No. 14 Sun Devil WBB Goes on the Road to Face Cal and No. 13 Stanford
WHAT: No. 14/17 Sun Devil WBB (15-1, 4-0 Pac-12) at Cal (11-4, 3-1 Pac-12)
WHEN: Friday at 6 p.m. PT/7 p.m. MT
WHERE: Haas Pavilion • Berkeley, Calif.
TELEVISION: Pac-12 Networks
RADIO: NBC Sports Radio AM 1060 (coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. MT)
For the first time in a month, the No. 14 Arizona State women’s basketball team will be playing outside the state of Arizona when it travels to the Bay Area this weekend to take on Cal (Friday at 6 p.m. PT/7 p.m. MT) and No. 13 Stanford (Monday at 3 p.m. PT/4 p.m. MT).
Winners of their last 11 games, the Sun Devils (15-1, 4-0 Pac-12) enter this week’s action as one of three unbeaten teams in Pac-12 play. Current No. 9 Oregon State and Stanford have also won all four conference games they have played thus far. The Sun Devils will face the Beavers a week from Sunday (Jan. 25) at Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe. The game against Oregon State will conclude a stretch in which ASU will have faced each of the teams that were picked to finish in the top three of the Pac-12 by both the coaches (Stanford, Cal, OSU) and the media (Cal, Stanford, OSU) in the span of four games.
The Sun Devils were able to extend their current winning streak to 11 games with a trio of wins last week – vs. Washington State (78-64 - Jan. 5), at Arizona (88-41 - Jan. 8) and vs. Arizona (71-54 - Jan. 10).
Sophomore forward Sophie Brunner was recognized as the Pac-12’s Player of the Week on Monday after averaging 17.0 points and 7.7 rebounds, while shooting 68 percent from the floor (21-31) and 90 percent from the foul line (9-10) in the three wins. Brunner scored 20 of her career-high 26 points in the second half of ASU’s 71-54 win over Arizona on Saturday to help break open what was a 3-point game at the half. She also added nine rebounds, one assist and one steal over the Wildcats as she was 11-of-15 from the floor and 4-of-4 from the line. Brunner started the week with a 15-point, seven-rebound outing in ASU’s win over Washington State. She was 6-of-8 from the floor and also added seven rebounds and a career-high-tying four steals against the Cougars. She also scored 10 points (4-8 FGs) and pulled down seven rebounds in ASU’s 88-41 win at Arizona on Thursday. It’s the second straight week that the Pac-12 Player of the Week has come from Arizona State as senior guard Promise Amukamara earned the award last week.
Also averaging double figures in last week’s wins were Katie Hempen (16.0 ppg) and Promise Amukamara (10.7 ppg). Hempen started the week by scoring a career-high 21 points in ASU’s win over Washington State. Hempen (14 assists, five turnovers) and point guard Elisha Davis (21 assists, five turnovers) combined for 35 assists and only 10 turnovers in the three wins.
As a team, ASU shot 51 percent from the floor in last week’s wins, including 41 percent from beyond the arc. The Sun Devils also shot 79 percent from the line last week with Brunner (9-10), Hempen (9-9) and Davis (7-7) combining to go 96 percent from the line (25-26).
Both of ASU’s games in the Bay Area can be seen live on Pac-12 Networks. Anne Marie Anderson (play by play) and Mary Murphy (analysis) will call both contests.
Friday’s game at Cal can be heard on NBC Sports Radio AM 1060 and Monday’s game at Stanford can be heard on 1440 AM KAZG. Coverage of both contests will begin 30 minutes prior to game time. Veteran broadcaster and the state of Arizona’s 2010 Broadcaster of the Year Jeff Munn is in his 11th season as the voice of ASU women’s basketball.
SERIES NOTES VS. CAL (CAL LEADS 33-31)
• Cal took the lead in the all-time series following its 67-62 win in Tempe in 2012. The Bears also came out on top in the only meeting of 2012-13, 66-53 in Berkeley. The Sun Devils won the front end of last year’s home-and-home series, 68-59 in Tempe, before Cal came back with a 74-63 win in Berkeley.
• ASU has faced Cal more times than any other team since the 2005-06 season (20x). That stretch includes four meetings in the Pac-12 tournament over a five-season stretch (2007-11). Cal has claimed 11 of those 20 meetings.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
• Currently 15-1, ASU is off to its best start in school history (previous best start was 14-1 by 1982-83 team).
• For the second time in as many seasons, the Sun Devils concluded the non-conference portion of their schedule with an 11-1 record. ASU was joined by Oregon State (10-1) and Washington (11-1) as the only other teams in the Pac-12 with one loss in non-conference play.
