Women's Hoops to Wrap Up Exhibition Season Saturday Night

Nov. 13, 2003

TEMPE, Ariz. -

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Coming off a school-record four consecutive postseason appearances, eighth-year head coach Charli Turner Thorne and her Arizona State Sun Devils play their second and final exhibition tuneup this weekend, taking on the West Coast All-Stars, a traveling team of former college stars, Saturday, Nov. 15 before opening the regular season against Akron on Friday, Nov. 21 at 7:30 p.m. at Wells Fargo Arena. ASU won its first exhibition game last week, turning in a 92-41 victory over Latvian Select on Nov. 6. The West Coast All-Stars are 0-3 after losing at Tennessee 86-57 on Nov. 9, North Carolina 97-60 on Nov. 10 and New Mexico 67-56 on Nov. 10.

This year, Arizona State, which is ranked 28th by womenscollegehoops.com, returns four starters (with the loss of sophomore Jill Noe, a 2003 Pac-10 All-Freshman selection who led the team in scoring last year, to an ACL tear) and eight letterwinners from its 2002-03 squad which turned in a 16-14 record, upset three ranked opponents and advanced to the second round of the 2003 Women's National Invitation Tournament. The Sun Devils also regain the services of junior Betsy Boardman, who started all 64 games of her first two years and missed all of last season with an ACL tear, and add a recruiting class of three true freshmen that was ranked as high as eighth in the nation. The 2003-04 Sun Devil active roster is still a young one featuring just one senior, four juniors, three sophomores and three freshmen.

ASU in the Exhibition SeasonThe Sun Devils are 9-6 in exhibition games under eighth-year head coach Charli Turner Thorne including a 92-41 win over Latvian Select last week at Wells Fargo Arena. Last year, the Sun Devils split their exhibition contests, defeating the University of Mathias Bell Banska Bystrica, a traveling team from Slovakia, 101-57 on Nov. 7 and falling to the West Coast All-Stars, a team of former college players, 78-74 on Nov. 14.

Last Time OutJunior Carrie Buckner had 16 points, eight rebounds and six steals to lead Arizona State to a 92-41 victory in their exhibition season opener against Latvian Select last Thursday at Wells Fargo Arena. The Sun Devils took a commanding lead early in the first half, using a 23-1 run to go up 42-13 with 3:30 left in the period. ASU had 13 steals in the first half and held Latvian Select, a traveling team from Riga, Latvia, to just 17.4 percent shooting. The Sun Devils led 52-15 at the half with Buckner turning in 11 of her 16 points and four steals in the first 20 minutes.

The second half provided much of the same as ASU added 12 more steals en route to the 92-41 victory. ASU finished the game with 25 steals and outrebounded the Latvians 61-37.

Buckner led the Sun Devil effort with 16 points, while true freshmen Aubree Johnson and Alisha Godette each contributed 11 points in their home debuts. Johnson and junior Betsy Boardman, who was playing for the first time since tearing her ACL prior to last season, each pulled down seven rebounds. Senior Jen Albert turned in nine points and six rebounds, while sophomore YoVanna Rosenthal had six steals. Junior Kylan Loney led the team with six assists, and junior Lauren Stagg added five. Sanita Dvinska led the Latvian Select team with 17 points and added seven rebounds.

A Look Ahead at the Season OpenerArizona State tips off the regular season next week, playing host to Akron on Friday, Nov. 21 at 7:30 p.m. at Wells Fargo Arena. That Nov. 21 game is part of an ASU sports doubleheader with the Sun Devil volleyball team taking on Washington State at 5 p.m. at Wells Fargo Arena. Akron returns one starter and eight letterwinners from its 2-26 team last year, including junior guard Lindsay Hemmelgarn who averaged 9.3 points per game last season. The Zips turned in a 66-59 victory over Findlay in their first exhibition game on Nov. 8 and will take on Ashland on Nov. 12 in their final tuneup before opening the regular season at ASU.

Arizona State holds a 1-0 record in the series with Akron, earning an 82-43 victory last year on Dec. 18 in Akron. Freshman Jill Noe had 16 points to lead four Sun Devils in double figures for scoring in that game last year. The Sun Devils hold a 6-1 record against schools from the Mid-American Conference, winning three games over MAC opponents last year (Akron, Kent State and Northern Illinois).

Home-Court AdvantageThe Sun Devils will play five of their first seven games of the year at Wells Fargo Arena where the team has won a school-record 13 games in each of the last two seasons. Last year, ASU turned in a 13-4 record which matched the school-record 13 victories the 2001-02 team had (13-2). The Sun Devils won their first five home games in 2002-03 to set a school record with 13 straight home wins, a streak that dated back to the last eight home games of the 2001-02 season. Arizona State has turned in a 49-13 record at Wells Fargo Arena in the last four seasons.

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