ASU Women's Basketball Faces Oregon State in Corvallis on Thursday

Jan. 7, 2009

UP NEXT

The Arizona State women's basketball team will make its first road trip in Pac-10 play this week when it travels to the state of Oregon to face the Oregon State Beavers (Thurs., Jan. 8 @7 p.m. PT/8 p.m. MT) and the Oregon Ducks (Sat., Jan 10 @ 2 p.m. PT/3 p.m. MT).

The Sun Devils (8-6, 0-2 Pac-10) will be looking to end a three-game losing streak after most recently falling to Stanford (64-61) and California (54-53) during last week's opening weekend of Pac-10 play. Combined with its 62-58 loss to Nebraska on Dec. 28, ASU has dropped its last three contests by a combined eight points.

Like the Sun Devils, Oregon State (9-3, 0-2) begins the second weekend of Pac-10 play with an 0-2 conference record. After winning nine of 10 games to start the season, the Beavers lost consecutive games for the first time this season following last weekend's losses at UCLA (60-53) and at USC (60-54). The Beavers are led by a trio of performers who are currently averaging double figures in scoring -- sophomore guard Talisa Rhea (14.7 ppg), sophomore center Alex Mitchell (13.9 ppg) and senior guard Brittney Davis (12.5 ppg).

This weekend's games will be a homecoming for ASU freshman guard Alex Earl (Beaverton, Ore.), who helped her high school (Southridge) to a 105-10 record and four state titles the last four years.

ON THE AIR

Arizona State's game at Oregon State can be heard live on The Fan AM 1060 and on the Sun Devil Sports Network (subscription-based service that can be accessed via www.thesundevils.com). Pre-game coverage will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Valley. Veteran broadcaster Jeff Munn is in his fifth year as the voice of ASU women's basketball.

SERIES HISTORY

Arizona State holds a 28-19 lead in the all-time series with Oregon State dating back to the 1983-84 season. The Sun Devils have won 13 of the last 14 meetings between the two schools, including the last 11 in succession. Although the Beavers hold a 13-9 advantage in games played in Corvallis, ASU has won the last five. In the first meeting last season Dymond Simon scored 14 of her 20 points in the second half to help ASU overcome a 14-point second-half deficit in a 69-60 win in Corvallis. ASU would also take the second meeting 66-42 in Tempe. The Sun Devils shot a season-best 57.1 percent from the field while forcing 24 Oregon State turnovers. Lauren Lacey led ASU with 21 points on eight-of-11 shooting while fellow post Sybil Dosty made five of her six field goal attempts and scored 11 points. Dosty, Lacey, Kirsten Thompson (3-4 FGs, eight points) and Becca Tobin (3-4 FGs, six points) helped ASU dominate play on the inside as they accounted for 46 of ASU's 66 points while shooting a collective 76 percent (19-25) from the field.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

• The Sun Devils have won 79 percent (44-12) of their Pac-10 contests since the 2005-06 season. This week the Sun Devils will be hitting the road for the first time in Pac-10 play where they are a combined 15-3 the last two seasons.

• The Sun Devils currently lead the Pac-10 in field goal percentage (.447), three-point FG percent (.407), rebounds allowed per game (29.6), assists per game (17.6) and steals per game (11.6). In the most recent NCAA statistics (Jan. 5), ASU was fifth in three-point field goal percentage and 10th in assists per game.

• With five assists against California on Sunday, senior guard Briann January became ASU's all-time assists leader. January now has 445 assists in her career. With 231 career steals January is currently tied for third place on ASU's all-time list. She needs three more steals to pass Carrie Buckner (2001-05) for second place. January leads the Pac-10 in assists (5.3 apg) and steals (2.9).

• Currently with 33 three-point field goals this season, January has already surpassed her single-season best of 32 set last season. January is currently No. 15 in the nation in three-point field goal percentage (.458).

• Junior guard Dymond Simon has averaged 15.3 points in her last four games. Simon scored 12 of her 17 points in the second half of Sunday's one-point loss against Cal, including what appeared to be the game winning three-pointer with 8.7 seconds remaining before the Golden Bears scored the game-winner with 1.8 seconds left.

• Senior forward Lauren Lacey has made 50 percent of her shots in ASU's last five games, including 63 percent (5-8) from beyond the arc. In her most recent outing against California on Sunday, Lacey scored eight of her 10 points in the final seven minutes of the game, including a triple that capped a 10-0 run and tied the game at 50-50 with 51 seconds remaining.

