#19 Texas (8-2) at #22 Arizona State (6-4)
Thursday, Dec. 20, 2007 · 7:30 p.m. Central
Wells Fargo Arena (capacity 14,141) · Tempe, Ariz.
GAME DAY QUICK FACTS
RADIO: KVET 1300 AM (Central Texas): Craig Way, play-by-play; Chad Hastings, color
In the National Rankings: Texas is No. 19, Associated Press Top 25 (media poll) & No. 20 in the USA Today/ESPN Preseason Poll (coaches poll); Arizona State is No. 22 in this week's AP Poll and No. 21 in the USA Today/ESPN Poll
Texas Head Coach Gail Goestenkors (Saginaw Valley State '85): 16th year overall: 505 games: 404-101 (.800); first year at Texas: 8-2 (.800)
Arizona State Head Coach Charli Turner Thorne (Stanford '88): 15th year overall: 427 games: 249-178 (.583); 12th year at ASU: 347 games: 209-138 (.602)
All-Time Series Record: third meeting - Texas leads the series, 2-0
Texas' Home/Away/Neutral Record vs. ASU: 1-0 at home, 1-0 away, 0-0 at neutral sites
Series Win Streak: +2,
Texas Last Meeting: No. 25 Texas 76, ASU 63 (Dec. 21, 1999 in Austin)
Goestenkors All-Time vs. Arizona State: 0-0
Texas, 8-2, carries a six-game win streak into tonight's contest against Pac 10 Conference member Arizona State (6-4)... This is UT's longest win streak since Texas earned eight consecutive victories in 2004-05 over a period stemming from Feb. 9-March 9... Texas is No. 19 in the AP Poll this week (up from 20th) and No. 20 in the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll (up from 23rd last week) ... ASU stands No. 22 in this week's AP Poll and 21 in the USA Today/ESPN ranks... Texas has only played twice in the last two weeks due to fall final examinations, winning 88-41 at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (Dec. 8), followed by Sunday's 76-43 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette in Austin ... ASU is 4-2 in its last six contests and is coming off Monday's 79-49 win over Fresno State at home ... This will be the third meeting between these two squads, with Texas leading the series, 2-0.
Against the Top 25 This Year
This is Texas's second game against a Top 25 opponent, and the first contest was against top-ranked Tennessee in Knoxville on Nov. 18 ... That was Texas' third game of the year, and the Lady Vols emerged with a 92-67 win... Texas will face back-to-back Top 25 squads in its next two games ... After the ASU game, UT breaks for the Christmas holiday and resumes play at the Maggie Dixon Surf 'N Slam Classic in San Diego (Dec. 28), facing first-round opponent No. 15 DePaul.
Longhorns, Sun Devils in the NCAA Stats
In this week's NCAA Division I statistics, released Dec. 17, Texas is in the top 10 in four team categories, ranking No. 6 in field goal percentage defense (limiting opponents to 32.6 field goal percentage accuracy); No. 7 in scoring margin (+23.6, 79.8 ppg to opponent's 56.2 ppg); No. 8 in scoring (79.8); and 10th in blocked shots (62, 6.2 bpg)... Junior post Ashley Lindsey's 2.9 blocks per game rank the 6-4 junior 12th nationally in Division I block average.
ASU stands No. 10 nationally in assist average (18.8 apg), and 31st in FG percentage (.455).
That's So Raven
UT sophomore guard Brittainey Raven is UT's leading scorer with 16.5 ppg - averaging nearly 10 points a game more than she did as a freshman last year ... Raven, chosen to the eight-member Wahine Classic All-Tournament Team in Honolulu over Thanksgiving weekend, has been in double-figure scoring all 10 games ... Twice, she has scored 20-plus points, including a career-high 22 points in the season opening win over Missouri State ... Last year, playing in all 32 games for 18-14 Texas, she reached double-digit scoring 10 times - with a career-high 19 points vs. Texas A&M on Feb. 28 - and finished the year with a 7.9 ppg average... Raven is coming off a very balanced game against La-Lafayette, collecting 12 points, five rebounds, six assists and a career-high eight steals - the most steals by a UT player since Tiffany Jackson had eight against against Iowa State on Jan. 11, 2006.
Longhorn Stat Leaders
Five Longhorns are averaging 9.7 points per game or above ... Sophomore guard and team co-captain Brittainey Raven leads the squad with a 16.5 ppg average, having scored in double-figures all 10 games to date (she scored in single-digits in UT's last game of last season, so her double-digit streak began this year)...Raven is first in steals (27) after her career-high eight thefts against Louisiana-Lafayette on Sunday and ranks second in assists (33, 3.3 apg).
