Women's Basketball To Open Exhibition Season Sunday with the Chinese National Team

Nov. 4, 2000

Fresh off their first postseason invitation since 1991-92 and just the fifth in the history of the program, fifth-year head coach Charli Turner Thorne and her Arizona State Sun Devils open the 2000-01 season with high expectations. With eight returning letterwinners, two Division I redshirts, a junior college standout and three talented freshmen, the Sun Devils look to improve upon the 1999-00 campaign which saw the team notch the most overall and conference wins for ASU since 1992-93. Arizona State finished the regular season with a 14-14 overall record and a 7-11 mark in the Pac-10 (seventh in the conference) before falling at Colorado State in the first round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament. Arizona State tips off the season with a pair of exhibition games starting Sunday, Nov. 5 with the Chinese National Team followed by a contest vs. Cassovia Bardejov, a team from Kosice, Slovakia, on Saturday, Nov. 11.

ASU in the Exhibition SeasonThe Sun Devils are 5-4 in exhibition games under fifth-year head coach Charli Turner Thorne. Last year, the Sun Devils earned a split in their exhibition contests, falling to SBC Prerov of the Czech Republic 76-85 on Nov. 6 and defeating the New Zealand National Team 84-70 on Nov. 13.

A Look Ahead at the Season OpenerThe Sun Devils open the regular season Saturday, Nov. 18 against Texas-San Antonio at Wells Fargo Arena with tipoff scheduled for 7 p.m. The Roadrunners open the season with an exhibition contest against a foreign team Nov. 5 before heading to Tempe for their season opener. Texas-San Antonio returns seven letterwinners and three starters from its 7-20 team last year, including junior guard Latifa Northern who averaged 10.5 points per game in 1999-2000. Last year, the Sun Devils defeated the Roadrunners 70-35 in San Antonio. ASU dominated the entire game en route to its largest victory of the season and the biggest road win since defeating New Mexico 91-36 during the 1992-93 season.

The following afternoon, the Sun Devils take on South Florida at 1 p.m. at Wells Fargo Arena before heading to Honolulu for the Rainbow Wahine Classic Nov. 24-26.

A Springboard for the FutureArizona State's invitation to the Women's National Invitation Tournament last bodes well for the future. Of the 32 teams that advanced to the WNIT in 1998-99, seven earned NCAA Tournament bids in 2000 and nine advanced to the WNIT for a second season (a total of 16 teams in postseason play).

Tough SlateThis season, Arizona State will take on seven teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament or the Women's National Invitation Tournament last year including 2000 national runner-up Tennessee. Other NCAA qualifiers on the 2000-01 slate include Stephen F. Austin, Arizona, Oregon, Stanford and UCLA, while USC advanced to the WNIT. The Sun Devils will also face at least one more NCAA Tournament participant in their second game of the ASU Holiday Classic in either Kent State or UC Santa Barbara and have the chance to take on four additional postseason qualifiers in the Rainbow Wahine Classic.

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