No. 18/19 ASU Women's Basketball Hosts UC Davis on Saturday
Dec. 9, 2007
After taking a week off to prepare for final exams, the Arizona State women's basketball team (4-3) returns to action on Sunday (1 p.m.) when it hosts UC Davis at Wells Fargo Arena. The Sun Devils will look to get back to their winning ways after falling in their most recent outing (75-69) last Sunday to the Auburn Tigers in the championship game of the Verizon Wireless ASU Classic.
Arizona State's game vs. UC Davis can be heard live on KDUS 1060 AM and on the sundevilsportsnetwork.com (subscription-based service). Pre-game coverage will begin at 12:30 p.m. Valley veteran broadcaster Jeff Munn is in his fourth year as the voice of ASU women's basketball.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
The Sun Devils are 20-2 when coming off a loss since the start of the 2004-05 season.
This will be the first ever meeting between the Sun Devils and the Aggies.
Last week Jill Noe became the 18th player in Sun Devil history to score 1,000 career points. Currently with 1,007 career points, Noe needs 11 points to move past former Stephanie Freeman (1995-98) for 17th place on the school's all-time scoring list, 14 points to move past Amanda Levens (1999-2002) for 16th place and 18 points to move past Kylan Loney (2001-05) for 15th place. Noe is also currently tied with Molly Tuter (1993-97) for fifth place on the school's all-time list with 116 three point field goals. She needs on three-point field goal to pass Tuter and move into a tie for fourth place with Levens (117).
Junior Lauren Lacey (17.3 ppg), Noe (12.3 ppg) and junior Sybil Dosty (11.3) are averaging a combined 40.9 points in each of ASU's last three games. The trio is shooting a combined 60 percent from the field during that span, led by Dosty who has connected on 70 percent of her field goals (14-20). Dosty is also averaging 7.0 rebounds in ASU's ;ast three games.
ASU has averaged 22.5 assists and 15 turnovers in its last two games after posting per-game numbers of 16.8 assists with 23.6 turnovers in its first five games of the season.
The Sun Devils entered last weekend seeking their seventh consecutive Verizon Wireless ASU Classic title and early indications were pointing toward that conclusion after ASU dominated Gonzaga in an 78-60 first round win. Sybil Dosty and Jill Noe both scored 16 points (career best for the former and a season best for the latter) to lead the Sun Devils, who tallied a season-best 26 assists.
The undefeated Auburn Tigers provided the opposition for ASU in the championship game. As has been a familiar theme this season, the Sun Devils would once again feel the effects of injuries as senior guard Reagan Pariseau was forced to miss the contest because of a sprained ankle she suffered in the win against Gonzaga.
After climbing uphill for much of the contest it appeared as though the Sun Devils were finally going to break through and pull away after a 27-12 run in the second half put ASU up by six points (60-54) with just under seven minutes remaining. However the Tigers would close the game with a 21-9 to take the win and the tournament title.
Lauren Lacey scored a career-best 20 points while also playing a career-high 32 minutes to lead the Sun Devils. Noe also played a career high in minutes (37) while logging a season-best 16 points for the second consecutive game. Lacey and Noe were both named to the Verizon Wireless ASU Classic All-Tournament Team.
EARLY SEASON NOTES
The 38 points Yale scored on Nov. 19 represented the 10th time since the start of last season that ASU has held an opponent under 50 points.
In ASU's 66-42 win over UC Santa Barbara (Nov. 17), senior Jill Noe tallied 12 points, seven rebounds and eight assists and narrowly missed becoming the first Sun Devil to record a triple-double since Ryneldi Becenti in 1992. For Noe, it is the third such time she has flirted with the feat. Last season she recorded 17 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds in a win over Northern Arizona and during her freshman season she posted 17 points, nine assists and nine rebounds in a win over Denver.
Through ASU's first seven games junior Lauren Lacey leads ASU in scoring (10.9 ppg) and rebounding (6.1 rpg). Junior Briann Janaury is first on the team assists per game (4.4 apg), steals per game (2.4 spg), made free throws (27) and attempts (30) and free throw percent (.900).
Head coach Charli Turner Thorne announced on Nov. 19 that junior guard Danielle Orsillo will be out at least one month because of a bone bruise on her knee. Orsillo, who averaged 9.9 points per game last season, recorded a career-high 21 points in ASU's season-opening loss at North Carolina.
