(Photo: Brooke Faber/WCSN)
With a 14-game winning streak on the line, No. 8 Arizona State will travel to Eugene to take on Oregon on Friday night.
ASU (17-3, 8-0 Pac-12) is coming off two dominant victories over rival Arizona last weekend in which the Sun Devils didn’t allow the Wildcats to score 50 points in either game.
The Sun Devils have allowed an average of 47 points per game in Pac-12 play this season, and that defensive presence will be vital against an Oregon team that scores 76.1 points per game this year, good for second best in the conference.
Oregon (14-5, 3-5 Pac-12) started off the Pac-12 season with a five-game losing streak, but has managed to right the ship with three straight victories in their last three games.
The Ducks have one of the best offenses in the conference as well as Jillian Alleyne, the conference’s all time leading rebounder.
ASU will be attempting to match the program’s record for longest winning streak (15 games) with a win tonight.
Keys to the Game:
Body up Alleyne
Jillian Alleyne has been an absolute monster throghout her tenure at Oregon. She’s the Ducks’ leading scorer this season with 18.6 points per game as well as leading the conference in rebounds with over 13 per game. Everything that Oregon does as a team in centered on Alleyne’s performance, so it will be vital for ASU’s post players like Sophie Brunner and Quinn Dornstauder to keep a body on her and try to stifle her production.
Play tight defense
Oregon is the second best scoring offense in the conference at 76.1 points per game, much do to the fact that they have the Pac-12’s best field goal percentage as a team at 47.4 percent. The Ducks play an extremely smart and efficient offensive game, and this renowned ASU defense will have to step up as usual to keep Oregon in check.
Don’t let up
With a huge game against conference powerhouse No. 9 Oregon State set for Monday night, the Sun Devils could be tempted to focus more on that matchup than the Oregon game, but Oregon isn’t a team to be taken lightly. These Ducks took a good Stanford team down to the wire a few weeks back and are on a three game winning streak, so head coach Charli Turner Thorne will need to make sure that her team is locked in and focused on the task at hand before thinking about the Oregon State game.
As I mentioned earlier, Alleyne is vital to everything that Oregon wants to do, so the X-factor for tonight’s game is ASU center Quinn Dornstauder. She’s the tallest player on ASU’s roster and will need to perform at her highest level to help contain Alleyne and keep her off of the boards. Generally, Brunner will always get her rebounds, but Dornstauder has tended to be a bit more sporadic this season, so her production on the boards will be very important for the Sun Devils.
The Sun Devils will have no problem taking care of Oregon and will move on to Monday’s game against No. 9 Oregon State with the top spot in the conference on the line.