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Women's basketball begins LA road trip at UCLA


January 27, 2011

Game Notes in PDF Format

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The Arizona State women’s basketball team begins one of its most difficult stretches of the season this week when it travels to Los Angeles to take on the No. 11/10 UCLA Bruins (Thurs., 7 p.m. PT/8 p.m. MT) and the USC Trojans (Sat., 2:30 p.m. PT/3:30 p.m. MT).

The Sun Devils (12-5, 4-3 Pac-10) come into this week’s contests tied for third with both Arizona (13-5, 4-3) and USC (12-6, 4-3) in the Pac-10 standings. All three schools lead Oregon (12-6, 3-4) and California (11-7, 3-4), who are tied for sixth place), by one game and trail second-place UCLA by two games. Stanford currently sits atop the league standings (16-2, 7-0 Pac-10).

ASU is coming off a split against the Washington schools in which fell to Washington State 70-65 before bouncing back to defeat Washington 52-49 on Saturday.

Senior guard Dymond Simon averaged 16.0 points in the two games to lead the Sun Devils. In the win against Washington Simon scored six of her team-high 13 points during a 9-2 run in the second half to help the Sun Devils overcome a four-point deficit on their way to the eventual win. With the Sun Devils down 44-40, Simon, who also had five steals scored ASU’s next six points over a 67-second span. She then helped culminate the run by dishing to teammate Alex Earl, who hit a three-pointer that gave ASU a lead it would not relinquish the rest of the way.

Also contributing in Saturday’s win were junior forward Kimberly Brandon (game-high 8 rebounds) and junior center Kali Bennett (7 points, 7 rebounds and tied a season high with 3 blocks).


The 49 points the Sun Devils gave up to the Huskies represented the sixth time this season that ASU has given up 50 or fewer points in a game. In addition, ASU also tied a season-low in turnovers against Washington with 13.

Thursday’s contest at UCLA begins a period that will see ASU play five of its next seven games on the road. The two home games the Sun Devils will play in that span will be against current No. 4 Stanford and California, who both defeated the Sun Devils earlier this month. The other road games in that stretch include Saturday’s game at USC and rematches with in-state rival Arizona and the Washington schools.

UCLA (16-2, 6-1 Pac-10) is off to its best start since the 1980-81 season and comes into Thursday’s contest with a streak of 10 consecutive Pac-10 wins at home. The Bruins’ success has been a product of being equally effective at both ends of the floor as they began the week among the national leaders in steals per game (fourth/14.0 spg), turnover margin (seventh/+7.28), scoring defense (21st/54.1 ppg) and field goal percentage (22nd/.446).  
 
RADIO

Thursday’s game can be heard live on The Fan AM 1060. Pre-game coverage will begin at 7:30 p.m in the Valley. Veteran broadcaster and the state of Arizona’s 2010 Broadcaster of the Year Jeff Munn is in his seventh season as the voice of ASU women’s basketball.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

• ASU has won 74 percent of its Pac-10 contests (72-25) since the 2005-06 season.
• Although UCLA has won 43 of the 68 all-time meetings, ASU has been dominant in recent years with wins in 11 of the last 15 games. UCLA’s win in the first meeting of 2009-10 in Tempe broke a seven-game ASU winning streak. The Bruins would go on to sweep the season series after defeating the Sun Devils 63-59 in Los Angeles.
• ASU is 11-1 this season when it has outrebounded the opposition (1-4 when it hasn’t). The only contest ASU lost when it had more rebounds was in its most recent loss vs. Washington State (Jan. 20). ASU is also 10-1 in games it has led at the half.
• ASU has held the opposition to 56 or fewer points nine times this season.
• ASU has had 15 or more assists seven times in its last 12 games, including a season-best 22 vs. Arizona (Jan. 16). The Sun Devils have turned the ball over 15 or fewer times on six occasions this season with four of those instances coming in their last seven games. They tied their season low with 13 turnovers in Saturday’s win vs. Washington.
• Senior F Becca Tobin is shooting 56 percent (27-48) in ASU’s last six games and has averaged 10.5 points during that span, including a career-high 24 points at California (Jan. 6). Tobin has also made 16 of her last 17 free throws.
• Junior G Alex Earl is shooting 46 percent (6-13) from 3-point range in ASU’s last four contests. Earl is currently third on the team with 13 3-pointers.
• Junior F Kimberly Brandon has grabbed 10 or more rebounds six times in ASU’s last 12 contests.
• The Sun Devils currently have two of the top three free throw percentage leaders in the Pac-10 - Dymond Simon (.792 - t2nd) and Tenaya Watson (.792 - t2nd). As a team the Sun Devils are No. 3 in the Pac-10 in FT pct (.693). ASU shot a season-best 91 percent (19-21) from the charity stripe in its win over Oregon on Jan. 2.