No. 13/17 ASU Women's Basketball Faces Hawaii on Friday in Honolulu

Nov. 26, 2009

Game No. 4
No. 17/13 Arizona State
(2-1)
at
Hawai’i
(1-2)
Friday, November 27, 2009
5 p.m. HT/8 p.m. MT • Honolulu, Hawaii


UP NEXT

The Arizona State women’s basketball team (No. 13 ESPN/USA Today, No. 17 AP) will look to get back on the winning track this week when it travels to Honolulu, Hawai’i, for the Jack In The Box Rainbow Wahine Classic.

The Sun Devils play the first of two games in Hawai’i on Friday (5 p.m. HT/8 p.m. MT) when they take on the host Hawaii Rainbow Wahine. ASU then concludes its trip on Saturday (2 p.m. HT/5 p.m. MT) when it faces 2009 NCAA Tournament participant East Tennessee State.

ON THE AIR

Arizona State’s game at Hawai’i can be heard live on www.thesundevils.com. Pre-game coverage will begin at 7:45 p.m. in the Valley. Veteran broadcaster Jeff Munn is in his sixth season as the voice of ASU women’s basketball.

Saturday’s game can also be heard live on thesundevils.com. Pre-game coverage will begin at 4:45 p.m. in Arizona.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

• ASU returns six players from last year’s active roster, including two starters – forward Kayli Murphy and guard Danielle Orsillo – from last season’s team that went 26-9 and earned the program’s second Elite Eight berth in the last three years.
• The Sun Devils will be without last season’s leading scorer Dymond Simon as she spends the season rehabbing from the knee injury she suffered in the 2009 regular-season finale at Stanford. Also missing for the 2009-10 season because of injury will be guard Markisha Patterson, who transferred to ASU from Central Arizona where she was a teammate of guard Tenaya Watson, who also transferred to ASU.
• ASU is 20-4 in its last 24 games going back to last season. The record includes a school record 15-game winning streak during the 2009 Pac-10 season.
• ASU head coach Charli Turner Thone needs seven more wins (has 293 with Northern Arizona and ASU) to reach 300 for her career. Her 253 wins at ASU rank fourth all-time among Pac-10 head coaches.
• This will be the third all-time meeting between ASU and Hawaii. The Sun Devils were victorious in both of the prior meetings, wining at Hawai’i (67-61) in 2000 and again in Tempe (57-44) in the first round of the 2003 WNIT.
• Saturday’s game represents the first ever meeting between ASU and East Tennessee State.
• ASU has won 73 percent of its road contests (27-10) since the 2006-07 season.
• Senior guard Danielle Orsillo needs 40 points to reach 1,000 for her career.

IN THE POLLS

After tying the highest ranking in school history last week with its No. 7 rating in the ESPN/USA Today Top 25 coaches’ poll, the Sun Devils slipped six spots to No. 13 following their 59-46 loss at Xavier. ASU also fell three spots in the Associated Press poll from 14th to 17th.

PRESEASON PREDICTIONS

The Pac-10’s coaches picked the Sun Devils to finish second in the conference this season, which is exactly where it finished last season when it tied California for the league’s runner-up spot. The media that cover the conference had the Sun Devils in third. Worth noting is the Sun Devils received a first-place vote in the coaches poll.

Both the league’s coaches and media were in agreement in picking Stanford to win the conference.

SUN DEVILS LOOK TO REMAIN AMONG THE BEST

During ASU head coach Charli Turner Thorne’s stint leading the Sun Devil program, ASU has developed into one of the most successful programs not only in the Pac-10, but around the country as well. Since 2000, the Sun Devils have finished first or second in the Pac-10 a combined six times, and have finished lower than third only once. Nationally, ASU is one of 20 schools whose current streak of NCAA appearances is 5 or more, one of 15 schools that has qualified for the Sweet 16 three or more times in the last five seasons and one of 9 schools that has qualified for the Elite Eight at least two times in the last three years.

ALWAYS FEELING AT HOME

Something else the Sun Devils have come to be known for under Turner Thorne is having one of the best success rates in the country when they play on their home floor. Since 2004 the Sun Devils have won 87 percent (67-10) of the games they have played at Wells Fargo Arena (See chart below for year-by-year breakdown). In addition, under Turner Thorne ASU has also proven to be nearly as effective when it is playing away from home. In the last three seasons the Sun Devils have won more than nearly 71 percent of their games when they were the visiting team or made a trip to a neutral site.

WHO IS RETURNING?

