Over the Thanksgiving holiday, Arizona State (5-2) finished third in the Florida Gulf Coast Showcase. Now, they return home to take on the BYU Cougars (3-2) and the Idaho State Bengals (4-2).
The Sun Devils went 2-1 in Estero, Florida but they struggled from the field in addition to protecting the basketball. They finished the three games shooting 34 percent and turning the ball over 45 times.
BYU comes into Desert Financial Arena Friday, looking to knock off its first Pac-12 team after suffering two losses to Washington State and Utah. Before their loss to the Utes, the Cougars were riding a three-game winning streak.
In a Sunday afternoon matchup, Idaho State looks to build off its three-game winning streak, too. The Tigers haven't faired well against power-five competition, as both of their losses have been on the road at Oklahoma State and Duke.
Here are more things to watch as the Sun Devils host two games this weekend:
What Time/Where to watch
Tipoff will be Friday (6 P.M.) and Sunday (2 P.M.). The games can be viewed on the Pac-12 Live Stream.
Players to watch
BYU: 6-foot-7 senior center Sara Hamson is the player to watch for the Cougars on Friday. Hamson averages 7.6 points per game and 10.4 rebounds as a starter.
One thing to keep an eye on is her shot blocking ability. In five games, Hamson has rejected 16 shots and is a problem in the paint. Look for her to touch the ball and have multiple Sun Devils double team her.
Idaho State: 5-foot-10 senior guard Estefania Ors is someone the Sun Devils should focus their attention on in Sunday’s game. Ors has earned Big-Sky All-Conference all three years with the team, and it shows.
She leads the Tigers in scoring with 12.8 points per game and 6.2 rebounds. Furthermore, Ors shoots the ball well from the field, making 49 percent of her field goals and 39 percent from three-point range.
The Sun Devils and Cougars have faced each other once in the two programs history. BYU came to Tempe in 2010 and took down the Sun Devils 61-53.
ASU has a better record against Idaho State, as it has played three times and the Sun Devils have come out on top in all of the games.
Their first matchup in 1982 was the biggest margin of victory (98-71 ASU). Since then, the games have been closer as the Bengals lost both games by under 10 points.
Charli Turner Thorne’s comments on the upcoming games:
On playing BYU Friday: “They have a lot of posts, she's (Hamson) a good shot blocker, a great rebounder, a good rebounder. They just keep running (posts) in and they have big bodies that can rebound and score. We will have our hands full. Their two leading scorers are their guards and they are very talented. BYU is well coached and a very good offensive team, and they have had a ton of time to prepare for us. They will be prepared, as will we.”
On Idaho State come Sunday: “One game at a time. Seton (Sobolewski) does a fantastic job. I think every team left in the (non-conference) will be in the running for their conference championship. They are well-coached.”
Arizona State looks to have senior guard Kiara Russell back after battling a stomach virus the past week. Russell played against Purdue, contributing 10 points and seven rebounds in 20 minutes in the team’s 59-52 loss on Saturday.