Women's Basketball Ends Regular Season at Home with Cal, Stanford
March 6, 2001
TEMPE, Ariz. -
Coming off a rough weekend in Oregon which saw the team lose its first back-to-back games of the season, the Arizona State Sun Devils return home to end the regular season with games against California at 7 p.m. Thursday and Stanford at 2 p.m. Saturday at Wells Fargo Arena. Heading into the weekend in second place in the Pac-10, one game behind Washington, the Sun Devils can capture a share of their first Pac-10 Conference title with two wins and an USC or UCLA victory over the Huskies in Los Angeles. A victory this weekend would also tie the school record for home wins in a single season with the 12-3 home mark of the 1982-83 Sun Devils and also mark the team's first 20-win campaign in nine years and just the fifth in school history. With a 19-9 overall record and an 11-5 Pac-10 mark, ASU has surpassed both wins totals from last season and turned in the most victories since the 1991-92 team went 20-9 overall and 11-7 in the conference en route to ASU's last NCAA Tournament appearance. The Golden Bears are tied for fifth in the league with a 12-14 overall record and an 8-8 Pac-10 mark, while the Cardinal is still in the hunt for the Pac-10 title, one game behind the Sun Devils at 16-10 overall and 10-6 in the league.
Probable Starters '00-01 Pos. Ht. Cl. PPG RPG NOTES#23 Betsy Boardman G/F 6-1 Fr. 11.8 4.3 14.9 ppg in the last eight games#52 Cian Carvalho F 5-11 Jr. 6.5 5.1 6 of her 10 points in OT at Arizona#35 Melody Johnson C 6-2 Jr. 14.5 7.0 10-10 FGs for 23 points vs. UCLA#4 Amanda Levens G 5-9 Jr. 15.4 3.5 Tied career high with 28 points at OSU#33 Natalie Tucker G 5-9 Sr. 5.0 3.7* 6th in career assists at ASU (343)
Off the Bench '00-01 Pos. Ht. Cl. PPG RPG NOTES#3 Liz Paulson G 5-11 Sr. 0.6 0.4* 3 points, 1 steals vs. the Bruins#11 Aubrey McFadyen G/F 6-1 Sr. 2.0 0.9 9.0 points per game in last two#12 Brett Leonard G 5-5 So. 3.5 1.7* Career-best 7 assists at UA#13 Leah Combs F 6-2 Jr. 4.3 4.1 Returned from knee injury last week#31 Jen Albert F 6-2 Fr. 0.7 0.4 3 rebounds in 11 minutes vs. UCLA#32 Rainy Crisp G 5-6 Jr. 2.5 1.8 4 points, 2 steals vs. the Wildcats#34 Li'i Liu G/F 5-10 Fr. 0.3 0.8 Has played in four games this year* assists per game
ExposureASU's flagship station XTRA 910 AM will broadcast both games to the Valley of the Sun with Vince Marotta calling the action. The broadcasts are also available via the ASU official athletics web site (www.thesundevils.com). Cox Communications (seen locally on Channel 9) will televise the Cal game with George Allen and Fat Lever calling the action. Fox Sports Net will televise the Stanford game to a national cable audience as its wild card selection for March 10 with Paul Sunderland and Heather Cox with the call. ASU is 8-2 when playing on live television this year, while over the last two seasons, the Sun Devils are a perfect 13-0 when appearing on Cox Communications including a Feb. 24 win at Arizona.
Senior FarewellThe Sun Devils will honor its four seniors - Aubrey McFadyen, Kellie McDanal, Liz Paulson and Natalie Tucker - who will be playing in the final home game of their Sun Devil careers Saturday vs. Stanford.
Home-Court AdvantageWith 11-3 home marks in each of the last two seasons, the Sun Devils have turned in an 22-6 mark at home in the last two seasons. Those 11 wins are tied for 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 most home wins with a 12-3 mark in Wells Fargo Arena, while the 79.0 winning percentage in each of the last two seasons ranks third in school history behind the 91.7 percentage in 1981-82 and the 80.0 percentage in 1982-83. Last year, the Sun Devils won their first eight home games of the season, while this year's squad has won its last six games and seven of its last eight at Wells Fargo Arena.