In the balanced scoring attack, Raven is followed by 6-2 freshman Kathleen Nash (10.3 ppg), redshirt sophomore point guard Carla Cortijo (10.2 ppg), junior Ashley Lindsey (10.1 ppg) and redshirt sophomore Earnesia Williams (9.7 ppg) ... Nash leads the team in rebounding (7.0 rpg), coming off the bench in seven of the 10 contests, while Lindsey is second (6.8 rpg) ... The squad's lone senior, guard Erneisha Bailey, chips in with 8.4 ppg and is third in rebounding (4.7 rpg)... Lindsey also ranks No. 12 nationally in blocks per game with her team-high 29 (2.9 bpg)... The assist leader is Cortijo who has dished out 52 assists (5.2 apg) ... Cortijo tied her season-high of seven assists against UT Arlington on Nov. 29.
Second in steals with 26, Cortijo also has been clutch from the free throw line, hitting 81 percent of her free throws by going 30-for-37 ... Nash leads the club in free throw percentage, as the 6-2 rookie is making 88.5 percent of her foul shots (23-26) ... She is followed by Williams, who hits 86.4 percent (19-22).
Texas is out-scoring the opposition by a +23.6 ppg margin (79.8 ppg to 56.2 ppg) - which ranks No. 7 nationally in scoring margin - and holds a +7.6 rebound edge as well (44.8 rpg to opponents' 37.2 rpg).
Using the 3-Pointer
In its last two games, the Longhorns connected on 16 3-pointers, scoring the most treys in back-to-back games this season with nine against TAMU-Corpus Christi (9-for-21, Dec. 8) and seven against UL (7-23) on Sunday ... In these games, the Longhorns connected on 37.2 percent of its treys ... This 3-point surge can in part be attributed to 5-11 redshirt sophomore Crystal Boyd's return to the lineup for the first time since last December as she battled through a series of foot fractures and surgeries ... Boyd came off the bench in the last four games, playing for the first time in nearly a year, and sank 60 percent of her treys (seven of 11)...Freshman Kat Nash has a team-high 12 3-pointers (12-33, .364)... Earnesia Williams has the second-highest percentage from long range, making six of 13 (.462).
On the year, the club is hitting 35.5 percent of its treys, making 49 in 138 attempts to average 4.9 treys per game ... This is a big improvement from last year, when Texas averaged 2.9 3-pointerrs per game ... Part of that slump from long range was due to the early-January ACL injury to sharpshooting guard Erika Arriaran, who was lost for the year and has not yet returned to play this year... In fact, despite missing the last 17 games with the injury, Arriaran STILL ended up as UT's leading 3-point scorer a year ago, sinking 26 of 65 treys .. Last year, Texas went 86-258 (.333) from 3-point range - averaging 2.69 treys per game.
A Look at ASU
The Sun Devils are coming off last year's NCAA Championship "Elite Eight" showing - the program's first regional final in five NCAA appearances ... Along the way, head coach Charli Turner Thorne's squad recorded a school-record 31 wins, finishing 31-5 overall and going 16-2 in Pac-10 play to finish second.
Texas is the third Big 12 opponent for the Sun Devils this season, and ASU is 0-2 against the Big 12 to date ... ASU lost to Texas Tech in an upset, 73-69, in Lubbock on Dec. 13 after dropping a 69-57 decision to Oklahoma in Cancun (Nov. 22) ... Injuries have slowed the Sun Devils to start this season ... ASU is led by 5-8 junior guard Briann January (10.9 ppg, team-high 4.7 apg), 6-3 junior forward Lauren Lacy (10.8 ppg, 6.2 rpg), 5-10 guard and graduate student Jill Noe (10.6 ppg, 14 3's) and 5-5 sophomore guard Dymond Simon (8.8 ppg) ...Simon missed the Fresno State game after injuring her knee against Tech, and is listed day-to-day.
The Texas-ASU Series
This is the third meeting, with Texas leading the series, 2-0 ... These two teams last met in back-to-back years in 1988-98 and 1999-2000 ... Texas won in Tempe, 77-75 on Dec. 2, 1998 and then again in Austin, 76-63 on Dec. 21, 1999 ... This is the first time that new UT head coach Gail Goestenkors, formerly at Duke, will face the Sun Devils.
Texas Against the Pac-10 Conference
ASU is Texas' only opponent from the Pac-10 Conference this regular season ... In all-time games against Pac-10 members, Texas has won 65.3 percent of those contests, going 32-17 ... Last year, Texas defeated Oregon State 65-64 on Dec. 28 in San Diego for its only game a year ago against a league team ... Against the Pac 10, UT is: 2-0 against both Arizona and ASU; 3-2 vs. Cal; 4-0 against both Oregon and Oregon State; 8-4 vs. USC; 2-3 vs. Stanford; 4-5 vs. UCLA; 2-3 vs. Washington; and 1-0 vs. Washington State.