#13 Danielle Orsillo - Sr. - G - Returns as ASU’s most experienced player in the backcourt... Started all 35 games last season after missing all but one game of the 2007-08 season with a knee injury... Scored in double figures 17 times last season, including 11 times in ASU’s last 15 games... Named to the 2009 Trenton Regional All-Tournament Team after she averaged 12.5 points and 2.5 assists while making all 10 of her free throws in ASU’s four NCAA Tournament games... Has scored in double figures twice this season... Lead the team at Xavier (Nov. 21) with 11 points... Needs 40 more points to reach 1,000 for her career.

#21 Kayli Murphy - Sr. - F/C - Returns as ASU’s most experienced player in the frontcourt... Played in every game her first two years before a hand injury caused her to miss the first six games last season... Would go on to start in 27 of the 29 games she played in... Made 58 percent of her field goal attempts in Pac-10 play and was successful on 64 percent of her shots (32-50) in ASU’s last nine games of the season... Had the best all-around game of her career in ASU’s first round NCAA Tournament win over Georgia (Mar. 21). Made all six of her field goal attempts and scored a career-high 12 points for the second consecutive game. Also grabbed season-best 11 rebounds (one short of her career high) to account for the first double-double of her career... Through two games in 2009-10 has averaged 8.3 points and 8.3 rebounds while connecting on 58 percent of her shots... Had the second double-double of her career in the 2009-10 season opener against South Dakota State in which she tied her career best in scoring with 12 points and grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds... Matched her career high with three steals at Yale (Nov. 19).

#30 Gabby Fage - Sr. - G - Reserve guard who has played in 67 games over the last three seasons... Will look to pick up where she left off at the end of the 2008-09 season as she played a big role in helping the Sun Devils qualify for the Elite Eight for the second time in three years... After averaging 5.8 minutes in her first 24 games of the season, averaged 22.8 minutes in ASU’s four NCAA Tournament contests... Came through with clutch effort in ASU’s 63-58 win over Florida State to help send the Sun Devils to the Sweet 16 as she played a career-high 26 minutes and tied her career high in points (6) and set a new career best with six rebounds. Hit back-to-back 3-pointers over a 31-second span to cut Florida State’s once nine-point lead to a single point, 46-45, with 6:12 left in the game... Has grabbed a season-best five rebounds on two occasions.

#32 Becca Tobin - Jr. - F/C - Skilled post who will have a more prominent role in 2009-10... Came into the 2009-10 season having played in 66 games her first two seasons... In 2008-09 led or tied for the team lead in rebounds nine times and blocks 10 times... Was successful on 55.4 percent of her shot attempts (67-121) and 72 percent of her free throws (33-46) last season... Connected on 62 percent (31-50) of her shot attempts during ASU’s school record 15-game winning streak last season and hit 53 percent of her shots (10-19) in ASU’s four NCAA Tournament games... Has been ASU’s top offensive threat thus far in 2009-10, averaging 12.0 points and 7.3 rebounds while connecting on 52 percent of her shots... Made the first start of her career in ASU’s 2009-10 season opening win against South Dakota State and scored a career-best 18 points to go along with six rebounds... Scored a game-high 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting to go along with nine rebounds at Yale (Nov. 19)... Blocked a season-best three shots at Xavier (Nov. 21).

#25 Kimberly Brandon - So. - G/F - Had a tremendous offseason and figures to play an even bigger role in 2009-10 after playing in 30 games last season (5.8 minutes per game)... Sister Gennifer is a freshman on the California women’s basketball team... Is currently averaging 8.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists... Made the first start of her career in ASU’s 2009-10 season opener against South Dakota State (Nov. 15)... Had career-best numbers in points (12) and assists (4) in win at Yale (Nov. 19).

#12 Alex Earl - So. - G - Will have a much bigger role this season following the graduation of three guards from last year’s team when she played in 23 games (4.3 minutes per game)... Has excellent perimeter shooting skills... Missed ASU’s 2009-10 season opener and she recovered from a foot injury... Made all four of her field goal attempts, including a pair of 3-pointers, and scored a career-high 12 points in ASU’s win over Yale (Nov. 19).

NEW CAST MEMBERS

#35 Tenaya Watson - Jr. - G - Transfer from Central Arizona who is one of the candidates to take over as the team’s starting point guard... At Central Arizona was part of NJCAA national runner-up (2008) and NJCAA champion (2009) where she was a teammate of fellow ASU newcomer Markisha Patterson... As a freshman in 2008 was named a NJCAA Division I First Team All-American following a freshman campaign in which she averaged 16.6 points and finished first in the nation in field goal percentage (.646), second in assists (8.4 apg) and 11th in steals (3.8 spg)... Turned in another outstanding campaign in 2009 as she averaged 13.8 points, 5.4 assists (13th in the nation) and 3.9 steals (fourth in the nation) per game in helping lead Central Arizona to a perfect 35-0 season and the NJCAA title.. Was named the MVP of the 2009 NJCAA Tournament after averaging 16.8 points in Central Arizona’s four tournament games. In the NJCAA championship game she scored a career-best 30 points and grabbed six rebounds to help Central Arizona defeat Missouri Jefferson College 78-77... Has started all three games in 2009-10 and has averaged 4.7 points and 4.3 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game... Scored 8 points, grabbed 7 rebounds, dished out 7 assists and blocked two shots in her Sun Devil debut against South Dakota State (Nov. 15).