Postseason PictureArizona State is looking to make its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since the 1991-92 season and just its fourth ever showing in that tournament. In 1992, the Sun Devils earned an NCAA bid for the first time in nine years but fell in the first round to host dePaul 67-65. Prior to 1992, the Sun Devils had appeared in the 1982 and 1983 NCAA Tournaments, advancing to the Sweet Sixteen in both seasons with first-round wins. Last year, the team returned to 'March Madness' for the first time in eight years with an appearance in the Women's National Invitation Tournament, falling at Colorado State 66-54.
In the RankingsArizona State dropped out of the national Top 25 last week after climbing as high as 22nd in the Feb. 26 Associated Press poll. This week, the Sun Devils are receiving 62 votes in the AP poll (26th) and 21 votes in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll (31st). ASU had been ranked in each of the last four AP polls, marking the first time in 18 years that the team has been ranked in consecutive weeks. The Sun Devils were ranked in all 17 polls during the 1982-83 campaign, climbing as high as ninth and finishing at 17th in the final poll. ASU broke into the national top 25 three weeks ago, checking in at 23rd in the Feb. 5 Associated Press poll and marking the team's first national ranking since March 1, 1992 when the Sun Devils were ranked 25th by the Associated Press. As a team, Arizona State has been ranked a total of 38 weeks in the team's history. The Sun Devils spent most of the 1981-82 and 1982-83 seasons ranked in the national polls (32 straight weeks including all 17 polls in 1982-83). Neither Cal nor Stanford are ranked in the national Top 25, while Stanford is receiving four votes in the coaches poll.
In the Conference RaceArizona State has never won a Pac-10 Conference title in the league's 14-year existence, while the team's best finish in the Pac-10 was a tie for fourth in 1993 (10-8). The Sun Devils' most Pac-10 victories came in 1991-92 when the team notched an 11-7 record and a fifth-place finish en route to 20-9 overall mark and an NCAA Tournament bid. ASU finished third on two occasions while a member of the Western Collegiate Athletic Association (1981-82 and 1982-83), while its highest conference finish ever was a second-place showing in the Pacific West Conference in 1985-86.
Last Time OutJunior Amanda Levens matched her career high with 28 points, but it was not enough as the Sun Devils dropped their second straight game with a 72-64 loss at Oregon State on March 3. Two nights earlier, ASU fell to the Oregon Ducks 63-56 at McArthur Court.
Oregon State junior Felecia Ragland tied a school-record with six three-pointers and finished with a career-high 32 points. The Beavers made five three-pointers in the first five minutes, charging to a 21-9 lead. Arizona State closed the gap to four points (23-19) before OSU went on a 10-0 run that was highlighted by two treys from Ragland and led 43-38 at halftime.
In the second half, ASU cut the lead to 64-57 with 3:40 to play, but Ragland hit a 16-footer to increase the lead to nine points and OSU made four free throws in the final 30 seconds to seal the win.
Levens hit a career-high five three-pointers in the game. Freshman Betsy Boardman was the only other Sun Devil in double figures with 16 points, while junior Melody Johnson had eight points and seven rebounds.
In Search of 20A win in either game this weekend would mark the 20th win for the Sun Devils, the team's first 20-win season since the 1991-92 squad went 20-9 on the season. It would also be just the fifth 20-win season in the history of ASU women's basketball. ASU's other 20-win seasons came in three consecutive seasons in the early 80s under then head coach Juliene Simpson (21-11 in 1980-81, 25-7 in 1981-82, 23-7 in 1982-83). The 1981-82 Sun Devils turned in a school-record 25 wins, falling in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to eventual national champion Louisiana Tech, while the season before, ASU notched 21 victories and fell to Georgia in the championship game of the National Women's Invitation Tournament.
Injury UpdateJunior Leah Combs returned to action last weekend after missing three weeks after suffering a meniscus tear in her left knee vs. Washington on Feb. 10. The 6-2 forward had two points and two rebounds in nine minutes vs. Oregon and followed that up with six points on 3-of-3 shooting and four rebounds in 19 minutes at Oregon State. Combs, who underwent arthroscopic surgery on Feb. 15, started the first 18 games of the season and was averaging 4.3 points and 4.1 rebounds per game before her injury.
