Women's Hoops Takes on Oregon State Saturday at 2 p.m. at Wells Fargo Arena
Feb. 19, 2004
TEMPE, Ariz. -
Coming off a 65-40 victory over Oregon on Thursday night, the Arizona State Sun Devils take on Oregon State at 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon at Wells Fargo Arena in the team's regular-season home finale. Fox Sports Net will televise Saturday's game to a national cable audience with Doug McLeod and Tammy Blackburn calling the action. Saturday's game is Senior Day for the Sun Devils who will honor their lone senior, two-time Pac-10 All-Academic selection Jen Albert, prior to tip-off. At 16-8, Arizona State has equaled its wins total from last year (16-14), while with a 10-5 Pac-10 record, which puts the Sun Devils in fourth place in the standings (two games out of first), ASU has also already eclipsed its 7-11 league mark from last season. Thursday night's win over the Ducks snapped a two-game losing streak for the team and was the fourth straight home victory for the Sun Devils who are now 12-1 at Wells Fargo Arena this year. The team needs just one more home win to tie the school record for wins at Wells Fargo Arena, reached in each of the two previous seasons, while ASU also looks to extend on a stretch of seven straight home victories over Oregon State. The Beavers hold a 14-10 overall record and an 8-7 Pac-10 mark (sixth in the standings) and had their three-game winning streak snapped with a 77-54 loss at Arizona on Thursday night.
In the SeriesOregon State holds a slim 19-18 advantage over Arizona State in a series that dates back to the 1983-84 season. ASU has won three of the last four games in the series and 10 of the last 14, including a 63-56 victory in Corvallis on Jan. 22 in the first meeting this year. That win in Corvallis snapped a five-game losing streak at OSU's Gill Coliseum, while the Sun Devils look to extend a streak of seven straight wins over the Beavers at Wells Fargo Arena. Overall, ASU holds a 12-6 edge in games played in Tempe and will be looking for their first season sweep of the Beavers since 1998-99 (57-53 win in Tempe, 77-65 win in Corvallis that year).
Senior Forward Jen AlbertArizona State will honor its lone senior, forward Jen Albert, before Saturday afternoon's game with Oregon State. A native of Longmont, Colo., and a graduate of Niwot High School, Albert played in 100 games with six starts before suffering a season-ending ACL tear in December. A two-time team captain, she helped ASU to some of the most successful seasons in school history including back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in 2001 and 2002, a share of the 2001 Pac-10 title and the 2002 Pac-10 Tournament title. Albert was a two-time winner of the Coach's Award and was the 2002 Most Improved Player at the season-end banquet. She led the team in scoring off the bench last year and was named to the 2002 Wells Fargo Holiday Classic All-Tournament team.
Albert is also one of the top student-athletes at Arizona State, becoming just the second Sun Devil in school history to earn first-team Pac-10 All-Academic honors. A four-time Maroon & Gold Scholar-Athlete, Albert will graduate this spring with a degree in elementary education and plans to attend law school in the fall.
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.
Home-Court AdvantageArizona State has turned in a 12-1 record in the friendly confines of Wells Fargo Arena this season. ASU has won its last four home games and with a win over Oregon State, the Sun Devils could tie their school record of 13 home wins for the third consecutive season. Prior to their 68-65 loss to USC on Jan. 17, the Sun Devils had won their first eight home games this year and a total of nine straight games at Wells Fargo Arena where the team has won a school-record 13 games in each of the last two seasons. The Jan. 17 loss to USC was just the first home loss since ASU fell to USC on Jan. 18, 2003. Including this year's 12 wins, ASU has won 17 of its last 19 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. ASU has turned in a 61-14 record (.813) at Wells Fargo Arena in the last five years (1999-00 to present).
More on the Friendly Confines of Wells Fargo ArenaArizona State has won its last three home games by an average of 21.3 points per game, including a 65-40 win over Oregon on Thursday and a 73-53 win over then No. 7 Stanford on Feb. 7. ASU is averaging 74.0 points and 42.5 rebounds per game and shooting 44.5 percent (333-748) in home games this year. In comparison, ASU has turned in 60.4 points, 32.9 rebounds and 40.7 percent shooting (188-462) in road games this season (4-5 record). The team has shot 50 percent or better from the field at home five times this season and has outrebounded or tied with 10 of the 13 opponents it has faced at Wells Fargo Arena.