• Junior guard Danielle Orsillo has had all five of her double-figure scoring performances in ASU's last nine games, including a pair of season-best 16-point outings. Orsillo returned to the lineup this season after missing all of last season with a knee injury.

• ASU's leading rebounder last season, senior Sybil Dosty has continued to lead the Sun Devils in boards this season and is currently fourth in the Pac-10, averaging 8.0 rebounds per game. Dosty had her sixth double-digit rebounding performance of the season with 11 against Stanford last Friday. Dosty is averaging 9.2 rebounds in ASU's last five games. Four of Dosty's five double-digit scoring performances this season have come in ASU's last seven games.

RESERVATIONS FOR THREE

Coming into the 2008-09 season, ASU head coach Charli Turner Thorne said she expected the Sun Devils to have an improved perimeter game from last season when they shot slightly more than 33 percent from beyond the arc. 'We were an ok perimeter shooting team last year; but not great,' Turner Thorne said before the season. 'I think this might be one of the best perimeter shooting teams we have had in my tenure at ASU.' Thirteen games into the season it would appear the Sun Devils have proven Turner Thorne right as they are currently first in the Pac-10 and No. 5 in the nation in 3-point shooting percentage (.407). Currently with 83 three-point FGs this season the Sun Devils are on pace to shatter the school's single-season record of 135 triples set by the 2004-05 team. Leading the way are guards Briann January (33), Dymond Simon (21) and Danielle Orsillo (12), who have combined for 12 of ASU's 83 triples.

YOU CAN'T SPELL DEVILS WITHOUT `D'

If there is one thing ASU head coach Charli Turner Throrne's teams have become known for over the years it is defense. The Sun Devils offered another reminder of their excellence in defending on Dec. 6 when they defeated UC Irvine 75-23 to set the single-game Pac-10 record for the fewest points ever allowed by a Pac-10 team. It's the second time in as many seasons that the Sun Devils have set a conference record for fewest points in a game. Last season the Sun Devils set the standard for the fewest points allowed in a Pac-10 game in their 59-30 win over Washington State. Since the 2005-06 season the Sun Devils have held the opposition to 50 or fewer points 21 times. This season the Sun Devils have accounted for several single-game defensive superlatives in the Pac-10, including fewest points (23), lowest field goal percentage (.209), fewest field goals (9 - tied with Oregon State), fewest field goal attempts (38), blocks (9 - tied with Stanford) and fewest rebounds (19 - twice). In addition, the Sun Devils have held the opposition to 20 or fewer points in a half five times this season.

IT'S BETTER TO GIVE THAN RECEIVE

Finishing 12th in the country in any statistical category would usually be considered great by most standards. That is unless of course a team is used to higher standards. After finishing among the nation's top 5 in assists in 2005-06 and 2006-07, the Sun Devils slipped to 12th last season. If the season's first 13 games are any indication it would appear that the Sun Devils have returned to the nation's elite in the category. At the start of the week ASU led the Pac-10 and was 10th in the country averaging 17.6 assists per game. The Sun Devils have dished out 20 or more assists four times this season, including a season-best 30 assists vs. Northern Arizona (Dec. 7), the most by any team in the Pac-10 this season.

SIMON SAYS ...

Like fellow guard Danielle Orsillo, junior Dymond Simon knows the experience of having to rebound from a season ending injury. In 2006-07, Simon quickly made a name for herself as one of the top freshman in the Pac-10 before a knee injury ended her season midway through the conference season. In 2007-08 Simon played in 30 games, as she tirelessly worked to regain her high level of play while at the same time still enduring effects from the injury. By the time last March rolled around Simon was once again at the top of her game, earning All-Pac-10 Tournament recognition after averaging 14.5 points and 3.5 assists in ASU's two tournament games, including a season-best 22 points in the semifinals against Cal. Fast forward to this season and Simon, who has average 15.3 points in her last four games, has helped to give the Sun Devils one of the top backcourts in the country. Simon has scored in double figures 11 times in 13 games this season, including a season-best 21 points at Texas (Dec. 18). She is currently second on the team to Briann January in scoring (13.0 ppg), three-point FGs (21) and assists (2.6) and is first in the Pac-10 in free throw shooting percentage (.933).

