ASU Women's Basketball Faces Top-Ranked and Unbeaten Connecticut in Trenton Regional Final on Tuesday

March 31, 2009

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For the second time in three seasons the Arizona State women’s basketball team will compete for a berth in the NCAA Women’s Final Four when it faces the Connecticut Huskies in the Trenton Regional final on Tuesday. Tip-off at Sovereign Bank Arena in Trenton, N.J., is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. in Arizona.  

The Sun Devils (26-8, 15-3 Pac-10) earned their second ever Elite Eight bid with an 84-69 win over Texas A&M on Sunday. In one of its best offensive performances in recent memory, ASU shot a season-high 62 percent and achieved perfect symmetry with a pair of 42-point halves, to roll up the most points (84) given up by the Aggies all season. Senior guard Briann January led the Sun Devils with 22 points (8-10 FGs, 6-6 FTs) to go along with five assists, two steals and one block. Junior guard Danielle Orsillo scored 15 points (3-6 FGs, 7-7 FTs) and senior forward Lauren Lacey added 14 (7-8 FGs) for ASU, which outscored Texas A&M 10-0 over the final three minutes to secure the win.

Several other Sun Devils played important roles in the win, including seniors Sybil Dosty (3-4 FGs, two blocks), Kate Engelbrecht (2-4 3-point FGs, five assists) and Nia Fanaika (3-4 FG, three rebs), who scored six points each. The Sun Devils also shot 86 percent from the line (18-21) and held a plus-nine advantage in rebounding.

Connecticut comes into Tuesday’s game with an unblemished 36-0 record (15-0 Big East). The Huskies punched their ticket to the Trenton Regional final with a 77-53 win over fourth-seeded California on Sunday. Connecticut faced its largest deficit of the season – eight points – in the first half against California before using a 24-6 rally over 10-plus span to take control of the game. The Huskies are led by 2009 Big East Player of the Year sophomore forward Maya Moore (19.1 ppg, 8.9 rpg), and 2009 All-Big East first-team players junior center Tina Charles (16.4 ppg, 8.4 rpg) and senior guard Renee Montgomery (16.1 ppg, 5.1 apg). The three have combined to average 57.7 points in Connecticut’s first three NCAA Tournament wins.

The winner of Tuesday’s game will advance to the 2009 NCAA Women’s Final Four at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. The Final Four will commence play on Sunday with the national semifinals.   

TELEVISION/RADIO

ASU’s game vs. Connecticut can be seen live on ESPN. Pam Ward (play-by-play) and Debbie Antonelli (analysis) will call the game while Rebecca Lobo reports from the sidelines. The game can also be heard live on The Fan AM 1060 and on the sundevilsportsnetwork.com (subscription-based service). Coverage of the game will begin at 3:30 p.m. in the Valley. Veteran broadcaster Jeff Munn is in his fifth year as the voice of ASU women’s basketball.

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