No. 24 ASU Women's Basketball Goes on the Road to Face Oregon Thursday Night
Jan. 2, 2008
The No. 24 Arizona State women's basketball team goes on the road for the first time in Pac-10 play this weekend when it travels to the state of Oregon to take on the Oregon Ducks (Thurs., Jan. 3, 7 p.m. PT/8 p.m. MT) and the Oregon State Beavers (Sat., Jan. 5, 7 p.m. PT/8 p.m. MT).
ASU (8-5, 2-0 Pac-10) will look to extend its winning streak to a season-best three games on Thursday in addition to tying its best ever start in Pac-10 play (started 3-0 in 2005-06). The Sun Devils started off conference play on the right foot last week, collecting a pair of hard-fought three-point wins over UCLA (62-59) and USC (66-63). The Sun Devils were led in both games by the combination of junior posts Sybil Dosty (17.0 ppg, 10.5 rpg, .570 FG pct.) and Lauren Lacey (17.5 ppg, 9.0 rpg), who combined to average 34.5 points and 19.5 rebounds in the two games. Dosty, who set career highs in points (20) and rebounds (15) against UCLA, averaged 13.0 points and 7.0 rebounds in the second half of both games in helping ASU overcome deficits of eight (UCLA) and 11 (USC) points to secure the two wins. For her effort, Dosty was recognized as the Pac-10's Player of the Week.
Like ASU, the Ducks (7-5, 1-0 Pac-10) are also unbeaten in conference play after their 76-72 win over in-state rival Oregon State last Saturday. Among Pac-10 schools, Oregon entered this week's action having played the fewest number of games at home (4) where they are 3-1 this season. The Ducks are led in scoring by sophomore guard Taylor Lilley (12.5 ppg), who is tied for the Pac-10 lead with 27 three-points FGs (2.25 per game).
Thursday's game against Oregon begins a stretch in which the Sun Devils will play their next three games and five of their next seven on the road. Following this weekend's trip the Sun Devils will travel to Tucson next weekend to face in-state rival Arizona.
ASU's game vs. Oregon can be heard live on KXAM 1310 AM. and on the sundevilsportsnetwork.com (subscription-based service). Coverage of the game will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the valley. Veteran broadcaster Jeff Munn is in his fourth year as the voice of ASU women's basketball.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
ASU is 27-2 in its last 29 regular season Pac-10 games going back to the 2004-05 season. The Sun Devils closed the 2005-06 season by winning their final nine Pac-10 games. ASU set a school record last season by winning 16 of 18 Pac-10 games (two losses came vs. Stanford).
The Sun Devils have won 12 of their last 13 Pac-10 contests away from home, including the last seven in a row. The only blemish during that stretch was a 77-71 setback at Stanford last season. Thursday's game against Oregon marks only the third official `road' game for ASU this season. ASU opened the season at North Carolina (Nov. 11) where it fell to the Tar Heels 75-60. Last month the Sun Devils lost a tightly-contested 73-69 decision at Texas Tech (Dec. 13).
ASU players have missed a combined 18 games because of injury this season. On Dec. 26, ASU head coach Charli Turner Thorne announced that junior guard Danielle Orsillo would miss the remainder of the season because of a knee injury she sustained in November.
Currently with 1,063 career points, Jill Noe needs three points to move past Betsy Boardman (2000-05) for 12th place on ASU's all-time scoring list. Also one of ASU's all-time top three-point threats Noe (124 career three-point FGs) needs 10 three-point FGs to pass Boardman for third on ASU's all-time list.
The Sun Devils have won 13 of their last 16 meetings against Oregon, including the last five in a row.
In its last five games ASU has allowed its opponents to shot a paltry 16.1 percent from three-point range (9-56). On Sunday the Sun Devils held USC, the Pac-10's No. 1 team in three-point FGs per game (6.69) to a 3-for-15, 20-percent percent performance.