JANUARY CONTINUES TO DISTINGUISH HERSELF AS ONE OF THE BEST IN THE COUNTRY

Undoubtedly one of the integral components of ASU's success in recent years has been the play of senior Briann January. Since she arrived in Tempe in 2005, the 5-8 guard from Spokane, Wash., has proven time and again to be one of the most explosive players in the nation on both ends of the floor. Last season January was named the first ever Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year in addition to earning Second-Team All-Pac-10 honors for a campaign in which she finished first in the Pac-10 in steals (2.18 spg) and free throw percentage (.864), third in assists (4.39 apg), fifth in assist-to-turnover ratio and 15th in scoring. Earlier this season January was recognized for her outstanding play in being one of six women's college basketball players around the country to share (along with All-America candidate sophomore James Harden from the Arizona State men's basketball team) a regional cover on Sports Illustrated's College Basketball Preview. Thus far in 2008 January has experienced anything but an SI jinx as she currently leads the Pac-10 in assists per game (5.1), steals per game (2.9) and assist to turnover ratio, is second in three-point FG pct (.458), fourth in 3-point FGs per game (2.4), sixth in free throw pct. (.833) and ninth in scoring (13.4 ppg). Already ASU's all-time leader in career assists (445), January is steadily making her way up the list of ASU's all-time leaders in steals and free throws. Currently she is tied for third in steals (231, needs three to pass Carrie Buckner for second place) and tied for fourth in free throws (340, needs 13 to pass Emily Westerberg for third place).

ORSILLO STEADILY REGAINING HER GAME

Junior guard Danielle Orsillo has steadily started returning to the form that had so many excited last season before her season ending knee injury. A starter in every game thus far in 2008, Orsillo averaged 3.8 points (18.3 minutes per game) in her first five games back. In her next six games, however, she averaged 10.3 points per game while connecting on 54 percent (13-24) of her 3-point field goals. All five of Orsillo's double-figure scoring performances have come in ASU's last nine games, including a pair of season-best 16-point outings, most recently at Nebraska (Dec. 28) when she hit seven of her 11 field goal attempts.

SUN DEVILS SIGN THREE

Two local standouts who have achieved exceptional success and a top-notch guard from California highlighted the 2008 women's basketball signing class for Arizona State announced by Sun Devil head coach Charli Turner Thorne in November. Joy Burke, Deja Mann and Markisha Patterson all signed letters of intent to study and play basketball at ASU.

A 6-foot-5 post player, Burke was named to The Arizona Republic's All-Arizona team in 2008 in addition to earning second-team All-Tribune honors from the East Valley Tribune following a season in which she led Tempe Marcos de Niza to the state quarterfinals. During her decorated junior season, Burke averaged 19.8 points, 14.5 rebounds and 5.5 blocks per game.

A 5-foot-8 combo guard, Mann will be joining the Sun Devils from Merced High School in Merced, Calif. Mann, who was sidelined because of injury her junior season, had an outstanding sophomore campaign in which she averaged nearly 16 points, 10 rebounds, four steals and three assists per game on her way to being named the Central California Conference MVP. Mann, who averaged 14.1 points per game as a freshman, also starred on the Modesto Magic club team this past summer. An outstanding shooter, Mann ranked No. 25 on hoopgurlz.com's best 'Gunners' of the summer.

A 5-foot-8 guard, Patterson will be coming to ASU from Central Arizona College where last season she helped lead her team to a runner-up finish at the National Junior College Athletic Association championships. Known as a defensive specialist at Central Arizona, Patterson is very familiar with what it takes to win championships. In 2007, she helped lead Tolleson High School to the Class 5A Division II state title after she scored 19 points and grabbed 17 rebounds in the championship game.

2008-09 ASU Women's Basketball Player Notes

#1 Dymond Simon • 5-5 • Jr. • G • Phoenix, Ariz.

• Has started every game she has played in this season (missed one because of injury) and is currently second on the team in scoring (13.0 ppg), assists per game (2.7 apg) and 3-point FGs (21).

• Has averaged 15.3 points in her last four games.

• Has scored in double figures 11 times in 13 games and has led the team in scoring 4 times.

• Hit her first 22 free throws of the season before missing her first at Texas (Dec. 18). Currently leads the Pac-10 in FT percentage (.933).

• Scored 20 points and tied her career best with four three-point field goals in ASU's 73-59 win over UC Davis (Dec. 3).

• Scored 15 points in wins against Tulane (Nov. 16) and Hofstra (Nov. 28).

• Has dished out a season-best five assists three times this season.

• Led ASU with a season-best 21 points and tied her career high with five rebounds at Texas (Dec. 18).

• Did not play in ASU's 75-57 win vs. Xavier (Dec. 21) after spraining her foot in practice the day before.

• Led ASU with 17 points, including 12 in the second half, in 54-53 loss vs. California (Jan. 4).

#10 • NIA FANAIKA • 5-8 • Sr. • G • Millbrae, Calif.