Notes from the Oregon GameJunior Kylan Loney scored five of her team-high 14 points during a decisive 12-2 run, and sophomore Kristen Kovesdy finished with 11 points as Arizona State beat Oregon 65-40 Thursday night at Wells Fargo Arena.
The Sun Devils held the Ducks to their lowest offensive output of the season and the fewest points by an ASU opponent since the team defeated California 56-40 Jan. 24, 2002 in Berkeley, Calif. Previously this season, Oregon lost to Washington 95-50 on Jan. 15.
Oregon shot 35 percent from the field (16 of 46) and lost for the fourth time in its last five games, while Arizona State won its fourth straight home game and improved to 12-1 at Wells Fargo Arena this season. Despite 20 turnovers, Arizona State broke its two-game losing streak that followed winning five in a row.
After trailing 29-21 at halftime, Oregon cut the lead to 34-32 with 12 minutes left before the Sun Devils ran off eight straight points in the 12-2 spurt paced by Loney and coasted from there.
Loney and Kovesdy led the team in scoring with 14 and 11 points, respectively, while freshman Aubree Johnson, who made the second start of her career, paced the Sun Devils with nine rebounds, including a career-high four offensive boards. Freshman Alisha Godette tied her career best with four assists to lead the team. As a team, ASU outrebounded Oregon 40-26 and held a 16-7 advantage on the offensive glass.
Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano served as a guest coach for the Sun Devils Thursday night, sitting on the bench with the team and coaches and participating in team huddles.
Brandi Davis scored nine points and Eleanor Haring and Kedzie Gunderson each had eight points for Oregon.
Spreading the WealthArizona State has had five different players lead the team in scoring in the past eight games, including 14 points by Kylan Loney Thursday night against Oregon, the second straight game and third time in that eight-game stretch that the junior point guard has led the team in scoring. On the year, ASU has had seven different Sun Devils lead the team in scoring in at least one game paced by junior Betsy Boardman and sophomore Kristen Kovesdy with six games each this year. Here's a look at the five different leading scorers in ASU's last eight games:
14 Kristen Kovesdy, at Oregon State, 1/22/04 13 Betsy Boardman, at Oregon, 1/24/04 32 Kylan Loney, vs. Arizona, 1/31/04 15 Carrie Buckner, vs. California, 2/5/04 18 Jenny Thigpin, vs. No. 7 Stanford, 2/7/04 13 Jenny Thigpin, at USC, 2/12/04 16 Kylan Loney, at UCLA, 2/14/04 14 Kylan Loney, vs. Oregon, 2/19/04
Scoring DefenseIncluding a season-low 40 points by Oregon on Thursday, Arizona State has allowed just 57.9 points per game in its last 12 games. ASU has held 14 opponents to 60 points or less this year and is 11-3 in those contests. The Sun Devils rank second in the Pac-10 in scoring defense at 60.6 points allowed per game. The 40 points by Oregon on Thursday night marked the fewest for an ASU opponent since the team earned a 56-40 win at California on Jan. 24, 2002.
The Sun Devils held Arizona to 60 points in their Jan. 31 win, 12.5 points below Arizona's season average of 72.5 points per game (first in the Pac-10), while ASU held Stanford to an average of 56.5 points per game in two meetings this year, 16 below the Cardinal's average of 72.5 ppg (second in the league), including 60 points on Jan. 8, a total which is still the lowest scoring effort for the Cardinal at Maples Pavilion this year. On Nov. 28, ASU held Kansas State to 59 points, the second-lowest output of the year for the Wildcats who rank 11th in the nation in scoring offense at 76.3 points per game.
Defending Against the ThreeIncluding a 14.3 percent night by Oregon on Thursday (1-7), ASU has allowed its last 13 opponents to shoot just 21.8 percent from beyond the arc (26-119). The Sun Devils lead the league in three-point defense for Pac-10 games at 25.5 percent (36-141) and are second for all games at 30.7 percent (69-225). The Sun Devils held Stanford, the league's top three-point shooting team at 37.5 percent and 7.52 treys per game, to just 8.0 percent (2-25) on Feb. 7. 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).
