Women's Basketball Returns Home to Face Oregon, Oregon State
Jan. 29, 2002
TEMPE, Ariz. -
After a grueling four-game road trip that ended last week with a split at California and Stanford, the Arizona State Sun Devils return to Wells Fargo Arena for the first time in 19 days, playing host to Oregon on Thursday night and Oregon State on Saturday afternoon in a game that will be televised nationally by Fox Sports Net. This weekend, the Sun Devils have a chance to separate themselves from the pack of four teams tied for second place in the Pac-10 this weekend (Oregon, Oregon State and USC) when they play host to the Ducks and the Beavers. ASU is now 16-6 on the year and 7-4 in the Pac-10 and will be looking to extend a four-game home winning streak. With wins this weekend, ASU could turn in its first season sweep over Oregon since 1992-93 and snap a two-game losing streak against Oregon State (both losses coming on the road).
Oregon travels to Tempe with a 12-8 overall record and a 7-4 conference mark after a sweep of the Los Angeles schools last weekend, while Oregon State is 11-10 on the year and 7-4 in the Pac-10 following last weekend's split with UCLA (win) and USC (loss). The Beavers will play at Arizona on Thursday night before heading north to Tempe.
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).
Fox Sports Net will televise the Oregon State game to a national cable audience with Jim Watson and Heather Cox calling the action. It marks the third television appearance of the year for the Sun Devils who won their first with a 63-49 victory over Cal on Dec. 23 and lost their second at Stanford 62-48 last weekend. ASU was 9-4 when playing on live TV last year.
Home-Court AdvantageWith a 9-2 home mark this year (including a 4-1 Pac-10 record), the Sun Devils have turned in a 31-8 mark at home in the last three seasons. Last year, the team went 12-4 at home, tying the school record for home victories at Wells Fargo Arena.
ASU has won its last four home games, all Pac-10 contests, including a sweep of Washington and Washington State on Jan. 10 and 12.
Girls and Women in Sports WeekSaturday's game with Oregon State marks the beginning of Girls and Women in Sports Week, sponsored by APS. ASU's week-long celebration begins Saturday morning with a panel discussion with various Sun Devils about their experiences as female student-athletes at 12:30 p.m. All panel attendees and their chaperones will receive free admission to the basketball game. Other events next week include free admission to an ASU gymnastics meet and softball tournament as well as a free youth sports clinic on Feb. 9.
Turner Thorne Second in All-Time Wins at ASUWith an 81-83 record at ASU, head coach Charli Turner Thorne has moved into sole possession of second place in all-time wins by a Sun Devil women's basketball coach. With a pair of victories this weekend, she could pull her career record (121-123) and ASU mark (81-83) to .500. With ASU's victory over Arizona on Dec. 30, the 2001 Pac-10 Coach of the Year passed Maura McHugh who turned in a 75-65 record in her six seasons at the helm (1987-93). Juliene Simpson is the all-time winningest coach in ASU women's basketball history, notching a 134-92 record in eight seasons (1979-87).
Last Time OutStanford's Lindsey Yamasaki scored 23 of her season-high 27 points in the first half as third-ranked Stanford downed Arizona State 62-48 Saturday afternoon at Maples Pavilion.
ASU fell behind early in the game when Stanford scored 10 straight points to take a 14-6 edge with 14:08 to play in the first half and led the rest of the way. Yamasaki matched Arizona State's first half total herself as she scored 23 points to give Stanford 35-23 halftime advantage.
The Cardinal scored the first eight points of the second half while holding the Sun Devils scoreless for over seven minutes to open a 43-23 edge. The Sun Devils closed to within 54-46 when senior Amanda Levens made a pair of free throws with 2:56 remaining, but Stanford sophomore Nicole Powell hit a three-pointer from the corner 26 seconds later to quell the Sun Devil rally.
Arizona State shot a season-low 26.3 percent in the game, including 16.7 percent from three-point land, and was held to a season-low 48 points. Sophomore Betsy Boardman scored 15 points and pulled down seven rebounds to lead the Sun Devils, while freshman Kylan Loney tied her career high with nine points. For Stanford, Powell added 13 points, six rebounds and six assists.
