No. 18 ASU Women's Basketball Hosts USC
Feb. 3, 2006
The No. 18 Arizona State women's basketball team will be seeking its fourth consecutive win when it hosts the USC Women of Troy on Saturday (12 noon) at Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe.
The Sun Devils (17-5, 8-4 Pac-10) and Women of Troy (14-7, 8-4 Pac-10) enter Saturday's game tied for second place in the Pacific-10 Conference standings. Both teams came into the week in a four-way tie for second place along with Washington and UCLA. The Sun Devils slipped past the Bruins in the standings after a convincing 87-70 victory over UCLA on Thursday night in which five Sun Devils scored in double-figures led by senior F Kristen Kovesdy's 18 points. USC maintained its second-place standing with a 73-72 win over the University of Arizona in Tucson on Thursday night. Both ASU and USC are a half-game in front of Washington (14-6, 7-4 Pac-10), who was idle on Thursday. The Huskies host Washington State in a Super Bowl Sunday matinee.
Saturday's game will be a rematch of a 58-50 win by USC last month in Los Angeles, which snapped the Sun Devils' school record nine-game winning streak. In that game, ASU led the Women of Troy of by four points (48-44) with just over four minutes remaining in the game before USC went on a 14-2 run to close out the game. Kovesdy scored 11 points to lead the Sun Devils, who only shot 36.5 percent for the game, including 26.9 percent in the second half.
RADIO: Saturday's game vs. USC can be heard live both on KDUS 1060 AM and on the Internet (SunDevilSportsNetwork.com). Coverage will begin with 'Countdown to Tip-Off' at 11:30 a.m. Jeff Munn is in his second year as the voice of ASU women's basketball. He will be joined on the broadcast by Seth Sulka, General Manager of the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury.
TV: Saturday's game will also be shown live on Fox Sports Net Arizona. Jim Watson (play by play) and Mary Murphy (analysis) will be on hand to call the action.
This will be ASU's third appearance on Fox Sports Net this season. The Sun Devils defeated (then No. 16) Vanderbilt 69-60 in the season-opening WBCA/BTI Classic (Nov. 11) and also defeated the University of Washington 64-51 in their Pac-10 home opener on December 29.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR ASU enters Saturday's game ranked No. 1 in the Pac-10 in rebounding margin (+6.7), rebounds allowed per game (30.5) and assists per game (18.77) and No. 2 in scoring margin (+10.7), FG percentage (.459) and FT pct. (.736). The Sun Devils have won their last 18 regular season games at home and are 36-2 since the 2003-04 season. Coming off the bench, senior F Amy Denson has either led or tied for the team lead in scoring in three of ASU's last five games, including a career-best 19 points at California (Jan. 19). During that five-game span, Denson has averaged 12.6 points and 5.8 rebounds per game while shooting 60 percent from the field. In ASU's last six games, its bench has outscored the opposition's bench 226-60, or an average of 37.6-10.0 per game. In ASU's last three games, seniors Denson and YoVanna Rosenthal have come off the bench and averaged a combined 21.3 points per game and have shot a combined 64.1 percent (25-39) during that span. The Sun Devils have committed 12 or fewer turnovers in four of their last seven outings. Senior F Kristen Kovesdy enters Saturday's game No. 6 on ASU's all-time scoring list with 1,237 points. Kovesdy now needs 12 points to pass former Sun Devil Robin Connolly (1,248 points, 1984-87) for No. 5 on ASU's all-time scoring list. Kovesdy currently leads the Pac-10 and is No. 13 in the nation in field goal percentage, shooting .600 from the field.
