February 24, 2005
With the season winding down and a five-team race for second place still going on in the Pac-10, the Arizona State women’s basketball team would be playing a big game tonight under any circumstances.
But with the Washington Huskies involved, the game takes on a whole new meaning.
"The bottom line is: It’s the final week of the season and it’s the critical time to be playing our best basketball," ASU coach Charli Turner Thorne said.
ASU looks to start a weekend sweep to position itself in the Pac-10, as well as get revenge for what looks like one of their biggest losses of the year.
On Dec. 29, the Huskies beat the Sun Devils 63-55 in the second game of the Pac-10 season; a game ASU should have won against a struggling Washington team that can only reach .500 with a sweep of ASU and Arizona this weekend.
The Sun Devils have lost their last nine games in Seattle, the last win coming in 1996.
"I think we definitely had this marked on our schedule," said ASU forward and Greenacres, Wash., native Emily Westerberg. "The record with us there is not good. It’s a challenge."
Last year, the teams played two contests that are remembered more for what happened after the games, which were split with the home team winning each.
The first, in Tempe, featured a fight between ASU fans and the father of Washington seniors Giuliana and Gioconda Mendiola, who were the subject of taunts throughout the game. Giuliana Mendiola fouled out of that game, though Washington coach June Daugherty was irate at officials because she believed Mendiola only had four fouls at the time.
The second time the teams met, in Seattle, Gioconda Mendiola slapped ASU guard Kylan Loney in a high-five line after the game. Mendiola was suspended for one game by Daugherty.
Washington at ASU women
When: 6:30 p.m. today Where: Wells Fargo Arena TV/Radio: KAZ (Ch. 27)/NBC (1190 AM)
Records: ASU 18-8, 10-6 Pac-10; Washington 12-14, 8-8