• On Dec. 22 the Sun Devils made their first appearance of the season in the AP Top 25, entering the poll at No. 25. They moved up to 22nd on Dec. 29, No. 18 on Jan. 5 and are now up to No. 14 (Jan. 12). ASU was ranked as high as No. 11 in the AP poll last season.
• ASU’s current 11-game winning streak (second-best in school history) represents the 21st time since 2001 that the Sun Devils have had a winning streak of five or more games. The school record is 15 set during the 2008-09 season.
• The Sun Devils have been ranked as high as No. 1 (Dec. 7) in this season’s NCAA RPI. As of Jan. 15 they are No. 4.
• As of Jan. 14, ASU is second in the nation in 3-point FG percentage defense (21.3), 12th in FG percentage (46.4) and 13th in scoring margin (+18.4).
• The Sun Devils have won 15 home games in a row and 24 of 25 going back to last season. ASU is outscoring its opponents by an average of +19.5 ppg at home this season (10-0).
• ASU has had the same starting lineup in every game this season: G Elisha Davis, G Katie Hempen, G Promise Amukamara, F Kelsey Moos and F Sophie Brunner.
• ASU is shooting 48.0 percent from the floor during its 11-game winning streak and is outscoring the opposition by an average of 22.6 ppg.
• ASU has had 15 or fewer turnovers 10 times this season, including a season-low nine vs. Villanova (Nov. 28).
• ASU has held the opposition to 25 or fewer points in a half 12 times this season, including 13 in the first half vs. Washington (Jan. 3), which came into the game averaging 83.2 ppg. It has also held the opposition to 25 percent or less from 3-point range in nine of its 16 contests. Only two opponents – Northwestern (5 - Dec. 21) and Washington State (4 - Jan. 5) – have connected on more than three triples in a game this season.
• Nine different Sun Devils have scored in double figures this season. Of those nine, six have posted double-digits in scoring multiple times. Leading the way is Katie Hempen, who has scored in double figures 13 times. Also scoring in double figures have been Sophie Brunner (12x), Promise Amukamara (10x), Elisha Davis (7x), Kelsey Moos (6x), Quinn Dornstauder (5x), Peace Amukamara (1x), Arnecia Hawkins (1x) and Eliza Normen (1x).
• The team’s leader in steals (2.1 spg) and the top rebounding guard on the team (3.5 rpg), Promise Amukamara was named the Pac-12’s Player of the Week on Jan. 5.
• Sophie Brunner has scored 20 or more points four times this season, including a career-best 26 points in ASU’s win vs. Arizona (Jan. 10). Also ASU’s leading rebounder (7.4 rpg), Brunner was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week on Jan. 12. As of Jan. 15, Brunner is ranked No. 9 in the nation in FG percent (58.6).
• Elisha Davis has had five or most assists nine times this season, including a career-high 11 at Illinois State (Dec. 16). Equally important is she has had 10 games with two or fewer turnovers – 2 (3x), 1 (3x), 0 (4x). She has 16 assists and zero turnovers in last two games.
• Katie Hempen, who has knocked down three or more 3-pointers seven times this season, has scored in double figures nine times in ASU’s last 10 games. In ASU’s win over Washington State (Jan. 5), Hempen scored a career-high 21 points and tied her career high in 3-pointers (4) and assists (5). She has connected on 44 percent (11-25) of her 3-pointers in ASU’s last three games.
• Kelsey Moos has had seven or more rebounds eight times this season, including six times in ASU’s last eight games.
• Quinn Dornstauder currently leads the Sun Devil bench in both scoring (7.5 ppg) and rebounding (5.0 rpg) while shooting 60.0 percent from the floor. Dornstauder has scored in double figures in five of ASU’s last nine games, including a career-best 19 points at Illinois State (Dec. 16). She posted her first career double-double (11 points, 11 rebounds) vs. Yale (Dec. 28).
• ASU’s win over Vanderbilt on Nov. 30 represented its third contest this season to be decided by five or fewer points. On Nov. 25 ASU overcame an eight-point deficit in the second half to win at Miami, 65-61. The Sun Devils then used an 11-0 run in the last 2:38 to knock off Villanova (Nov. 28). Last season the Sun Devils were 12-1 in games decided by five points or less and/or overtime.
• The Sun Devils have come back to win two games this season in which they were facing a double-digit deficit – at Miami - 10 points and vs. Vanderbilt - 11 points.
• The Sun Devils were picked to finish seventh in the Pac-12 by the coaches and sixth by the media. Last season the Sun Devils were picked to finish 10th in the Pac-12 by the coaches and ninth by the media. They would go on to finish fourth in the league, were ranked as high as No. 11 in the AP poll and would advance to the second round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament, their 14th postseason appearance in 15 seasons.