ASU HEAD COACH Charli Turner Thorne: The winningest coach in Sun Devil history (164-127) and No. 6 in the Pac-10 in most career wins, Turner Thorne has led the Sun Devils to a school record six consecutive post season appearances (NCAA Tournament in 2001-02 and 2005, WNIT in 2000, 2003-04) ... Earlier this season guided ASU on a nine-game winning streak which tied the school record for most consecutive wins. (Also led ASU to its first Top 10 ranking in 22 years and tied the highest ranking in school history (No. 9) ... In the last two seasons, has led ASU to a 13-2 record when coming off a loss ... Last season, guided ASU to a 24-10 overall record and its first NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearance in 22 years ... Led her 2001-02 team to a 25-9 record, tying the ASU record for wins in a single season ... Guided ASU to a share of the Pac-10 title in 2001 and the inaugural Pac-10 Tournament title in 2002, the first league championships in school history ... Led Northern Arizona University to consecutive winning seasons in 1994-95 and 1995-96, the first coach in school history to accomplish that feat ... As a player, lettered four years at Stanford under Tara VanDerveer ... Graduated from Stanford in 1988 with a bachelor's degree in psychology and later earned her master's degree in education from Washington in 1990. Career Record: 204-167
SERIES HISTORY VERSUS USC: USC leads the series with the Sun Devils 47-9, including a 21-6 advantage in games played in Tempe.
USC's 58-50 win in Los Angeles last month snapped (then No. 9) ASU's school record nine-game winning streak. ASU's 49-45 win last February snapped a five-game USC winning streak in the series. In 2000-01, ASU earned its only season sweep over the Women of Troy, while in 2001-02 the teams split the two meetings with USC earning a 68-49 victory on Jan. 19 in Los Angeles and ASU getting a 67-60 win on Feb. 14 in Tempe.HOME SWEET HOME: With their 87-70 victory over UCLA on Thursday night, the Sun Devils extended their regular season home court winning streak to 18 games. The Sun Devils are now 36-2 in regular season home games going back to the 2003-04 season. In those 38 games the Sun Devils are out-scoring their opponents by more than 16 points (70.9 - 54.7) and are shooting almost six percentage points higher (44.6 - 38.8).
TEAM NOTES ASU's nine-game winning streak earlier in the season tied the longest winning streak in school history (1982-83). The Sun Devils were ranked No. 9 in both of the major polls the first week in January, tying the highest ranking in school history (January 1983). ASU's 67-61 win at Washington (Jan. 28) represented its first win against the Huskies in Seattle since the 1995-96 season. ASU has out-rebounded its opponent 16 times in 22 games this season. ASU tied both Vanderbilt (33-33) and UCLA (35-35) in rebounds. North Carolina (38-28), Oregon (44-42), California (45-35) and Washington State (37-35) are the only teams who have out-rebounded ASU this season. Four times this season ASU has limited its opponent to 21 or fewer rebounds, including only 20 by Stanford (Jan. 21), the lowest number of rebounds allowed by any team in the Pac-10 this season. ASU has had fewer turnovers than its opponent 15 times in 22 games this season. ASU is 14-1 in those games. The only exception came in ASU's 66-64 loss at California. ASU is averaging 20.6 points off turnovers per game, compared to 16.0 for its opponents. ASU's bench has outscored the opposition's bench 615-313 this season, an average of 27.9-14.2 per game.
OFFENSIVE NOTES ASU has shot 50 percent or better nine times this season, including a season-best .565 (26-46) in its 69-51 win vs. Oregon State (Jan. 14). Senior F Kristen Kovesdy has either led or tied for the team lead in scoring nine times this season. Kovesdy's 27 points (23 in the second half) vs. Washington (Dec. 29) are the most for a Sun Devil this season. Coming of the bench, senior F Amy Denson has led or tied for the team lead in scoring four times this season. Denson is averaging 12.6 points and shooting 60.0 percent in ASU's last five games. Redshirt junior G Jill Noe leads ASU in three-point FGs with 24. Noe had a career-best 5 three-pointers at Stanford (Jan. 21) and also recorded four three-pointers in back-to-back games earlier this season -- vs. North Carolina (Nov. 25) and vs. Mississippi State (Nov. 26). The Sun Devils have made 20 or more free throws five times this season, including a season-best 28 made free throws vs. Western Kentucky (Dec. 3). ASU has had more assists than its opponent in all but two games this season (vs. North Carolina, Nov. 25, at Washington, Jan. 28). ASU has had more offensive rebounds than its opponent 18 times in 22 games this season.
