Sun Devil WBB hosts No. 19 Oregon in annual Pink Game for Breast Cancer awareness
THE GAME: Sun Devil WBB (10-8, 2-3 Pac-12) vs. No. 19/22 Oregon (14-6, 7-2 Pac-12)
WHEN: Sunday at 2 p.m. MST
WHERE: Desert Financial Arena • Click here for tickets
WATCH: Pac-12 Network, Arizona, Oregon (Jenny Cavnar, Joan Bonvicini)
LISTEN: KDUS AM 1060 (Jeff Munn/Maura McHugh)
LIVE STATS: Click here
The Sun Devil women's basketball team will play the fourth game of a seven-game stretch against teams currently among the top third in the Pac-12 standings when it hosts No. 19 Oregon on Sunday (2 pm MST) at Desert Financial Arena. The game vs. the Ducks will be the program's annual Pink Game for Breast Cancer awareness.
The Sun Devils (10-8, 1-3 Pac-12/8th place) started the aforementioned seven-game sequence with a 78-50 loss at No. 2 and first-place Stanford (17-3, 8-0 Pac-12) on Jan. 28. ASU then came up short in its upset bid at No. 19 and second-place Oregon (14-6, 7-2), 72-58 on Feb. 1.
The Sun Devils were looking to snap a three-game losing streak coming into Friday's game against the Oregon State Beavers (11-6, 4-3), who entered the game in third place in the Pac-12. ASU would respond to the challenge as Jade Loville scored 19 of her game-high 33 points in the second half and Taya Hanson knocked down six consecutive free throws with 17 seconds remaining to help ASU defeat the Beavers 67-57. Several Sun Devils contributed to Friday's win, including Mael Gilles (game-high eight rebounds and four assists), Jaddan Simmons (five assists) and Katelyn Levings (five points, four rebounds).
Sunday's game is a rematch of last Tuesday's game played in Eugene, Ore., a game won by the Ducks 72-58. Gilles came through with one of her best all-around games of the season with team highs in points (15), rebounds (7) and assists (career high-tying 5 assists). Trailing by three points entering the fourth quarter, ASU was outscored by the Ducks 23-12 in the final 10 minutes.
After Sunday's game, the Sun Devils will play three consecutive contests against the two teams now tied for third place in the Pac-12: No. 8 Arizona (16-3, 6-3) on Feb. 11 in Tempe and Feb. 13 in Tucson and at Washington State (14-6, 6-3) on Feb. 18.
Coming into Sunday's game, only Cal (10-5, 1-3) has played fewer Pac-12 games than the Sun Devils who had games postponed on seven different dates. The other 10 teams have played anywhere between seven and 10 conference games. Tuesday's loss at Oregon was ASU's first opportunity to make up one of the seven postponements
After starting the season 3-3, Oregon has picked up wins in 11 of its last 13 contests. Their only league losses have come to Stanford and, most recently, at Arizona on Friday.
SERIES NOTES VERSUS OREGON
• Tuesday's game in Eugene was the first time the Sun Devils and Ducks played since February of 2020 as both contests scheduled for last season were canceled due to Covid-19 protocols.
• Although ASU has won 28 of the last 39 meetings, the Ducks have won six of the last seven, 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 Oregon 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 Feb. 5, ASU has an NCAA Net ranking of 46, one of seven Pac-12 teams in the Top 50 (Stanford - 3, Arizona - 7, Oregon - 9, Utah - 17, Colorado - 36, UCLA 49).
• 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 (3.1 apg/12th in Pac-12), steals (1.83 spg/6th in the Pac-12) and FTs made (50) and attempted (67), is 4th in 3-pointers (14) and tied for 4th in rebounds (3.3 rpg).
• Hanson: Is 2nd on the team in 3-pointers (24), tied for 2nd in both assists (2.5 apg) and blocks (0.7 bpg), 3rd in steals (1.4 spg) and tied for 4th in rebounds (3.3 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). She matched her season high in scoring (17 points) in ASU's 67-57 win over Oregon State (Feb. 4).
• Transfers Jade Loville (Boise State) and Mael Gilles (graduate transfer from Rutgers) have both started all 17 games they have played in.
• Loville: Leads ASU in scoring (16.5 ppg/4th in Pac-12), 3-pointers (29), FG pct (46.3/14th in Pac-12) and 3-point FG pct. (44.6/3rd 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 Feb. 4) in ASU's 79-60 win over San Diego. She repeated the feat by accounting for 19 of her game-high 33 points (tied for 2nd-highest total in the Pac-12 this season) in the second half of ASU's 67-57 win over Oregon State (Feb. 4). DNP for precautionary reasons in ASU's contest vs. Colorado (Jan. 21).