About Cal & StanfordCalifornia enters the weekend needing a pair of wins to keep its postseason hopes alive and finish at .500 for the first time since 1992-93 season. The Golden Bears bring a 12-14 overall mark and an 8-8 Pac-10 record (tied for fifth with Arizona) and have dropped three of their last four heading into this weekend's games in the desert. Cal is coming off a split with the Los Angeles schools last weekend, downing UCLA 83-59 on March 1 and falling to USC 91-74 on March 3. Senior guard Courtney Johnson is the team's leading scorer at 14.7 points per game (seventh in the Pac-10), while senior guard Kenya Corley is second at 13.4 points per game. Johnson also leads the Pac-10 in steals with an average of 3.15 takeaways per game, while junior Ami Forney paces the club and is third in the Pac-10 in rebounding with 7.8 boards per contest.
Stanford also heads to the desert after a split with the Los Angeles schools, falling to USC 62-59 on March 1 and defeating UCLA 83-69 two nights later. The Cardinal is third in the Pac-10 with a 10-6 conference record and a 16-10 overall mark and has lost three of its last five games after turning in a seven-game winning streak in January and February. Freshman Nicole Powell, a Chandler, Ariz., native, continues to pace the club and ranks among the conference leaders in scoring (13.3 ppg), rebounding (8.2 rpg), assists (4.92 apg) and steals (1.73 spg). Junior forward Lindsey Yamasaki is second on the team in scoring (12.8 ppg) and rebounding (4.4 rpg) and has averaged 20.1 points per game over the last eight contests. As a team, Stanford leads the Pac-10 in free throw percentage (.715), three-point field goal percentage (37.8) and blocked shots (5.77).
In the SeriesCalifornia leads the all-time series with the Sun Devils 20-14, although the Sun Devils snapped an eight-game road losing streak against Golden Bears earlier this season in Berkeley with a 58-47 win on Jan. 6. ASU split the series with the Golden Bears last year with a 69-59 win at home on Jan. 8 and a 60-55 overtime loss at Haas Pavilion on March 8. The Sun Devils have not won back-to-back games over the Golden Bears since ending the 1996-97 season and beginning the 1997-98 season with wins in the series.
Stanford holds a 29-9 advantage in the series with Arizona State including a 92-64 victory in Palo Alto on Jan. 4. Last year, the teams split two meetings. The Sun Devils will be looking to win their second straight home game against the Cardinal after snapping a dubious 14-game losing streak to the Cardinal with a 74-68 victory last year in Tempe on Jan. 8.
Stanford & Cal ConnectionsArizona State head coach Charli Turner Thorne is no stranger to the Stanford program, lettering four years under Tara VanDerveer. The Sun Devil mentor co-captained the 1987-88 Cardinal squad which advanced to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen. An Academic All-Pac-10 selection, Turner Thorne was twice voted Most Inspirational Player by her teammates and won Stanford's H-Block award in 1988, an honor given to the senior female student-athlete with the highest grade-point average.
Turner Thorne and assistant coach Laura Hughes also have a connection to first-year Cal head coach Caren Horstmeyer. Turner Thorne was an assistant under Horstmeyer at Santa Clara for three seasons from 1990-1993. The Broncos won three West Coast Conference titles in those three seasons including a 28-3 mark and WNIT championship in 1990-91 and a run to the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 1991-92. Hughes was a big part of the Broncos' success on the court, starting at power forward in 1990-92. She averaged 15 points and seven rebounds per game and shot a school-record 53.9 percent in her two seasons there.
Earlier This Season vs. Cal & StanfordArizona State turned in a 1-1 record in the first weekend of Pac-10 play, falling at No. 21/22 Stanford 92-64 Jan. 4 and picking up a 58-47 victory at Cal Jan. 6, the team's first win in Berkeley since 1991-92, a streak of eight consecutive road losses.
