Eight ASU Women's Basketball Players Named to Pac-10's All-Academic Team

March 29, 2007

TEMPE, Ariz. - After posting the highest finish in the NCAA Tournament of any school in the Pacific-10 Conference this season, the Arizona State women's basketball team can now add having the best year in the classroom of any school in the Pac-10, too. The Sun Devils placed a program record eight women's basketball players on the Pac-10's All-Academic Women's Basketball Team, according to a recent announcement by Pac-10 Commissioner Tom Hansen.

Included among ASU's eight honorees are two first-team members (senior co-captions Aubree Johnson and Emily Westerberg), one second-team member (sophomore Kate Engelbrecht) and five honorable mentions (sophomore Briann January, junior Jill Noe, sophomore Danielle Orsillo, junior Reagan Pariseau and sophomore Kirsten Thompson).

After earning second-team honors each of the last two seasons, Johnson earned first-team notice this season. Currently carrying a 3.62 grade point average (GPA) in kinesiology, Johnson finished the season ranked first on the team and 15th in the Pac-10 in rebounds (5.8 rebounds per game); first on the team and ninth in the Pac-10 in blocks (0.94 bpg); second on the team and fourth in the Pac-10 in field goal percentage (.529) and third on the team and eighth in the Pac-10 in free throw percentage (.800).

Westerberg is also appearing on the Pac-10's All-Academic team for the third consecutive season, her second straight earning first-team recognition. The elementary education major carries a 3.61 GPA. Westerberg concluded her Sun Devil career among the school's all-time leaders in several statistical categories including free throws (352, 3rd), free throw percentage (.803, 4th), points (1,340, 6th), field goals (468, 7th) and rebounds (582, 9th). Earlier this month she became the first player in program history to be named All-Pac-10 three times.

Engelbrecht is being recognized for the first time after maintaining a 3.78 in kinesiology. Engelbrecht saw a significant increase in playing time this season and was the team's leader in field goal percentage at 55.1 percent. She recorded career bests in points (11), field goals (5) and steals (3) in ASU's 75-64 win at Washington (Feb. 1).

January, who is undecided on her major, carries a 3.09 GPA. After being named to the Pac-10's All-Freshman team last season, January turned in another outstanding season in 2007, finishing first on the team in both assists (4.0 apg) and steals (2.1 spg), second in scoring (10.2 ppg) and second in free throw percentage (.817). January's play sparked the Sun Devils in the first two games of the NCAA Tournament, leading them in come-from-behind wins over UC-Riverside and Louisville. In the two games January averaged 18.5 points while shooting .600 from the field (12-20).

Noe earned honorable mention honors for the second consecutive season. Although she is listed as a junior in eligibility, Noe just completed her fifth year at ASU. She missed the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons with ACL injuries and will be returning for a sixth season in 2007-08. This past December Noe earned her undergraduate degree in mass communication. Noe, who had an undergraduate GPA of 3.05, led the team with 39 three-point field goals and also led the team and finished sixth in the Pac-10 in three-point field goal percentage (.375).

Currently undecided on her major, Orsillo has a 3.37 GPA in her first two years at ASU. After a brilliant freshman campaign in which she earned Pac-10 Freshman Honorable Mention honors, Orsillo continued to be a spark for the Sun Devils on both sides of the floor in 2007. She finished the season third on the team in scoring (9.9 ppg), scoring in double figures 16 times in 2007. Orsillo was named to the Greensboro Regional's All-Tournament Team after averaging 12.5 points in ASU's contests against Bowling Green (NCAA Sweet Sixteen) and Rutgers (Greensboro Regional Final).

Pariseau is earning honorable mention academic kudos for the second consecutive season. This season her steady play and tenacious defense were instrumental in helping ASU to its best season in school history. Pariseau, who carries a 3.20 GPA in kinesiology, finished second on the team in both assists (3.0) and steals (1.3). She had one of her best performances in one of ASU's biggest games of the season as she scored five points, grabbed four rebounds and dished out a season-best seven assists while tying a career-high with 34 minutes played in ASU's 67-49 Sweet Sixteen win over Bowling Green. Pariseau's outing against the Falcons carried even more significance given that January was not medically cleared to play because of a concussion she suffered in ASU's second round game against Louisville.

Currently carrying a 3.27 GPA as a film major, Thompson is making her first appearance on the academic team. This season she continued to be a key contributor for the Sun Devils as she scored in double figures 10 times. One of Thompson's most memorable efforts came in ASU's first two games of the Pac-10 Tournament as she came through with back-to-back 14-point outings in ASU's wins over UCLA (Mar. 3) and California (Mar. 4). In the win against the Golden Bears, Thompson scored all 14 of her points in the second half, including eight consecutive at one point.To be eligible for selection to the Pac-10 All-Academic teams, a student-athlete must have a minimum 3.0 overall GPA and be either a starter or significant contributor.

This season the Sun Devils turned in their best season in school history in becoming only the fifth Pac-10 school to advance to the Elite Eight. In addition to the aforementioned program record for most student-athletes on the Pac-10's All-Academic team, the Sun Devils piled up several other school records this season including most wins (31), most Pac-10 wins (16) and most road wins (10).

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