• Walked on to the squad prior to her freshman season in 2005.

• Has played in 40 career games, including every game this season (14.2 minutes per game).

• Has made 55 percent of her shot attempts (16-29), including 67 percent of her 3-pointers (6-9).

• Is tied for third on the team in steals (1.3 per game) and is first among ASU's guards with 13 offensive rebounds.

• Has scored a career-best 8 points three times this season.

• Tied her career best with 8 points (4-4 FGs) and set new career highs in assists (5) and steals (5) in ASU's win against Northern Arizona (Dec. 7).

#11 • Kate Engelbrecht • 5-10 • Sr. • G • Tucson, Ariz.

• Brilliant shooter who has played in 109 career games for ASU.

• Is currently third on the team in assists (2.1 apg) .

• Connected on 67 percent of her shots in the first two games before suffering a hand injury in the season's third game against Oklahoma (Nov. 21), which affected her ability on the offensive end for several games.

• Scored a career-best 13 points on 5-6 FGs in second round WNIT win over Tulane (Nov. 16).

• Added a career-best five assists vs. Hofstra (Nov. 28).

• Made the first start of her career in place of Dymond Simon (sprained foot) vs. Xavier (Dec. 21) and tallied three points, four assists and three rebounds.

#12 • Alex Earl • 5-10 • Fr. • G • Beaverton, Ore.

• Helped lead her high school team (Southridge) to a 105-10 record and four state titles.

• Has played in six games this season (5.3 minutes per game).

• Scored first points of her Sun Devil career with a 3-point FG against UC Irvine (Dec. 6).

• Also has three assists.

#13 • Danielle Orsillo • 5-8 • RS-Jr. • G • Oroville, Calif.

• Has started every game this season after redshirting last season with a knee injury.

• Is currently second on the team in steals with 20 (1.4 spg).

• Four of her five double-figure scoring performances have come in ASU's last seven games.

• Had 10 points and was 3-of-4 from beyond the arc in ASU's 73-59 win over UC Davis (Dec. 3).

• Was named to the ASU Classic All-Tournament Team after averaging 12.9 points in ASU's wins over UC Irvine and Northern Arizona (Dec. 6-7). Scored a season-best 16 points vs. NAU (Dec. 7).

• Led ASU with 16 points (7-11 FGs) at Nebraska (Dec. 28).

#20 • Briann January • 5-8 • Sr. • G • Spokane, Wash.

• All-American candidate and one of the top all-around players in the country who can score (has scored in double figures 49 times over the last three seasons), defend (2008 Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year) and distribute the basketball (ASU's all-time assists leader).

•As of Jan. 5, January led the Pac-10 in assists per game (5.3), steals per game (2.9) and assist-to-turnover ratio, second in three-point FG pct (.458) fourth in 3-point FGs per game (2.4), sixth in free throw pct. (.833) and ninth in scoring (13.4 ppg).

• Already ASU's all-time assists leader (445 career assists), is also steadily making her way up ASU's list of all-time leaders in steals and free throws. Currently is third in steals (231, needs three to pass Carrie Buckner for second) and fourth in free throws (340, needs 13 to pass Cassandra Lander for fourth place).

• Currently with 33 three-point field goals, January has already surpassed her single-season career best of 32 three-point field goals.

• Has recorded a season-best nine assists three times this season (one short of her career best and the second-highest single-game total in the Pac-10 this season) and has had five or more steals four times, including a season-high six vs. Florida.

• Was named to the Junkanoo Jam's All-Tournament Team after averaging 17.5 points, 6.5 assists, 4.0 steals and 3.0 rebounds while shooting nearly 79 percent from the field, including 75 percent from beyond the arc, in games against Hofstra and Florida.

• Scored a career-best 25 points and tied a school record with seven 3-pointers in ASU's 73-59 win at UC Davis (Dec. 3).

• Was named to the ASU Classic All-Tournament Team (Dec. 6-7) after averaging 9.0 points, 4.0 steals and 4.0 assists in wins vs. UC Irvine and Northern Arizona.

• Scored 16 points and dished out nine assists in win vs. Xavier (Dec. 21).

• Knocked down 7-of-10 FGs, including 3-4 from beyond the arc, vs. Stanford (Jan. 2).

#21 • Kayli Murphy • 6-2 • Jr. • F/C • Mesa, Ariz.

• After playing in every game for ASU the last two seasons missed the first six games of the season with a hand injury she sustained during preseason workouts before returning to the lineup against UC Irvine (Dec. 6).

