ASU women’s basketball looks to finish season strong in Oregon

After snapping its three-game losing streak with a weekend sweep over Colorado and Utah, the ASU women’s basketball team is looking at its last weekend of the regular season.

The No. 20 Sun Devils (22-6, 11-5 Pac-12) will travel up to the Beaver State for a weekend set with the Oregon schools. Friday night, ASU will take on Oregon at the Matthew Knight Arena, then will travel to Corvallis, Oreg., to play Oregon State University on Sunday.

The Ducks (13-14, 4-12 Pac-12) are a quick-shooting, high-scoring team that relies on outscoring opponents rather than defense. Oregon scores more than 93 points per game as a team, but opponents are close behind with 89.6 points per game. Those numbers switch when narrowed down to Pac-12 games with the Ducks being outscored 90.3-89.6.

 

 

Freshman guard Chrishae Rowe, a front-runner in the freshman of the year race in the Pac-12, has scored 21.8 points per game and has hauled down 6.7 assists per contest.

In the last game between these two teams, Rowe scored 39 points in a losing effort for the Ducks, something coach Charli Turner Thorne does not want to happen again.

“(Rowe) shoots with people on her or not on her,” Turner Thorne said. “She had probably her best game of her year against us, and we just have to come up with a way to stop her.”

Last year’s top freshman in the conference, sophomore forward Jillian Alleyne leads the country in rebounding at 15.7 boards per game and is second on her team with 21.4 points per game.

The Beavers (19-9, 11-5 Pac-12) have surged of late, winning seven straight games to climb into NCAA Tournament talks. If they were to make it into the field of 64, it would be Oregon State’s first trip to the Big Dance since 1996.

The backcourt has been the offensive strength for the Beavers. Freshman guard Sydney Wiese and sophomore guard Jamie Weisner have paced Oregon State in scoring, averaging 13.5 and 13.8 points per game respectively.

Turner Thorne knows how difficult it is to guard Oregon State’s varied offensive attack.

“They have great balance,” Turner Thorne said. “They shoot the three great and then they get to the rim great.”

On the defensive end, sophomore center Ruth Hamblin has been a defensive stopper and one of the best interior defenders in the country. Hamblin has blocked 104 shots this season, good enough for third in the country.

The Sun Devils know how good the post play of the Beavers can be and how crucial it is to winning.

“I think their greatest strength is their rebounding,” Turner Thorne said. “They’ve pretty much rebounded every team they’ve played. They do a really good job in that area.”

The last time the Sun Devils faced a weekend with these two schools, ASU was able to complete a weekend sweep in Tempe. ASU won those games by a combined five points, the way they’ve won games all season.

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