shot 50 percent or better from the field. ASU is 5-0 on the year when shooting 50 percent or better from the field. In the last three games, the Sun Devils have shot 47.6 percent (68-143) up from their season average of 42.0 percent.

- ASU's bench continues to produce in every game and has been outscored just six times in 17 games this season. The Sun Devil bench players are turning in an average of 24.8 points per game this year. Freshman Emily Westerberg (6.4 points per game including 13 Thursday night at Oregon State) and sophomore YoVanna Rosenthal (4.7) are leading the scoring off the bench, while true freshmen Alisha Godette (4.2) and Aubree Johnson (3.9) are also turning solid scoring efforts in relief.

- 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 four juniors, three sophomores and three freshmen. ASU's only senior, Jen Albert, is out for the rest of the season with an ACL tear suffered on Dec. 27. Sophomore Jill Noe, a Pac-10 All-Freshman selection and ASU's leading scorer last year, has also been out all season after suffering an ACL tear in early October.

Up NextFollowing Saturday's game at Oregon which wraps up the first half of Pac-10 play and completes a stretch of five of seven games on the road for ASU, the Sun Devils return to Tempe for a stretch of three straight home games including Arizona (Jan. 31), California (Feb. 5) and Stanford (Feb. 7).

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