DEFENSIVE NOTES ASU has forced 20 or more turnovers 13 times this season, including a season-high 32 turnovers in its season opening victory vs. Vanderbilt (Nov. 11). The Sun Devils have held their opponents under 40 percent shooting seven times this season. The Sun Devils have allowed two or fewer three-point field goals 11 times this season and have held their opponents to 25 percent or less shooting from three-point range 10 times this season. ASU's best defensive performance of the year to date came in its 44-43 win over Oregon. The Sun Devils won despite shooting 25.8 percent for the game. The 43 points Oregon scored represents the second-lowest number of points allowed by a Pac-10 team this season.
KOVESDY NAMED ONE OF 30 FINALISTS FOR BAYER ADVANTAGE SENIOR CLASS AWARD: ASU senior F Kristen Kovesdy was recently named one of 30 finalists for the Bayer Advantage Senior Class Award, which is presented annually to the nation's senior player-of-the-year for NCAA Division I men's and women's basketball. From the list of 30 nominees, a national media committee will select 10 finalists for the award later this month as the conference season hits its peak. Those ten names will be placed on the official ballot for a nationwide voting process during the NCAA Tournament in March. Fan balloting will be coupled with results from voting by coaches and media to determine the winner. ASU's all-time leader in field goal percentage and currently No. 6 on the school's all-time scoring list, Kovesdy currently leads the Sun Devils in scoring (12.8 ppg) and rebounding (6.8 rpg) and is No. 1 in the Pac-10 and No. 13 in the nation in field goal percentage (60.0 percent). Earlier this season against Washington (Dec. 29), Kovesdy scored 23 of her season-best 27 points in the second half and pulled down 10 rebounds to lead the Sun Devils to a 64-51 victory over the Huskies. Kovesdy has turned in a double-double performance five times this season.
KOVESDY CLIMBS THE CHARTS: With 18 points in ASU's 87-70 victory over UCLA on Thursday night, senior F Kristen Kovesdy moved past former Sun Devil Karen O'Connor (1988-91) for No. 6 on ASU's all-time scoring list. Currently with 1,237 points, Kovesdy now needs 12 points to pass former Sun Devil Robin Connolly (1,248 points, 1984-87) for No. 5 on ASU's all-time scoring list.
Kovesdy is also among ASU's all-time leaders in the rebounding department. With 598 career rebounds Kovesdy currently sits No. 5 on ASU's all-time rebounding list. She needs 59 more rebounds to pass former Sun Devil Jovonne Smith (656 rebounds, 1984-86) for No. 4 on ASU's all-time rebounding list.
FREE THROWS: ASU has nine players averaging 10 or more minutes per game ... Kristen Kovesdy's 27 points against Washington (Dec. 29) are the most by a Sun Devil in any game this season ... ASU has had the same starting five in all but two games this season: Reagan Pariseau (G), Jill Noe (G), Emily Westerberg (F), Aubree Johnson (F) and Kristen Kovesdy (F/C). The only exceptions came in ASU's 77-69 loss at UCLA (Jan. 8), when freshman G Danielle Orsillo started for Jill Noe (bruised hand) and in ASU's 84-78 loss at Stanford (Jan. 21) when Orsillo started for Noe and senior Amy Denson started for Johnson ... Westerberg leads the Sun Devils in minutes per game, averaging 26.9 ... Among players coming off the bench, freshman G Briann January currently leads the Sun Devils in minutes per game (18.9), followed by Amy Denson (18.4) ... In their 22 games the Sun Devils have been led in scoring by seven different players -- Denson, January, Kovesdy, Noe, Orsillo, Kirsten Thompson and Westerberg ... According to CollegeRPI.com, the Sun Devils are No. 13 in the nation in RPI (a measure of strength of schedule and how a team does against that schedule). Their strength of schedule is ranked No. 22 in the country.