Texas Facing Seven Teams Ranked in AP Poll
Texas has faced, or will face, seven teams a total of 11 times who are ranked in the current AP poll -- with two of them up next (Arizona State, No. 15 DePaul)... (Note: the new USA Today/ESPN poll will be released on Dec. 18)... UT will meet four Big 12 Conference squads (No. 9 Oklahoma, No. 11 Texas A&M, No. 11 Baylor and No. 20 Oklahoma State) each twice in a home-and-home format in South Division league play ... Along with Texas, all these Big 12 teams are from the South Division, as no North Division league teams are ranked at this time ... UT's first showdown against a Top 25 opponent was against No. 1 Tennessee (a 92-67 loss) ... After tonight's game, UT then faces No. 15 DePaul (Dec. 28 in San Diego).
Texas, Goestenkors Against the Top 25 All-Time
In Texas history, the Longhorns have met a Top 25-ranked (or Top 20 when the rankings went to 20 teams) 310 times ... UT's record against ranked foes is 144-166 (.465) after the loss to No. 1 Tennessee ... In 152 all-time games against Top 25 ranked opponents, UT coach Gail Goestenkors has registered an 87-65 record, for a 57.5 winning percentage, with all those games on Duke's coaching sidelines.
Big 12 Against the Top 25 This Season
Big 12 women's basketball teams have gone 5-1 vs. ranked opponents in the last two weeks, with three of the wins by unranked league squads... Last week, the Big 12 was 3-1 vs. Top 25 opponents... Overall, the Big 12 is 7-6 against Top 24 foes.
Strong Starts from Field & Free Throw Line
The Longhorns have boosted their field goal percentage and free throw percentage significantly from last year as they are employing a more up-tempo, full-court transition game under head coach Goestenkors ... Currently, Texas is hitting at a 45.9 percent clip from the floor, up from last year's 40.3 percent shooting accuracy ... The Longhorns are making 73.6 percent of their free throws to date ... Last year, UT made 69.4 percent of its foul shots ... In the last two minutes of game, Texas has hit 76 percent of its free throws down the stretch, going 20-for-26 in the final two minutes ... Leading the way at the free throw line is freshman guard Kat Nash (23-26, .885) and redshirt sophomore guard Carla Cortijo (30-27, .811).
Lindsey Movin' Up in UT Blocks Record Book
Junior post Ashley Lindsey has amassed 113 blocks in her two-plus years, including a team-high 29 this season (2.9 bpg) to rank 12th nationally in blocked shots average ... The 6-4 junior currently stands No. 8 in Texas career blocks ... With three blocks against La-Lafayette Sunday, she surpassed Carla Littleton (112 rejections, 1996-2001) for the No. 8 spot, and needs eight more blocks to tie Stacy Stephens (121, 2000-04) for the No. 7 position ... The all-time blocks leader is Ellen Bayer, a 6-9 post with 289 blocks from 1986-90.
Down the Longhorn Sidelines
· The Longhorns have great success when leading at the half, as Texas is undefeated (8-0) when leading at intermission ...
· Through 10 games, underclassmen Brittainey Raven has been the team's top scorer six times, with freshman Kat Nash gaining that honor twice and redshirt sophomore guards Carla Cortijo and Crystal Boyd once each...
· Redshirt sophomore forward and co-captain Earnesia Williams is playing just 22.0 minutes per game in her starting role, but is fourth in scoring with 9.7 ppg and fifth in rebounding (4.1) while leading the squad in 3-point percentage, making 6 of 13 treys (.462) ... Williams has been in double-figure scoring in three of the last four games, and five times in the last seven games .. in this seven-game stretch, she has 72 points and 29 rebounds...
· Freshman 6-2 guard Kat Nash gained her first three career starts at the Wahine Classic (Nov. 23-25), and responded strong...UT's second-leading scorer (10.3 rpg) and top rebounder (7.0 rpg) so far, Nash grabbed Big 12 co-Rookie of the Week honors in mid-November ... The 6-2 Nash, a Texas All-State guard and a Division I prospect in both volleyball and basketball while starring at Plano West HS, gained her first career start against Virginia, scoring a team-high 18 points on 5-for-7 shooting and a perfect 4-for-4 from 3-point range before fouling out... Against both Kentucky and UAB, Nash had seven points and seven rebounds ... Nash also is 23-for-26 in free throws, tops among the regulars with her 88.5 accuracy from the foul line ...
· Junior post Ashley Lindsey has notched double-digit scoring four times this year, including three times in the last six games... her 16 points against Kentucky (Nov. 24) surpassed her former career best of 15 points, set last year against UT-Pan American last Dec. 6, 2006
Freshman redshirt and 6-3 forward Kristen Nash is one year older than her sister, true freshman Kat Nash ... Both are in their first year of play at UT ... Kristen (2.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg) posted her best game to date against Sam Houston State (Dec. 2) ... coming off the bench to log a career-highs of nine points and five rebounds in 18 minutes of play.
Texas breaks for the Christmas holiday before returning to play in the four-team Maggie Dixon Surf 'N Slam Classic in San Diego on Friday and Sunday, Dec. 28 and Dec. 30th... UT's first round opponent is No. 15 DePaul (currently 9-0) on Dec. 28, with Appalachian State and host San Diego meeting in the other Friday first-round contest.