No. 14 ASU Women's Basketball Team Takes On Mississippi State

Nov. 26, 2005

TONIGHT'S GAME: The No. 14 (USA Today/ESPN coaches Poll) Arizona State women's basketball team plays its second of two games in the Caribbean Classic, taking place in Cancun, Mexico. After falling to No. 8 North Carolina, 79-72 yesterday, the Sun Devils will be looking for a split in Cancun when they take on the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs.

Mississippi State comes into tonight's game with a 1-2 record. The Lady Bulldogs defeated Southeastern Louisiana 71-55 (Nov. 18) before falling to East Tennessee State 78-53 (Nov. 20). The Lady Bulldogs then fell to TCU 73-53 yesterday at the Caribbean Classic.

An ASU victory over the Lady Bulldogs would mark the sixth time in head coach Charli Turner Thorne's 10 seasons that the Sun Devils have won at least four of their first five games to start the season.

RADIO: The Arizona State-Mississippi State game can be heard live on KXAM 1310 AM. Valley veteran broadcast Jeff Munn is in his second year as the voice of ASU women's basketball. Coverage of Saturday's game will begin with the pre-game show at 5:30 p.m.

SERIES HISTORY VERSUS MISSISSIPPI STATE: This will be the first ever meeting between the Sun Devils and Lady Bulldogs.

SENIOR F/C Kristen Kovesdy: With 17 points vs. North Carolina, senior F/C Kristen Kovesdy went over 1,000 points for her career becoming the 16th player in ASU history to score 1,000 or more career points. Kovesdy now has 1,014 points in her Sun Devil career. She needs three more points to tie Stephanie Freeman (1,017 points, 1995-98) for 15th on the Sun Devil's all-time scoring list, six points to tie Amanda Levens (1,020 points, 1999-02) for 14th place, 10 points to tie Kylan Loney (1024 points, 2001-05) for 13th place, 19 points to tie Kim Griffee (1,033 points, 1979-81) for 12th place and 24 points to tie Olivia Jones (1,038 points, 1981-83) for 11th place. Kovesdy has scored in double figures in ASU's last eight games going back to the 2004-05 campaign.

JUNIOR Jill Noe: Helping the Sun Devils stay within striking distance for much of the second half vs. North Carolina was redshirt junior Jill Noe. Noe tallied 17 of her team-high 20 points in the game's final 20 minutes. For the game, Noe made four-of-five three pointers. The four three point field goals tied a career high which she accomplished three times during her remarkable freshman campaign.

SUN DEVILS TURN IT UP IN THE SECOND HALF: One trend the Sun Devils continued against North Carolina was their ability to shoot the ball well in the second half. ASU shot 63 percent from the field (17-27) in the second half against North Carolina. In their first four games of the season, the Sun Devils are shooting 53.3 percent in the second half (56-105).

FRONT AND CENTER: Thus far this season one prominent strength of the Sun Devils has been the ability of their starting front court - junior F Emily Westerberg, junior F Aubree Johnson and senior F/C Kristen Kovesdy - to not only score points, but also to shoot the ball with accuracy when they get their chances. Through the season's first four games, the trio has shot a combined 62.4 percent from the field.

Individually speaking, Westerberg has the best percentage of the three currently shooting 65.5 percent for the season (19-29). Kovesdy, currently leading the team in scoring, averaging 14.8 points per game, has made 62.2 percent of her shots (23-37) and Johnson has made 57.9 percent (11-19).

FREE THROWS: The Sun Devils have outscored their opponents 168-140 in the second half this season ... In their loss to North Carolina, the Sun Devils were out-rebounded by the Tar Heels, the first time this season that ASU had fewer rebounds than its opponent ... ASU has nine players averaging 10 or more minutes per game ... As a team, ASU is shooting 72.2 percent from the free throw line. The Sun Devils made 24 free throws in their win over Missouri (Nov. 12), the most free throws they have made in a game since they made 32 free throws in a 73-53 win over No. 7 Stanford on February 7, 2004 ... Jill Noe's 20 points against North Carolina were the most by a Sun Devil in any game this season ... Noe has made six of ASU's 10 three-point FGs thus far this season ... ASU has had the same starting five in every game this season: Reagan Pariseau (G), Jill Noe (G), Emily Westerberg (F), Aubree Johnson (F) and Kristen Kovesdy (F/C) ... Westerberg leads the Sun Devils in minutes per game, averaging 30.5, the only Sun Devil averaging more than 30 minutes per game ... Among players coming off the bench, freshman G Briann January currently leads the Sun Devils in minutes per game (16.5) ... Westerberg and Noe are currently tied for the team lead in assists with 15 each ... Noe currently leads the team in steals with 11.

UP NEXT: The Sun Devils return home to host the Wells Fargo Holiday Classic, which will feature Holy Cross, Western Kentucky and Memphis. Arizona State will face Memphis on Fri., Dec. 2 at 6 p.m. Holy Cross and Western Kentucky will follow at 8:30 p.m. The following day (Sat., Dec. 3), the losing teams from the first two games will square off at 4 p.m. with the championship game of the Wells Fargo Classic to follow at approximately 6:30 p.m.

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