ASU women’s basketball aims to ride momentum against Oregon schools

After a pair of exciting wins in the mountains, the No. 15 ASU women’s basketball team returns home for a two-game set against the schools from the Beaver State.

The Oregon State Beavers will be in Tempe on Friday night, then the Oregon Ducks will take the court at Wells Fargo Arena on Sunday afternoon.

After playing three games in seven days and winning two of them, the Sun Devils are about to enter into a similar stretch starting Friday.
 

 

Head coach Charli Turner Thorne knows her team went through a rough stretch but thinks the coming trend will be easier.

“The difference is that all of these games are at home,” Turner Thorne said. “With this younger team I have to make sure we don’t relax. It’s a lot less wear and tear, for sure.”

Both Oregon schools are coming off of a sweep of weekend series with the schools from Washington and looking to create a real winning streak.

The Beavers (12-8, 4-4 Pac-12) are riding a two-game win streak into their Arizona trip. Oregon State has been nothing if not consistent, alternating between winning and losing streaks. The last time the Beavers haven’t won or lost straight games was a 4-1 stretch from Dec. 6-21.

Turner Thorne knows how good of a team the Beavers are and that her team cannot overlook Oregon State.

“There’s no relaxing this week,” Turner Thorne said. “Oregon State is a very good basketball team, and their record shows that.”

Oregon State is led by sophomore guard Jamie Weisner, who is averaging 14.4 points per game and is shooting 87.1 percent from the free throw line.

Freshman guard and Phoenix native Sydney Wiese will make her homecoming on Friday night. Wiese has averaged 13.3 points and 4.5 assists per game for the Beavers and is shooting 44.6 percent from the field and 41.6 percent from beyond the 3-point line.

The Beavers are 0-4 this season when facing an opponent ranked in the AP Top 25, three of those coming within eight days. Oregon State lost to No. 2 Notre Dame, No. 4 Stanford and No. 23 California in late December and early January.

The Ducks (11-8, 2-6 Pac-12) have been streaky this season. Oregon has had a win streak of seven games, immediately followed by a six-game losing streak to begin conference play before sweeping last weekend to get back on track a bit.

Offensively, the Ducks have played well all year. Oregon has averaged 95.9 points per game, but many of their highest-scoring games have come against below-average foes such as their two 130-point showings against Southern and California State University, Bakersfield. The Ducks have given up an average of 89 points per game, so even with their high-volume scoring, Oregon has not blown many teams out of the water.

In conference play, the Ducks have slowed down a bit, scoring only 83.1 points per game to their opponents’ 89.6 points. This disparity has led to a sub-.500 record against Pac-12 opponents.

The Ducks are led in scoring by freshman guard Chrishae Rowe and sophomore forward Jillian Alleyne. Both players average 21.4 points per game, but Alleyne pulls down 15.5 rebounds per game compared to Rowe’s 7.3 boards.

Freshman forward Kelsey Moos notes that her team must play better defense to be able to win games this weekend.

“We need to play team defense and definitely rebound against these teams,” Moos said.

Both teams will be coming to Tempe gunning for a win to grab some momentum heading into the second half of the conference season and spark a run of some sort.

Reach the reporter at mtonis@asu.edu or follow him on Twitter @Tonis_The_Tiger