Sun Devil WBB plays makeup game at No. 19 Oregon on Tuesday
THE GAME: Sun Devil WBB (9-7, 1-2 Pac-12) at No. 19 Oregon (13-5, 6-1 Pac-12)
WHEN: Tuesday at 2 p.m. PST/3 p.m. MST
WHERE: Matthew Knight Arena • Eugene, Ore.
WATCH: Oregon Live Stream
LISTEN: 1440 AM KAZG (Jeff Munn – pregame coverage starts at 2:30 p.m. MST)
LIVE STATS: Click here
For the first time this season, the Sun Devil women's basketball team will have an opportunity to make up one of the games it had postponed when it travels to Eugene, Ore., to face No. 19 Oregon on Tuesday (2 pm PST/3 pm MST). After playing 12 games the first 42 days of the season, this will be just ASU's fifth game in the last 41 days.
The Sun Devils (9-7, 1-2 Pac-12) are coming off a 78-50 loss at No. 2 and defending national champion Stanford last Friday. ASU was paced in scoring by Jade Loville, who led all players with 19 points and surpassed 1,000 career points (now has 1,015 career points). The contest at Stanford was ASU's first road game since December 18. ASU was not able to complete the second leg of its Bay Area trip as its contest at Cal (scheduled for Jan. 30) was postponed due to health and safety protocols within Cal's program. Over the first five weekends of Pac-12 play, the Sun Devils have had only had one weekend in which they played both of the games that were originally scheduled. As of Jan. 31, ASU and Cal are tied for the fewest number of league games played among Pac-12 teams (three). The other 10 teams have played anywhere between six and eight conference games.
On paper, ASU is coming up on what figures to be the most challenging part its schedule as its next six contests are all against teams currently among the top third in the Pac-12 standings: No. 19 Oregon (13-5, 6-1/2nd place) in Eugene on Tuesday and again on Sunday in Tempe; Oregon State (11-5, 4-2/3rd place) on Friday in Tempe; No. 8 Arizona (15-3, 5-3/tied for 4th place) on Feb. 11 in Tempe and on Super Sunday (Feb. 13 in Tucson) and Washington State (13-6, 5-3/tied for 4th place) on Feb. 18 in Pullman.
After starting the season 3-3, Oregon (13-5, 5-1) has picked up wins in 10 of its last 12 contests. The Ducks are the only one-loss team in the Pac-12. Their only league loss came to the only unbeaten team in league play, Stanford, 80-67 in the Bay Area on Jan. 7.
SERIES NOTES VERSUS OREGON
• This will be the first time the Sun Devils and Ducks have gotten together since February of 2020 as both of the contests scheduled for last season were initially postponed and eventually canceled due to Covid-19 protocols.
• Although ASU has won 28 of the last 38 meetings, the Ducks have won five of the last six, sweeping the season series in 2018 (74-64 in Eugene/57-44 in Tempe) and 2019 (77-61 in Eugene/66-59 in Tempe).
• ASU's last win over the Ducks came on Jan. 10, 2020, as the Sun Devils upset the second-ranked Ducks 72-66 in Tempe. Oregon would eventually get a split in the season series after it held serve on its home floor with a 79-48 win in Eugene.
STATE OF PLAY
• Through games played Jan. 30, ASU has an NCAA Net ranking of 48, one of seven Pac-12 teams in the Top 50 (Stanford - 3, Arizona - 7, Oregon - 10, Utah - 17, Colorado - 34, UCLA 44).
• Prior to its losses vs. Utah and at Stanford, ASU had won seven times in eight games / In those contests ASU... averaged 69.3 ppg, shot 44.1 pct and 34.9 pct 3FGs while allowing only 53.5 ppg. Each figure was a big improvement from ASU's first six games (2-4 record) when it... averaged 61.3 ppg (-8.0), connected on 37.4 pct of its FGs (-6.7), 26.2 pct 3FGs (-8.7) while giving up a respectable 57.5 ppg (+4.0).
• Two Sun Devils have started every game: Jaddan Simmons and Taya Hanson – both returning starters from last season's squad.
