ASU women’s basketball will look to stay perfect at home Thursday when they take on the Arkansas Razorbacks in their final game before conference play begins.
ASU is coming off of their first victory without junior Sabrina Haines, who was lost for the season after tearing her ACL Dec. 3.
The Devils decimated Idaho 77-33 to move to 8-3 on the season and 5-0 at Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe. They’ve outscored opponents by 29.4 points per game in the desert, but will face the toughest incoming road team in this season so far.
Arkansas comes in with an 8-3 record as well having won three straight games and five out of the last six.
In this stretch though, they are only 1-1 on the road. In fact, they are just 2-3 as the visiting team this season and 1-3 when playing on their opposing team’s court (not a neutral site).
Nonetheless, the Razorbacks are a dangerous team led by two dynamic scorers, Malica Monk and Devin Cosper. They average 18.4 and 17.1 points per game respectively.
It will be important for ASU to get a hot start and continue to apply pressure as Arkansas is a much better second-half team. The Razorbacks have outscored their opponents by 106 points in the second half. Arizona State cannot lower their intensity, even if they own a big lead.
Another big key for the Devils will be defending the perimeter. Arkansas likes to shoot a lot of three pointers taking nearly thirty per game.
Also, the Razorbacks have been out-rebounded by opponents this season. This is an area where the Sun Devils have shined, grabbing nearly eight more rebounds per game than their competition so far. If ASU’s bigs like Charnea Johnson-Chapman and Kianna Ibis can control the boards, the Devils will be in good shape.
This will be a tough test for ASU, but if the Devils come out energized and win the battle on the boards, they should be able to keep their perfect home record.