WHAT'S NEXT FOR CHARLI? Arizona State head coach Charli Turner Thorne added another great accomplishment to her coaching dossier earlier this season when it was revealed that ASU was ranked No. 10 in the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll. For the Sun Devils it was their first appearance in the top 10 of a major poll in 22 years. If the figure `22 years' sounds familiar it's because last season Turner Thorne led the Sun Devils to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 22 years.
Currently in the midst of her 10th season in Tempe, Turner Thorne has more than established the Sun Devils as one of the teams to watch on an annual basis not only in the Pac-10 Conference, but also across the country. In fact, since the 2000-01 season, the Sun Devils have won the second-highest number of overall games (119) in the Pac-10 Conference. Turner Thorne is currently No. 6 among Pac-10 coaches in all-time victories with 164.
2005-06 Arizona State Women's BasketballPlayer Notes
#2 Reagan Pariseau G 5-5 So./1V Spokane, Wash. A starter in every game in 2005, is currently averaging 5.1 points per game. Has had one or zero turnovers 11 times this season. Currently leads the team in assists (62) and is second in three-point FGs (16). Tied her season best with 10 points on 3-6 shooting, including 2-3 from three-point range, in ASU's 87-70 win over UCLA (Feb. 2). Scored 10 points (all in the second half) at Arizona (Dec. 22). Played in all 34 games with one start as a freshman. One of four players on the roster from the state of Washington, Pariseau was a high school teammate of current Sun Devil F Emily Westerberg.
#4 Emily Westerberg F 6-0 Jr./2V Greenacres, Wash. Is currently second on the team to senior F Kristen Kovesdy in both scoring (10.8 points per game) and rebounding (5.0 per game). Is also second in assists (61) and leads the team in minutes per game (26.9). Has led or tied for the team lead in scoring five times this season and has led or tied for the team lead in rebounding seven times this season. Led ASU with a season-best 20 points on 7-11 shooting and tied her career-best with three 3-point field goals (3-5) in ASU's 84-78 loss at Stanford (Jan. 21). Hit game-winning 3-point FG with 13.9 seconds left in ASU's 44-43 win over Oregon (Jan. 12). Was named to the WBCA/BTI Classic All-Tournament team after averaging 15.0 points and 7.5 rebounds in ASU's season opening wins against Vanderbilt (Nov. 11) and Missouri (Nov. 12). Last season became the second sophomore (Kym Hampton) in school history to earn first-team All-Pac-10 honors. One of four players on the roster from the state of Washington, Westerberg was a high school teammate of current Sun Devil G Reagan Pariseau.
#10 Lavinia Fanaika G 5-8 Fr./HS Millbrae, Calif. Has played in four games this season (vs. Memphis Dec. 2, at Arizona Dec. 22, vs. Oregon State Jan. 14 and vs. UCLA, Feb. 2).
#11 Kate Engelbrecht G 5-10 Fr./HS Tucson, Ariz. Has appeared in all but one game (at California, Jan. 19) this season, averaging 6.2 minutes per game. Is currently shooting 60.9 percent from the field (14-23). Made all five of her shots and had a career-high 11 points vs. Memphis (Dec. 2). Made all five of her shots and scored 10 points at Arizona (Dec. 22).
#13 Danielle Orsillo G 5-9 Fr./HS Oroville, Calif. Has averaged 10.4 points and has hit six three-pointers in ASU's last five games. Is currently third on the team in free throw shooting percentage (33-42, 78.6 percent). Scored a career-best 16 points (6-11 shooting) in only 18 minutes in ASU's 73-61 victory over No. 18 New Mexico (Dec. 6). Made a career-best three 3-pointers and tied for the team lead with 13 points in ASU's 75-65 win at Washington State (Jan. 26). Tallied 14 points in 24 minutes in ASU's 66-64 loss at California (Jan. 19). Made the second start of her career (first came at UCLA on Jan. 8) at Stanford (Jan. 21). Had ASU's only four-point play of the 2005-06 season at Stanford. A 2005 graduate of Las Plumas High School in Oroville, Calif., finished her high school career third (3,340 points) on the state of California's all-time scoring list behind Charde Houston and Cheryl Miller. Has played the guitar since she was seven years old.
