ASU Women's Basketball Hosts Washington State on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Feb. 5, 2010
The Arizona State women's basketball team will look for its seventh win in eight games on Saturday afternoon (1 p.m. MT) when it hosts the Washington State Cougars at Wells Fargo Arena.
The Sun Devils continued to gain ground in the Pac-10 race following their 67-61 overtime win against Washington on Thursday night.
After leading by as many as 10 in the second half, the Sun Devils eventually found themselves having to rally to force overtime after the Huskies twice took a 3-point lead in the final four minutes. A layup by Kimberly Brandon with 38 seconds remaining tied the game at 55-55 and forced overtime.
In the extra session, the Sun Devils outscored the Huskies 13-6 as they hit 8-of-10 free throws to help seal the victory. Kayli Murphy's third career double-double, which included a career high in scoring (16 points, 11 rebounds), led ASU's winning effort. Also scoring in double figures for the Sun Devils were Danielle Orsillo (14 points, season-best 6 assists) and Kimberly Brandon (10 points, 4-5 FGs).
With their respective wins on Thursday, both ASU (14-7, 6-4 Pac-10) and California (12-9, 6-4 Pac-10) moved within one game of second place after USC (13-8, 7-3 Pac-10) and UCLA (14-7, 7-3 Pac-10) were both defeated in the Bay Area on Thursday night.
Washington State (5-16, 0-10 Pac-10) is still looking for its first Pac-10 win following a 73-66 loss at Arizona on Thursday. The Cougars have one of the more deceiving won-loss records in the country as they are 0-9 in games decided by nine points or less. In addition, they have held second-half leads in eight of their 10 Pac-10 losses. The Cougars have two players who are currently averaging double figures in scoring in the form of freshman guard Kiki Moore (13.0 ppg) and sophomore guard Jazmine Perkins (10.4. ppg).
Saturday's game is a rematch of last month's contest in Pullman, Wash., that was won by the Sun Devils 64-59. Danielle Orsillo scored 15 of her game-high 19 points in the second half as the Sun Devils earned their first Pac-10 win of the season. Becca Tobin scored 17 points while Kayli Murphy and Tenaya Watson added 10 points each to help give Sun Devil head coach Charli Turner Thorne the 300th win of her career.
Following Saturday's game the Sun Devils will be back on the road next week when they travel to Oregon to face Oregon State (Thurs., Feb. 11) and Oregon (Sat. Feb. 13).
Saturday's game against Washington State can be seen live on Fox Sports Net. Jim Watson (play by play) and Tracy Warren (analyst) will be on hand to call the action. The game can also be heard live on The Fan AM 1060. Pre-game coverage will begin at 12:30 p.m. Veteran broadcaster Jeff Munn is in his sixth season as the voice of ASU women's basketball.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
ASU returns two starters - forward Kayli Murphy and guard Danielle Orsillo - from last year's active roster that went 26-9 and earned the program's second Elite Eight berth in the last three years. Despite returning six players from last year's team, the Sun Devils began the season as a relatively inexperienced group. Of ASU's returning players, only seniors Kayli Murphy and Danielle Orsillo and junior Becca Tobin saw significant playing time last season.
The Sun Devils are without last season's leading scorer Dymond Simon as she spends the season rehabbing from the knee injury she suffered in the 2009 regular-season finale at Stanford. Also missing for the 2009-10 season because of injury is junior guard Markisha Patterson, who transferred to ASU from Central Arizona where she was a teammate of guard Tenaya Watson, who also transferred to ASU.
ASU has won 79 percent (65-17) of its Pac-10 contests since the 2005-06 season.
On Saturday the Sun Devils will be at home where they are 74-12 (.860) since the 2004-05 season, including a 42-8 (.840) record against Pac-10 opponents.
ASU holds a 35-12 advantage in the all-time series with Washington State and has won 24 of the last 25 meetings with the Cougars. Washington State's only win in the last 24 meetings was a 75-72 win in Pullman on February 28, 2004. The Sun Devils have won the last 12 meetings in Tempe, including a 59-30 win in 2008 in which ASU set the Pac-10 record for the fewest points ever allowed in a Pac-10 game.
ASU has outrebounded its opponent 15 times in 21 games this season. The Sun Devils lead the Pac-10 in rebounding defense (31.5) and are 2nd in the conference and 19th in the nation in rebounding margin (+7.3). The Sun Devils have outrebounded 3 of their last 4 opponents by double digits (at Arizona +12, at California +13 and vs. Washington +10). In addition, the Sun Devils have 25 more offensive rebounds than the opposition in their last 4 games.
Performing in Crunch Time... Stats combined from the last 4 minutes of ASU's come-from-behind win at Cal and the five-minute overtime in ASU's win over Washington on Thursday night: Scoring: ASU 26, Opp 8; Rebounds: ASU 12, Opp 2; FGs: ASU 6-12/.500, Opp 2-8/.250; FTs: ASU 14-16/.875, Opps 4-6/.667; Wins: ASU 2, Opp 0.
Currently ASU's leading scorer averaging 14.0 points per game, senior guard Danielle Orsillo has scored in double figures in all but three contests this season. She averaged 18.0 points during ASU's recent 4-game winning streak.
The Sun Devils have averaged 15.0 turnovers in their last five contests, 4.4 below their season average (19.4).