The Battle of the BoardsAfter being outrebounded by UCLA and USC two weeks ago, ASU returned to its previous ways last weekend, outrebounding California 35-26 and Stanford, the Pac-10's best rebounding team, 36-35. ASU pulled down 19 offensive boards vs. the Cardinal. The Sun Devils have outrebounded 18 of their 22 opponents this year and hold a 15-3 record in those games. ASU is averaging 38.0 rebounds per game compared to a Pac-10 low 32.9 for their opponents. ASU held both Rutgers and Oregon to a season-low 23 rebounds, while Cal had just 26 rebounds on Jan. 24.
ASU also led the Pac-10 in rebounding defense last year, holding its opponents to just 33.5 boards per contest.
Shooting WoesIn its last three games, Arizona State has gone cold from the field, knocking down just 33.9 percent of its field goal attempts (55-162), including a season-low 26.3 percent from the field in the team's loss at Stanford last weekend. From three-point land, ASU has connected on just 16.2 percent of its three-point attempts (6-37) in the last three contests, including a 1-for-11 performance at Cal and a 3-for-17 outing at Stanford last weekend. ASU was ranked second in the Pac-10 in both shooting categories but dropped to third in field goal shooting and fourth in three-point shooting after last weekend's games.
Defending the ThreeThe Sun Devils continue to lead the league in three-point field goal defense, allowing their opponents to shoot just 30.1 percent from beyond the arc (58-193). Although they finished ninth in the category last year, ASU led the league in three-point defense in 1998-99 and 1999-00.
ASU has held its last 12 opponents to just 25 percent shooting from three-point range (33-132) and has kept eight of its last nine opponents under 30 percent from beyond the arc.
Soft TouchASU's senior frontcourt of Cian Carvalho, Leah Combs and Melody Johnson has combined to shoot 55.4 percent (72-130) over the last seven games. Johnson, ASU's career leader in field goal percentage at 55.7 percent (273-490), is shooting 61.4 percent in the last seven games (35-57), including an 8-of-9 outing at Oregon on Jan. 6. On the year, Johnson ranks third in the Pac-10 in the category, knocking down 53.7 percent of her attempts from the field (101-188), including a perfect 7-for-7 effort Dec. 13 at Chicago State.
Combs is shooting 66.7 percent (14-21) over the last seven games and 51.4 percent on the year (37-72), while Carvalho has connected on 44.2 percent of her shots (23-52) in the last five contests. Carvalho and sophomore Jen Albert have also shown the ability to hit the three this season with Carvalho knocking down 37.9 percent of her attempts (11-29) from beyond the arc (47.6 percent in Pac-10 play) and Albert shooting 33.3 percent from three-point land on the year (3-9).
Levens Lighting Up the ScoreboardDespite missing the first game of her career with a sprained ankle vs. Washington State on Jan. 12 and being slowed by the injury in her four games since, senior guard Amanda Levens is ranked second in the Pac-10 in scoring at 18.1 points per game. Levens, already the winner of two Pac-10 Player-of-the-Week honors this season, has scored 20 points or more on 10 occasions this season, including a game-high 20 points against Washington on Jan. 10. She has led the team in scoring in 15 of 22 games this year.
The transfer from Old Dominion University and 2001 first-team All-Pac-10 selection scored a career-high 30 points in ASU's season-opening win over St. Peter's, while at the Paradise Jam, Levens just missed tying her career high with 29 points in ASU's win over Kansas State. Leven's 30-point effort vs. St. Peter's marked the most points for a Sun Devil since Molly Tuter scored 32 in a 70-66 victory over Southern Utah on Nov. 8, 1997.
In her short ASU career, Levens has led ASU in scoring in 30 of 53 games and has had 17 efforts with 20 points or more. With 381 points this year, she needs just 89 to match the 470 she had all of last year, a total which was eighth on ASU's single-season scoring charts.
