Women's Basketball to Wrap Up Exhibition Season Thursday Night
Nov. 12, 2002
TEMPE, Ariz. -
Coming off back-to-back Pac-10 Conference championships and NCAA Tournament appearances, including the inaugural Pac-10 Tournament title last year, seventh-year head coach Charli Turner Thorne and her Arizona State Sun Devils hit the court Thursday night for their second and final exhibition tune-up, taking on the West Coast All-Stars, a traveling team of former college stars, at Wells Fargo Arena. Last week, the Sun Devils opened the exhibition season with a 101-57 victory over the University of Mathias Bell Banska Bystrica, a traveling team from Banska Bystrica, Slovakia. The Sun Devils open the regular season Friday, Nov. 22 with Chicago State at 8 p.m. at Wells Fargo Arena. The West Coast All-Stars have tallied an 0-3 record so far this exhibition season, most recently falling at Nebraska 97-63 on Sunday, Nov. 10.
This year, Arizona State returns just one starter (with the loss of junior and two-year starter Betsy Boardman to an ACL tear) and six letterwinners from its 2001-02 squad but adds a recruiting class of five freshmen and one junior college transfer which was ranked in the top 25 in the nation by Blue Star. The 2002-03 Sun Devil roster is a young one featuring a junior college transfer, four sophomores and six freshmen.
ASU in the Exhibition SeasonThe Sun Devils are 9-6 in exhibition games under seventh-year head coach Charli Turner Thorne, including last Friday's 101-57 victory over Banska Bystrica. Last year, the Sun Devils won both of their exhibition contests, defeating Team Concept, an AAU club squad of former college athletes, 67-53 on Nov. 4 and Delta Kosice, a team from Kosice, Slovakia, 77-48 on Nov. 9.
Last Time OutFreshman forward Amy Denson scored 19 points and freshman guard Jill Noe added 18 as the Sun Devils opened the exhibition season Friday night with a 101-57 victory over the University of Mathias Bell Banska Bystrica, a traveling team from Slovakia.
The Sun Devils, who started three sophomores and two true freshmen, jumped out to an early 6-0 lead over the first minute and a half of the game, but Banska Bystrica tied the game at 10 with 15:19 to play and took its only lead of the game with a 14-13 advantage with 13:44 left in the half.
Arizona State regained the lead with 13:19 to play when junior Jen Albert knocked down a three-pointer to put the team up 16-14. The Sun Devils had 15 steals, including four by sophomore Carrie Buckner, and outscored the Slovakians 40-11 over the final seven minutes of the half to take a 53-25 halftime lead. Noe led all scorers in the half with 13 of her 18 points on 6-of-7 shooting.
The second half provided much of the same as the Sun Devils increased their lead to as many as 51 points midway through the half. Denson scored 14 of her team-leading 19 points in the second half, while the Sun Devils outshot Banska Bystrica 64.3 to 44.8 percent in the period.
A total of five Sun Devils, including four true freshmen, finished the game in double figures for scoring led by Denson and Noe who had 19 and 18 points, respectively. Freshman guard YoVanna Rosenthal had 13 points, and freshman Kristen Kovesdy and Buckner each added 10 points. Denson also led the team with seven rebounds, while sophomore Kylan Loney dished out a team-best six assists. The Sun Devils finished with 21 steals as a team, including four apiece from Buckner, Noe and Rosenthal. For Banska Bystrica, Andrea Belanska had 19 points, while Denisa Svarova pulled down seven rebounds.
A Look Ahead at the Season OpenerArizona State tips off the regular season on Friday, Nov. 22, taking on Chicago State at 8 p.m. at Wells Fargo Arena. That Nov. 22 game is part of an ASU basketball doubleheader with the men's team opening its season against Morehead State at 5:30 p.m. Fans purchasing a ticket for the men's game will receive free admission to the women's game, which will tip off 30 minutes after the conclusion of the men's game.
Chicago State returns all five of its starters and seven letterwinners from a team that turned in an 11-18 record and tied for fourth in the Mid-Continent Conference last year. Senior guard Krisey Sanders is the top returner for the Cougars after leading the team in scoring at 11.8 points per game last year. A preseason All-Mid-Continent Conference selection, Sanders led the league in steals (3.1 spg) and assists (6.8 spg) last year and is among the NCAA's returners in both categories. Arizona State scored an 83-43 victory over Chicago State last year in Chicago, holding the Cougars to a school-record nine points in the first half.
Home-Court AdvantageThis season, the Sun Devils will play their first seven games of the year at Wells Fargo Arena where the team won a school-record 13 games last season. ASU brings an eight-game home winning streak into the 2002-03 season after winning its last eight Pac-10 home contests last year. The school record for consecutive home victories is 12 games, accomplished over the 1981-82 and 1982-83 seasons. ASU has turned in a 35-8 record at home in the last three seasons.