SERIES HISTORY VERSUS OREGON
Oregon leads the all-time series with ASU 27-21 dating back to the first meeting between the two teams in 1980-81. The Ducks hold a 16-7 advantage in games played in Eugene. The Sun Devils have had more success of late, having won 13 of the 16 meetings between the two schools since the 2000-01 season. ASU's win in the first meeting of the 2000-01 season snapped an 11-game losing streak to the Ducks.
Last season the Sun Devils swept the season series for the fourth time in the last six years, winning 80-70 in Eugene and 60-48 in Tempe. Former Sun Devils Aubree Johnson and Emily Westerberg combined to average 33 points and nine rebounds in the two victories.
EARLY SEASON NOTES
The 49 points Fresno State scored on Dec. 17 represented the 11th time since the start of last season that ASU has held an opponent under 50 points.
Eight of ASU's 13 opponents have shot below 22 percent from three-point range.
In ASU's 66-42 win over UC Santa Barbara (Nov. 17), 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.
Sybil Dosty's 15 rebounds vs. UCLA were the most for a Sun Devil player since Kirsten Thompson had 15 vs. Nicholls State on Nov. 15, 2006. Since the start of the 2006-07 season, the Sun Devils are 27-1 when they have outrebounded their opponents. The only exception came earlier this season when ASU fell to Auburn 75-69 in the championship game of the Verizon Wireless ASU Classic. In that game ASU held a slight 40-39 edge on the boards.
Although there is really no such thing as a 'good loss' the Sun Devils can take some solace in that they have not had any bad losses the last two seasons. In fact the teams that have been responsible for their 10 losses since the start of the 2006-07 season have an aggregate record of 144-26 (.851), including a 54-9 record (.857) this season. The eight teams responsible for the 10 losses have included seven ranked teams, last year's national champion (Tennessee), last year's national runner up (Rutgers), last year's Pac-10 champion (Stanford) and two schools currently ranked in the top 10 (No. 4 North Carolina and No. 9 Oklahoma).
How much have injuries affected ASU's rotation this season? Through 13 games last season the Sun Devils had 18 instances in which a player logged 25 or more minutes while this season it has already occurred 37 times. Because of this ASU has had to modify its up-and-down style and pressure defense, which has become the Sun Devils' trademark under head coach Charli Turner Thorne.
Through ASU's first 13 games junior Lauren Lacey is first on the team in both scoring (11.8 ppg) and rebounding (6.9 rpg), Briann January is second on the team in scoring (11.5 ppg) and first in assists per game (4.8 apg), steals per game (2.7 spg), made free throws (51) and attempts (60) and free throw percent (.850).
ORSILLO SIDELINED FOR THE SEASON
On Dec. 26, ASU head coach Charli Turner Thorne announced that junior guard Danielle Orsillo would miss the remainder of the season because of a knee injury. Orsillo was originally diagnosed with a bone bruise in her left knee one week after scoring a career-best 21 points in ASU's season opener at North Carolina (Nov. 11). She would go on to miss ASU's next 10 regular season games before it was determined that she would miss the rest of the season. In 2006-07 Orsillo scored in double figures 16 times and was one of four Sun Devils to play in all 36 games. Orsillo's list of accomplishments last season included being named MVP of the Verizon Wireless ASU Classic and Pac-10 Player of the Week in addition to earning a spot on the Greensboro Regional All-Tournament Team.
DOSTY NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Arizona State junior center Sybil Dosty was named the Pac-10 Women's Basketball Player of the Week according to an announcement by Pac-10 Commissioner Tom Hansen on Monday. Dosty averaged 17.0 points and 10.5 rebounds while shooting 57.9 percent from the field in ASU's come-from-behind victories over UCLA (62-59) on Friday and USC (66-63) on Sunday. The Tucson, Ariz., native averaged 13.0 points and 7.0 rebounds in the second half of both games in helping the Sun Devils overcome an eight-point deficit against the Bruins and an 11-point deficit against USC.In Friday's game against UCLA, Dosty posted career-best numbers in points (20), rebounds (15) and field goals (8) while playing a season-high 25 minutes. She scored 16 of her 20 points in the second half, including 10 in the final 13 minutes after the Sun Devils fell behind 45-37 with 12:49 left. On Sunday against USC, Dosty scored 10 of her 14 points and grabbed five of her six rebounds in the second half to help ASU overcome an 11-point halftime deficit, the Sun Devils' largest halftime deficit at home since February of 2004. Dosty is the second ASU player to earn Pac-10 Player of the Week honors this season. Earlier this month junior center Kirsten Thompson was recognized following her performance in ASU's win over UC Davis.