• Has made 56.0 percent of her shots (14-25) and averaged 5.1 rebounds since returning to the lineup.

• Made her first start of the season (fifth of her career) and scored six points (3-4 FGs) to go along with two rebounds and one steal vs. UC Riverside (Dec. 14).

• Led ASU in rebounds (7) in win vs. Xavier (Dec. 21).

#23 • Kirsten Thompson • 6-6 • Sr. • C • Monroe, Wash.

• Veteran post player who has played in all 115 of ASU's games since joining the Sun Devils in 2005.

• Has connected on nearly 51 percent of her career shot attempts (281-556).

• Is averaging 4.3 points and 2.6 rebounds this season.

• Has the ability to create instant offense as evidenced in ASU's season opening win over Cleveland State in which she scored 10 points (5-9 FGs) in only 12 minutes of play.

• Added 10 points in 10 minutes vs. UC Riverside (Dec. 14).

#24 • Jazlyn Davis • 5-9 • Jr. • G • Toledo, Ohio

• Transferred to ASU last April from Mt. San Antonio College (Walnut, Calif.) where she earned JC/CC All-America honors in 2008.

• Missed the first eight games of the season while waiting to be academically cleared.

• Made her Sun Devil debut vs. UC Riverside on Dec. 14 and scored four points and had one steal in 11 minutes of play.

• Scored a season-best nine points in 16 minutes of play in win vs. Xavier (Dec. 21).

#25 • Kimberly Brandon • 6-2 • Fr. • G/F • Chatsworth, Calif.

• Has played in 11 games this season (5.3 minutes per game) and has made 61 percent of her shot attempts (11-18) and 83 percent of her free throws (5-6).

• Had career bests in points (9), field goals (4) and rebounds in ASU's win vs. UC Irvine (Dec. 6).

#30 • Gabby Fage • 5-11 • Jr. • G • Melbourne, Australia

• Former member of the Junior Australian Junior National Squad.

• Has played in 47 career games for the Sun Devils, including eight games this season (5.9 minutes per game).

• Had a career-high three blocks vs. Hofstra (Nov. 28).

#32 • Becca Tobin • 6-5 • So. • F • Glendale, Ariz.

• Solid contributor who is currently averaging 4.7 points and 5.7 rebounds (second on the team) per game.

• Has been successful on 50 percent of her shots attempts (24-48) and 72 percent of her free throws (18-25).

• Has already surpassed her single-game career high in rebounding three times this season after grabbing seven against Cleveland State (Nov. 14), 10 against Tulane (Nov. 16) and Northern Arizona (Dec. 7) and 13 vs. UC Riverside (Dec. 14), the most by a Sun Devil this season.

• Tallied a season-best nine points to go along with 10 rebounds in win vs. Northern Arizona (Dec. 7).

• Grabbed a career-best 13 rebounds while adding six points and two blocks in win vs. UC Riverside (Dec. 14).

#33 • Sybil Dosty • 6-3 • Sr. • C • Tucson, Ariz.

• Has led the team in rebounds nine times this season and has posted double figures in rebounds six times.

• Currently leads the team in rebounding (8.0 rpg), offensive rebounding (3.5 rpg), field goal pct. (.564) and blocks (1.4 bpg) and is third on the team in scoring (9.0 ppg).

• Was named to the Preseason WNIT's All-Tournament Team after averaging 11.7 points, 7.0 rebs and 2.0 blocks in ASU's three games.

• Grabbed a season-best 12 rebounds vs. Florida at the Junkanoo Jam (Nov. 29).

• Was named the MVP of the ASU Classic (Dec. 6-7) after averaging 13.5 points and 9.0 rebounds while making 80 percent of her shots in wins against UC Irvine and Northern Arizona.

• Scored 11 points (5-6 FGs) and grabbed six rebounds in win vs. Xavier (Dec. 21).

• Registered her third double-double of the season (14 points, 11 rebounds) at Nebraska.

• Tallied her sixth double-digit rebounding game with 11 vs. Stanford (Jan. 2).

#34 • Lauren Lacey • 6-3 • Sr. • F/C • Olympia FIelds, Ill.

• Is currently fifth on the team in scoring (7.2 ppg) and fourth on the team in rebounding (3.9 rpg).

• Has scored in double figures six times, including a season-best 13 points vs. Xavier (Dec. 21).

• Posted a near double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds vs. UC Irvine (Dec. 6).

• Scored eight points and hit her first two 3-point field goals of the season at Texas (Dec. 18).

• Scored eight of her 10 points in the second half of 54-53 loss vs. Cal (Jan. 4).

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