Women's basketball team of the week: Arizona State
With a defense that limited three opponents to an average of only 45.7 points per game and a combined shooting percentage of 35 percent from the field, the Arizona State Sun Devils are currently enjoying a 10-game winning streak and the accolade of NCAA.com's Team of the Week.
Arizona State improved to 13-3 overall and 4-0 in Pac-12 Conference play by virtue of wins last week over Stanford (49-31), Washington (68-61) and Washington State (63-45).
The Sun Devils put together one of school’s all-time best defensive performances in holding ninth-ranked Stanford to its fewest points ever in the 49-31 victory on Jan. 4 at home. Sophie Brunner’s 11th career double-double (12 points, 10 rebounds) led the way for the Sun Devils, while Arnecia Hawkins tied for the team lead with 12 points and Elisha Davis added nine points, six rebounds and three assists. Stanford’s previous lowest scoring effort happened more than 30 years ago on Jan. 2, 1984 in a 72-32 loss to then-No. 16 Missouri. The Cardinal connected on only 25.6 percent of its shots and did not reach a double-digit point total in any of the four quarters.
In the win at Washington on Jan. 8, four Arizona State players scored in double figures with Brunner just missing her second consecutive double-double with 15 points and nine rebounds. Also scoring in double figures for Arizona State were Davis with 13 points, Katie Hempen, 13 and Quinn Dornstauder, 12. Although the Huskies became only the second team to score 60 or more points against the Sun Devils in regulation, Arizona State still had a strong game on the defensive end as it held Washington 18.9 points below its scoring average and did not allow the nation’s No. 1 scorer, Kelsey Plum (27.9 points per game), to take control of the game. Plum, who has scored 30 or more points six times this season, had a game-high 21 points, but was only 8-20 from the field.
A career-high 19 points scored by Sabrina Haines propelled Arizona State to their latest victory on the road at Washington State on Sunday. Haines, who also grabbed a career-high six rebounds, scored 14 points in the second half.
The 10 straight wins marks the third consecutive season that the Sun Devils have had a winning streak of 10 or more games. Last season the Sun Devils won 14 straight, one short of tying the school record of 15 set by the 2008-09 team.
Arizona State returns to action this Friday, Jan. 15 when they host Colorado.
Honorable mention teams of the week: Albany, Austin Peay, Bucknell, Green Bay, Louisville, Montana State, Ohio, Purdue, Texas and UConn.