The 9th ranked Oregon State Beavers Women’s Basketball team heads down to the desert to take on the 21st ranked Arizona State Sun Devils in game 30 of the season. Tip-off is slated for 5 PM PST on Friday, March 1st. Watch on the PAC-12 Network or check out the team’s Twitter page for other ways to follow along live. Let’s take a closer look at the Sun Devils.
Arizona State (#21 AP, 18-8 overall, 9-6 conference)
Last season: 22-13 overall, 10-8 in PAC-12 (6th), lost in second round of NCAA Tournament
When these two teams last met, Arizona State squeaked out a double-overtime victory over Oregon State, 79-76. Since Sun Devils left Gill Coliseum on January 20th, they have gone 5-3 against conference opponents. They are coming off of a winless trip to the Bay Area Schools after losing by nine to California, and 21 to #7 Stanford.
While they may rank 10th in scoring among PAC-12 schools at just 66.5 points per game, Arizona State makes up for it with defense. They hold opposing teams to 40.2 shooting percentage and a conference best 57.8 points.
According to Bracketology with Charlie Creme, Arizona State is currently slated to end up as an eight-seed in the Greensboro Region where they would head to Waco, Texas, and face off against nine-seed Tennessee. If they advance, then their next opponent would likely be #1-ranked Baylor for a rematch of their November 11th game, a contest that Arizona State held an 11-point advantage at halftime but ultimately lost.
Who to watch
#42 - Kianna Ibis, Senior Forward
The former All-PAC-12 selection had herself a day when these two teams last met. Ibis had 28 points, 13 rebounds, and three blocks, all season highs. She hasn’t had a game quite like it since, scoring over 20 points just once since then. The senior forward has hit a bit of a cold spell as well, going just 8-of-34 from the floor in her last three games. She still leads the team in scoring at 14 points per game.
#11 - Robbi Ryan, Junior Guard
While she may not be an all-conference player, Ryan is one of those players that just brings an energy and toughness, that as opposing fan, you love to hate. She is Arizona State’s most accurate three-point shooter at 39% and is third on the team in scoring at 7.1 points per game.
#22 - Courtney Ekmark, Senior Guard
A former UConn Husky turned Arizona State law student, Ekmark is the only other double-digit average scorer for the Sun Devils. She plays the most minutes and shoots the most threes, having hit more than double the number of three-pointers than the next person on the team with 51. In her last time out against the Beavers, she scored just two points, but she has now scored in double figures in seven of the last eight games since.
Arizona State already owns one of Oregon State’s five losses on the year. Can they add another to their resume and improve their NCAA position? Of course they can, but will they? I think not. The Beavers have improved their interior defense with Joanna Grymek raising her play, and revenge will be in order when they head down to the desert. Beavers win a little more comfortably than they have the last week.