Double TroubleSenior Melody Johnson turned in her third double-double of the year with 16 points and 11 rebounds Jan. 19 at USC. The Colorado Springs, Colo., native and 2001 first-team All-Pac-10 selection has eight double-doubles in her short ASU career, including 14 points and a career-high 12 rebounds vs. Arizona Dec. 30. She turned in her first double-double of the season with 16 points and 11 rebounds vs. Richmond on Nov. 26 to earn Paradise Jam MVP honors.
About Oregon & Oregon StateOregon brings a 12-8 overall and 7-4 Pac-10 mark to Tempe Thursday night. The Ducks have won their last two games with a sweep of USC and UCLA last weekend at McArthur Court. Junior guard Shaquala Williams leads the team and is ranked fourth in the Pac-10 in scoring at 17.1 points per game, while senior guard Edniesha Curry is second at 11.6 points per contest. Sophomore Cathrine Kraayeveld ranks sixth in the Pac-10 in rebounding at 7.3 boards per game and is averaging 10.8 points and 9.5 rebounds per conference game.
Oregon State has won two of its last three games, splitting with UCLA (win) and USC (loss) last weekend in Corvallis. The Beavers are 11-10 overall and 7-4 in the Pac-10 and will play at Arizona on Thursday night. 2001 Pac-10 Player of the Year and senior Felicia Ragland leads the Beavers in scoring and rebounding at 19.9 points (first in the Pac-10) and 6.0 rebounds per game, while sophomore forward Hollye Chapman is averaging 10.1 points per game.
In the SeriesOregon leads the series with the Sun Devils 25-10 and holds an 11-7 advantage in games played in Tempe, dating back to the first meeting in 1980-81. Last year, Arizona State snapped an 11-game losing streak to Oregon with a 73-63 upset of then No. 22 Oregon on Feb. 3, while the Sun Devils ended an eight-game losing streak at Oregon's McArthur Court earlier this season with an 86-72 victory in Eugene on Jan. 6. With a victory on Thursday night, ASU could notch its second season sweep of Oregon with the only other one coming in 1992-93.
Oregon State holds a slim 18-15 advantage over Arizona State in a series which dates back to the 1983-84 season. Earlier this season, Oregon State earned a 77-70 victory in Corvallis on Jan. 4. The Sun Devils have won seven of the last 10 games in the series but have dropped the last two, both on the road. The Sun Devils hold a 10-6 advantage in games played in Tempe and have won the last five games at Wells Fargo Arena.
Oregon ConnectionsThe Sun Devils have two players who hail from the state of Oregon in sophomore Betsy Boardman (Portland) and freshman Carrie Buckner (Corvallis). A 2001 Pac-10 All-Freshman selection, Boardman came to ASU from Beaverton High School where she was an honorable-mention high school All-American in each of her last three seasons and runner-up for Oregon Player of the Year following her senior season. In 2000, Boardman led her Beavers to the school's first Metro League championship and was selected as the league's MVP. A three-time all-league selection and the 2001 Valley League Player of the Year, Buckner helped her Crescent Valley High School to its eighth straight Valley League title as a senior and earned all-tournament honors at the Oregon 4A state tournament.
Oregon State assistant coach Stephanie (Osburn) Norman lettered for Arizona State from 1985-88. Currently in her second year as a Beaver assistant coach, Norman led the Sun Devils in free throw percentage in her senior year, knocking down 77.1 percent of her attempts from the charity stripe in 1988. Prior to becoming an assistant coach at OSU, she also spent time at Oregon in the same capacity and was the assistant athletics director at Marist High School in Eugene.
Last Time vs. OregonOregon couldn't stop ASU's accurate shooting as the Sun Devils won 86-72 at McArthur Court Jan. 6 to snap an eight-game losing streak in Eugene. The Sun Devils turned in then season highs in overall (57.4 percent), three-point (60 percent) and free throw shooting (89.7) in the team's first win in Eugene since 1993.
