No. 13/14 ASU Women's Basketball Hosts Washington State on Thursday Night
Jan. 3, 2007
The No. 13/14 Arizona State women's basketball team returns to action on Thursday night (6:30 p.m.) when it hosts the Washington State Cougars in Wells Fargo Arena. The Sun Devils are coming off a 77-71 loss at Stanford on Saturday, which snapped their season-best eight-game winning streak.
ASU(12-2, 2-1 Pac-10) comes into Thursday's contest having won 29 of its last 30 home games, including its last 17 Pac-10 home games, going back to the 2004-05 season. Overall, ASU is 47-3 at home going back to the 2003-04 season. Thursday's game against Washington State marks the beginning of a stretch in which the Sun Devils will play six of their next eight contests at Wells Fargo Arena.
Thursday night will be is 'Team Jersey Night' at Wells Fargo Arena. Fans wearing their favorite jersey can purchase a general admission ticket for $2.
Arizona State's game vs. Washington State can be heard live on KXAM 1310 AM. It can also be heard live on the sundevilsportsnetwork.com (subscription-based service). Coverage of the game will begin at 6 p.m. Valley veteran broadcaster Jeff Munn is in his third year as the voice of ASU women's basketball. He will be joined on the broadcast by longtime basketball executive Seth Sulka.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
The Sun Devils have won eight of their last nine games and 11 of their last 12 Pac-10 games. In addition, ASU has won its last 17 Pac-10 home games going back to the 2004-05 season.
ASU entered this week ranked No. 2 in the nation in assists (20.5 per game) and No. 7 in field goal percentage (.487). The Sun Devils lead the Pac-10 in both categories. ASU also leads the Pac-10 in scoring offense (78.1), scoring margin (+18.1), turnover margin (+6.29) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.21). ASU also ranks second in the Pac-10 in three-point field goal percent defense (.290) and steals (10.57 per game).
Since the beginning of the 2004-05 season, ASU is 15-2 when coming off a loss.
Junior guard Reagan Pariseau (25 assists, seven turnovers) and sophomore guard Briann January (42 assists, 11 turnovers) have combined for 67 assists and only 18 turnovers in ASU's last nine games. Pariseau and January currently rank first and third, respectively, in the Pac-10 in assist-to-turnover ration.
In ASU's last three games ... Senior G Jill Noe has averaged 14.7 points and 5.7 rebounds ... Senior F Emily Westerberg has averaged 14.0 points, four rebounds and has hit 87.5 percent of her free throws (14-16) ... Sophomore C Kirsten Thompson has averaged 11.3 points and has hit 60 percent of her shots (15-25). Thompson currently ranks second in the Pac-10 in field goal percentage (.578).
In ASU's last two games, senior F Aubree Johnson has averaged 10.0 points and 6.0 rebounds while connecting on 69.2 percent of her field goal attempts (9-13).
ASU has defeated Washington State 17 of the last 18 times the two teams have met, including the last four in succession.
ASU head coach Charli Turner Thorne needs eight more Pac-10 wins to reach 100 for her career. She needs 16 more wins for her 200th win at ASU. Last season Turner Thorne won the 200th game of her career (includes 40-40 record in three seasons at NAU from 1994-96).
Currently with 1,077 career points, senior F Emily Westerberg needs 58 points to pass former Sun Devil Jovonne Smith (1989-93) for 10th on ASU's all-time scoring list.
Senior G Jill Noe (86 career three-point FGs) needs four three-point FGs to tie former Sun Devil Ryneldi Becenti (1992-93) for No. 7 on ASU's all-time list. She needs five more to tie former Sun Devil Kristine Sand (1997-2000) for No. 6 on the list.
SERIES HISTORY VERSUS WASHINGTON STATE
ASU holds a 28-12 advantage in the all-time series with Washington State and has won 17 of the last 18 meetings with the Cougars. ASU has won 16 of the 19 games played in Tempe. Washington State's only win in the last 18 meetings was a 75-72 win in Pullman on February 28, 2004.