In the first game, Stanford senior Sarah Dimson scored 17 of her 21 points in the first half to lead Stanford. Freshman Nicole Powell scored 17 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, and while junior forward Lindsey Yamasaki added 21 points as the Cardinal improved to 7-0 at home and won their 12th conference opener in 15 years. For Arizona State, junior center Melody Johnson scored 19 points, while senior guard Natalie Tucker added 12 points. The Cardinal maintained a double-digit lead throughout the second half and continued to build on it until the final margin. Arizona State shot 47 percent in the first half, but the Cardinal was even better, hitting on 69 percent of their shots in the first 20 minutes. Dimson, who made her first seven shots, connected on her first career 3-pointer as time was running out to give Stanford a 49-34 halftime lead.
In the second game of the weekend, ASU overcame a 27-26 half-time deficit to defeat the Golden Bears at Haas Pavilion. Cal put together a strong first half. The Bears built leads of 16-8 (11:02) and 18-10 with 9:42 left in the first half behind eight points from junior center Ami Forney. ASU went on an 8-0 run, capped by a three pointer from freshman guard Betsy Boardman, to even the score at 18-18 with 8:03 to play. Cal led 27-26 at the half, shooting 44.4 percent in the opening stanza to the Sun Devils 37.0.
The Sun Devils gained their first lead since being up 2-0 a minute and 20 seconds into the second half at 29-27 and never surrendered it again. After having only six turnovers in the first half, Cal committed eight turnovers and was held to just one point over the first 6:25 of the second period. ASU built its lead to double digits at 48-38 with 6:14 left in the game with junior guard Amanda Levens, leading the charge with six of her eight points during that run. Arizona State converted on 17-of-25 free throws, including a 10-of-14 in the final 3:28 of the game, while Cal was just 3-of-5 from the line in the game. Boardman paced the Sun Devils with 14 points, and Johnson added 13 points and a team-high seven boards. Forney led Cal with 12 points and seven rebounds.
Levens Nearing Single-Season Three-Point MarkWith 55 three-pointers on the year, including a career-high 5-off-8 performance at Oregon State last weekend, junior Amanda Levens needs just one three-pointer to tie the school single-season record of 56 set by Crystal Cobb in 1990-91. Her 55 treys also already put her into eighth place on the ASU career chart in that category. Levens has met success on 43.3 percent of her attempts this season and is shooting better from three-point land than she is from the field (43.3 to 39.0 percent). In the last eight games, she has shot 50 percent from beyond the arc (24-48). The 5-9 junior ranks third in the Pac-10 in three-point field goal percentage and fourth in three-pointers made (1.96 treys per game). She has hit at least three treys in five of the last eight games and at least one in each of the past 13 games. In those 13 games, Leven has been successful on 50.8 percent of her attempts (31-61). Her best performance from three-point land this season was a then career-high 4-of-4 three-pointers in ASU's win over Washington State on Jan. 13, while she surpassed that with a career-best five three-pointers at Oregon State last Saturday.
Levens has drained at least one three-pointer in 24 games and more than one in 18 of those contests, while freshman Betsy Boardman has at least one trey in 19 games. Boardman has hit 36.7 percent of her attempts (33-90) including a stellar 3-of-4 effort from beyond the arc vs. Oregon Feb. 3, a 2-of-3 showing at Washington State Feb. 8. and a 2-of-2 effort at Arizona Feb. 24.
As a team. Arizona State has knocked down 35.9 percent of its three-pointers (124-345), which ranks second in the conference. In conference play, the Sun Devils are third in the league, draining 37.1 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc (73-197). The team has had eight treys on three occasions (most recently vs. UCLA on Feb. 17), which was one shy of the school single-game record of nine treys.
SINGLE-SEASON THREE-POINTERS MADE1. 56 Crystal Cobb 1990-912. 55 Amanda Levens 2000-013. 52 Ryneldi Becenti 1992-934. 49 Crystal Cobb 1991-925. 47 Molly Tuter 1996-976. 44 Stephanie Freeman 1997-987. 38 Ryneldi Becenti 1991-92 Molly Tuter 1995-969. 34 Rosalind Senior 1988-89 34 Kristine Sand 1999-00
Tucker's TaleSenior point guard Natalie Tucker has started 84 consecutive games, every game of her three-year career at Arizona State. Since transferring to ASU from Texas A&M following the 1996-97 season, Tucker has proved to be a beacon of consistency for the Sun Devils. She has led the team in assists in each of the last three seasons, averaging 3.7 assists per game this season and 4.1 per contest in her career. Tucker has topped the century mark in assists in each of the last three seasons including 103 so far this year. Tucker ranks sixth at ASU in career assists (343) and also appears in the top 10 in career free throw percentage and three-pointers made.