Arizona State hit 68 percent of its shots in the first half - at one time late in the first half, the Sun Devils were shooting as high as 76 percent - and jumped out to a 49-30 halftime lead. The Ducks had a 13-8 advantage with 14:57 on the clock. But Arizona State went on a 17-2 run over the next six minutes, sparked by eight points from senior Amanda Levens who missed eight minutes after being shaken up after taking a charge, to lead 25-15.
The Sun Devils led by as many as 25 points midway through the second half, but Oregon used a run to close the gap to 75-63 with 3:03 left. ASU, however, knocked down 11 of 13 free throw attempts over the next three minutes to earn the victory.
Four ASU players scored in double figures for the fourth straight game, led by Levens who had 22 points. Levens knocked down 10-of-11 attempts from the line as the Sun Devils shot a season-best 89.7 percent (26-29) on free throws. Senior Melody Johnson tied her season high with 18 points, shooting 8-of-9 from the field, and tied with sophomore Betsy Boardman for the game high with seven rebounds.
For Oregon, junior guard Shaquala Williams scored 19 of her career-high-tying 31 points in the first half, while freshman Kedzie Gunderson scored a career-high 10 points in the game. Arizona State held Oregon's starting backcourt of Jamie Craighead and Alissa Edwards scoreless and allowed the Ducks a season-low 23 rebounds, outboarding Oregon 37-23.
Last Time vs. Oregon StateOSU's Hollye Chapman turned in a career effort with 22 points and 15 rebounds as Oregon State downed Arizona State 77-70 Jan. 4 at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis. For the Sun Devils, four players scored in double figures, led by senior Amanda Levens who had 16 points despite going 4-for-21 from the field.
ASU took an early lead in the game, going up by as many as five points on three occasions in the first half. Oregon State, however, went on a 5-0 run to tie it up at 31 with 2:32 to play and took its first lead, 35-34, with 49 seconds remaining on a pair of free throws by Leilani Estavan. Estavan then knocked down another free throw with four seconds left in the half to give the Beavers a 36-34 halftime advantage.
In the second half, ASU tied the ball game four times in the early going, but Oregon State used a 10-2 run to go up 52-44 with 11:02 to play. The Sun Devils cut the lead to five points 30 seconds later but never came any closer. Oregon State led by as many as 12 points en route to the 77-70 victory.
Chapman led all scorers with 22 points, while OSU's Felicia Ragland had 21 and Estavan scored 17. For ASU, Levens led the team in scoring for the 14th time on the year and dished out a career-high nine assists despite having an off-shooting night. Sophomore Betsy Boardman and senior Cian Carvalho each scored in double figures with 13 and 11 points, respectively, while senior Melody Johnson had 12 points.
In the PollsArizona State dropped out of the national polls last week after returning at 23rd in the Jan. 14 Associated Press poll following a seven-week hiatus. ASU was ranked in the first three polls of the year, climbing as high as 21st, but dropped out after back-to-back losses in November. The Sun Devils are receiving votes in both polls (27th-AP, 35th-USA Today/ESPN Coaches). Neither Oregon nor Oregon State is ranked.
Joining the 1,000-Point ClubSeniors Amanda Levens and Melody Johnson have each surpassed the 1,000-point mark for their careers this season. Levens, who came to ASU after two seasons at Old Dominion, has scored 1,152 points in her career (302 points at ODU, 850 at ASU), while Johnson has now scored 1,154 points in her career. Johnson had 440 points in her two seasons at Colorado and has 714 so far at ASU, while the Colorado Springs, Colo., native has also topped the 500-board mark and has 563 career rebounds (199 at Colorado, 357 so far at ASU).
The pair also has a shot at becoming the 13th and 14th Sun Devils to join ASU's 1000-point club and the first since Olivia Jones (1980-83) to do it in just two seasons. Levens needs 150 more points, while Johnson needs 278 to accomplish that feat.
Amanda From Beyond the ArcSenior guard Amanda Levens has knocked down a team-best 39 treys and is shooting 37.1 percent from beyond the arc (39-105) on the year, which ranks eighth in the league. Levens has had at least one three-pointer in all but four games this year and all but eight games in her Sun Devil career. She has also had more than one three-pointer in 11 games this year, including a career-best 6-of-9 performance in ASU's win over Kansas Dec. 5 and a 4-of-9 effort Jan. 10 vs. Washington.