Junior Kate Engelbrecht missed the first two games of the season because of a hand injury suffered on the team's first official day of practice in October.
Senior guard Reagan Pariseau was forced to leave ASU's game against Gonzaga (Nov. 30) because of an ankle injury. According to Turner Thorne, Pariseau's status is 'day-to-day.' Her availability for Sunday's game against UC Davis is questionable.
IT'S BETTER TO GIVE THAN RECEIVE
The Sun Devils had a season-best 26 assists in their win over Gonzaga. It was the 13th time going back to the start of last season that ASU has recorded 20 or more assists in a single game. They would follow that with a 19-assist outing against Auburn (Dec. 2). The Sun Devils have finished in the nation's top five in assists each of the last two seasons, finishing second last season (18.1 apg) and fourth in 2005-06 (18.4 apg).
JANUARY NAMED TO PRESEASON ALL-PAC-10 TEAM
Arizona State junior guard Briann January was one of five players named to the preseason All-Pac-10 team. The team was chosen by members of the conference's women's basketball media. January is coming off a season in which she earned All-Pac-10 honorable mention honors in helping lead ASU to a school record 31 wins and its first Elite Eight appearance in school history. In 2006-07, the 5-8, Spokane, Wash., product finished third in the Pac-10 in steals (2.1 per game), fourth in assists (4.0 per game) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.67), and sixth in free throw percentage (81.7). A starter in 34 games, January concluded her sophomore campaign first on the team in both assists and steals and second in both scoring (10.2 points per game) and free throw percentage.
HELP IS ON THE WAY
Without question, one of the biggest challenges facing ASU coming into the 2007-08 season is figuring out how it will compensate for the loss of All-Pac-10 performers Aubree Johnson and Emily Westerberg. In addition to being responsible for a combined 23.0 points and 10.8 rebounds per game in 2006-07 the duo also gave ASU a strong inside presence on both ends of the floor.
Enter junior transfers Sybil Dosty and Lauren Lacey. Biding their time since they last played a meaningful game in the spring of 2006, Dosty and Lacey are two players who are very eager to get on the floor and help the Sun Devils ascend to the top.
Both players got to take a bit of a test drive with their teammates in real competition during ASU's trip to Italy last May in which the Sun Devils squared off against four different teams from around the country.Originally a native of Tucson, Dosty spent her first two collegiate seasons at the University of Tennessee where she was part of a Final Four team her freshman year. Lacey, who transferred from the University of Minnesota, was also part of two squads that went to the NCAA Tournament.
In ASU's first seven games, Lacey has led ASU in scoring (10.9 ppg) and rebounding (6.1 rpg). She led ASU with a career-best 19 points in its win over Iowa on Nov. 23 and would surpass that total with 20 against Auburn (Dec. 20).. The leader in field goal percent age during her two seasons at Tennessee, Dosty has connected on 57.1 percent of her shots (20-35). She tied her career-best with 12 points in ASU's 60-58 win over Iowa on Nov. 30 and then would surpass that mark with 16 points in ASU's 78-60 win over Gonzaga on Nov. 30. Lacey (17.3) and Dosty (11.3) have averaged a combined 28.6 points in each of ASU's last three games. The duo has combined to shoot 61.0 percent (36-59) in those three games.
SUN DEVILS WELCOME THE RETURN OF SIMON
In addition to gaining the services of Dosty and Lacey, the Sun Devils will also be benefiting from the return of sophomore Dymond Simon, who was named to the Pac-10's All-Freshman Team last season despite missing the second half of the Pac-10 season with a torn ACL.
'Dymond is a very special player who is critical in terms of our desires to take the next step as a program,' says ASU head coach Charli Turner Thorne. 'I think one of the strongest testaments to her ability as a player is the fact that the conference coaches still voted her onto the All-Freshman Team despite her missing the entire second half of the Pac-10 season.'
Prior to getting injured last season, Simon showed flashes of the brilliance that she used to helped lead her high school team to a pair of state championships. At the time of her injury, Simon was third on the team in scoring (9.7 points per game) and second on the team in steals (1.6 per game). Two weeks before getting injured, Simon was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week after averaging 20 points, 3.0 assists and 1.5 steals in ASU's wins vs. Washington State and Washington.According to Turner Thorne, Simon has found ways to improve her game even while recovering from the injury.
