Women's Hoops Hosts Oregon State at 2 p.m. Saturday Afternoon
Feb. 1, 2002
TEMPE, Ariz. -
The battle for sole possession of second place in the Pac-10 continues Saturday as the Arizona State Sun Devils play host to Oregon State Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. in a game that will be televised nationally by Fox Sports Net. Both teams are tied for second in the conference with 8-4 league marks. Coming off a 69-58 victory over Oregon on Thursday night, their first home game in 19 days after four straight on the road, the Arizona State Sun Devils have won their last five home games and are now 17-6 on the year. Thursday night's victory gave the team its first season sweep over Oregon since 1992-93, while a win on Saturday vs. Oregon State would snap ASU's two-game losing streak against the Beavers (both losses coming on the road). Oregon State improved to 12-10 on the year following its 88-85 overtime victory at Arizona on Thursday.
Following Saturday afternoon's contest, ASU travels to Washington State and Washington next weekend to end a stretch that has seen the Sun Devils play six of eight games on the road.
Probable Starters '01-02 Pos. Ht. Cl. PPG RPG NOTES#23 Betsy Boardman G/F 6-1 So. 8.8 4.6 Team-high 6 rebounds vs. Oregon#52 Cian Carvalho F 5-11 Sr. 8.6 5.7 Career-best 17 pts vs. Oregon#35 Melody Johnson C 6-2 Sr. 11.7 6.3 18 pts, 8-of-12 from field vs. UO#4 Amanda Levens G 5-9 Sr. 17.8 4.6* Game-high 6 assists vs. Oregon#10 Kylan Loney G 5-7 Fr. 4.9 3.3* Has tied career-best 9 pts in last 2
Off the Bench '01-02 Pos. Ht. Cl. PPG RPG NOTES#00 Alexis Tate F 6-4 Fr. 1.1 1.6 Out this week after appendectomy#5 Lauren Stagg G 5-10 Fr. 1.5 1.3* 3 assists, 1 TOs in last 3 games#13 Leah Combs F 6-2 Sr. 4.2 3.1 66.7% from field in last eight games#30 Carrie Buckner G 5-9 Fr. 5.2 3.9 Returned from hamstring pull Thurs.#31 Jen Albert F 6-2 So. 2.0 1.7 6 pts, 3-4 from field, 3 rbs vs. UO#32 Rainy Crisp G 5-6 Sr. 2.9 2.3* 12 pts, 6-8 from field in last 3 games* assists per game
ExposureASU's flagship station XTRA 910 AM will broadcast the Oregon State game to the Valley of the Sun with Vince Marotta calling the action. The broadcast is 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 television last season.
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.
Home Cookin'In its current five-game home winning streak that began with a Dec. 23 win over Cal and was extended Thursday night with a win over Oregon, ASU has averaged 70.6 points and 39.0 rebounds per game. In that stretch, the Sun Devils have shot 45.7 percent from the field (133-291) and 43.1 percent from beyond the arc (25-58). On the defensive side, ASU has allowed just 54.4 points, 33.4 rebounds and 23.1 percent shooting from three-point land (12-52) in those five victories.
Turner Thorne Second in All-Time Wins at ASUWith an 82-83 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 win over Oregon State on Saturday, she could pull her career record (122-123) and ASU mark (82-83) 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 OutSenior Melody Johnson scored 18 and senior Cian Carvalho added a career-high 17 points to lead Arizona State to a 69-58 victory over Oregon Thursday night at Wells Fargo Arena. With the victory, ASU's fifth straight at Wells Fargo Arena, the Sun Devils remain tied for second place in the Pac-10 and notched just their second season sweep over Oregon and its first since 1992-93.
The game stayed close at the beginning of the first half, but Arizona State pulled ahead 17-10 with an 8-0 run that began with a three-pointer by Carvalho and ended with a three-pointer by senior Amanda Levens, the 100th trey of her ASU career. ASU shot 48.3 percent in the first half and knocked down 3-of-5 three-point attempts to take a 34-26 halftime lead.
In the second half, ASU went ahead by as many as 11 points to take a 44-33 lead with 15:09 to play on a basket by sophomore Jen Albert, but Oregon went on a 12-2 run to close the gap to 46-45 with 11:20 to play. The Sun Devils answered that run with a pair of three-pointers by sophomore Betsy Boardman and freshman Kylan Loney to go up 52-45 with 9:57 to play. Oregon never got closer than five points and ASU led by as many as 12 points late in the half en route to the 69-58 victory.