Levens has moved into third place on ASU's career list with 99 three-pointers in her career and needs just one more to become just the third Sun Devil in school history to hit 100 treys in her career. Levens needs 17 three-pointers to tie with Molly Tuter (1994-97) for second all time at 116, while Crystal Cobb (1989-94) holds the ASU school record with 134 three-pointers in her career.
SINGLE-SEASON THREE-POINTERS MADE1. 60 Amanda Levens, 2000-012. 56 Crystal Cobb, 1990-913. 52 Ryneldi Becenti, 1992-934. 49 Crystal Cobb, 1991-925. 47 Molly Tuter, 1996-976. 44 Stephanie Freeman, 1997-987. 39 Amanda Levens, 2001-028. 38 Ryneldi Becenti, 1991-92 38 Molly Tuter, 1995-9610. 36 Betsy Boardman, 2000-01
Kicking It Up a NotchPortland, Ore., native Betsy Boardman has kicked it up a notch in Pac-10 play, averaging 11.6 points per game, up from her overall scoring average of 8.9 ppg. She is also shooting 42.4 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from beyond the arc in league action. While she does not rank in the overall Pac-10 statistics, Boardman is 13th in scoring, fourth in three-point percentage and eighth in three-pointers made in the statistics for conference games.
A Pac-10 All-Freshman selection last year, Boardman has scored in double figures in eight of the last 11 games, including a season-high 17 points at Oregon on Jan. 6 and a game-high 15 vs. at Stanford on Jan. 26. After shooting just 24 percent from three-point land in the first 11 games of the year, Boardman has shot 42.9 percent from beyond the arc in the last 11 (18-42).
Scoring DefenseAfter leading the Pac-10 in scoring defense last year (61.5 ppg), ASU has continued its stingy ways in 2001-02, pacing the league again at just 58.0 points allowed per game.
ASU has held six teams under 50 points, including a season-low 40 points on three occasions (Fordham-Dec. 1, Washington State-Jan. 12 and Cal-Jan. 24).
The Sun Devils set a school record by holding Chicago State to just nine points in the first half of its 83-43 victory Dec. 13, while Washington State had just 15 points in the first half in ASU's 68-40 win on Jan. 12.
Notes from the Charity StripeAfter shooting just 52.4 percent from the free throw line (33-63) in its previous three games, including a season-low 50 percent at USC on Jan. 19, the Sun Devils knocked down 71.8 percent of their free throws last weekend in the Bay Area (28-39) ... while the Sun Devils have gotten to the free throw line 566 times this year (25.7 times per game and 129 more times than any other Pac-10 school), the team has knocked down just 63.1 percent of its attempts (357-566) ...ASU has shot below 60 percent from the line nine times this year, including a season-low 50 percent at USC on Jan. 19 (9-18) ... with a miss in the second half at Cal last weekend, senior Amanda Levens snapped a streak of 16 consecutive free throws ... Levens is shooting 92.9 percent from the charity stripe in her last six games (26-28) ... last year, she turned in streaks of 16 and 17 consecutive free throws made and has currently started another streak of six straight (last 2 at Cal, 4-of-4 at Stanford) ... Levens has already been to the free throw line 148 times this year and has knocked down 79.7 percent of her attempts, which ranks seventh in the Pac-10 (118-148) ... Last year, Levens set school single-season marks for free throws (146) and was second in attempts (183) and is on pace to eclipse those marks this year ...so far this year, she already ranks eighth on the ASU single-season charts with 148 free throw attempts.
Dishing It OutASU's starting backcourt of senior Amanda Levens and true freshman Kylan Loney is averaging 7.6 assists per game so far this season, the most since Natalie Tucker and Kitch Kitchen averaged 8.4 assists as the second-best tandem in the Pac-10 in 1998-99. At 4.5 assists per game, Levens ranks fifth in the Pac-10 in the category. She has led the team in the category in 11 of her last 13 games, including a career-high nine assists at Oregon State on Jan. 4, while Loney is averaging 3.3 per game, which ranks 10th in the Pac-10. Loney is fifth in the Pac-10 in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.49, while Levens is sixth at 1.44.