'We always challenge players when they are out to work on something more than maybe they otherwise would be able to. True to Dymond and her amazing commitment to be the best basketball player she can be, she worked tirelessly on her shot and that is what people are going to notice right away. Her shot is fluid and it looks great.'
WHAT'S NEXT FOR CHARLI?
With its 67-49 win over Bowling Green in the Sweet Sixteen of the 2007 NCAA Tournament the Arizona State women's basketball team clinched its first ever appearance in the Elite Eight of the 'The Big Dance.' It was the latest `first time ...' for the Sun Devils under head coach Charli Turner Thorne, who continues to build on what is the most successful period in the program's history. Since the 2004-05 season the Sun Devils are 81-23, including a 6-3 record in NCAA Tournament games the last three seasons.
In 2005-06 Turner Thorne had the Sun Devils in the Top 10 of both polls for the first time 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. After leading the Sun Devils to a 25-7 in 2005-06 Turner Thorne was recognized being named the Russell Athletic/Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Region 8 Coach of the Year.
Now in her 12th 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 (162) in the Pac-10 Conference.
SUN DEVILS SIGN THREE
A pair of explosive posts from Southern California and a top guard from the Pacific Northwest, highlight the 2008 Arizona State women's basketball signing class announced by head coach Charli Turner Thorne.
Kimberly Brandon, Alex Earl and Janae Fulcher signed letters of intent to study and compete at Arizona State.
A 6-2 forward, Brandon is an exceptional talent, whose versatility and explosiveness will benefit the Sun Devils right away in 2008-09. Brandon, who is ranked the No. 92 overall player in the country (No. 22 at her position) by hoopgurlz.com, will be coming to ASU from Chatsworth High School in Chatsworth, Calif., where in 2006-07 she averaged a double-double in points and rebounds in leading her team to the City Section title while earning all-league honors along the way.
A 5-10 guard, Earl has been a four-year member of the varsity squad at Southridge High School in Beaverton, Ore. The team leader in assists, steals and three-point field goals, Earl was named third-team all-state and first team all-league in 2007 following a season in which she helped lead the Skyhawks to their third consecutive 6A state title. A 2006-07 Street & Smith's Prep All-American Honorable Mention selection, Earl also earned all-league notice in 2005 and 2006, was named to the Oregon City `End of the Trail' All-Tournament Team in 2005 and 2006 (also earned MVP honors in '06), and played on Team Concept during the 2007 Nike Elite Regional Camp. In addition to her ability on the hardwood, Earl was also a four-year starter on Southridge's soccer team, earning second-team all-state honors in 2005 and first-team all-league honors in 2005 and 2007. Earl, whose father has coached basketball, was also a U.S. National Team member in 2004 and was on the Olympic Development Team for the state of Oregon for three years.
Fulcher will be coming to Tempe from Country Day High School in La Jolla, Calif., where the 6-3 post has averaged 9.3 points and 7.8 rebounds per game during her first three years on the varsity squad. Named team captain for the 2007-08 season, Fulcher is ranked the No. 15 post player by Girls Basketball Report in addition to being named an honorable mention All-American by The Sporting News and a McDonald's All-American nominee. Last season Fulcher averaged 12.4 points and 8.4 rebounds per game on her way to a bevy of honors, including All-CIF Div. IV First Team, UT All-San Diego Section First Team, Hall of Champions All-County First Team and Street & Smith's All-American Honorable Mention. Country Day would go on to be Coastal League champions and CIF SD Section Div. IV champions. In 2005-06, Fulcher nearly averaged a double-double every game with 9.9 points and 9.5 rebounds every time she stepped on the floor. She would go on to be named All-League First Team Coastal South, All-CIF Div. IV First Team and UT All-San Diego Section First Team in helping lead Country Day to Coastal League and CIF SD Section Div. IV titles before finishing as a Southern Regional runner-up.
The Sun Devils travel to Lubbock, Texas, to take on the Texas Tech Lady Raiders on Thursday at 7 p.m. CT/6 p.m. in Arizona.