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Women's basketball faces USC

January 28, 2011

Game Notes in PDF Format

The Arizona State women’s basketball team concludes its road trip to Los Angeles on Saturday (2:30 p.m. PT/3:30 p.m. MT) when it faces the USC Trojans in a nationally televised contest on Fox Sports Net.

The Sun Devils (12-6, 4-4 Pac-10) come into Saturday’s contest tied for fourth place with both Arizona (13-6, 4-4) and California (12-7, 4-4) in the Pac-10 standings. All three schools lead Oregon (12-7, 3-5) and Washington State (5-15, 3-5), who are tied for seventh place, by one game and trail third-place USC by one game.

After beginning the season 3-2 the Sun Devils went on a seven-game winning streak, which included a 79-66 win over current No. 12 DePaul and a 2-0 start in Pac-10 play. ASU then traveled to the Bay Area for its first Pac-10 road trip where it fell to both Cal and Stanford. Since then the Sun Devils have gone 2-2, defeating Arizona (75-43 on Jan. 16), losing to Washington State (70-65 on Jan. 20), defeating Washington (52-49 on Jan. 22) and most recently losing to No. 11/10 UCLA 70-60 on Thursday night.

The sum of a dismal first-half shooting effort (6-24/25percent) combined with a 7-1 run by UCLA over the last 1:48 of the first half in which the Bruins doubled their six-point lead (23-17 to 30-18) equalled a big hill for the ASU to climb. ASU’s task would become even more difficult after the Bruins outscored ASU 18-9 over the first 8:26 of the second half to take a 48-27 lead.

Although the Sun Devils never got closer than 10 points the rest of the way, they were much more effective on both ends of the floor over the last 11:03 as they outscored the Bruins 33-22. During that stretch the Sun Devils made 60 percent of their shots (9-15) and got to the line with great frequency where they made 82 percent of their free throw attempts (14-17). ASU also clamped down defensively as they limited the Bruins, who shot 53 percent for the game, to 36 percent over the last 11 minutes.

Dymond Simon led the Sun Devils against UCLA with 20 points (6-10 FGs) while junior forward Kimberly Brandon added nine points and seven rebounds.

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

USC (13-6, 5-3 Pac-10) snapped a two-game losing streak on Thursday night with an 81-72 win over Arizona. The Trojans had a six-game winning streak earlier this season after starting the season 4-3. USC has won nine of its last 12 overall with all three losses coming on the road -- at UCLA (42-61), at California (71-82) and at Stanford (51-95). The Trojans have won all eight of their contests at home this season.
Saturday’s game vs. USC can be seen live on Fox Sports Net. Jim Watson (play by play) and Mary Murphy (analysis) will be calling the action.

NOTE: For viewers in Arizona, in addition to Fox Sports Arizona, the game will also be broadcast and can be seen its entirety (in the event the ASU-UCLA men’s game on Fox Sports Arizona goes long) on FOX Sports Arizona Plus: DirecTV – 685, DISH – 444, Cox (Phoenix/Tucson) – 108/608, Comcast (Tucson) -17, Qwest (Phoenix) - 999, Orbitel (Maricopa) - 144, Western (Robson Ranch, Saddlebrooke, Sun Lakes, SunBird) - 139 and NPG (Flagstaff, Kingman, Lake Havasu, Parker, Payson, Sedona) – 156.

Saturday’s game can also be heard live on The Fan AM 1060. Pre-game coverage will begin at 3 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.

• ASU has won 73 percent of its Pac-10 contests (72-26) since the 2005-06 season.
• USC has won 50 of the 65 all-time meetings against ASU, including the last three contests. USC’s win over ASU in the quarterfinals of the 2009 Pac-10 Tournament snapped a seven-game winning streak by ASU in the series. That game also represented the first time the Sun Devils lost in the Galen Center, USC’s home arena, after being victorious in their first five appearances, which included a pair of NCAA Tournament games. Last season USC swept the season series, defeating the Sun Devils 60-56 (Jan. 1) in Tempe and again 62-52 (Mar. 6) in Los Angeles.
• ASU is 11-2 this season when it has outrebounded the opposition (1-4 when it hasn’t). The only contests ASU has lost when it had more rebounds were vs. Washington State (Jan. 20) and at UCLA (Jan. 27). ASU is also 10-1 in games it has led at the half.
• The Sun Devils are No. 2 in the Pac-10 in offensive rebounds per game (16.2 o-rpg). Junior F Kimberly Brandon is fourth in the Pac-10 averaging 3.1 offensive rebounds per game.
• 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 13 games, including a season-best 22 vs. Arizona (Jan. 16).
• The Sun Devils have turned the ball over 15 or fewer times on seven occasions this season with five of those instances coming in their last eight games. They tied their season low with 13 turnovers in last Saturday’s win vs. Washington.
• Senior G Dymond Simon has averaged 17.3 points in ASU’s last 3 games (19 vs. Washington State, 13 vs. Washington and 20 at UCLA).
• Senior F Becca Tobin has made 20 of her last 21 free throws.
• ASU has two of the top four FT pct. leaders in the Pac-10 - Dymond Simon (.788 - 3rd) and Tenaya Watson (.786 - 4th). As a team ASU is No. 2 in the Pac-10 in FT pct (.699). ASU shot a season-best 91 percent (19-21) from the charity stripe in its win over Oregon on Jan. 2.