Women's Basketball Heads to Honolulu for the Rainbow Wahine Classic

Nov. 21, 2000

TEMPE, Ariz. - Asahi Rainbow Wahine Classic

Nov. 24-26, 2000 * Stan Sheriff Center * Honolulu, Hawaii

ASU Sun Devils (2-0) vs. Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks (2-0)

Friday, Nov. 24, 2000 * 1:20 p.m. HST (4:20 p.m. MST)

(All of ASU's Games on XTRA 910 AM)

Coming off two home wins to start the season, the Arizona State Sun Devils head to Honolulu, Hawaii, for the Asahi Rainbow Wahine Classic Nov. 24-26. Arizona State, 2-0 on the season after last weekend's victories over Texas-San Antonio and South Florida, will take on NCAA Tournament qualifier Stephen F. Austin in the first round of the tournament Friday and either Hawaii (2-0) or UC Irvine (2-0) Saturday. The SFA Ladyjacks are also 2-0 on the season after opening the season with victories over Alcorn State and Southern Methodist to win their own Conoco Classic tournament championship. The Sun Devils have opened the season with two wins in each of the last three seasons, while last year's team started the year 7-1, ASU's best start since the 1991-92 Sun Devils reeled off a school-record nine victories to begin the year.

With eight returning letterwinners and the addition of two Division I redshirts, a junior college standout and three talented freshmen, the Sun Devils look to improve upon the 1999-2000 campaign which saw the team notch the most overall and conference wins for ASU since the 1992-93 season and earn their first postseason invitation since 1991-92 and just the fifth in the history of the program.

Probable Starters	'00-01


#23 Betsy Boardman G/F 6-1 Fr. 9.5 5.0 Led team with 15 points vs. UTSA

#13 Leah Combs F 6-2 Jr. 4.0 4.5 Avg. 6.0 rpg over last six of 99-00

#35 Melody Johnson C 6-2 Jr. 10.5 9.0 Transfer from Colorado

#33 Natalie Tucker G 5-9 Sr. 9.0 4.5 Has started 58 straight games

#4 Amanda Levens G 5-9 Jr. 10.0 2.5* Transfer from Old Dominion

Off the Bench '00-01


#3 Liz Paulson G 5-11 Sr. 0.0 2.5* Coming off major back surgery

#11 Aubrey McFadyen G/F 6-1 Sr. 4.5 3.0 Played in 23 games last year

#12 Brett Leonard G 5-5 So. 4.5 3.5* Started seven games last year

#21 Sarah Allen G/F 6-1 So. 7.0 1.5 Scored 10 points vs. South Florida

#31 Jen Albert F 6-2 Fr. 1.0 1.5 HM USA Today HS All-American

#32 Rainy Crisp G 5-6 Jr. 1.5 2.5 Played in 22 games last year

#34 Li'i Liu G/F 5-10 Fr. 0.0 1.0 Has team's highest vertical jump

#52 Cian Carvalho F 5-11 Jr. 4.0 4.5 Transfer from Hutchinson (Kan.) CC

* assists per game

Last Time Out

Three Sun Devils scored in double figures as Arizona State cruised to a 74-39 win over South Florida Sunday at Wells Fargo Arena to improve to 2-0 on the season. Junior guard Amanda Levens led the game with 14 points, while senior guard Natalie Tucker finished with 12 points. Sophomore guard/forward Sarah Allen had 10 points, while junior center Melody Johnson fell just short of a double-double for the second straight game with nine points and nine rebounds. The Sun Devils built a 17-point lead at halftime (35-18), ending the half on a 12-5 run that included a pair of three-pointers by Tucker and one by sophomore guard Brett Leonard. ASU shot 43 percent in the first half (12-28), while the team held South Florida to just 19 percent shooting and only four field goals in the first 20 minutes.

In the second half, the Sun Devils quickly put the game away, forcing 11 turnovers in the first 14 minutes of the half to take a 65-28 lead. Levens turned in 11 of her 14 points in the second half to lead ASU to the victory, the team's largest since defeating Texas-San Antonio 70-35 in San Antonio on Dec. 19 last season. As a team, the Sun Devils dominated on the boards, finishing with a 47-25 advantage in that category including a 23-11 edge in the second half. For South Florida, no player reached double figures, while sophomore guard Aiya Shepard had eight points to lead the team.

About the Asahi Rainbow Wahine Classic

Annually one of the best tournaments in the country, the Asahi Rainbow Wahine Classic is an eight-team event held at the Stan Sheriff Center on the campus of the University of Hawaii. Six of the eight teams in this year's tournament advanced to postseason play last season including NCAA qualifiers North Carolina State, Michigan and Stephen F. Austin and WNIT participants Arizona State, Arkansas and Hawaii. Northern Illinois and UC Irvine round out the tournament field.

The trip to Honolulu marks Arizona State's first to the United States' 50th state and the first trip outside the contiguous United States since traveling to to the San Juan Shootout in in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 1996-97, Charli Turner Thorne's first season at Arizona State.

