ASU Women's Basketball to Face Texas A&M and Baylor in This Weekend's Las Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic

Dec. 18, 2009

Game Nos. 9 & 10
Las Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic
South Point Events Center • Las Vegas, Nev.
No. 14/13 Arizona State
(7-1)
vs.
No. 13/11 Texas A&M (7-1)
Saturday, Dec. 19, 2009 • 6:30 p.m. PT/7:30 p.m. MT
and
No. 6/5 Baylor (9-1)
Sunday, Dec. 20, 2009 • 6:30 p.m. PT/7:30 p.m. MT

UP NEXT

Winners of its last five games, the Arizona State women's basketball team (No. 14 AP/No. 13 ESPN/USA Today) will square off against two of the top teams in the country this weekend when it travels to Las Vegas, Nev., for the Las Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic. ASU will open the weekend on Saturday (6:30 p.m. PT/7:30 p.m. MT) when it faces No. 13/11 Texas A&M in a rematch of last year's Trenton regional semifinal won by the Sun Devils 80-65. ASU will then conclude the weekend on Sunday (6:30 p.m. PT/7:30 p.m. MT) when it takes on No. 6/5 Baylor.

The Sun Devils enter this weekend's contests more than a week removed from their last game on Dec. 9 when they defeated North Dakota 67-43. Senior post Kayli Murphy led ASU with a career-best 15 points in the win.

Much of ASU's recent success can be attributed to its defensive play. During their current five-game winning streak the Sun Devils have forced an average of 21 turnovers per game while allowing their opponents to shoot only 37 percent from the field, including a paltry 21 percent from 3-point range. In addition, ASU is also also outrebounding the opposition by nearly 10 rebounds per game (43.6-33.8).

Senior guard Danielle Orsillo has averaged 15.2 points during ASU's current four-game winning streak while redshirt sophomore center Kali Bennett has averaged 10.2 points and 8,8 rebounds over the same span.
Thus weekend's games represent the third time this season that ASU will have played on back-to-back days.

ASU is 4-0 in those games thus far, defeating both Hawaii (65-53) and East Tennessee State (80-67) Nov. 27-28 in the Rainbow Wahine Classic and then one week later coming out on top against Idaho State (65-56) and Pepperdine (62-52) in the ASU Classic.

ON THE AIR
Both of ASU's games this weekend can be heard live on The Fan AM 1060. Pre-game coverage for both games will begin at 7 p.m. in Arizona. Jeff Munn is in his sixth season as the voice of ASU women's basketball.

IN THE POLLS
With its its 67-43 win over North Dakota last week, the Sun Devils moved up one spot in both polls (from 15th to 14th in the AP poll and from 14th to 13th in the ESPN/USA Today Top 25 coaches' poll).  ASU began the season ranked 16th in the AP poll and 11th in the coaches' poll. In November the Sun Devils were ranked 7th in the coaches' poll which represented its highest ranking in school history in either poll.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR
• ASU returns six players, including two starters - forward Kayli Murphy and guard Danielle Orsillo - from last year's active roster 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 25-4 in its last 29 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 Thorne needs two more wins (has 298 with Northern Arizona and ASU) to reach 300 for her career. Her 258 wins at ASU rank fourth all-time among Pac-10 head coaches.
• This will be the fifth all-time meeting between ASU and Texas A&M. The Aggies won the first three meetings, however ASU was victorious in the most recent meeting, an 80-65 triumph in last year's Trenton regional semifinal.
• The only prior meeting between ASU and Baylor came in the second round of the 2003 postseason WNIT, a game which Baylor won 85-62 in Waco Texas.
• Six players on ASU's 2009-10 roster played against Texas A&M last year -- seniors Danielle Orsillo (23 minutes, 15 points, 3-6 FGs, 7-7 FTs) and Kayli Murphy (25 minutes, 9 points, 6 rebounds, 5-6 FTs) were both in the starting lineup. Also playing in the game were senior Gabby Fage (26 minutes, 2 points, 2 assists, 3 steals), junior Becca Tobin (17 minutes, 4 points, 5 rebounds) and sophomore Alex Earl (1 minute).
• ASU has outrebounded its opponent 7 times in 8 games this season.
• Junior forward Becca Tobin (17-18, .944) is currently first in the Pac-10 in free throw percentage. Tobin is also 8th in the Pac-10 in field goal percentage (.509) and 10th in rebounding (7.6 rpg).

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 87.5 percent (70-10) of the games they have played at Wells Fargo Arena. In addition, under Turner Thorne ASU has also proven to be nearly as effective when it is playing away from home. Since the 2006-07 season the Sun Devils have won more than 70 percent of their games when they were the visiting team or made a trip to a neutral site.

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.'

2009-10 Bio Updates

#1 Dymond Simon - Sr. - G
• Is redshirting in 2009-10 as she continues to recover from ACL injury she suffered in 2009 regular season final at Stanford.
• Led ASU in scoring (13.8 ppg) in 2008-09 on her way to Second-Team All-Pac-10 honors.
• Was a high school teammate of current Sun Devil senior Kayli Murphy.

#2 Sabrina McKinney - Fr. - G
• Outstanding defender who was a two-time Defensive Player of the Year for Bowie High School in Arlington, Texas.
• Has played in every game this season (18.3 mpg).
• Is currently 3rd on the team in assists (2.8 apg) and 4th in steals (1.0 spg)
• Scored a season-best 7 points at Xavier (Nov. 21).
• Made the first start of her career in ASU's win vs. Idaho State (Dec. 4).
• Dished out a season-high 6 assists in ASU's win vs. East Tennessee State (Nov. 28).
• Recorded a season-best 4 steals in win vs. Idaho State (Dec. 4).