• Gilles: Currently paces the team in rebs (7.7 rpg/6th in the Pac-12), offensive rebs (2.5 rpg/6th in Pac-12) and blocks (1.2 bpg/t9th in Pac-12) and is 2nd in scoring (9.8 ppg), steals (1.24 spg/t9th in Pac-12) & assists (2.4 apg). Gilles has three double-doubles and has just missed the feat three other times. She has scored in double figures 7x – including career-high 18 points at Creighton – and grabbed 11 or more rebs 5x . 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 11 games – and is shooting 65 pct (17-26 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 (5.3 rpg) and offensive rebounds (2.1 rpg). Her career-high 15 rebounds in the season's second game vs. Minnesota are the most by a Sun Devil this season. Besselink, who also missed ASU's game vs. Oregon State (Feb. 4), 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 (12 games missed) have also missed time due to injury. Basallo is currently second on the team in 3-point FG pct. (39.5), 3rd in 3-pointers (15) and 4th in assists (1.3 apg).
• Katelyn Levings (one start) is tied for 2nd on the team in blocks (0.7 bpg), is 3rd in rebounds (3.5 rpg) and offensive rebounds (1.3 rpg) and is shooting 90 percent (9-10)from the free throw line.
• Gabriela Bosquez (one start) is 4th on team in steals/0.6 spg and 5th in assists/1.1 apg and is shooting 83 pct/10-12 from the line... Sydney Erikstrup (scored career-high eight points vs. Marist)... Imogen Greenslade is 4th in offensive rebounds (1.1 rpg). She grabbed career-high 11 rebounds in ASU's win vs. Harvard).
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
• As of Feb. 5, ASU is ranked among the top third in the Pac-12 in 3-pt FG pct. defense (2nd/28.9) and offensive rebounds (3rd/13.33 rpg).
• Jade Loville went over the 1,000-point mark in career scoring with a game-high 19 points at No. 2 Stanford (Jan. 28). Loville had an earlier seven-game stretch in which she averaged 20.9 ppg while shooting 50.9 pct. (56-110), including 58.3 (14-24) from long range. In Pac-12 games, Loville is currently 2nd in the league in scoring (20.0 ppg).
• The Ls that could have been Ws: ASU was... outscored 12-5 in OT loss to Minnesota (Nov. 12)... within 7 points in the 4th quarter at BYU (Nov. 17)... down by as many as 17, ASU got within 5 points in the 4th quarter vs. Houston in Cancun (Nov. 25)... led by 7 in the 4th quarter at Creighton (Dec. 12)... down by as many as 29, ASU got within 6 points twice in the 4th quarter vs. Utah (Jan. 23)... entered fourth quarter at Oregon (Feb. 1) within 3 points of the Ducks.
• The team's active career leader in 3-pointers (135/4th place on ASU's all-time list), Taya Hanson needs two triples to tie Jill Noe (137/2003-08) for 3rd place. The top two places are held by Katie Hempen (185/2014-16) and Kylan Loney (161/2001-05).
• 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 this season – Loville (9x), Simmons (4x), Hanson (4x), Gilles (4x).
• Defensively, ASU has given up 55 or fewer points 9x this season. In its 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 34x this season.
• ASU has allowed an average of only 57.3 ppg since the start of the 2014-15 season (a span of 242 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 in 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.
• In their first opportunity to make up one of their seven postponements, the Sun Devils came up on the wrong end of a 72-58 decision at No. 19 Oregon (Feb. 1). Mael Gilles came through with one of her best all-around games of the season with team highs in points (15), rebounds (7) and assists (career high-tying 5 assists). Trailing by three points entering the fourth quarter, ASU was outscored 23-12 in the final 10 minutes.
• ASU entered its contest vs. third-place Oregon State (Feb. 4) having lost its last three games. The Sun Devils would respond to the challenge as Jade Loville scored 19 of her game-high 33 points in the second half and Taya Hanson knocked down six consecutive free throws with 17 seconds remaining to help ASU defeat the Beavers 67-57. Several Sun Devils contributed to Friday's win, including Mael Gilles (game-high eight rebounds and four assists), Jaddan Simmons (five assists) and Katelyn Levings (five points, four rebounds).