Levens Repeats as Pac-10 Player of the WeekSenior guard Amanda Levens was named the Pac-10 Women's Basketball Player of the Week on two consecutive weeks (Dec. 10 and 17) after leading ASU to four straight victories. She became the first Sun Devil to ever earn back-to-back selections and the first to earn two conference player-of-the-week honors in a season since Ryneldi Becenti in 1992-93. The Player-of-the-Week honors were the second and third of Levens' career and the 19th and 20th all-time selections for ASU.
- Four Sun Devils are scoring in double figures in Pac-10 play, led by senior Amanda Levens who is averaging 16.3 ppg in Pac-10 play and sophomore Betsy Boardman who is averaging 11.6 points per game in conference action.
- ASU has managed just 51.0 points per game in its last three contests, including season lows of 49 and 48 points in losses at USC and Stanford, respectively. On the season, ASU is averaging 67.0 points per game.
- Senior Amanda Levens is one of 30 players to watch for the Senior CLASS award, which will be presented to the top senior in the country by the Kansas City Club.
- ASU has alternated a win with a loss in each of its last four games.
- True freshman Kylan Loney has averaged 7.3 points per game over the last three games, including a career-high-tying nine points last weekend at Stanford.
- The Sun Devils rank in the top three in the league in six defensive categories this year, including scoring defense (1st), rebounding defense (1st), three-point defense (1st), scoring margin (2nd) , assist-to-turnover ratio (3rd) and rebounding margin (3rd).
- Third-ranked Stanford scored just 62 points against the Sun Devil defense on Jan. 26, down 19.4 points from the Cardinal's season average of 81.4 points per game.
- Six Sun Devils have nabbed at least 21 steals so far this season, led by sophomore Betsy Boardman who has 29.
- The Sun Devils have turned in their top two shooting performances of the season on the road, shooting 57.4 percent (27-47) at Oregon on Jan. 6 and 58.3 percent (28-48) at UCLA on Jan. 17.
- Senior Rainy Crisp, who made her first career start vs. Washington State on Jan. 12, has the best assist-to-turnover ratio on the team this year, dishing out 50 assists to just 21 turnovers on the season (2.4).
- The Sun Devil rotation includes 11 players this year with eight averaging at least 10 minutes per game, and sophomore Jen Albert and freshman Lauren Stagg just shy of the 10-minute mark at 9.6 and 9.0 minutes per game, respectively. Senior Amanda Levens is leading the team in minutes played at 28.7 per game, while true freshman point guard Kylan Loney is second at 27.0 minutes per game.
- The Sun Devils have already defeated both Oregon and Washington this season, marking the first time since 1992-93 that ASU has downed both schools in a single season. That year, ASU swept both meetings with both schools. ASU's 86-72 victory at Oregon's McArthur Court on Jan. 6 snapped an eight-game road losing streak against the Ducks and was the first for ASU since the 1992-93 season.
- The Sun Devils' 87-point effort vs. Arizona on Dec. 30 marked the most for the Sun Devils since the team scored 96 in a 96-52 win over Gonzaga on Dec. 5, 1998, a span of 96 games.
- ASU's bench has averaged 18.1 points per game this season (399 points), including a season-high 27 points at Chicago State on Dec. 13. ASU's bench has had 20 or more points in six games this year, including 23 vs. Washington State on Jan. 12. The Sun Devils are 13-2 on the year when outscoring their opponents' bench.
- ASU emerged from the non-conference slate with nine victories for the first time since the 1991-92 season.
- ASU's crowd of 2,419 at the Stanford game on Dec. 23 was the largest home crowd of the year for the Sun Devils. ASU has averaged 1,643 fans per home game so far in the Pac-10 season.