#3 Joy Burke - Fr. - F/C

• Local product (Tempe Marco de Niza), who was a 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 at Marcos de Niza while averaging 23.3 points, 17.8 rebounds, 7.5 blocks and 3.9 steals per game.
• Has played in 7 games this season and has made 46 percent of her shots (5-11).
• Has grabbed a season-best 5 rebounds on two occasions.

#4 Haley Parsons - RS-Fr. - G
• Redshirted last season.
• Spent much of the preseason recovering from injury.
• Made her Sun Devil debut in ASU's win over North Dakota (Dec. 9) and recorded a pair of assists.

#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.
• Has played in every game this season (14.3 mpg).
• Scored 5 points (2-3 FGs) in her Sun Devil debut vs. South Dakota State (Nov. 15).
• Tallied a season-best 6 points in ASU's win vs. East Tennessee State (Nov. 28).

#11 Kali Bennett - RS-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.
• As a freshman at Washington in 2007-08, averaged 4.9 points and 3.0 rebounds while tying for the team lead in blocked shots with 15.
• Currently leads the team in rebounding (7.8 rpg) and blocks (1.4 bpg) and is tied for 2nd in scoring (9.1 ppg).
• Scored seven points and grabbed three rebounds in season opener vs. • Was named the MVP of the Rainbow Wahine Classic after averaging 15.0 points, 12.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in wins over Hawaii (Nov. 27) and East Tennessee State (Nov. 28). The win over Hawaii included a career-best 15 rebounds.

#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.
• Has played in 7 games this season (13.0 mpg) with one start (vs. Pepperdine, Dec. 5).
• Is second on the team in 3-point FGs (5).
• 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).
• Hit 3-of-4 shots, including both of her 3-point FG attempts, and scored 8 points in win vs. Pepperdine (Dec. 5).

#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.
• 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 18 times in her last 23 games going back to last season, including 7 times in 8 games this season. 
• Currently leads the team in scoring (13.1 ppg), 3-point FGs (11, 1.4 per game) and steals (2.1 spg) and is 2nd in assists (2.8 spg).
• Has led or tied for the team lead in scoring 5 times this season, including a season-best 18 points in back-to-back Sun Devil wins vs. East Tennessee State (Nov. 28) and Idaho State (Dec. 4).
• Was named to the Rainbow Wahine Classic All-Tournament Team after averaging 16.5 points in ASU's wins over Hawaii (Nov. 27) and East Tennessee State (Nov. 28).
• Went over 1,000 points for her career in ASU's win over Idaho State (Dec. 4).
• Was named MVP of the ASU Classic after averaging 15.5 points in ASU's wins over Idaho State (Dec. 4) and Pepperdine (Dec. 5).
• Scored 12 points to go along with a season-best 5 assists and a career-best 5 steals in ASU's win over North Dakota on Jan. 9.

#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 in 2008-09.
• Has started all 8 games in 2009-10 and is averaging 9.0 points and 6.5 rebounds while connecting on 50 percent of her shots (29-58).
• 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.
• Was named to the Rainbow Wahine Classic All-Tournament Team after averaging 10.0 points and 5.5 rebounds in ASU's wins over Hawaii (Nov. 27) and East Tennessee State (Nov. 28)
• Led the team in scoring with a career-high 15 points in ASU's win over North Dakota (Dec. 9).

#22 Janae Fulcher - RS-Fr. - F/C

• After redshirting in 2008-09, will have a big role this season after three post players graduated from last year's team.
• Helped lead her high school basketball team, La Jolla Country Day, to four league championships.
• Has played in every game this season and is currently averaging 3.8 points and 3.5 rebounds while connecting on 52 percent of her shots (14-27). 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).
• Scored 7 points (3-4 FGs) in win vs. East Tennessee State (Nov. 28).

#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.
• Has started 7 of 8 games in 2009-10 and is currently averaging 5.9 points and 4.6 rebounds.
• Is 3rd on the team in free throws made (15).
• 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).

#30 Gabby Fage - Sr. - G
• Reserve guard who has played in 72 career games.
• 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 played in five games in 2009-10, missing ASU's last 3 contests as she recovers a broken nose.
• Has grabbed a season-best five rebounds on two occasions.
• Scored 4 points, dished out 2 assists and had 2 rebounds in win at Hawaii (Nov. 27).

#32 Becca Tobin - Jr. - F/C
• 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.
• Has started 6 of 8 games in 2009-10 and is currently 2nd on the team in both scoring (9.1 ppg) and rebounding (7.6 rpg).
• Currently leads the team and the Pac-10 in free throw shooting percentage (.944, 17-18 FTs).
• 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.
• Was named to the ASU Classic All-Tournament team after averaging 11.5 points (8-12 FGs, .667 FG pct) and 7.5 rebounds in ASU's wins vs. Idaho State (Dec. 4) and Pepperdine (Dec. 5).
• Pulled down a season-best 10 rebounds in ASU's win over North Dakota (Dec. 9).

#35 Tenaya Watson - Jr. - G -

Transfer from Central Arizona who has started all five games this season... 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... Currently leads the team in assists (3.1 apg)... Has led or tied for the team lead in steals 3 times this season... Scored 8 points, grabbed 7 rebounds, dished out 7 assists and blocked 2 shots in her Sun Devil debut against South Dakota State (Nov. 15)... Scored a career-high 10 points (3-5 FGs, 4-4 FTs) in ASU's win vs. East Tennessee State (Nov. 28).

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