Sun Devil WBB begins final regular season road trip at Washington State
THE GAME: Sun Devil WBB (12-9, 4-5 Pac-12) at Washington State (16-5, 8-5 Pac-12)
WHEN: Friday at 7 p.m. PST/8 p.m. MST
WHERE: Friel Court at Beasley Coliseum • Pullman, Wash.
WATCH: Pac-12 Washington (Greg Heister, Stephanie Hawk Freeman)
LISTEN: KDUS AM 1060 (Jeff Munn)
LIVE STATS: Click here
The Sun Devil women's basketball team travels to the state of Washington for the first time since January 2020 to take on Washington State (Friday at 7 p.m. PST/8 p.m. MST) and Washington (Sunday at 12 p.m. PST/1 p.m. MST).
The team's final road trip of the regular season comes during a week like no other while competing in a season like no other. ASU's makeup game at Cal (scheduled for Feb. 16) was supposed to be the second game of a sequence in which ASU would have been playing four road games in eight days. ASU's flight to Oakland on Tuesday was aborted due to mechanical issues with its aircraft. While other alternatives were explored to travel to the Bay Area and play the game, none were deemed to be in the best interest of the health and welfare of the student-athletes. Because they did not travel to California and play Wednesday's game, the Pac-12 ruled the Sun Devils had to forfeit the game and take a loss in the conference standings. The 'loss' caused the Sun Devils to move from a tie in sixth place down to eighth place (by winning percentage).
The Sun Devils (12-9, 4-5 Pac-12), who were the last team in the Pac-12 to start conference play (Jan. 22), have won three of their last four contests that were decided on the court after a 1-3 start. Included in its recent wins were consecutive wins over No. 19 Oregon (Feb. 6) and No. 6 Arizona (Feb. 11). ASU came up just short of posting a second straight win over the Wildcats last Sunday in Tucson. With the scored tied at 57-57, Arizona scored five of the game's last six points to escape with an 62-58 win. Jade Loville (17.5 ppg), Mael Gilles (17.0 ppg) and Jaddan Simmons (11.5 ppg) all averaged double figures in scoring in last week's games against Arizona. Loville (27 points), Taya Hanson (19 points) and Gilles (19) combined for 65 points in ASU's 81-77 win over Arizona last Friday in Tempe. ASU operated at a high level of efficiency on a number of levels, shooting 91 percent (31-34) at the free throw line and 54.5 percent (6-11) from long range. Especially important in the win was ASU's performance on the boards where it was plus-14 (42-28) for the game. Gilles pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds to go with her career-high night in scoring for her fourth double-double of the season. Loville, who averaged 25.3 points during ASU's three-game winning streak, added a season-high eight rebounds.
The Cougars (16-8, 8-5) come into Friday's game in sole possession of fourth place in the Pac-12 standings.
SERIES NOTES VERSUS WSU
• The Sun Devils have been victorious in 38 of their last 45 meetings against WSU, including the last 11 in a row. The Cougars had won four straight prior to ASU's current winning streak in the series.
• In the only meeting between the two squads last season, Simmons (15 points, 6-6 FTs) and Hanson (12 points, 7-8 FTs) both scored in double figures and combined to shoot 93 percent (13-14 FTs) from the line in ASU's 67-61 win over the Cougars.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
• Through games played Feb. 16, ASU has an NCAA Net ranking of 38, one of seven Pac-12 teams in the Top 50 (Stanford - 3, Oregon - 9, Arizona - 11, Utah - 23, Colorado - 34, Oregon State - 50). Of those teams, ASU has wins over Colorado, Oregon State, Oregon and Arizona.
• As of Feb. 17, ASU is ranked among the top third in the Pac-12 in 3-pt FG pct. defense (2nd/28.9), offensive rebounds (3rd/13.0 rpg), scoring defense (4th/59.05) and rebounding defense (4th/33.05 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). In Pac-12 games, Loville currently is currently 2nd scoring (18.7 ppg). Loville, who had a season-high 8 rebounds in upset of No. 6 Arizona (Feb. 11), averaged 25.5 points during ASU's recent three-game winning streak.
• In ASU's 3 wins over ranked teams – No. 22 Colorado, No. 19 Oregon, No. 6 Arizona – Taya Hanson has averaged 15.5 ppg while shooting 43 pct from long range (6-14). In those same games, Mael Gilles has nearly averaged a double-double (10.3 ppg/9.0 rpg).
• The team's active career leader in 3-pointers (138/3rd place on ASU's all-time list), Hanson needs 23 triples to tie Kylan Loney (161/2001-05) for 2nd place. The top spot is held by Katie Hempen (185/2014-16).
• Four players have led or tied for the team lead in scoring this season – Loville (10x), Simmons (5x), Hanson (4x), Gilles (4x).
• 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... Was tied at No. 6 Arizona (57-57) with under two minutes remaining, Arizona scored five of the game's last six points to escape with an 62-58 win
• Defensively, ASU has given up 55 or fewer points 10x 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 held Oregon more than 24 points below its average in its 55-49 upset of the No. 19 Ducks (Feb. 6).
• ASU has allowed 13 or fewer points in a quarter 38x this season.