#15 Cristina Lopez F 6-0 Fr./HS Villa Park, Calif. Has appeared in 12 games this season as she continues to recover from major shoulder surgery she had last year.
#20 Briann January G 5-8 Fr./HS Spokane, Wash. Is averaging the most minutes (18.9) of players coming off the bench. Has had 18 assists and only five turnovers in her last five games. Is No. 1 on the team and No. 7 in the Pac-10 in free throw shooting pct (80.0 pct on 48-60 FTs). Led the team in scoring with a career-best 12 points in ASU's 72-47 victory over Washington State (Dec. 31). Had a career-best six assists with no turnovers at Washington State (Jan. 26). One of four players on the roster from the state of Washington, January was an AAU teammate of current Sun Devil G Reagan Pariseau. Holds a black belt in karate. Her father (Barry) is a karate instructor.
#22 Jill Noe G 5-10 RS-Jr./1V Tualatin, Ore. A member of the All-Pac-10 freshman team in 2002-03, Noe returned to the starting line-up this year after missing the last two seasons because of ACL injuries incurred before the start of the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons. A starter in 20 of 22 games, is currently third on the team in scoring, averaging 9.0 points per game. Has led or tied for the team lead in scoring four times and is the team's leader in three-point field goals (24). Scored 19 points and drained a career-best five 3-point FGs in ASU's 84-78 loss at Stanford (Jan. 21). During earlier three-game stretch (vs. North Carolina, vs. Mississippi State and vs. Memphis), averaged 18.0 points per game and was 18-30 from the field, including 10-14 from three-point range.
#23 Kirsten Thompson C 6-6 Fr./HS Monroe, Wash. Is currently shooting 51.2 percent from the field (42-82). The team's leader with 14 blocked shots, tallied a team single-game best four blocked shots vs. Memphis (Dec. 2). Led ASU in scoring with a career-best 15 points while also recording career-best numbers in rebounds (8) and minutes played (19) in ASU's 69-51 win over Oregon St. (Jan. 14). Scored 10 points (3-5 FG, 4-6 FT) in ASU's 87-70 win over UCLA (Feb. 2). Was 4-5 from the field and scored eight points in ASU's 58-50 loss at USC (Jan. 6). One of four players on the roster from the state of Washington, Thompson was the first girls basketball player from the state to be named a McDonald's All-American.
#32 Aubree Johnson F 6-2 Jr./2V Post Falls, Id. A starter in all but one game (at Stanford, Jan. 21) this season, is currently averaging 23.2 minutes and 5.8 points per game. Had a season-best 11 points in ASU's victory over Memphis (Dec. 3) and again in ASU's 77-69 loss at UCLA (Jan. 8). Pulled down a season-best 11 rebounds in ASU's 44-43 win over Oregon (Jan. 12). Took the last of her six offensive rebounds and found teammate Emily Westerberg, who hit the game-winning three with :13.9 left. Has won the team's academic award each of the last two seasons (was a co-winner last season).
#33 Amy Denson F 6-1 Sr./3V Central Point, Ore. Has appeared in every game and is currently averaging 18.4 minutes per game (7.6 ppg, 4.2 rpg). Is currently No. 9 in the Pac-10 in FG pct (.497). Coming off the bench, has either led or tied for the team lead in scoring in three of ASU's last five games, including a career-best 19 points at California (Jan. 19). In the last five games, Denson has averaged 12.6 points and 5.8 rebounds per game while shooting 60.0 percent from the field. Scored a game-high 18 points on 6-8 shooting in ASU's 67-61 victory at Washington (Jan. 28). Scored 12 of her points in the second half, including six of ASU's final eight points to help break open what was a one-point game (59-58 ASU) with under three minutes remaining. Recorded the third double-double of her career with a career-best 19 points and season-best 11 rebounds in ASU's 66-64 loss at California (Jan. 19). Tied for the team lead with 13 points on 6-9 shooting in ASU's 75-65 win at Washington State (Jan. 26). Was named the MVP of the Wells Fargo Holiday Classic after averaging 15 points and 6.5 rebounds in ASU's victories over Memphis and Western Kentucky. Tied her (then) career best with 18 points in ASU's 78-64 win vs. Western Kentucky (Dec. 3). Made only start of the season at Stanford (Jan. 21).