As Emeril Would Say...A number of Sun Devils have kicked it up a notch in Pac-10 play. In fact, six players have increased or matched their scoring averages, six have upped their rebounding averages and six have better shooting percentages in conference action. Junior Melody Johnson leads that group, averaging 15.6 points and 7.3 rebounds per league game (up from 14.5 ppg and 7.0 rpg in all games). The 6-2 junior is also shooting 58.4 percent from the field in Pac-10 games (compared to 56.5 percent in all games). Over the last eight games, Johnson has averaged 16.0 points and shot 60 percent from the field (51-85). Freshman Betsy Boardman has upped her scoring and rebounding to 12.6 ppg and 5.3 rpg (compared to 11.8 ppg and 4.3 rpg), while junior Amanda Levens is averaging 3.3 assists per game (10th in the Pac-10) in conference play (up from 2.9 assists per game in all games), including an average of 4.6 per game over the last five. Leven is also shooting 46.1 percent from three-point land compared to a 43.3 percent from beyond the arc in all games.
Keeping 'Em Off the ScoreboardArizona State leads the Pac-10 Conference in scoring defense, allowing just 61.3 points per game so far this season. ASU has held six opponents to 50 points or less this season including 47 by Cal on Jan. 6 and 51 points by Oregon State on Feb. 1, while four of those teams have managed 45 points or less (with a season-low 39 by South Florida). ASU held then No. 2 Tennessee to just 67 points, 16.4 points short of the Lady Vols' season average of 83.4, while conference scoring leader Arizona had just 57 and 67 points in both games vs. the Sun Devils compared to its season average of 80.9. Prior to ASU's 58-47 win at Cal, the last time ASU held a Pac-10 opponent under 50 points was in 1997-98 with a 69-49 win over Oregon State in Tempe, while 47 is the fewest points for a league opponent since defeating Oregon 79-42 in Tempe on Jan. 30, 1992. Prior to that, ASU had never held a Pac-10 opponent to less than 50 points on the road in the previous 14 years of conference play.
Taking Care of the BallArizona State is averaging a Pac-10 low 17.0 turnovers per game in 2000-01 which may not sound so good until you consider that the team had 20.5 turnovers per game last season. The Sun Devils turned in a season-low nine turnovers vs. La Salle and has had 16 or less giveaways in 11 of the team's 28 games this year. The Sun Devils have also won the turnover battle (having fewer turnovers than their opponents) in 19 of 28 games including a 24-21 advantage over then No. 2 Tennessee and a 20-11 edge at then No. 21/22 Stanford. Last year, the lowest turnover total for the team was 13 in their final game of the season in the WNIT vs. Colorado State.
The Sun Devils are second in the Pac-10 in turnover margin, forcing 2.46 more turnovers than they commit per game. ASU is also fifth in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio at 0.83 (398 assists to 477 turnovers). Senior Natalie Tucker, who leads the team with an average of 3.7 assists per game (seventh in the Pac-10), is fourth in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.66).
Comeback KidsCounting their Feb. 15 victory over USC, the Sun Devils have overcome four halftime deficits for victory this season and are 4-8 overall when trailing at halftime. ASU has trailed at the half in five of their last seven games and come up with victories in two of those contests. Their previous three wins after trailing at halftime had been on the road (at Northern Arizona, at California, at Washington State).