• Simmons: Leads ASU in assists (2.9 apg/13th in Pac-12), steals (2.0 spg/4th in the Pac-12) and FTs made (48) and attempted (65) and is tied for 4th on the team in rebounds (3.4 rpg).
• Hanson: Is 2nd on the team in 3-pointers/20), tied for 2nd assists (2.3 apg), 3rd in steals (1.2 spg) and tied for 4th in rebounds (3.4 rpg). Hanson scored a season-high 17 points and tied her career high with seven rebounds in ASU's OT win over No. 22 Colorado (Jan. 21).
• Transfers Jade Loville (Boise State) and Mael Gilles (graduate transfer from Rutgers) have both started all 15 games they have played in.
• Loville: Leads ASU in scoring (16.0 ppg/5th in Pac-12), 3-pointers (25), FG pct (46.4) and 3-point FG pct. (46.3/3rd in Pac-12). On Dec. 18, Loville became the fourth Sun Devil to score 30 or more points since 2000, as the 2021 All-Mountain West honoree dropped 34 points (most in the Pac-12 as of Jan. 31) in ASU's 79-60 win over San Diego. DNP for precautionary reasons in ASU's contest vs. Colorado (Jan. 21).
• Gilles: Currently paces the team in rebounds (7.8 rpg/6th in the Pac-12), offensive rebounds (2.47 rpg/5th in Pac-12) and blocks (1.4 bpg/7th in Pac-12) and is 2nd in scoring (9.8 ppg) and steals (1.8 spg/8th in Pac-12) and tied for 2nd in assists (2.3 apg). Gilles has three double-doubles and has just missed the feat in three other contests. Gilles has grabbed 11 or more rebounds five times this season. DNP for precautionary reasons in ASU's contest vs. Lipscomb (Dec. 30).
• Jayde Van Hyfte, the only Sun Devil on last season's roster to start every game in 2019-20, made her 2021-22 debut in the season's eighth game after not having played since the 2020-21 season opener. She has started every game she has played in – ASU's last nine games – and is shooting 67 pct (14-21 FGs) from the floor.
• After starting the first seven games, Maggie Besselink missed ASU's next six games due to injury. She returned to action vs. Colorado (Jan. 21). In per-game averages, Besselink is 2nd on the team in rebounds (5.5 rpg) and offensive rebounds (2.3 rpg). Her career-high 15 rebounds in the season's second game vs. Minnesota are the most by a Sun Devil this season. Besselink started 14 of the 18 games she played in last season and led the team in rebounds (5.7 rpg/16th in the Pac-12).
• Transfers Ayzhiana Basallo (two games missed) and Isadora Sousa (10 games missed) have also missed time due to injury. Basallo is currently second on the team in 3-point FG pct. (38.9/14th in the Pac-12), is 3rd in 3-pointers (14) and 4th in assists (1.4 apg).
• Reserves: Katelyn Levings (one start/3rd on the team in rebounds - 3.6), Gabriela Bosquez (one start/shooting 83 pct/10-12 from the line, 4th on team in steals/0.6 spg and 5th in assists/1.2 apg), Sydney Erikstrup (scored career-high eight points vs. Marist) and Imogen Greenslade (grabbed career-high 11 rebounds in win vs. Harvard).
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
• As of Jan. 31, ASU is ranked among the top third in the Pac-12 in offensive rebounds per game (2nd/13.75 rpg), 3-pt FG pct. defense (2nd/28.6) and scoring defense (3rd/57.7 ppg). ASU is also 29th in the nation in shot blocks per game (4.8/5th in the Pac-12).
• Jade Loville went over the 1,000-point mark in career scoring with a game-high 19 points at No. 2 Stanford (Jan. 28). In her last nine games, Loville has averaged 18.7 ppg while shooting 50.4 pct. (63-128), including 55.6 (15-27) from long range.
• The team's active career leader in 3-pointers (131/seventh place on ASU's all-time list), Taya Hanson needs one triple to tie Briann January (132/2006-09) for sixth place, two to tie Betsy Boardman (133/2000-05) for fifth place, three to tie Crystal Cobb (134/1989-94) for fourth place and six to tie Jill Noe (137/2003-08) for third place.
