The Arizona State Sun Devils will host one of the most daunting home weekends in school history this Friday and Sunday when they host No. 2 Oregon and No. 3 Oregon State.
Oregon will look to spoil Arizona State’s hopes of securing a win against two top-5 teams in the same weekend, a feat that has never been done in program history.
Coming off their historic demolition of the Utah Utes last Sunday, the Ducks are pushing for their first conference road win this year with a double header against the Arizona schools.
The Sun Devils are hungry for another conference win this season, as they dropped their first two games against two top-25 teams, then-No. 10 UCLA and No. 18 Arizona. Bouncing back, the Sun Devils won their last game at the end of their Los Angeles road trip with a win against USC that snapped their two-game losing streak.
Its win against USC was the first time this season that Arizona State had been out-rebounded by its opponent, 36-30. This could be a recurring problem for the Sun Devils down the road in Pac-12 play, as Ja’Tavia Tapley stands as their tallest player at 6 foot 3. The lack of size could impact their ability to score and defend in the paint and could be something the Ducks can take advantage of in Friday’s game. Oregon has won every battle this season in points in the paint.
The No. 24 Sun Devils have proven themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the Pac-12 as a product of a collective team effort. So far this season, they have had eight different players take the lead in scoring, and despite their small size, they have shown to control the boards on almost every occasion, ranking third in the nation in offensive rebounds.
Dominating in the paint so far this season, Oregon’s Ruthy Hebard and Satou Sabally have been one of the most effective duos inside this season. Hebard currently holds as second in the nation in field goal percentage at 69.7%, and after the win against Utah, became the 12th player in NCAA history to reach 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds. Sabally continues to be a problem in the paint for opponents and is showcasing her offensive versatility as well.
Rounding out the trio of the “Big Three,” Sabrina Ionescu continues to shine as she sits at No.10 on the all-time career assist list.
The Ducks will not have the support of 10,000-plus attendees at Matthew Knight Arena cheering on the green and yellow, but will have to rely on what they have been the past few games: gritty, suffocating defense and explosive offense.
Transfer guard Minyon Moore has been the spearhead of Oregon’s clobbering defense with solid on-ball defense, forcing opponents into hard traps and long passes. She is coming off a season-high 17 points against Utah, where she showed her defensive game flowing into her offense by attacking the basket and hitting the open lanes hard. Moore will be reunited with former USC teammate Tapley this weekend, but this time on different benches.
Oregon stands at No. 2 in the nation shooting from the field at 50.7% and will need solid play from both ends on the floor Friday night against another top-25 team in Arizona. Oregon has won both of its Pac-12 meetings by a margin of 58 points and 37 points, while Arizona State is seeking to disrupt that with an upset.