Wiping the GlassArizona State continues to lead the Pac-10 in rebounding defense and rebounding margin, is tied for second in rebounding offense and ranks third in defensive rebounds. The team has outrebounded (or tied) nine of its last 11 opponents and held those 11 teams to just 31.6 rebounds per game, including a 40-26 advantage over Oregon on Thursday (16-7 on the offensive glass). Cal's 25 rebounds on Feb. 5 marked a season low given up by the Sun Devils this year. The Sun Devils are averaging 38.2 boards per game to just 31.8 for their opponents (+6.4).
On the offensive glass, the team is averaging 14.1 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 and seven by Oregon on Thursday night. ASU outrebounded Cal 19-6 on the offensive glass in that Jan. 10 game, including a 12-4 margin in the second half.
Individually, sophomore Kristen Kovesdy is first on the team and tied for 20th in the Pac-10 at 5.0 rebounds per game (119 rebounds), while sophomore Amy Denson is second on the team at 4.8 rebounds per game (114). 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 2003 year-end banquet.
Denson paces the team in rebounding in Pac-10 play, averaging 4.7 rebounds per league contest (20th in the Pac-10). She led the team in rebounding with a game-high 12 against UCLA on Jan. 15 and a team-best nine vs. USC on Jan. 17.
Kovesdy Coming On StrongSophomore forward Kristen Kovesdy continues to lead the Sun Devils in scoring and field goal percentage in Pac-10 play. She ranks second in the league in field goal percentage in conference games, knocking down 58.7 percent of her attempts (64-109), and ranks 15th in the Pac-10 in scoring in league games with 11.3 points per game. She paced the team in scoring for the sixth time this season, turning in 14 points on 5-of-6 shooting Jan. 22 at Oregon State.
Kovesdy turned in a career outing in ASU's overtime victory over then No. 24 Washington on Dec. 27. She scored a career-high 29 points on 12-of-14 shooting (also both career bests) and grabbed nine rebounds, just missing the fifth double-double of her career. She turned her third 20-point game of the season with 24 points to lead ASU to its win over UCLA on Jan. 15. She knocked down 10-of-14 attempts from the field and all four of her attempts from the free throw line and added six rebounds, three blocked shots (tying her career high) and one steal.
Kovesdy is third on the squad and 20th in the Pac-10 in scoring at 10.0 points per game. She 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.
After starting the season shooting just 19.0 percent in the first four games (4-21), Kovesdy has made 60.4 percent of her field goals in the last 20 (84-139). Kovesdy now ranks third in the Pac-10 in field goal percentage at 55.0 percent (88-160). She also leads the team and is tied for 20th in the Pac-10 at 5.0 rebounds per game, including a team-high eight vs. Arizona on Jan. 31.
Notes From Beyond the ArcArizona State has continued to shoot the ball well from beyond the arc, knocking down a season-best 50.0 percent of its three-pointers (6-12) Jan. 31 against Arizona. In the last 18 games, the Sun Devils have shot 37.3 percent (79-212) from three-point land and have climbed to third in the Pac-10 in three-point shooting, knocking down 35.0 percent of their attempts (100-286). 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.
After knocking down 4-of-6 three-pointers (.667) Feb. 14 at UCLA and a pair Thursday night against Oregon, junior Kylan Loney leads the team and ranks fourth in the Pac-10 at 40.4 percent (36-89). Loney has 36 three-pointers this year, while junior Betsy Boardman has made 32.
Boardman knocked down 4-of-7 attempts in a Jan. 15 win over UCLA, while Loney tied her career highs with five treys and nine three-point attempts Dec. 27 vs. Washington State and match the feat with five three-pointers made Jan. 31 against Arizona. After starting the season shooting just 15.4 percent from the three-point line (2-13) in the first five games, Loney has shot 44.2 percent in the last 19 tilts (34-77). In Pac-10 play, Loney is fourth in the league at 43.9 percent (25-57).
Boardman ranks fourth on the ASU career list for three-pointers with 105, becoming just the fourth Sun Devil in school history to knock down 100 career treys after draining one three-pointer Jan. 22 at Oregon State. She has knocked down two or more treys in eight games and has had at least one trey in all but four games this season. Loney ranks fifth on that list with 94 three-pointers in her career and is within striking distance of becoming the fifth Sun Devil to knock down 100 career treys.