• Sophomore Sydney Erikstrup graduated from Beaverton High School in nearby Beaverton, Ore., in 2020. Erikstrup helped lead her team to three consecutive state semifinals appearances. Her Beaverton squad accumulated a 23-4 record through the 2020 state quarterfinal round and was the favorite to claim the state title when the remainder of the season was canceled due to COVID-19.
• Four players have led or tied for the team lead in scoring – Loville (8x), Simmons (4x), Hanson (4x), Gilles (3x).
• Defensively, ASU has given up 55 or fewer points 9x this season. In its win over 57-52 OT win over Colorado (Jan. 21), ASU held CU nearly 18 points below its scoring average. CU's 52 points tied its lowest point total of the season . It needed the five additional minutes in OT to reach that as the Buffaloes had 46 points in regulation. ASU has allowed 13 or fewer points in a quarter 32x this season.
• ASU has allowed an average of only 57.2 ppg since the start of the 2014-15 season (a span of 240 games). It has held the opposition to 50 or less points 72 times during that stretch (68-4 in those contests).
• Including its 8-5 record this season, ASU is 81-18 (.818) in non-conference, regular season games since 2013.
• The first month of the season was punctuated by a challenging schedule for a team not only getting used to playing with one another, but also adjusting to the personnel it did not have due to injuries. Freshman post Meg Newman – one of the nation's most sought after players and ranked No. 6 at her position by ESPN.com – was lost for the season after suffering a knee injury during preseason practices. In addition, Isadora Sousa, another exciting newcomer missed most of preseason workouts due to injury.
• ASU opened the 2021-22 season splitting its first two contests, defeating Northern Colorado 71-41 (Nov. 9) before falling to Minnesota 66-59 in OT (Nov. 12). Loville (16.5 ppg) & Hanson (12.0 ppg) both averaged double figures in scoring in the two games. Gilles averaged 7.0 ppg, 5.0 rebs, 4.0 blocks and 3.0 steals. Besselink had a career-high 15 rebounds vs. Minnesota.
• Despite a strong defensive effort, ASU was not able to overcome shooting 30 percent in a 55-44 loss at BYU (Nov. 17).
• Coming off a 13-percent (3-24) outing from long range at BYU, ASU came within one 3-pointer of tying the single-game school record after hitting 13 fin an 82-53 win over Marist (Nov. 21). Ten of its triples came during a first half in which it shot a blistering 59 percent from beyond the arc.
• ASU went 1-2 at the Cancun Challenge played on Thanksgiving weekend. ASU started the tourney with setbacks against Houston (68-60) & No. 6 Baylor 62-52. In both contests, the Sun Devils fought back to get within single digits after trailing by double-figures. In the final of the three games it played in three days, ASU defeated Fordham 58-43. The Sun Devils entered the game with a record of 2-4. The win over the Rams started a sequence in which the Sun Devils went 7-1 over their next eight games.
• ASU swept its home tournament, the ASU Classic, defeating UTSA (68-44) & Harvard (91-54) to extend its winning streak to three games. Loville (13.0 ppg), Gilles (11.0 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 4.0 apg, 2.5 spg) and Basallo (10.0 ppg, 3.0 apg) were ASU's top contributors. Gabriela Bosquez (career-high nine points) and Imogen Greenslade (career-high 11 rebounds) both had strong outings against Harvard.
• Despite a career-high 18 points from Gilles, ASU had its three-game winning streak snapped at Creighton, 69-62 (Dec. 12). ASU shot 47 pct for the game, its third straight contest shooting 45 pct or higher. ASU doubled up Creighton in scoring (24-12) in the third quarter to take a five-point lead going the final frame. Creighton outscored ASU 28-16 over the last 10 minutes – the most points scored by an ASU opponent in a quarter this season – to come back and claim the win.
