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Women's basketball opens Pac-10 Tournament vs. Oregon State

March 08, 2011

Game Notes in PDF Format

The Arizona State women’s basketball season begins postseason play on Wednesday (noon PT/1 p.m. MT) when it faces Oregon State in the first round of the 2011 Pacific Life Pac-10 Basketball Tournament.
ASU enters this year’s tournament as the No. 3 seed while Oregon State comes in as the No. 10 seed. The Sun Devils closed out the Pac-10 regular season by winning six of their last eight contests to secure their ninth top-3 finish in the last 11 years.

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. 9 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. The Sun Devils would then alternate wins and losses in their next eight games (4-4) before finishing the Pac-10 season with wins in six of their final eight games.
Oregon State (9-20, 2-16 Pac-10) has been one of the most competitive teams in the league as 11 of its Pac-10 losses have been by single digits, including six losses by five points or less with two of those coming against the Sun Devils.

In the first meeting in Tempe on New Year’s Eve OSU missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer that would have forced OT in the Sun Devils’ 49-46 win. In that game ASU used a 15-4 run in the second half to erase a 33-28 deficit. Kimberly Brandon (19 points) and Dymond Simon (13 points) combined for 32 of ASU’s points in the win, while Sage Indendi, who is currently Oregon State’s second leading scorer (10.7 ppg), had a game-high 20 points to lead the Beavers.

In the second meeting last Saturday in Corvallis, Brandon scored 15 points and Tenaya Watson added 14 as the Sun Devils held off several Oregon State rallies to come through with a 59-54 win. Watson (11 points, 2-3 FGs, 5-6 FTs) and Brandon (10 points, 5-7 FGs) combined for 21 of ASU’s 28 points in the second half. The duo also combined to shoot 70 percent (7-10 FGs) in the final 20 minutes while the rest of the team was a collective 21 percent (3-14 FGs) from the floor.

Brandon averaged 17.0 points and 8.5 rebounds while shooting 58 percent from the floor (14-24 FGs) in the two wins. The Sun Devils averaged a +6.5 advantage on the boards in the two games, however the Beavers (22-37 FTs) shot nearly twice as many free throws as the Sun Devils (13-19 FTs).

The winner of Wednesday’s game will advance to Thursday’s (3 p.m. PT/4 p.m. MT) quarterfinal round where it will meet either sixth-seeded California (ASU 1-1 vs. Cal in 2011) or seventh-seeded Washington (ASU 2-0 vs. UW in 2011).
Wednesday’s game can be heard live on 1440 AM KAZG. Coverage will begin at 1 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.
Live streaming of the game can be seen on the Pac-10’s youtube page:

• ASU has won 73 percent of its Pac-10 contests (79-29) since the 2005-06 season and has now finished among the top three teams in the Pac-10 nine times in the last 11 years.
• The Sun Devils will be the No. 3 seed in this year’s Pac-10 Tournament. They have been seeded third on four other occasions -- 2002 (tourney champions), 2005 (tourney finalist), 2008 (tournament semifinals) and 2009 (tourney quarterfinals). The No. 3 seed has played in the final game four times, and has won the tournament two times (ASU in 2002 and UCLA in 2006).
• ASU will be seeking its second Pac-10 Tournament title. The Sun Devils won the inaugural Pac-10 Tournament in 2002, defeating Stanford in the championship game, 70-63. They have appeared in the final in three times, most recently in 2007 when they lost to Stanford, 62-55.
• Arizona State holds a 33-19 lead in the all-time series with Oregon State. The Sun Devils have won 19 of the last 20 meetings, including the last 17 in succession. Last season ASU defeated OSU 56-47 in Tempe and again 62-49 in Corvallis. Becca Tobin had six blocks in the first meeting last season, which came one block short of tying the school record. ASU won the first meeting of 2010-11, 49-46, in Tempe on New Year’s Eve and the rematch last week in Corvallis 59-54.
• ASU is 16-2 this season when it has outrebounded the opposition (3-7 when it hasn’t). ASU is also 16-1 in games it has led at the half.
• ASU is 4-0 this season in games decided by three points or less. In those contests ASU has shown a trend of stepping up when it matters most as it has shot 56 pct. in the last five minutes of those games while limiting the opposition to 34 pct. And speaking of stepping up, senior F Becca Tobin is shooting 63 pct. from the field in the second half of Pac-10 games.
• ASU is currently second in the Pac-10 in free throw shooting percentage (.726) while Tenaya Watson (.807) and Dymond Simon (.804) are Nos. 3 and 4, respectively, in the league.
• ASU has held the opposition to 56 or fewer points 13 times this season.
• ASU has had 15 or fewer turnovers 11 times this season with nine of those instances coming in its last 18 games. ASU had a season-low 11 turnovers vs. USC (Feb. 24).
• In ASU’s last six games junior F Kimberly Brandon is averaging 15.0 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.8 steals while shooting 57 percent from the field (33-58) and 91 percent from the line (20-22) during that stretch.
Tenaya Watson has tallied 19 assists in ASU’s last four games.
• Currently with 97 career blocks, Becca Tobin needs three more rejections to pass former Sun Devil Fran Ciak (1987-90) for second place on ASU’s all-time list.
• ASU began the week No. 30 in the NCAA’s RPI standings. The Sun Devils have three Top 40 RPI wins (DePaul - currently No. 10 and two wins vs. USC - currently No. 39). Six of ASU’s nine losses are to teams in the top 15 of the RPI -- Tennessee (No. 2), Stanford (2x - No. 5), UCLA (2x - No. 8) and Florida State (No. 15).