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. Thus far in 2007-08, January has wasted no time in picking up where she left off last season. She is currently second on the team in scoring (11.5 ppg) and first in assists per game (4.8 apg), steals per game (2.7 spg), made free throws (51) and attempts (60) and free throw percent (.850). January has scored in double figures in 10 of 13 games this season, including a 22-point performance against Texas (Dec. 22), which tied her career best.SUN DEVILS WORK THROUGH EARLY SEASON INJURIES
When the announcement came down on Dec. 26 that junior guard Danielle Orsillo would miss the remainder of the 2007-08 season because of a knee injury, it represented the latest injury-related setback the Sun Devils have encountered in the first two months of the season. Sun Devil players have already missed a combined 18 games this season.
Dymond Simon, a member of the Pac-10's All-Freshman Team last season, was limited early in the season as she returned from a torn ACL she suffered in January. Three times this season Simon has scored in double figures, including a season-best 17 points in ASU's win over Yale on Nov. 19. Simon was having a strong outing against Texas Tech on Dec. 13, scoring 11 points in 12 minutes before being forced to leave the game after aggravating her knee injury. She would return to the game for two minutes before leaving again. Simon would go on to miss ASU's next two games, including the Sun Devils' 62-51 loss to Texas (Dec. 20).
Junior post Sybil Dosty injured her knee earlier this fall and was forced to miss all of ASU's preseason practices. She averaged only 12 minutes in the first four games as she was slowly worked into the rotation. Since then, Dosty has averaged 21.0 minutes a game and has averaged 10.3 points and 7.8 rebounds while shooting 61.4 percent from the field.
Junior guard Kate Engelbrecht suffered a hand injury during the first preseason practice and was forced to miss the rest of ASU's preseason workouts and its first two games. She scored a season-high eight points in ASU's win over Fresno State on Dec. 17.
Senior guard Reagan Pariseau missed ASU's games against Auburn (Dec. 2) and UC Davis (Dec. 9) after injuring her ankle early in ASU's win over Gonzaga on Nov. 30. She returned to action on Dec. 13 at Texas Tech and made an immediate impact, scoring a season-best nine points on 4-4 shooting. Although she was healthy for ASU's contest vs. Texas (Dec. 20), Pariseau would only play 22 minutes and was limited for much of that time after absorbing a blow to the head early in the game. Then, midway through the second half, Jill Noe, who came into the Texas game averaging 14 points in her previous five games, was forced to leave the game because of an ankle injury.
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 were two players who were 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.
Through ASU's first 13 games, Lacey is first on ASU in scoring (11.8 ppg) and first in rebounding (6.9 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. 2). Lacey has scored in double figures in ASU's last nine games and has grabbed a career-best 10 rebounds three times during that span.
The leader in field goal percentage during her two seasons at Tennessee, Dosty is currently third in the Pac-10 in FG pct. (.569). Last week Dosty averaged 17.0 points and 10.5 rebounds while shooting 57.9 percent from the field in ASU's come-from-behind victories over UCLA (62-59) on Friday and USC (66-63) on Sunday. The Tucson, Ariz., native averaged 13.0 points and 7.0 rebounds in the second half of both games in helping the Sun Devils overcome an eight-point deficit against the Bruins and an 11-point deficit against USC. Dosty was recognized for her performances against the Bruins and Trojans in being named the Pac-10's Player of the Week.
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 86-26, 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 (165) 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 closed out their trip to the state of Oregon with a contest against the Oregon State Beavers on Saturday night (7 p.m. PT/8 p.m. MT) in Corvallis.