clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Ionescu’s Court: Can the Sun Devils beat the Ducks?

New, 7 comments

All rise...

NCAA Womens Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Spokane Regional James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

This Friday, at 6 PM on the PAC-12 Network, the ASU Sun Devils will attempt to dethrone the reigning Queens of PAC-12 Basketball.

No. 19 ASU has already played a handful of elite teams, but has just recently earned its first signature win of the season with their victory over then-No. 24 Cal. Now, they’ll have to play the Mighty Oregon Ducks in Eugene, Oregon.

Can the Sun Devils take down the Ducks? We’ll enter Ionescu’s Court to find out.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Pac-12 Conference Tournament-ASU vs Stanford Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

SEASON THUS FAR

RECORD: 12-4 (3-2)

BEST WINS: Utah, California

WORST LOSS: Arizona

COMMON OPPONENT(s): None

LAST 5 GAMES:

  • L (12/30) Arizona 39 - 51
  • W (1/4) Utah 65 - 63
  • W (1/6) Colorado 76 - 70
  • L (1/11) Stanford 65 - 72
  • W (1/13) California 62 - 61

SUMMARY: Despite having four losses and only one top 25 win, ASU comes into this matchup ranked number 19 in the country for good reason. Three of their four losses came to #6 Stanford, #4 Louisville and #2 Baylor; each of these teams were held below their scoring average yet still managed to walk away with the win in competitive games.

Losing close games to top ten teams is forgivable, but the Sun Devils have an ugly blemish on what would otherwise be an impressive quality-loss resumé. ASU started conference play by losing to their unranked in-state rival by a score of 39 to 51. However, they rebuilt momentum with close wins over the mountain schools, which gave their defense something to celebrate as well as Reili Richardson who hit the buzzer-beater over the Utes.

But having just beaten then-No. 24 Cal, ASU enter Matt Knight Arena having already played a handful of elite teams. The Sun Devils will try their hardest to make this a defensive game, but Sabrina Ionescu and crew won’t be happy until their score is over 100.


CONFERENCE COMPARISON*

  • SUN DEVILS score 61.4 points per game
  • DUCKS allow 58.5
  • SUN DEVILS have a 39.3% field goal percentage
  • DUCKS allow 37.7%
  • SUN DEVILS shoot 28.1% from three
  • DUCKS allow 28.8%
  • SUN DEVILS average 36.2 rebounds
  • DUCKS allow 30
  • SUN DEVILS allow 63.4 points per game
  • DUCKS score 86.8
  • SUN DEVILS allow 46.3% field goal percentage
  • DUCKS score 49.4%
  • SUN DEVILS allow 32.8% from three
  • DUCKS score 40.2%
  • SUN DEVILS Average 12.6 Assists/13.6 Turnovers

(*all stats are from conference play)


PLAYERS TO WATCH

KIANNA IBIS

6’1, Forward, Senior

Ibis has established herself as a pinnacle part of the team by becoming the active career leader in points (713), rebounds (354), and blocks (354). Her role has increased since her freshman year and is now her team’s top scorer with 13.4 points per game.

Ibis has also made her presence known on the defensive side of the ball with 23 steals and eight blocks on the season. If the Sun Devils pull off the upset, it’ll likely be due in large part to the play of Ibis.

CHARNEA JOHNSON-CHAPMAN

6’3, Center, Senior

NCAA Womens Basketball: Oregon at Arizona State The Republic-USA TODAY NETWORK

Oregon has some talented big women on their squad, which means rebounds and a solid defense under the hoop will be crucial for ASU. Charnea Johnson-Chapman has the height to compete against Oregon’s bigs but whether she has the ability to defend Ruthy Hebard is what will determine if this game is winnable for the Sun Devils.

Johnson-Chapman is averaging 6.8 rebounds and 57.3% from the floor, but if the Sun Devils have any shot at the upset, they will need to find a way to limit Oregon’s scoring opportunities while taking full advantage of their own.



IONESCU’S VERDICT

The Ducks are coming off one of their worst offensive performances of the season but have increased their defensive intensity over the last couple of weeks. ASU will attempt to turn this into a low-scoring affair, but even if they succeed, this Oregon team is leading the PAC in points scored (86.8) and points allowed (58.5).

THREAT LEVEL:

4 out of 15 triple-doubles