January 20, 2005
Continuing a recurring theme through Pac-10 play, the Arizona State women’s basketball team will need to shut down an explosive scoring guard tonight.
Oregon State guard Shannon Howell leads the conference in scoring with 19.8 points per game and is responsible for nearly a third of her team’s points. She will be another in a long line of highscoring guards to face ASU when the Beavers take on the Sun Devils at 6:30 at Wells Fargo Arena.
The Beavers (5-11, 1-6 Pac-10) are ninth in the Pac-10, so Howell is perhaps more important to them than many of the other talented guards in the conference are to their much deeper teams.
"She’s obviously the key to their team," said guard Carrie Buckner, who will be largely responsible for shutting down Howell.
"She had 33 and 34 points last week (against Washington and Washington State). The team goes as she goes, so (defense) is going to be really important to everybody, not just me. She’s obviously a phenomenal scorer."
So far this season, the Sun Devils (12-5, 4-3) have given up more than 25 points to two guards, Candice Wiggins of Stanford and Dee-Dee Wheeler of Arizona. Then, against UCLA last Friday, the Sun Devils shut down three guards that make up one of the best backcourts in the country.
In a 44-42 win at UCLA, ASU held guard Lisa Willis to 10 points and preseason All-Americans Nikki Blue and Noelle Quinn to 10 and eight points, respectively. Quinn then injured her knee against Arizona on Sunday and will miss three to six weeks following arthroscopic surgery.
ASU coach Charli Turner Thorne said Howell represents a challenge for ASU, since she can pass the ball as well as she scores.
"She’s going to hit tough shots and she’s going to score," Turner Thorne said. "You’ve got to not foul her and try to keep her out of the paint and just limit her clean looks. She’s distributing the ball a lot more this year, too.
"She’s doing an awesome job because she’s scoring 30-plus but, if you watch the game film, she’s at the point a lot. She’s running their sets and helping everybody else get the ball."
Oregon State at ASU women
When: 6:30 p.m. today Where: Wells Fargo Arena TV: None Radio: NBC (1190 AM) Records: Oregon State 5-11, 1-6 Pac-10; ASU 12-5, 4-3