Tough on the BoardsArizona State also leads the league in rebounding defense, allowing just 34.9 boards per game. In ASU's last five home games, the Sun Devils have allowed their opponents just 29.8 rebounds per game including a season-low 21 by the Oregon Ducks Feb. 3. As a team, ASU averages 35.2 rebounds per contest, which is ninth in the league, but has won the battle of the boards in 16 of its 28 games and is 13-3 in those games. The team's only losses when outrebounding its opponent came against Washington Jan. 11 in Tempe, at Oregon on March 1 and at Oregon State on March 3. Washington came into the game leading the Pac-10 in rebounding but lost that battle to the Sun Devils 40-35.
First and Facts About This SeasonSo far this season, the Sun Devils have accomplished a number of things that the team has not done in at least seven years:
* The Sun Devils won seven consecutive Pac-10 games (Jan. 11 to Feb. 8) for the first time in school history and turned in their longest overall winning streak since the 1991-92 squad opened the season with a school-record nine wins.
* ASU has defeated USC and UCLA twice this year, marking the first season sweeps over those schools in ASU history.
* Arizona State has also cracked the national top 25 for the first time since 1991-92 and has been ranked in consecutive weeks for the first time since 1982-83.
* ASU earned its first victory over Arizona in seven years, snapping a 14-game losing streak with its 67-57 win on Jan. 27, and then completed the first season sweep of the Wildcats since the 1992-93 season with a Feb. 24 win in Tucson, the team's first win at McKale Center in eight tries.
* ASU's win over the No. 22/21 Ducks on Feb. 3 ended an 11-game skid vs. Oregon.
* The Sun Devils have upset three ranked opponents this season which the team had not done in a single season since the 1991-92 NCAA Tournament-bound Sun Devils downed No. 17 Kansas, No. 21 Cal and No. 5 Stanford.
* With wins at UCLA and USC, Arizona State completed its first Pac-10 Conference road sweep since 1992-93 and notched its first sweep over the Los Angeles schools since the 1981-82 season and the first ever on the road.
* ASU's win at UCLA snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Bruins and marked the team's first victory at Pauley Pavilion since 1991-92, while the Sun Devils' victory at Cal also marked the first for the team since that same season.
Bench ProductionWhile Arizona State's bench turned in a season-low two points at Washington on Feb. 10, the team has averaged 14.9 bench points per game this year. In last weekend's losses, ASU had just 12 points from its bench (including just four points at Oregon), while the team is 9-1 on the year when outscoring its opponent's bench (and just 10-8 when being outscored). ASU's reserves turned in a season-high 34 points vs. Cal State Northridge on Dec. 21, while the biggest output in conference play came at UCLA on Jan. 18 with 32 points including a career-high 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting from sophomore Brett Leonard. ASU got 16 points from its bench in wins over USC and UCLA, led by senior Aubrey McFadyen who had a season-high 12 points and four rebounds vs. the Bruins. McFadyen paced the bench in scoring again at Arizona Feb. 24 with six points on 3-of-4 shooting.
Junior forward Cian Carvalho broke into the starting lineup vs. Arizona on Jan. 27 after scoring a career-best 16 points to lead the team at UCLA Jan. 18, the third consecutive game that she notched a career scoring best. Carvalho has started the last 10 games and is averaging 7.3 points and 5.5 rebounds over the last 14, including 10 points (six in overtime) at Arizona Feb. 24. Also providing sparks off the bench is junior guard Rainy Crisp who had seven points at USC Jan. 20, a career-best nine vs. Arizona Jan. 27 and six vs. Oregon Feb. 3.
Notes From the Charity StripeThe Sun Devils have gotten to the line 321 times more than their opponents (694-373) this year, an average of 24.8 attempts per game to just 13.3 for their opponents ... ASU shot just 25 free throws in its games in Oregon (including a season-low 7-of-12 at Oregon on March 3), but in the last five games, ASU has been to the line an average of 29.8 times and knocked down 69.7 percent of those attempts (122-175) ... Arizona State turned in a season-high 80.9 percent performance from free throw line vs. USC on Feb. 15, knocking down 38 of 47 attempts (both numbers were also season highs) ... The team's previous season high in that category also came against the Women of Troy when ASU shot 80 percent (16-20) from the line in Los Angeles on Jan. 20 ... ASU knocked down 15-of-15 attempts in the first half and its first 18 of the USC game with its first missing coming six minutes into the second half ... Since shooting just 40.9 percent from the free throw line (9-22) in its season opener vs. Texas-San Antonio, ASU has shot 66.2 percent from the charity stripe since (445-672) ... Junior Amanda Levens is shooting a team-best 79.6 percent from the free throw line (133-167) which is good for third in the Pac-10 ... Levens has attempted twice as many free throws as both players ahead of her, while junior Melody Johnson leads the Pac-10 in free throw attempts with 189 trips to the charity stripe ... Levens' miss in the second half vs. Arizona ended a streak of 17 consecutive free throws (last three attempts vs. WSU, 4-4 at UCLA, 8-8 at USC, 2-3 vs. Arizona), while earlier this season, she had a streak of 16 consecutive free throws that ended in the Stanford game.
