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@SunDevilWBB Opens Pac-12 play vs. USC on Friday

Dec 3, 2020

Game Notes PDF

WHAT: Sun Devil WBB (3-0, 0-0 Pac-12) vs. USC (1-0, 0-0 Pac-12
WHEN: Friday at 5 p.m. MST
WHERE: Desert Financial Arena • Tempe, Ariz. Note: With health and safety being the top priority, fans are currently not permitted at any sporting competition taking place on Pac-12 campuses.
TELEVISION: Pac-12 Network/Arizona/Los Angeles 
RADIO: KAZG 1440 AM (Coverage starts at 3:30 p.m. MST)
LIVE STATS: Click here


The Sun Devil women's basketball team (3-0, 0-0 Pac-12) opens Pac-12 play on Friday (5 p.m. MST) when it hosts USC (1-0, 0-0) at Desert Financial Arena. 

The Sun Devils started off the 2020-21 campaign with three wins in three games – defeated Stephen F. Austin 56-47, VCU 49-40, Saint Mary's 62-53 – as part of the Global Sports & Events Tip-Off hosted by ASU.

ASU's abbreviated non-conference schedule – in addition the Global Sports & Events tournament, ASU will also host San Diego on Dec. 13 – and expanded Pac-12 schedule – for the first time since the Pac-12 expanded to 12 teams in 2011-12, teams will play each other twice – comes amid a global pandemic that forced the cancellation of the 2020 postseason last March.

After Friday's game, ASU will open host No. 9 UCLA on Sunday in the first of consecutive games against Top 10 teams. Next Thursday, ASU will travel to Tucson for its first road game of the season at No. 7 Arizona. ASU will then close out non-conference play on Sun., Dec. 13 it hosts San Diego. The Sun Devils' final two games in the year 2020 will be on the road – at Utah (Dec. 18) and at Colorado (Dec. 20).


• Friday's game vs. USC can be seen on Pac-12 Network/Arizona/Los Angeles (Daron Sutton/Krista Blunk).  

• The game can also be heard on KAZG 1440 AM. Pregame coverage will start at 4:30 p.m. MST. Veteran broadcaster and the state of Arizona's 2010 & 2019 Broadcaster of the Year Jeff Munn is in his 17th season as the voice of ASU women's basketball. He will be joined by former Sun Devil head coach Maura McHugh.


• ASU has prevailed in eight of the last 11 meetings with six of those contests coming down to the final minute or OT. 

• In 2015 ASU had to go to double OT before coming away with a 76-73 win in Los Angeles. In 2016 Sophie Brunner converted a 3-point play with 1.4 secs remaining to lift ASU to a 69-68 win in Tempe. In the rematch in Los Angeles, ASU denied USC's attempts to tie the score twice in the final 32 secs in ASU's 50-45 win. 

• The two teams split in 2017 with each squad holding serve on its home floor: USC 65-50 in Los Angles/ASU 69-62 in Tempe. USC won the only meeting in 2018, 77-62 win in Los Angeles. 

• ASU swept the series last season, winning 63-54 in Los Angels and 76-75 (3OT) in Tempe. The latter win over USC was the 500th career victory for Sun Devil head coach Charli Turner Thorne. 


• In ASU's first three games, four different players have led or tied for the team lead in scoring: Taya Hanson (2x), Eboni Walker (2x), Bre'yanna Sanders (1x), Sydnei Caldwell (1x).

• ASU has allowed 13 or fewer points in a quarter nine times this season. 

• Including its 3-0 record this season, ASU is now 71-13 (.845) in non-conference play since 2013.    

• ASU is now 95-20 (.827) in home games the last eight seasons. ASU has won its last 28 home games vs. non-conference opponents in Desert Financial Arena.

• As of Dec. 1, ASU is ninth in the nation in scoring defense (46.7 ppg) and 16th in offensive rebounds per game (19.0). 

• ASU's Nov. 25 opener vs. Stephen F. Austin was the latest it started a season since the 1992-93 season when it opened Dec. 1 1992 at Nebraska. Friday's game vs. USC represents the earliest ASU has ever opened conference play.  

• Junior guard Taya Hanson (11.7 ppg) and sophomore forward Eboni Walker (11.3) are currently averaging double figures in scoring. Walker averaged a double-double (12.5 ppg, 12.5 rpg) in ASU's first two contests vs. Stephen F. Austin and VCU. She matched her career highs in both scoring (13) and rebounds (13) against VCU. More than half (15) of her 29 rebounds have been on the offensive end. Walker, who made her first career start vs. VCU (Nov. 27) led the Pac-12 (as of Dec. 1) in rebounds per game (9.7) and was third in offensive boards per game (5.0). Hanson matched her career highs with 14 points and six rebounds in ASU's win over SFA. Hanson currently leads the team in triples. 

• Junior guard Iris Mbulito, ASU's current leader in assists (3.0 apg) made her first career start in the season opener vs. Stephen F. Austin. 

• Freshmen Jaddan Simmons and Katelyn Levings have started each of ASU's first three games. ASU's current starting lineup –  Simmons (three starts), Mbulito (three games), Hanson (15 games), Levings (three games) and Walker (two games) – have a grand total of 26 starts between them. Outside of Hanson, ASU's other four starters have an average of 2.8 career starts. On Nov. 30, head coach Charli Turner Thorne announced that junior post Jayde Van Hyfte would miss the remainder of the season due to injury. Van Hyfte started all 31 games last season.

• Simmons became the first Sun Devil point guard to start a season opener as a freshman since 2016.  She has only had two turnovers in more than 84 minutes of play. In ASU's win over VCU, Simmons scored all seven of her points in the second half. She added a season-high eight points vs. Saint Mary's. Levings has averaged 6.0 ppg (fourth on the team) and 4.3 rpg (third on the team) while logging 22.9 minutes per game.  

• ASU has allowed an average of only 46.7 ppg, forced an average of 22.3 turnovers and held the opposition to only 36.0 percent shooting in its first three games. The 87 points allowed by ASU through the first two games were the fewest allowed by ASU in the first two games of the season since holding Illinois State (40) and San Jose State (37) to 77 to open the 2016-17 season.

• The Sun Devils had to show their toughness in the fourth quarter of each of their first two wins Against SFA, the LadyJacks got within one point (44-43) with 3:43 remaining. ASU closed the game on a 12-4 run over the final 3:33 of regulation and held SFA to just 2-of-8 shooting down the stretch. Against VCU, the Sun Devils held a 33-32 lead with 8:34 remaining and outscored the Rams 16-8 the remainder of the final quarter.