In last season's games ASU won 72-47 (Tempe) and 75-65 (Pullman, Wash). In the first meeting, ASU scored 30 points on 29 forced turnovers and held the Cougars to 36.4 percent shooting for the game. Freshman G Briann January led ASU with 12 points. In the second meeting, Danielle Orsillo and former Sun Devil Amy Denson each had 13 points to lead the Sun Devils. ASU's most recent victory against the Cougars started what would eventually become a school record 10-game winning strek.
ORSILLO NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Arizona State sophomore guard Danielle Orsillo was named the Pac-10 Women's Basketball Player in late December following a pair of brilliant performances in helping the Sun Devils defeat Texas Tech (Dec. 18) and Arizona (Dec. 22). In the two games, the Oroville, Calif., native hit 77.8 percent of her shots (14-18), while averaging 16.5 points, five rebounds, one assist and 2.5 steals.
In the win over Texas Tech in the Hoops for Health Classic presented by Shaklee, which was the second ever women's college basketball game to be played outdoors, Orsillo led ASU in scoring with 16 points on 7-of-8 (.875) shooting. She also added a career-best six rebounds and tied a career best with three steals against the Lady Raiders.
In ASU's Pac-10 opener against Arizona, Orsillo was ASU's second-leading scorer with 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting (.700) while also adding four rebounds and two steals.
ASU has won 21 of its last 23 regular season contests dating back to 2005-06. ASU won its last nine regular season games of 2005-06 and had won its first four this season before falling to the No. 4 Tennessee Lady Vols, 83-74 on Nov. 19. After falling to the Lady Vols, the Sun Devils won their next eight games before falling to Stanford (77-71) in Palo Alto on Dec. 30.
The Sun Devils have won 11 of their last 12 regular season Pac-10 Conference games dating back to last season.
Since 2004-05, the Sun Devils are now 26-4 in their pre-conference regular season games. They have defeated five ranked teams in that span, including No. 11 Georgia and No. 8 UConn in 2004, No. 17 Vanderbilt and No. 18 New Mexico in 2005 and No. 18 New Mexico in 2006. ASU's only losses in that span came at No. 3 LSU in 2004 (54-65), at New Mexico in 2004 (45-61), vs. No. 8 North Carolina in last year's Caribbean Classic in Cancun (72-79) and vs. Tennessee (74-83) last month in Tempe.
ASU has won 29 of its last 30 regular season home games, including its last 17 Pac-10 home games, going back to the 2004-05 season The Sun Devils are 47-3 at home since the 2003-04 season.
The Sun Devils have 10 players who are averaging at least 12.6 minutes per game. Leading the way is sophomore G Briann January, who is averaging 24.1 minutes per game.
ASU's Rating Percentage Index (RPI) is currently No. 12, according to CollegeRPI.com while its strength of schedule is 20th in the country.
The Sun Devils opened their season winning their first four games by an average of 31.5 points. ASU won the season-opening Veterans Day Classic (Nov. 10, 12 & 13) after capturing wins over Nebraska (87-60), New Mexico (67-49) and Florida Atlantic (96-60). They followed that with a 91-46 win over Nicholls State (Nov. 15).
Sun Devil senior G Jill Noe (11.7 ppg, 8.7 rpg) and G Briann January (8.7 ppg, 3.7 apg, 3.0 spg) were named to the Veterans Day Classic All-Tournament Team while senior F Emily Westerberg (16.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg) was named the MVP.
The Sun Devils encountered their first loss of the season to the No. 4 Tennessee Lady Vols (Nov. 19). ASU had a season-high 25 turnovers while allowing Tennessee to shoot 54.8 percent in the 83-74 loss. The loss to Tennessee snapped ASU's 26-game regular season home-winning streak and its streak of wins in 13 consecutive regular season games going back to last season.
ASU got back on the winning track, defeating Western Kentucky 67-63 in the first round of the Paradise Jam held in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Sun Devils forced 35 turnovers, however had to hold off a furious rally by the Lady Toppers in the game's closing minutes.