For ASU, Johnson tied her season high for scoring with 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field, while Carvalho turned in a career-high 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting, including a pair of three-pointers. Boardman led the team with six rebounds, while Johnson and Carvalho each grabbed five boards.
Levens also reached double figures for scoring with 11 points and led the game with six assists. With her three-pointer in the first half, she became just the third Sun Devil in school history to knock down 100 treys in her career. Loney tied her career high with nine points, while Boardman and Albert each added six points.
For Oregon, junior Shaquala Williams led three Ducks in double figures with 15 points, while sophomore Cathrine Kraayeveld had her fourth double-double of the season with 12 points and 13 rebounds.
As a team, ASU outshot Oregon 50.9 percent to 41.5 percent but was outrebounded for just the fifth time this year, 36-30.
The Battle of the BoardsAfter outrebounding 16 of its first 18 opponents, ASU has been outrebounded in three of its last five games, including a 36-30 disadvantage Thursday night vs. Oregon. The Sun Devils have outrebounded 18 of their 23 opponents this year and hold a 15-3 record in those games. ASU is averaging 37.7 rebounds per game compared to a Pac-10 low 33.0 for their opponents. ASU held both Rutgers and Oregon (Jan. 6) 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 WoesAfter shooting just 33.9 percent in its last three games, including a season-low 26.3 percent from the field in the team's loss at Stanford last weekend, the Sun Devils turned in their fourth-best shooting performance of the season Thursday night vs. Oregon. ASU knocked down 50.9 percent of its field goal attempts vs. the Ducks (28-55), including 53.8 percent in the second half (14-26). From three-point land, ASU had connected on just 16.2 percent of its three-point attempts (6-37) in the previous three contests, including a 1-for-11 performance at Cal last weekend, but rebounded with a 45.5 percent outing vs. Oregon on Thursday (5-11). ASU was ranked second in the Pac-10 in both shooting categories but has dropped to fourth in field goal shooting third in three-point shooting in the last week.
Defending the ThreeThe Sun Devils continue to lead the league in three-point field goal defense, allowing their opponents to shoot just 29.4 percent from beyond the arc (60-204). 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 13 opponents to just 24.5 percent shooting from three-point range (35-143) and has kept nine of its last 10 opponents under 30 percent from beyond the arc, including an 18.2 percent showing by Oregon Thursday (2-11).
Loney Nearing Freshman Assists RecordTrue freshman point guard Kylan Loney needs just four more assists this season to tie the Arizona State school record for assists by a Sun Devil freshman. With 76 assists already this year, Loney should set the school record which is currently held by Jodi Rathbun who had 80 assists in her freshman year in 1982-83. Loney ranks 10th in the Pac-10 with 3.3 assists per game and has the fifth-best assist-to-turnover ratio in the league at 1.52. She is the highest ranked Pac-10 freshman in the category, while Cal's Kristin Iwanaga is the only other rookie in the top 10 (eighth).
Loney has started all 23 games this season and is second on the team in playing time with 27.1 minutes per game. Her 27.1 minutes played are the fourth-most by a freshman in the Pac-10 this season.
The Ames, Iowa, native has tied her career high for scoring with nine points in each of the last two games (at Stanford and vs. Oregon on Thursday night) and has averaged 7.5 points per game over her last six games (45 points).
Assists by an ASU Freshman1. 80 Jodi Rathbun, 1982-832. 76 Kylan Loney, 2001-023. 71 Cassandra Lander, 1979-804. 70 Toya DeCree, 1981-825. 69 Leaf Newman, 1997-986. 68 Stephanie Freeman, 1997-987. 65 Karen O'Connor, 1987-888. 64 Lynda Englehart, 1978-799. 55 Sherry Poole, 1983-8410. 49 Patti Peppler, 1983-84
Soft TouchASU's senior frontcourt of Cian Carvalho, Leah Combs and Melody Johnson has combined to shoot 56.4 percent (87-154) over the last eight games. Johnson, ASU's career leader in field goal percentage at 56.0 percent (281-502), is shooting 62.3 percent in the last eight games (43-69), including an 8-of-12 showing Thursday night vs. Oregon and an 8-of-9 outing at Oregon on Jan. 6. On the year, Johnson ranks second in the Pac-10 in the category, knocking down 54.5 percent of her attempts from the field (109-200), including a perfect 7-for-7 effort Dec. 13 at Chicago State.