Tough DefenseArizona State has established itself as one of the top defensive teams in the Pac-10 Conference. The Sun Devils have led the league in at least one defensive category in each of the last five years (1998-present). This year, ASU is pacing the Pac-10 in rebounding defense (31.8 rpg) and is second in scoring defense (60.6 ppg). ASU led the Pac-10 in three-point defense in each of the last two years and four of the last five-plus seasons, allowing opponents to shoot just 30.2 percent from beyond the arc since the start of the 1998-99 season to present (488-1616). The Sun Devils led the league in scoring and rebounding defense in both 2000-01 and 2001-02 and have held opponents to just 62.7 points and 34.0 rebounds per game over the last five-plus seasons (10,979 points and 5945 rebounds, 175 games, 1998-99 to present).
Quick Notes- Following Thursday night's win over Oregon, ASU has won six of its last eight games. Prior to losses at USC and UCLA last week, ASU had won five straight Pac-10 games for the first time since winning a school-record seven consecutive league games in 2000-01. The Sun Devils turned in a school-record 12-6 Pac-10 mark in both 2000-01 and 2001-02, earning a share of the team's first ever Pac-10 title in 2001 and winning the Pac-10 Tournament in 2002.
- With a 10-5 Pac-10 mark, the Sun Devils have also turned in the team's best league start since 2001-02 when the team won 10 of its first 15 league games en route to a 12-6 mark.
- ASU's recent games have been characterized by season highs and lows in turnovers. The Sun Devils had a season-high 34 turnovers Feb. 12 at USC but had turned the ball over a season-low 12 times in their Feb. 7 upset of No. 7 Stanford just one game before. In the last 10 games, ASU has averaged 23.4 turnovers per game but has won seven of those 10 contests.
- Sophomore Jenny Thigpin has averaged 9.8 points per game over the last four tilts, including a team-high 13 points Feb. 13 at USC. That marked the second straight game that she had led the team in scoring off the bench after she scored a career-high 18 points in ASU's Feb. 7 upset of No. 7 Stanford.
- Thigpin has shot 68.0 percent from the field in the last eight games (17-25).
- Arizona State ranks second in the Pac-10 with an average of 16.6 assists per game, including 21 Feb. 5 vs. Cal and a season-high 27 in its Dec. 20 win at Holy Cross. Junior Kylan Loney leads the team and ranks ninth in the Pac-10 at 2.92 assists per game (70 assists), while juniors Betsy Boardman (63) and Carrie Buckner (62) trail right behind. For Buckner, her 62 assists are more than she had in her first two seasons combined (58), while Loney is already ranked ninth on the ASU career list with 278 assists in her three seasons.
- The Sun Devils have shot 74.9 percent from the free throw line in the last eight games (143-191), including an 87.5 percent showing at USC on Feb. 12 (21-24). ASU is fourth in the league in free throw shooting at 71.2 percent.
- ASU's bench continues to produce in every game and has been outscored just six times in 24 games this season. The Sun Devil bench players are turning in an average of 24.5 points per game this year, while a Sun Devil has led the team in scoring off the bench five times this season. Freshman Emily Westerberg (6.5 points per game) is leading the scoring off the bench, while freshman Alisha Godette (4.3), sophomores Jenny Thigpin (4.1) and YoVanna Rosenthal (4.0) and true freshman Aubree Johnson (3.7) are all turning solid scoring efforts in relief.
- ASU ranks third in the Pac-10 in steals with 10.0 thefts per contest. Junior Carrie Buckner paces the Sun Devils and is ninth in the Pac-10 at 1.75 thefts per game (42), while junior Betsy Boardman is right behind at 1.78 (41).
- 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 been out all season after suffering an ACL tear in early October.
Up NextFollowing Saturday's game with Oregon State, the Sun Devils wrap up the regular season next week, traveling to Washington on Feb. 26 and Washington State on Feb. 28. The Sun Devils then head to the third annual Pac-10 Tournament March 5-8 in San Jose, Calif. Pac-10 Tournament pairings will be announced on Sunday, Feb. 29
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