Already with wins over ranked teams North Carolina, Syracuse and most-recently California on Friday, the No. 19 Arizona State women’s basketball team (15-2, 4-1 Pacific-12) hosts perennial power No. 4 Stanford (16-1, 5-0) at 5 p.m. Monday.
ASU Coach Charli Turner Thorne, who played for coach Tara VanDerveer at Stanford in the 1980s, was optimistic since the California game ended at 1 p.m. Friday because her team had 76 hours to rest. Usually the conference schedule dictates teams play one night then an afternoon game two days later.
“The table’s already set for us better than it could possibly be set,” Turner Thorne said. “We had the early game Friday; we had time to prep, now we have extra rest time until Monday, and that extra day for Stanford. We have two of the best of teams in the country, and we have to play them back to back. Usually that second game is tough.”
A balanced team, the Sun Devils had six players grab between four and eight rebounds against Cal and five score between eight and 13 points.
“We need to play within our mistakes, keep within our ability, rebound, take away people’s strengths, and have a defensive mindset,” ASU junior guard Promise Amukamara said. “Getting a split would be awesome, but our goal is to win both.”
Stanford’s one loss came at Connecticut, 76-57, before scoring non-conference wins over Texas, Purdue, Gonzaga, and Tennessee. Its largest margin of victory came Friday when it dominated Arizona 96-52.
“Stanford has played a tough schedule and has had success against who they played against,” Arizona coach Niya Butts said.
The Cardinal’s Wade Trophy candidate, 6-foot-4 forward Chiney Ogwumike, is averaging 27 points and 12 rebounds, and is fresh off a 12-of-13 shooting performance in Tucson. Junior guard Amber Orrange is the only other Cardinal in double figures at 10.4 points per game. In the UConn game, Ogwumike was held to 16 points on 6-of-16 shooting, and Orrange scored a career-high 22.
“We’re not really concerned who we’re playing, we want to play well,” VanDerveer said. “We have great leadership with Chiney, Sara James and Mikaela Ruef, the three seniors. We have a lot of different weapons.”
Averaging five points per game, freshman guard Karlie Samuelson scored a career-high 19 at No. 17 Colorado Jan. 12 and 16 at the Wildcats Friday. By contrast, ASU freshman Quinn Dornstauder increased her career high from six to 13 Friday versus Cal.
Following the Stanford game, ASU travels to Utah Jan. 24, and the Cardinal hosts UCLA the same day.