Combs is shooting 66.7 percent (14-21) over the last eight games and 51.4 percent on the year (37-72), while Carvalho has connected on 46.9 percent of her shots (30-64) in the last six contests, including a 7-of-12 outing Thursday night vs. Oregon. Carvalho and sophomore Jen Albert have also shown the ability to hit the three this season with Carvalho knocking down 39.4 percent of her attempts (13-33) from beyond the arc (48.0 percent in Pac-10 play, third in conference stats) and Albert shooting 33.3 percent from three-point land on the year (3-9). Carvalho has had at least one three-pointer in nine games this year and two in four games, all in the Pac-10 season, including two treys in ASU's win over Oregon on Thursday night.
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 five games since, senior guard Amanda Levens is ranked second in the Pac-10 in scoring at 17.8 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 23 games this year. Levens was leading the Pac-10 in scoring at 20.2 points per game before her injury and has averaged just 9.8 points per game since.
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 54 games and has had 17 efforts with 20 points or more. With 392 points this year, she needs just 78 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 StateOregon State has won three of its last four games, including an 88-85 overtime win at Arizona on Thursday night. The Beavers are 12-10 overall and 8-4 in the Pac-10 and are tied with the Sun Devils for second place in the Pac-10. 2001 Pac-10 Player of the Year and senior Felicia Ragland leads the Beavers in scoring and rebounding at 20.2 points (first in the Pac-10) and 6.2 rebounds per game, including a 27-point, 12-rebound performance vs. the Wildcats, while sophomore forward Hollye Chapman is averaging 10.0 points per game.
In the SeriesOregon 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. 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 1,163 points in her career (302 points at ODU, 861 at ASU), while Johnson has now scored 1,172 points in her career. Johnson had 440 points in her two seasons at Colorado and has 732 so far at ASU, while the Colorado Springs, Colo., native has also topped the 500-board mark and has 568 career rebounds (199 at Colorado, 362 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 139 more points, while Johnson needs 260 to accomplish that feat.
Amanda From Beyond the ArcSenior guard Amanda Levens has knocked down a team-best 40 treys and is shooting 36.7 percent from beyond the arc (40-109) on the year, which ranks ninth 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 100 three-pointers in her career. With her three-pointer in the first half vs. Oregon on Thursday night, Levens became just the third Sun Devil in school history to hit 100 treys in her career. Levens needs 16 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. 40 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 11.2 points per game, up from her overall scoring average of 8.8 ppg. She is also shooting 41.8 percent from the field and 44.2 percent from beyond the arc in league action. While she does not rank in the overall Pac-10 statistics, Boardman is 16th in scoring, fifth in three-point percentage and tied for 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 12 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 44.2 percent from beyond the arc in the last 12 (19-43).
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) and 66.7 percent Thursday night vs. Oregon (8-12) ... while the Sun Devils have gotten to the free throw line 578 times this year (25.1 times per game and 141 more times than any other Pac-10 school), the team has knocked down just 63.1 percent of its attempts (365-578) ...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 93.8 percent from the charity stripe in her last seven games (30-32) ... last year, she turned in streaks of 16 and 17 consecutive free throws made and has currently started another streak of 10 straight (last 2 at Cal, 4-of-4 at Stanford, 4-of-4 vs. Oregon) ... Levens has already been to the free throw line 152 times this year and has knocked down 80.3 percent of her attempts, which ranks seventh in the Pac-10 (122-152) ... 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 is already tied for fifth with 122 free throws and tied for eighth with 152 free throw attempts on the ASU single-season charts.
Dishing It OutASU's starting backcourt of senior Amanda Levens and true freshman Kylan Loney is averaging 7.7 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 4.6 assists per game, Levens ranks fifth in the Pac-10 in the category. She has led the team in the category in 12 of her last 14 games, including a career-high nine assists at Oregon State on Jan. 4 and a game-high six dishes in ASU's win over Oregon on Thursday night, 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-52, while Levens is sixth at 1.46.
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 15.8 ppg in Pac-10 play and senior Melody Johnson who is averaging 11.6 points per game in conference action.
- ASU is 12-0 on the year when outshooting its opponents.
- 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 five games, while a win vs. Oregon State on Saturday would give the team its first back-to-back victories since winning four straight at the beginning of January.
- 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).
- Arizona State is 13-0 on the season when holding its opponents to 59 points or less.
- 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 30.
- 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 53 assists to just 21 turnovers on the season (2.5).
- 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 9.7 and 8.7 minutes per game, respectively. Senior Amanda Levens is leading the team in minutes played at 28.8 per game, while true freshman point guard Kylan Loney is second at 27.1 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. ASU's win over Oregon on Jan. 31 marked the team's second ever season sweep of the Ducks with the other coming in 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 17.7 points per game this season (407 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 1,553 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.