#34 YoVanna Rosenthal G 5-7 Sr./3V Phoenix, Ariz. Has appeared in all but one game (vs. Oregon, Jan. 12) this season, averaging 7.5 minutes per game. Has averaged 7.3 points while shooting 58.3 percent from the field in ASU's last three games, including 62.5 percent from three-point range (5-8). Had a season-best eight points for the second consecutive game in ASU's 87-70 victory over UCLA (Feb. 2). Turned in her best performance of the season at Washington (Jan. 28), scoring a season-best eight points, including 2-2 from three-point range. Also added one rebound, one steal and one momentum changing block in which she chased down Husky G Emily Florence, who had clear path to the basket after a steal, and knocked away what was an all-but-certain two points for Washington that would have tied the game at 57-57 with 4:15 left in regulation. ASU would outscore the Huskies 10-6 the rest of the way to seal its 67-61 victory, the Sun Devils' first victory in Seattle since the 1995-96 season. Scored seven points to go along with three assists in ASU's victory over Memphis (Dec. 2). Scored six points in ASU's 75-65 win at Washington State (Jan. 26). One of three players on the roster (Kate Engelbrecht, Kristen Kovesdy) from Arizona.
#54 Kristen Kovesdy F 6-3 Sr./3V Scottsdale, Ariz. ASU's all-time leader in FG pct. (.572), is currently first in the Pac-10 and No. 14 in the country in FG pct. (60.0) and leads the team in both scoring (12.8 ppg) and rebounding (6.8 rpg). Has led or tied for the team lead in scoring nine times and has led or tied for the team lead in rebounding 11 times. Is currently No. 6 on ASU's all-time scoring list with 1,237 points. Needs 12 points to pass former Sun Devil Robin Connolly (1,248 points, 1984-87) for No. 5 on ASU's all-time scoring list.With 598 career rebounds Kovesdy currently sits No. 5 on ASU's all-time rebounding list. Needs 59 more rebounds to pass former Sun Devil Jovonne Smith (656 rebounds, 1984-86) for No. 4 on ASU's all-time rebounding list. Led ASU with 18 points (9-15 FGs) and five rebounds in ASU's 87-70 win over UCLA (Feb. 2). Posted her fifth double-double of the season with 16 points (7-8 FGs) and 10 rebounds in ASU's 84-78 loss at Stanford (Jan. 21). It marked her third double-double in ASU's last five games. Recorded her second consecutive and fourth double-double of the season with 11 points and 12 rebounds in ASU's 44-43 win over Oregon (Jan. 12). Notched her third double-double of the season (12 points and 10 rebounds) in ASU's 77-69 loss at UCLA (Jan. 8). Carried the Sun Devils to a victory vs. Washington (Dec. 29), scoring 23 of her season-best 27 points in the second half to go along with 10 rebounds which gave her her second double-double in 2005-06. Was named the MVP of the season-opening WBCA/BTI Classic after averaging 15.0 points on 63.2 percent shooting and 7.0 rebounds in ASU's victories over No. 16 Vanderbilt (Nov. 11) and Missouri (Nov. 12). Was named to the All-Tournament team of the Wells Fargo Holiday Classic after averaging 14 points and 11.5 rebounds in ASU wins over Memphis (Dec. 2) and Western Kentucky (Dec. 3). One of 30 finalists for the Bayer Advantage Senior Class Award, which is presented annually to the nation's senior player-of-the-year for NCAA Division I men's and women's basketball.