Head Coach Charli Turner ThorneSince Charli Turner Thorne took over the reins 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 each of her five seasons and guided ASU to five 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, while the team has surpassed both of those marks so far in 2000-01. 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 2000 Women's National Invitation Tournament.
The Sun Devils' victory over Oregon on Feb. 3 marked the 100th win of head coach Charli Turner Thorne's coaching career and her 60th while at ASU. She has notched a 64-75 record in four-plus seasons at Arizona State and was 40-40 in her three seasons at Northern Arizona. With the team's win over Oregon, Turner Thorne has also led her Sun Devils to victories over every Pac-10 school in her four-plus seasons at ASU.
Super JuniorsAfter sitting out last season as Division I transfers, juniors Amanda Levens and Melody Johnson have made themselves right at home this season. The pair is 1-2 in scoring this season and has also been named all-tournament in both of ASU's tournaments this season (Asahi Rainbow Wahine Classic and ASU Holiday Classic)
Levens, a 5-9 guard who transferred from Old Dominion University, is pacing the ASU squad at 15.4 points per game and ranks sixth in the Pac-10 in that category. Levens has notched double figures in all but three of ASU's games this season. Johnson, a 6-2 guard from the University of Colorado, is second on the squad and eighth in the Pac-10 in scoring at 14.5 ppg and has scored in double figures in 25 of 28 games and had nine points in two others and eight vs. Oregon State on March 3. Levens, who was the Jan. 29 Pac-10 Player of the Week, has hit a team-best 55 three-pointers, while Johnson, who earned the first conference player-of-the-week award this year, leads the Sun Devils in rebounding at 7.0 boards per game which is good for sixth in the Pac-10.
Welcome AdditionsArizona State's top four scorers are making their debuts for the Sun Devils this season, led by junior Amanda Levens, a transfer from Old Dominion University who is averaging 15.4 points per game. Junior Melody Johnson, who transferred from the University of Colorado, is averaging 14.5 points and a team-best 7.0 rebounds, honorable-mention high school All-American Betsy Boardman is averaging 11.8 points (16th in the Pac-10) and junior Cian Carvalho, a junior college transfer from Hutchinson (Kan.) Community is fourth on the team with 6.5 points per game and second with 5.1 rebounds per contest. ASU's newcomers have been the leading scorers in each of ASU's 28 games this season, most recently with Boardman turning in 16 points at Arizona Feb. 24, Johnson scoring 16 at Oregon March 1 and Levens matching her career high with 28 points at Oregon State on March 3.
ASU vs. Ranked OpponentsWith its 70-67 overtime win over the 23rd-ranked Arizona Wildcats Feb. 24 , Arizona State holds a 3-3 record vs. ranked teams this year. The team's other wins were a 67-57 victory over then No. 23/25 Arizona Wildcats Jan. 27 and a 73-63 win over then No. 22/21 Oregon Feb. 3. Prior to that, the team's last upset over a ranked opponent was a 77-76 win over then undefeated and No. 7 Washington at Wells Fargo Arena on Jan. 8, 1998. Before its wins over the Wildcats and the Ducks, ASU had come up short in three contests with ranked teams this year, including a pair of losses under five points, falling to then No. 22 North Carolina State 54-51 Nov. 26 in the championship game of the Rainbow Wahine Classic and to then No. 2 Tennessee 67-63 Dec. 27 in the AstraZeneca Hoops for the Cure Classic.
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