The Sun Devils won their home tournament, the Verizon ASU Classic, defeating both Boston University (75-53) and Northern Arizona (85-72). ASU defeated Boston despite not having its regular starting posts - seniors Emily Westerberg and Aubree Johnson - in the lineup. The Sun Devils overcame even more adversity in their win against NAU, overtaking the Lumberjacks despite not having Johnson, Westerberg and starting point guard Reagan Pariseau in the lineup. Sophomore G Danielle Orsillo earned tournament MVP honors by scoring a career-best 19 points in both contests. Also coming through with key performances were sophomore guard Briann January (averaged 14.5 pts, 3.5 rebs and 3.0 asts), sophomore center Kirsten Thompson (averaged 16.5 pts and 7.0 rebs) and senior guard Jill Noe, who came up just short of securing ASU's first triple-double since 1992 after contributing 17 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds in the championship game. Both January and Thompson were named to the All-Tourney Team.
ASU knocked off Gonzaga 81-66 to extend its winning streak four games, In that game, Westerberg scored 20 points, putting her over the 1,000-point mark for her career. She became the 17th Sun Devil to achieve such status.
ASU ran its unbeaten streak to five consecutive following its 75-46 win over UC Irvine. In that game the Sun Devils recorded season bests in field goal pct (56.4) and field goal pct. allowed (29.5).
The Sun Devils won their sixth straight game, defeating Texas Tech (61-45) in the second ever outdoor women's basketball game, which was held at Chase Field in downtown Phoenix. The game came to an abrupt end when rain began to fall with 4:18 remaining in the game. ASU was declared the victor following a conference between the officials and the coaches from both schools.
The Sun Devils defeated in-state rival Arizona 89-62 for their seventh consecutive win. The Sun Devils forced 31 turnovers (resulting in 33 points) in the win, the second time in 2006-07 that they forced 30 or more turnovers in a game. ASU led by as many as 31.
ASU earned a hard-fought 74-58 win at No. 18/19 Cal (Dec. 28) to win its eighth straight game. Trailing by six points (41-35) three minutes into the second half, the Sun Devils used a 24-5 run over a seven-plus minute span to take control of the game. After shooting 12-31 (38.7 percent) in the first half, the Sun Devils warmed up in the second half, making 57.6 percent of their shots (19-33) while also out-rebounding the Golden Bears by 10 (20-10) after being out-rebounded 16-13 in the first half.
The Sun Devils had their winning streaks (eight straight overall, 11 consecutive Pac-10 games and seven straight road games) end in Palo Alto at the hands of the Stanford Cardinal (77-71). The Sun Devils led by seven at the half (35-28). The Cardinal opened the second half with a 17-3 run to take a seven-point lead of its own (45-38). ASU would counter with a 9-0 run to re-claim the lead, 47-45. The contest would go back-and-forth the rest of the way. ASU would take its final lead, 67-66, with just under three minutes left. A layup on Stanford's ensuing possession gave the Cardinal the lead for good (68-67). Down 74-71 in the game's waning moments, the Sun Devils had a chance to tie the game, however were unable to hit a three.
WESTERBERG NAMED TO NAISMITH AWARD LIST
Earlier this season Arizona State senior F Emily Westerberg was named to the watch list for the 2007 Naismith Award, which is presented annually to the men's and women's college basketball players of the year.
The Top 50 list was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors, comprised of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country. The board based its pre-season criteria on player performances from last season and expectations for the 2006-07 season. In January, the Board of Selectors will narrow its pre-season list to the Top 30 players in the nation. Those players, and others who distinguish themselves throughout the season, will be eligible for the final ballot in March.
Westerberg has already been named to the Preseason All-Pac-10 Team, announced last month during the annual Pac-10 Women's Basketball Media Day in November.
Last season Westerberg became the first Sun Devil since 1992-93 to earn First-Team All-Pac-10 honors in back-to-back seasons after a year in which she finished second on the team in scoring (12.8 ppg), rebounding (5.1 rpg), assists (80) and blocks (9) and third in both steals (34) and three-point field goals (18).
