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Women's hoops closes out regular season in Oregon


March 03, 2011

Game Notes in PDF Format

Online Coverage: Live Audio

 

UP NEXT
The Arizona State women's basketball team closes out the regular season this week when it goes on the road to take on Oregon (Thurs., at 7 p.m. PT/8 p.m. MT) and Oregon State (Sat., at 2 p.m. PT/3 p.m. MT).

The Sun Devils (17-9, 9-7 Pac-10) come into this week's action in sole possession of third place in the Pac-10 standings. ASU leads Arizona (17-10, 8-8 Pac-10) and USC (16-11, 8-8 Pac-10), who are tied by fourth place, by one game. The outcomes of this weekend's game will determine seed Nos. 3-10 (Stanford - 1 and UCLA - 2 have already clinched the top two seeds) for next week's Pac-10 Tournament in Los Angeles.

In the bigger picture this weekend's games are of great importance for the Sun Devils as they are looking to earn a berth in the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time in seven years.

The Sun Devils came away with a split last week, defeating USC 69-55 before falling to No. 9 UCLA 61-45 on Saturday in ASU's final home game of the season. Dymond Simon (22 points) and Kimberly Brandon (15 points) combined for 37 points in ASU's win over USC. A 17-7 run in the final 4:03 helped the Sun Devils turn a four-point advantage into a 14-point win. ASU's victory was keyed by a 21-of-23, 89-percent performance from the free throw line where Simon scored half of her points (11-12 FTs).

In Saturday's game UCLA used a 17-0 run to break open the game, which was tied at 28-28 early in the second half. After posting back-to-back season lows in turnovers in wins over Washington State (12) and USC (11), the Sun Devils committed 19 turnovers against UCLA while shooting 30 percent for the 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. The Sun Devils would then alternate wins and losses in their next eight games (4-4) before their recent three-game winning streak (at UW, at WSU and vs. USC), which was snapped last Saturday against No. 9 UCLA.

The Sun Devils defeated both of this weekend's opponents at home (49-46 vs. Oregon State and 86-67 vs. Oregon) during the opening weekend of Pac-10 play. Junior forward Kimberly Brandon had back-to-back double-doubles in the two wins as she scored a (then) career-high 19 points to go along with 11 rebounds against the Beavers and then closed out the weekend by duplicating her point total (19) while also grabbing 12 rebounds. Brandon made 65 percent (17-26) of her shots in the two games. Also averaging double figures in scoring in the two wins was senior guard Dymond Simon (14.0 ppg).

Oregon (13-14, 4-12 Pac-10) also split its contests last week, defeating California 60-46 before falling at No. 2 Stanford (99-60). The win over Cal snapped a seven-game losing streak.
 
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. Vince Marotta will be on hand to call the action.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR
• ASU has won 73 percent of its Pac-10 contests (77-29) since the 2005-06 season.
• While Oregon leads the all-time series with ASU 28-27, the Sun Devils have had more success of late, having won 19 of the 23 meetings since the 2000-01 season. Oregon's 82-81 win last season in Eugene snapped a 10-game ASU winning streak in the series. The Sun Devils won the first meeting of the 2010-11 season in Tempe (86-67).
• ASU is 15-2 this season when it has outrebounded the opposition (2-7 when it hasn't).  ASU is also 14-1 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 percent in the last five minutes of those games while limiting the opposition to 34 percent. And speaking of stepping up, senior F Becca Tobin is shooting 61 percent 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 (.805) and Dymond Simon (.802) are Nos. 2 and 3, respectively, in the league.
• ASU has held the opposition to 56 or fewer points 12 times this season.
• ASU has had 15 or fewer turnovers 10 times this season with eight of those instances coming in its last 16 games. ASU had a season-low 11 turnovers last week vs. USC.
• Junior F Kimberly Brandon is averaging 13.8 points (20-34 FGs/59 percent and 14-15 FTs/93 percent) and 4.3 rebounds in ASU's last four games. In addition, she is shooting 88 percent from the line (23-26 FTs) in ASU's last 9 games.
Tenaya Watson had 13 assists and four turnovers in last week's games vs. USC and UCLA. She tied her career high with seven assists against the Bruins.
• Currently with 94 career blocks, Becca Tobin needs five more rejections to tie 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 35 RPI wins (DePaul - currently No. 12 and two wins vs. USC - currently No. 35). Six of ASU's nine losses are to teams in the top 14 of the RPI -- Tennessee (No. 2), Stanford (2x - No. 6), UCLA (2x - No. 7) and Florida State (No. 14).