Rainbow Wahine Classic Tournament Schedule

Friday, Nov. 24

NC State vs. Northern Illinois 9 a.m.

Michigan vs. Arkansas 11:10 a.m.

Stephen F. Austin vs. Arizona State 1:20 p.m.

Hawaii vs. UC Irvine 3:30 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 25

Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 9 a.m.

Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4 11:10 a.m. or 1:20 p.m.*

Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4 11:10 a.m. or 1:20 p.m.*

Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2 3:30 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 26

Seventh-Place Game 9 a.m.

Fifth-Place Game 11:10 a.m.

Third-Place Game 1:20 p.m.

Championship Game 3:30 p.m.

* Hawaii will play in the 1:20 p.m. game Saturday

Hawaii Connections

Although this marks Arizona State's first trip to Hawaii, a pair of Sun Devil newcomers are more than a little familiar with the islands. Junior Cian Carvalho and her cousin, freshman Li'i Liu, both grew up in Hawaii - Carvalho in Kapa'a on the island of Kauai and Liu in Waianae on Oahu. Liu's sister Hedy lettered for the University of Hawaii's women's basketball team from 1997-2000.

About Stephen F. Austin

Ranked 24th in the nation in a preseason poll by womenscollegehoops.com, the Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks are off to a 2-0 start to the season with an 88-46 victory over Alcorn State on Nov. 17 and a 69-62 win over Southern Methodist the next night. Winners of 11 regular-season Southland Conference titles and 12 conference tournament championships in 13 years, SFA is again the overwhelming conference favorite in the Southland with the return of eight letterwinners and two starters. Senior Tami Rater is the team's leading scorer and rebounder this season, averaging 17.0 points and 5.0 rebounds per game.

Probable Starters '99-00

Pos. Ht. Cl. PPG RPG

#52 Amy Collins F 6-3 So. 9.5 4.0

#42 Tami Rater C 6-2 Sr. 17.0 7.0

#24 Lashinda Winters G 5-3 Jr. 16.5 4.5*

#31 Nathesia Wright G 5-10 So. 8.5 5.0

#32 Latisha Prater G 5-10 Jr. 4.0 4.0

* assists per game

In the Series

Friday's game with Stephen F. Austin will mark the first meeting between the two teams, while the Sun Devils also hold a sterling 4-0 advantage over teams from the Southland Conference including a 57-40 season-opening victory over Texas-San Antonio. Overall, the Sun Devils are 2-2 vs. the teams in the field (0-1 vs. North Carolina State, 0-1 vs. Arkansas, 2-0 vs. UC Irvine), while first meetings are possible with Hawaii, Michigan and Northern Illinois.

Notes From Beyond the Arc

Arizona State has knocked down 40.9 percent of its three-pointers (9-22) in its first two games, led by senior Natalie Tucker who was 3-of-5 including a pair of treys in the South Florida game. On the other hand, ASU's defense was just as successful beyond the arc, allowing its opponents to shoot just 18.2 percent (2-11) in the first two games. That trend is not completely out of the ordinary for the Sun Devils who have led the Pac-10 Conference in three-point field goal defense in each of the last two seasons including a 27.3 percent mark last season.

ASU in Season Openers

The Sun Devils improved to 19-7 all-time in season openers and have won four of their last five openers with last week's 57-40 win over Texas-San Antonio at Wells Fargo Arena. Under head coach Charli Turner Thorne, ASU is 3-1 to begin the year. In home openers, ASU is 20-5 all time, having won five of the last six and 13 of the last 15 games.

Head Coach Charli Turner Thorne

Since Charli Turner Thorne took over the reigns of the program in 1996-97, the Sun Devils have begun a steady climb back to the national prominence that the team enjoyed in the early 1990s. She has improved the team's wins total in her four seasons and guided ASU to three consecutive double-digit win seasons in as many years. In 1999-2000, Turner Thorne led the Sun Devils to a 14-14 regular-season record and a 7-11 mark in the Pac-10 Conference, both of which marked the school's most victories since 1992-93. Turner Thorne's Sun Devils also earned the team's first postseason appearance in eight seasons, falling to Colorado State 66-54 in Fort Collins, Colo., in the first round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament

A Springboard for the Future

Arizona 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 Slate

This 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 participant in the ASU Holiday Classic in either Kent State or UC Santa Barbara and have the chance to take on four more postseason qualifiers in the Rainbow Wahine Classic.

Home-Court Advantage

The Sun Devils turned in an 11-3 mark at home last year, including six Pac-10 Conference victories, which ranks second on the ASU list for home victories in a season with the 11-1 mark of the 1981-82 team. The 1982-83 Sun Devils hold the school record for home wins with a 12-3 mark in Wells Fargo Arena, while ASU's 78.6 winning percentage at home ranks third in school history.

ASU Picked Fifth, Sixth in Preseason Pac-10 Polls

Arizona State was picked to finish fifth in the Pac-10 Conference by the league's coaches and sixth by the media in their preseason polls, the same spots they were picked last season.

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