Thus far in 2006-07, Westerberg has more than lived up to the preseason honor. She was named Most Valuable Player of the season opening Veterans Day Classic. Westerberg averaged 16.7 points and 4.7 rebounds in wins over Nebraska, New Mexico and Florida Atlantic. She added a season-best 21 points in ASU's 83-74 loss to No. 4 Tennessee (Nov. 19). Westerberg's play against the Lady Vols was so impressive that Tennessee head coach Pat Summitt singled her out in her post-game remarks following the game. Said Summitt, 'We didn't have an answer [for Emily Westerberg]. I went over and told her, `You are a heck of a player.' I knew that from just watching tape. She is very efficient. She is just a very skilled player. She plays hard. She gets open. We had a hard time keeping the ball out of her hands. We talked about it at halftime: You have to limit her touches or the numbers are going to mount.'
One of ASU's 2006-07 co-captains along with senior F Aubree Johnson, Westerberg became the 17th player in school history to score 1,000 career points following her 20-point outing in ASU's 81-66 win at Gonzaga (Dec. 6). Currently with 1,077 career points, Westerberg needs 58 points to pass former Sun Devil Jovonne Smith (1989-93) for 10th on ASU's all-time scoring list. In her last six games, Westerberg has averaged 14.5 points while hitting .534 percent of her shots (31-58) and .923 percent of her free throws (24-26).
SUN DEVILS SIGN TWO FOR 2006-07
A local standout who led her team to a state championship and a multi-faceted talent from the Pacific Northwest highlight the 2006 recruiting class for the Arizona State University women's basketball program. Rebecca Tobin and Stephanie Wilber signed letters of intent on November 8 to study and compete at Arizona State.
The Arizona Republic's Northwest Valley Girls Basketball Player of the year in 2006, Tobin is coming off a season in which she helped lead Glendale Cactus to the 4A Division I state title. Tobin proved to be a dominant inside presence for the Cobras, setting the girls single-season state record for blocks with 191, far surpassing the previous record of 167. Tobin was every bit as effective on the offensive side as well in leading Cactus with 16.3 points per game. In addition, she also averaged 10.3 rebounds, 3.5 steals and 3.1 assists. In the 2006 4A state championship game against top-seeded Scottsdale Saguaro, Tobin scored a game-high 26 points in helping the Cobras secure their second state title in three years.
A 6-1 guard, Wilber will be coming to ASU from Auburn Riverside in Auburn, Wash. Wilber helped lead Riverside to a 22-7 record and a sixth-place finish in the 2006 Washington state 4A state tournament. During the 2005-06 season, Wilber averaged 16.0 points, 11.5 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game. Wilber earned several honors along the way including being named first-team All-South Puget Sound League North Division; First-Team All-League; Second Team All Area by the News Tribune (Tacoma, Wash.); and Honorable Mention All Area by the Seattle P-I. In addition to her accomplishments for Riverside, Wilber also had 18 points and 11 rebounds for Team Concept in the 2006 Arizona Elite Classic championship.
SUN DEVILS EARN HIGHEST RANKINGS EVER IN PRESEASON POLLS
The Arizona State women's basketball team opened the 2006-07 season ranked No. 13 in the country, according to the Associated Press (AP) Poll and No. 12 according to the USA TODAY/ESPN Preseason Coaches Poll. Both rankings were the highest ASU ever received in each of the major polls to start the season.
The Sun Devils have since climbed to as high as No. 10 in the AP poll (currently No. 13 in AP and No. 14 in USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll). The highest ranking ASU has ever held is No. 9 which occurred in 1983 (AP) and again last season (AP and USA Today/ESPN Polls).
WHAT'S NEXT FOR CHARLI?
Arizona State head coach Charli Turner Thorne added another great accomplishment to her coaching dossier last season when it was revealed that ASU was ranked No. 10 in the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll (ASU would eventually ascend to No. 9, which tied its highest ever ranking). 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 in 2004-05 Turner Thorne led the Sun Devils to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 22 years. Turner Thorne was recognized for the job she has done with ASU last season when she was named the Russell Athletic/Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Region 8 Coach of the Year.
Currently in the midst of her 11th 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 (139) in the Pac-10 Conference. Turner Thorne is currently No. 5 among Pac-10 coaches in all-time victories with 184.