Road WarriorsLast weekend, Arizona State wrapped up a stretch that saw the team play its last four and six of its last eight on the road. The Sun Devils are 5-3 in road games this season, including a 3-3 Pac-10 mark. Last year, ASU finished the season with a 7-5 road record, including a 5-4 mark in Pac-10 play, which marked the most road wins since the 1992-93 squad turned in the same record. Following this weekend's home series with Oregon and Oregon State, ASU will play three of its last five regular-season games on the road.
ASU Picked Second, Fourth in Preseason Pac-10 PollsArizona State has been picked to finish second in the Pac-10 Conference by the media (with a pair of first-place votes) and fourth by the league's coaches. Last year, ASU was tabbed fifth by the coaches and sixth by the media in their preseason polls but surpassed all outside expectations by finishing in a tie for first with Stanford and Washington for ASU's first ever Pac-10 basketball title.
Recruiting ClassArizona State's recruiting class for the 2002-03 season is ranked 24th in the nation by Blue Star. Here's a list of the six players that ASU signed in the early period:
Name Ht. Pos. Hometown/SchoolAmy Denson 6-1 F Central Point, Ore./Crater HSKristen Kovesdy 6-3 F Scottsdale, Ariz./St. Mary's HSJill Noe 5-10 G Tualatin, Ore./Wilsonville HSYoVanna Rosenthal 5-7 G Phoenix, Ariz./Thunderbird HSJenny Thigpin 6-3 F Hanford, Calif./Hanford HSIman Young 5-9 G San Pablo, Calif./Contra Costa CC
Pac-10 Postseason TournamentA new era starts as the Pac-10 begins its first annual Women's Basketball Tournament on March 1-4, 2002, at McArthur Court on the campus of the University of Oregon, in Eugene, Oregon. The league's Directors of Athletics and the Pac-10 Council approved the postseason tournament last fall. The Pac-10 postseason tournament will be a 10-team event which will be hosted by one of the Pac-10 members on its campus each year. A total of nine games will be played with the champion earning the conference's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.
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. That climb culminated in 2000-01 when Turner Thorne's Sun Devils captured ASU's first Pac-10 Championship, an NCAA berth, a return to the national rankings and the team's first 20-win season in nine years. The 2001 Pac-10 Coach of the Year and District 8 Regional Coach of the Year 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 1999-00, 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 team also earned the team's first postseason appearance in eight seasons, falling at Colorado State in the first round of the 2000 WNIT.
Pac-10 Conference HonoreesThe Sun Devils return a trio of all-conference performers from one season ago, including senior center Melody Johnson and senior guard Amanda Levens who were named to the All-Pac-10 Conference first team, marking the first time in school history that ASU has had two players earn first-team accolades. Arizona was the only other school to have two first-team selections last year. Freshman guard/forward Betsy Boardman was named to the five-player Freshman All-Pac-10 squad, marking the third consecutive season that the Sun Devils have had a player named to the all-rookie team. In addition, three Sun Devils earned Academic All-Pac-10 honors with junior Leah Combs becoming ASU's first first-team selection since 1990.
Head coach Charli Turner Thorne was named the 2001 Pac-10 Conference Coach of the Year as selected by the league's coaches, ASU's first such honor, and was one of eight finalists for the 2001 Russell Athletic/WBCA Division I National Coach of the Year Award. As a finalist, Turner Thorne earned the distinction of WBCA District 8 Coach of the Year as selected by WBCA member coaches from that geographical region.
Not Shying Away From AnyoneSo far this season, ASU has faced six coaches ranked among the 25 all-time winningest coaches in NCAA women's basketball history in a total of seven games and come up with wins in five of the games: Arizona's Joan Bonvicini (18th), Stanford's Tara VanDerveer (17th), Northern Illinois' Carol Hammerle (22nd), Kansas' Marian Washington (16th), Rutgers' C. Vivian Stringer (3rd) and Mike Granelli of St. Peter's (10th). ASU has played teams coached by 12 of the top 25 coaches over the last five seasons, while in the past three seasons alone, ASU has played all five of the NCAA's winningest coaches.