ASU Women's Basketball Hosts BYU on Tuesday in Second Round of WNIT
March 22, 2010
After an impressive 23-point win over New Mexico State last Wednesday, the Arizona State women's basketball team continues play in the 2010 Women's National Invitation Tournament on Tuesday night when it hosts BYU (6:30 p.m. PT) at Wells Fargo Arena.
The Sun Devils (18-13, 9-9 Pac-10) had one of their top offensive performance of the season in their 84-61 win over the Aggies last week. In the end, the Sun Devils ended up accounting for season highs in points (84), steals (17) and made free throws (28). In addition, ASU held commanding advantages in rebounding (49-33), bench points (46-16) and second-chance points (17-5).
Redshirt freshman forward Janae Fulcher (18 points, 7-11 FGs) and freshman center Joy Burke (14 points, 5-6 FGs) combined for 32 points to lead the Sun Devils. Fulcher and Burke were both part of an ASU starting lineup that featured five freshman, including four players - Burke, Fulcher, (redshirt freshman) G Deja Mann and (redshirt freshman) G Haley Parsons - who were making their first career start.
BYU (21-9, 11-5 Mountain West) is making its fifth all-time appearance in the WNIT. The Cougars advanced to the second round following a hard-fought 62-58 home win over Pepperdine last Thursday. Junior guards Mindy Bonham (13 points) and Haley Hall (11 points) combined for 24 points to pace the Cougars
The winner of Tuesday's game will face either Texas Tech or Wyoming in the second round (date and site to be determined). The Red Raiders and Cowboys also play on Tuesday night in Laramie, Wyo.
Tuesday's game can be heard live on The Fan AM 1060. Pre-game coverage will begin at 6 p.m. Veteran broadcaster Jeff Munn is in his sixth season as the voice of ASU women's basketball. He will be joined on the broadcast by former Arizona State women's basketball head coach Maura McHugh.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
ASU returns 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. Of ASU's returning players, only seniors Kayli Murphy and Danielle Orsillo and junior Becca Tobin saw significant playing time last season.
The Sun Devils are 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 is junior 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 making its 11th consecutive postseason appearance. The Sun Devils began their current streak with their first WNIT appearance in 2000. ASU then made back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Tournament (2001-02) followed by back-to-back appearances in the WNIT (2003-04) before beginning a streak of five consecutive NCAA Tournament berths, the longest such streak in school history.
The Sun Devils are appearing in the WNIT for the fourth time. They have already tied their best finish (also made the second round in 2003) in the event.
Despite finishing in fifth place in the Pac-10 this season, ASU has still won 76 percent (68-22) of its Pac-10 contests since the 2005-06 season.
With two more wins the Sun Devils will have won 20 or more games for the sixth consecutive season.
This will be the first meeting between ASU and BYU since 1991. The Cougars won the first four meetings before ASU came back to win the next three.
On Tuesday the Sun Devils will be at home where they are 77-14 (.846) since the 2004-05 season, including a 33-4 record (.894) against non-conference teams.
Currently ASU's leading scorer averaging 14.2 points per game, senior G Danielle Orsillo has scored in double figures in all but five contests this season. Last month Orsillo set a new career best in scoring in back-to-back contests as she scored 26 points at Oregon State (Feb. 11) only to surpass that mark with 29 at Oregon (Feb. 13). Her final scoring tally at Oregon represented the most points by a Sun Devil since G Kylan Loney scored 32 against Arizona in 2004.
Freshman G Sabrina McKinney has 18 assists and only seven turnovers in ASU's last four games.
Orsillo is currently tied for 4th place with Sherry Poole (1984-87) on ASU's all-time scoring list with 1,370 points. She needs 5 more points to pass Molly Tuter (1994-97) for 3rd place on the list.
ASU's 129 blocks this season are the second-highest number in school history. The Sun Devils need six more blocks to break the single-season record for the fourth consecutive season.
Tobin (37-39) and senior F Kayli Murphy (39-46) have combined to make 76 of their last 85 free throws (.894).