No. 25 ASU women’s basketball will look to improve to 4-0 in Pac-12 play Sunday as they host No. 24 Stanford, who also sport a 3-0 conference record.
Arizona State has impressed by winning their three Pac-12 games. Now, they have a chance to knock off storied program and 24th-ranked Stanford as they look to stay perfect at home.
ASU will enter their fourth conference game coming off of a five-game winning streak. Better yet, they are 3-0 to start conference play, last having done this in 2015-2016 where they finished 16-2 in Pac-12 contests.
However, Stanford defeated the Devils in both of their matchups last season and are 3-0 to start Pac-12 play as well.
The Cardinal don’t appear to have a gaudy record at 9-6, but five out of their six losses have come against top ten teams on the AP Poll.
ASU lost in their only game against a top ten squad when they fell to Mississippi State in Cancun.
A glaring weakness that Stanford has is turning the ball over. They have the worst turnover margin the Pac-12 while ASU happens to have the best.
Stanford’s ball movement is also suspect. They are tenth in the conference in assists and only one member on the team, Marta Sniezek, averages more than two assists per game. If ASU can trap and force errant passes, they will play right into the Cardinal’s weakness.
Brittany McPhee is Stanford’s leading scorer at 19.2 points per game. The senior is a 6-foot guard so it will be interesting to see who will guard her, as ASU does not have a guard of her size.
Perhaps they will leave that task primarily to Courtney Ekmark, who has similar size and the speed to keep up with McPhee. The key to stopping McPhee will be to keep her on the perimeter. She is a strong scorer when she gets inside, but is only shooting 24.1 percent from three.
This is a sizeable test for ASU. But if the Devils can create extra possessions by forcing turnovers, then they should control the pace of the game and stay undefeated at home.