• On Dec. 18, Loville became the fourth Sun Devil women's basketball player to score 30 or more points since 2000, as the 2021 All-Mountain West honoree dropped 34 points (most in the Pac-12 as of Jan. 31) in ASU's 79-60 win over San Diego.
• ASU was originally scheduled to open Pac-12 play with contests at UCLA (Dec. 31) & at USC (Jan. 2). On Dec. 24, it was announced the first half of ASU's road trip to Los Angeles had been postponed. ASU announced on Dec. 28 it reached an agreement to play Lipscomb on Dec. 30 in Tempe (ASU won 70-54). On Dec. 29, it was announced the second half of ASU's trip to the City of Angles would not be happening, either. ASU also had its next four contests – vs. UW and WSU, at UO and OSU – postponed.
• Coming off an unplanned period of just over three weeks without playing a game, ASU started Pac-12 play – the final Pac-12 team to start league play – with a 57-52 overtime upset of No. 22 Colorado (Jan. 21). It followed that with a 72-63 loss at home to Utah, a game in which ASU nearly came up with what would have been the second-largest comeback in NCAA Division I history. Trailing by 29 points with two minutes remaining in the second quarter, ASU fought back to get within six points with just over two minutes remaining.
• Playing for only the fourth time in 37 days, the Sun Devils fell at No. 2 and defending national champion Stanford 78-40 on Jan. 28. ASU was not able to play the second game it had scheduled while in the Bay Area after its game at Cal (Jan. 30) had to be postponed.
WELCOME TO TEMPE
ASU added a quartet of talented and experienced transfers in the offseason who head coach Charli Turner Thorne feels has the potential to have a major impact this season. Three of the four transferred in April with 2020 Mountain West Conference Newcomer of the Year Ayzhiana Basallo being the first to officially join the program. Basallo, a 5-5 guard who will have two years of eligibility, arrived at ASU from San Jose State where she earned her degree in communication earlier this year. In her only full season at San Jose State – did not play in 2018-19 due to NCAA transfer rules and SJSU's 2020-21 season was canceled after only four games due to COVID-19 – Basallo earned the Mountain West Conference's Newcomer of the Year award for a season in which she averaged a team-high 18.5 points per game while shooting 44.7 pct from the field, 45.4 pct from beyond the arc (school single-season record) and 92.5 pct at the free throw line (school single-season record).
Jade Loville, a 5-10 wing who earned All-Mountain West honors last season, joined ASU from Boise State. In 2020-21, Loville, who has two years of eligibility, scored in double figures 19 times last season, setting the school's single-game scoring record with 40 points at UNLV on Feb. 10, 2021. She scored 20 or more points nine times and was named the Mountain West Player of the Week after averaging 26.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game in a two-game sweep of San Jose State (Dec. 31 and Jan. 2).
A 6-1 forward who originally came up through Canada's youth national teams Mael Gilles is using her fifth year of eligibility to play for ASU after spending the last four seasons with Rutgers (started 55 of 101 career games). Last season, Gilles averaged 8.1 points and 4.3 rebounds in helping Rutgers earn its highest seed in the NCAA Tournament since 2012. A starter in all 18 games she played in last season, Gilles notched six double-figure scoring efforts, including a season-high 16 points on two occasions.
In early June, ASU welcomed Isadora Sousa, a six-foot guard who played the last two seasons at Chipola College in Marianna, Fla. A native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sousa has twice been named an NJCCA All-American – third team in 2020 and second team in 2021 – by World Exposure Report. She is coming off a campaign in which she earned FCSAA/NJCAA VIII All-State, All-Panhandle Conference first-team and FCSAA/NJCAA VIII All-Tournament Team honors in helping lead Chipola to its seventh FCSAA Championship and an appearance in the NJCAA Tournament semifinals.
One of the biggest challenges ASU faced last season was overcoming its youth/inexperience as out of 120 possible starts, 95 were made by freshmen (62) or upperclassmen who were first-year starters (33). In addition to the talent they brought, just as important is the experience as Gilles (56/104), Loville (87/23) and Basallo (60/33) brought a combined 224 games of NCAA D1 playing experience, including 139 starts.