• ASU has allowed an average of only 57.4 ppg since the start of the 2014-15 season (a span of 245 games). It has held the opposition to 50 or less points 73 times during that stretch (ASU is 69-4 in those contests).
• Including its 8-5 record this season, ASU is 81-18 (.818) in non-conference, regular season games since 2013.
• 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 (3.0 apg/12th in Pac-12), steals (1.67 spg/t9th in the Pac-12), and FTs made (61) and attempted (83). Averaged 11.5 ppg in two games vs. Arizona including team-high 16 points at Arizona (Feb. 13).
• Hanson: Is 2nd on the team in 3FGs (27), is 2nd in blocks (0.7 bpg), 3rd in assists (2.3 apg) & steals (1.3 spg) and tied for 3rd in rebounds (3.5 rpg). Hanson scored 17 points in ASU's win over No. 22 Colorado (Jan. 21) and in its win over OSU (Feb. 4). She tied her career high in rebounds (7) in the win over Colorado and again in ASU's upset of No. 19 Oregon (Feb. 6). Hanson, who has made all 25 of her FTs in Pac-12 play, scored a season-high 19 points in upset of No. 6 Arizona (Feb. 11).
• Transfers Jade Loville (Boise State) and Mael Gilles (graduate transfer from Rutgers) have both started all 20 games they have played in.
• Loville: Leads ASU in scoring (16.6 ppg/3rd in Pac-12), 3-pointers (31), FG pct (45.5/14th in Pac-12) and 3-point FG pct. (44.9/4th in Pac-12) and is 2nd in FTs made (59) and attempted (78). 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. 11) in ASU's win over San Diego (Dec. 18). 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 win over Oregon State (Feb. 4). Loville scored an opponent game-high 27 points in ASU's upset of No. 6 Arizona (Feb. 11). DNP for precautionary reasons in ASU's contest vs. Colorado (Jan. 21).
• Gilles: Currently paces the team in rebs (7.65 rpg/4th in the Pac-12), offensive rebs (2.4 rpg/t6th in Pac-12) and blocks (1.22 bpg/t10th in Pac-12) and is 2nd in scoring (10.2 ppg), steals (1.7 spg/8th in Pac-12) and assists (2.6 apg). Gilles has four double-doubles and has just missed the feat three other times. She has scored in double figures 9x – including career-high 19 points (10-of-10 FTs) in upset of No. 6 Arizona (Feb. 11) – and has grabbed 10 or more rebs 6x. Followed that with 15-point performance (6-10 FGs) in the rematch in in Tucson (Feb. 13). 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 14 games – and is shooting 63.6 pct (21-33 FGs) from the floor... With ASU up by one point, took a charge in the final seconds of ASU's 81-77 win upset of No. 6 Arizona (Feb. 11).
• 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) and continued to play until missing ASU's contest vs. Oregon State (Feb. 4). Returned for ASU's rematch vs. Oregon (Feb. 6) but did not play in either of ASU's games against Arizona (Feb. 11, 13). In per-game averages, Besselink is 2nd on the team in rebounds (5.3 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).
• Ayzhiana Basallo is currently second on the team in 3-point FG pct. (38.3), 3rd in 3-pointers (18) and 4th in assists (1.5 apg). She scored 7 of her 10 points in the 3rd quarter of ASU's win over No. 19 Oregon (Feb. 6).
• Katelyn Levings (one start) has played in every game and is 3rd on the team in blocks (0.6 bpg) and offensive rebounds (1.3 rpg), is tied 3rd in rebounds (3.5 rpg) and and is shooting 86 percent (12-14) from the free throw line.
• Gabriela Bosquez (one start) has played in every game and is tied for 4th on team in steals/0.6 spg, is 5th in assists/1.1 apg and is shooting 83 pct/10-12 from the line.
• Sydney Erikstrup has played in every game and scored a career-high 8 points vs. Marist (Nov. 21).
• Imogen Greenslade has played in every game is tied for 4th in blocks (0.4 bpg) and offensive rebounds (1.0 rpg) and is shooting 51 percent from the floor. She grabbed career-high 11 rebounds in ASU's win vs. Harvard).
• Isadora Souza, who missed most of the preseason training while healing from injury, has missed 13 games this season.
• 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 its first opportunity to make up one of its seven postponements, ASU 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 Loville scored 19 of her game-high 33 points in the second half and Hanson knocked down six consecutive free throws with 17 seconds remaining to help ASU defeat the Beavers 67-57. The Sun Devils then evened the score with Oregon, upsetting the No. 19 Ducks 55-49 (Feb. 6). Loville scored 12 of her 16 points in the 2nd half and Basallo chipped in seven of her 10 points in the 3rd quarter.
• ASU split its two games vs. No. 6 Arizona, winning 81-77 in Tempe (Feb. 11) and coming just short of pulling off the sweep, falling 62-58 in Tucson (Feb. 13). Loville (27 points, season high 8 rebounds), Hanson (season-high 19 points) and Gilles (career-high 19 points/10 rebounds) combined for 65 points in ASU's win in Tempe (Feb. 11). With the scored tied at 57-57 in the second game, Arizona scored five of the game's last six points to escape with an 62-58 win. Loville (17.5 ppg), Gilles (17.0 ppg) and Simmons (11.5 ppg), who led ASU with 16 points in the rematch, all averaged double figures in the two games.