Turner Thorne Second in All-Time Wins at ASUWith a 90-86 record in six years 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 ASU's victory over Arizona on Dec. 30 last year, 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 mark in eight years (1979-87).
Since 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. In 2000-01, 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, while her 2001-02 squad tied the school mark for single-season wins with a 25-9 record. 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 six seasons and guided ASU to five consecutive double-digit win seasons.
Betsy Boardman to Miss the Season with an ACL TearJunior guard/forward Betsy Boardman will miss the 2002-03 season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee on Oct. 13. Boardman, who has started all 65 games over her first two years, was Arizona State's top returning scorer and rebounder from one season ago. A two-time invitee to the USA Basketball Junior National Team Trials, she had led the team in steals in each of the last two years. Boardman averaged 10.3 points and 4.3 rebounds per game and shot 35.6 percent from three-point land (73-205) in her first two seasons.
Rainy Crisp Regains a Year of EligibilityThe Sun Devils have regained the services of senior guard Rainy Crisp who will be allowed to play a fourth year after a successful appeal to the NCAA eligibility committee. Crisp, who will be the lone senior on this year's young Sun Devil team, will sit out the first four regular-season games this year before becoming eligible.
In her three years at ASU after transferring from New Mexico State, Crisp played in 86 games and helped ASU to two of the most successful seasons in school history. Last year, she averaged 2.2 points and 2.0 assists per game and turned in 30 steals in helping the Sun Devils to a school-record 25 victories.
ASU Picked Sixth in Preseason Pac-10 PollsArizona State has been picked to finish sixth in the Pac-10 Conference by both the media and the league's coaches. Last year, ASU was picked to finish second by the media and fourth by the coaches and ended up tied for second (and won the inaugural Pac-10 Tournament), while in the 2000-01 season, ASU was tabbed fifth by the coaches and sixth by the media 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.
AstraZeneca Hoops for the Cure Classic IIIn an attempt to raise money to fund the fight against breast cancer and turn in the first sell-out in the history of Arizona State women's basketball, the Sun Devils will play host to the AstraZeneca Hoops for the Cure Classic II Dec. 7 at the 14,088-seat Wells Fargo Arena. The Sun Devils will take on 2001 national champion Notre Dame in the first game of the AstraZeneca Hoops for the Cure Classic II, which will be broadcast to a national cable audience on Fox Sports Net, while national powerhouses Vanderbilt and Purdue will play the second game of the doubleheader.
Proceeds from the game will be donated to the Phoenix affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation to benefit breast cancer research, treatment and education in the Valley of the Sun.
Pac-10 Postseason TournamentA new era continues as the Pac-10 plays its second annual State Farm Women's Basketball Tournament March 7-10, 2002, HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. Arizona State won the inaugural Pac-10 Tournament last year, upsetting second-ranked Stanford in the event, which was held at McArthur Court in Eugene, Ore. A total of nine games will be played in the Pac-10 Tournament with the champion earning the conference's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.
A Look Back at the 2001-02 SeasonThe 2001-02 Sun Devils turned in one of the most successful seasons in school history, tying the school mark for wins in a single season with a 25-9 overall record and earning the Sun Devils' second straight NCAA Tournament appearance. Arizona State earned the Pac-10 Conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament by upsetting second-ranked Stanford in the championship game of the inaugural Pac-10 Conference Women's Basketball Tournament. ASU downed Wisconsin in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to capture the team's first postseason win in 19 years and tie the 1981-82 NCAA Sweet Sixteen squad (25-7) for the most victories in a season. The Sun Devils also turned in their first back-to-back 20-win seasons and NCAA Tournament appearances since 1981-82 and 1982-83, while the team tied the school record for conference wins with a 12-6 Pac-10 mark which put them into a tie for second in the league.
Up NextArizona State plays its first seven games of the season at home, including its Nov. 22 season opener with Chicago State. After that game with the Cougars, the Sun Devils play host to Northern Illinois on Nov. 25. Next up is the Wells Fargo Holiday Classic on Nov. 29-30. Oklahoma State, Portland State and Wisconsin-Milwaukee visit the Valley of the Sun for the Wells Fargo Holiday Classic. No. 9/9 Georgia, a perennial SEC contender, comes to Tempe on Dec. 2, followed by the AstraZeneca Hoops for the Cure Classic II, which promises to be one of the best doubleheaders in college women's basketball. Arizona State will take on No. 10/12 Notre Dame, followed by a game between No. 12/12 Vanderbilt and No. 8/8 Purdue. Two nights later, the Sun Devils wrap up their non-conference homestand with Denver on Dec. 9 before hitting the road for a trip to the state of Ohio, taking on Kent State on Dec. 18 and Akron on Dec. 20.