#11 Kali Bennett - So. - F/C - Transfer from the University of Washington who figures to play a big role this season after sitting out the 2008-09 season because of NCAA transfer rules... Averaged 4.9 points and 3.0 rebounds for the Huskies while tying for the team lead in blocked shots with 15... Is currently averaging 7.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and 1.3 steals... Scored seven points and grabbed three rebounds in season opener vs. South Dakota State (Nov. 19), her first official game as a Sun Devil... Solid outing at Yale (Nov. 19) included 6 points, 8 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks.

#22 Janae Fulcher - RS-Fr. - F/C - Redshirted last year... Will have a big role this season after ASU graduated three post players from last year’s team... Helped lead her high school basketball team, La Jolla Country Day, to four league championships... Is currently averaging 6.5 points and 6.0 rebounds while connecting on 67 percent of her shots... Scored two points and grabbed a pair of rebounds in her Sun Devil debut vs. South Dakota State (Nov. 15)... Had the first double-double of her career with 11 points (5-6 FGs) and 10 rebounds in 12 minutes of play at Yale (Nov. 19).

#4 Haley Parsons - RS-Fr. - G - Redshirted last season... Has been slowed by injury in preseason.

#3 Joy Burke - Fr. - F/C - Extremely talented post who has outstanding range and versatility... Local product (Tempe Marco de Niza), who was McDonald’s All-American nominee and was also named to the Arizona Republic’s All-Arizona Team and earned all-city accolades three times... Connected on 63 percent of her field goal attempts as a senior while averaging 23.3 points, 17.8 rebounds, 7.5 blocks and 3.9 steals per game... Has averaged 5.3 minutes in ASU’s first three games... Scored 4 points and had 5 rebounds in ASU’s win at Yale (Nov. 19).

#5 Deja Mann - Fr. - G - A 2009 graduate of Merced High School in Merced, Calif., where she earned first-team All-Central California Conference honors each of her first two seasons, including being named the conference’s MVP her sophomore season... Savvy, hardworking, and dynamic combo guard who is both a prolific shooter and great decision-maker... Has averaged 12.7 minutes over the first three games of the season.

#2 Sabrina McKinney - Fr. - G - Is also in the mix to assume the starting point guard role... Outstanding defender who was a two-time Defensive Player of the Year for Bowie High School in Arlington, Texas... Is currently averaging 4.0 points and 2.7 assists (20.7 mpg).

ADRIANNE THOMAS SIGNS WITH ASU

    Charli Turner Thorne today announced on November 11 that Adrianne Thomas signed a national letter of intent to study and play basketball at Arizona State.

“I could not be more excited about the addition of Adrianne Thomas,” Turner Thorne said. “She is a powerful, explosive scoring combo guard who will fit in perfectly with our up-tempo offense and aggressive pressuring defense.

“Adrianne is an extremely tough and smart competitor who has had outstanding coaching through her high school and club programs. I predict she will adapt to the college game very quickly. Besides being one of the top guards in the country, Adrianne comes from an amazing family who has instilled in her great core values including impeccable character and strong leadership. She will be a great Sun Devil.”

A 5-9 guard, Thomas will be coming to ASU from Summit High School in Fontana, Calif., where she has earned Sunkist League MVP honors three times. In 2009 Thomas, who has scored in double figures 32 times the last two seasons, earned All-Sunkist League First-Team and All-CIF Southern Section First-Team recognition after leading her team to the state semifinals.

As a sophomore in 2008, Thomas helped Summit to its first CIF sectional championship game and the state quarterfinals. With her FBC club team she was named to the All-Tournament Teams of the adidas Womanhood National Championships, Summertime Invitational and adidas Super 64.

“Adrianne is a superstar on the court, off the court, in the classroom and in the community,” said Summit girls basketball coach Alexis Barile. “On the court she’s the type of player that won’t allow our team to lose. In crunch situations she’s the one that pulls us together and makes sure we win. She has a refuse-to-lose mentally. She’s going to fit into the ASU program very well as a person first and then as a basketball player.”

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