Kym Hampton to Have Jersey Honored at Saturday’s Sun Devil WBB Game vs. SMU

WHAT: Sun Devil Women’s Basketball (5-1) vs. SMU (4-3)

WHEN: Saturday at 3 p.m. MT

WHERE: Wells Fargo Arena, Tempe (click here to purchase tickets)

TELEVISION: Pac-12 Networks

RADIO: 1440 AM KAZG (pre-game coverage begins at 2:30 pm)

UP NEXT

The Sun Devil women’s basketball team will look to start another winning streak when it hosts SMU on Saturday (3 p.m. MT) at Wells Fargo Arena. Saturday will be a special day for the Sun Devil women’s basketball program as it will be honoring the No. 32 jersey of Sun Devil Hall of Famer Kym Hampton. One of the most decorated players to ever wear a Sun Devil jersey, Hampton (1981-84) is ASU’s all-time career leader (men’s or women’s basketball) in scoring (2,361 points) and rebounds (1,415). She will have her jersey hung from the rafters of Wells Fargo Arena in a special ceremony at halftime of Saturday’s game.

The Sun Devils (5-1) are coming off a stretch in which they played four games over the course of six days (all four games taking place in the state of Florida). 

ASU began its road trip to the Sunshine State with a 65-61 win at Miami (Nov. 25). Katie Hempen scored 14 of her 17 points in the second half as the Sun Devils outscored the Hurricanes 23-11 in the final eight minutes of the game to overcome an eight-point deficit. Promise Amukamara (13 points), Elisha Davis (11 points) and Kelsey Moos (10 points), also scored in double figures for the Sun Devils, who shot 54 percent in the second half, including 56 percent from behind the arc (5-9).

ASU then traveled to Estero, Florida, for the 2014 Gulf Coast Showcase, an event that included eight teams facing off in a tournament-style format. In their first game against Villanova (Nov. 28) the Sun Devils once again needed a late rally in a 51-46 win over the Wildcats. ASU used an 11-0 scoring run in the final 2:38 to overcome a scrappy Wildcat team that led ASU by as many as seven points twice in the second half. Promise Amukamara (12 points) and Sophie Brunner (10 points) both scored in double figures to lead the Sun Devils. Amukamara (8 points), Brunner (8 points) and Hempen (7 points) combined to score 23 of ASU’s 30 points in the second half. Hempen scored all seven of her points in the final 2:38, starting with a 3-pointer that cut Villanova’s six-point lead in half. One minute later Hempen connected on another triple to tie the game at 46-46 with 1:38 remaining. Amukamara came up with a steal on the opposite end and raced to the basket to give ASU a 48-46 lead with 1:08 remaining. 

After winning its first four games, ASU dropped its first contest of the season last Saturday, falling to Green Bay 63-57 in the semifinal round of the Gulf Coast Showcase. The Sun Devils led by nine early in the second half and were up by six with just over five minutes remaining, but each time the Phoenix would rally. Green Bay closed the game with a 16-4 run to clinch a spot in in the championship game vs. UConn. Kelsey Moos scored 15 points, Hempen added 14 and Brunner had her second double-double of the season (13 points, 11 rebounds) to lead the Sun Devils.

ASU closed out the Gulf Coast Showcase with a 72-67 win over Vanderbilt in the third-place game. Promise Amukamara tied her career high with 21 points, Eliza Normen came off the bench to score a career-high 12 points and Arnecia Hawkins scored all 12 of her points in the second half to help lead the Sun Devils conclude their road trip on a winning note. Moos added 11 points for the Sun Devils, who shot 53 percent from the floor. Hawkins and Normen combined to score 24 of ASU’s 26 bench points in the game. Their performances took on even greater significance as Sophie Brunner (20 minutes – 6 points) and Katie Hempen (19 minutes – 3 points), ASU’s top two scorers coming into the game, were both plagued by foul trouble the entire contest.

The Sun Devils opened the 2014-15 season with a pair of home wins, defeating Middle Tennessee 81-67 on Nov. 14 and followed that up with an 83-54 victory over Bakersfield on Nov. 19.

The Sun Devils, who were picked to finish seventh in the Pac-12 by the coaches and sixth by the media, are currently receiving votes in both the Associated Press Top 25 and the USA Today Coaches Top 25. Last season the Sun Devils were picked to finish 10th in the Pac-12 by the coaches and ninth by the media. They would go on to finish fourth in the league, were ranked as high as No. 11 in the AP poll and would advance to the second round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament, their 14th postseason appearance in 15 seasons.

TELEVISION/RADIO

Saturday’s game vs. SMU can be seen live on Pac-12 Networks. Krista Blunk (play by play) and Mary Murphy (analyst) will have the call.

The game can also be heard live on 1440 AM KAZG. Pre-game coverage will begin at 2:30 p.m. Veteran broadcaster and the state of Arizona’s 2010 Broadcaster of the Year Jeff Munn is in his 11th season as the voice of ASU women’s basketball. He will be joined by former Sun Devil head coach Maura McHugh.

SERIES NOTES

SMU won the only prior meeting between the two teams, a 79-54 decision in 1997 in Dallas.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

• ASU is 16-2 in its last 18 regular season, non-conference games going back to last season. That record includes an 8-0 record at home, a 3-1 record on the road and a 5-1 record in neutral site games. It also includes wins over No. 11 North Carolina (2013) and No. 20 Syracuse (2013). ASU’s only non-conference losses the last two seasons were the second game of last season, a 61-53 setback at San Diego and a 63-57 loss to Green Bay in the semifinals of the 2014 Gulf Coast Showcase.

• After playing four of its first six games away from home, the Sun Devils will begin a stretch this week in which five of their six games in the month of December will be played in Tempe. ASU’s only road game this month takes place on Dec. 16 when it plays at Illinois State. Including the opening weekend of Pac-12 play, ASU will play seven of its next eight games at home.

• The Sun Devils have been ranked as high as No. 3 (Dec. 2) in this season’s NCAA RPI. As of Dec. 4 they are No. 4.

• In three of their first five games, the Sun Devils have played teams – Middle Tennessee (Conference USA), Bakersfield (Western Athletic Conference) and Green Bay (Horizon League) – who were picked to win each of their respective conferences. ASU defeated Middle Tennessee and Bakersfield and came up short against Green Bay. Another opponent, Vanderbilt, is coming off an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2014.

• ASU’s win over Vanderbilt on Sunday represented its third contest this season to be decided by five or fewer points. On Nov. 25 ASU overcame an eight-point deficit in the second half to win at Miami, 65-61. The Sun Devils then used an 11-0 run in the last 2:38 to knock off Villanova (Nov. 28). Last season the Sun Devils were 12-1 in games decided by five points or less and/or overtime.

• The Sun Devils have come back to win two games this season in which they were facing a double-digit deficit – at Miami - 10 points and vs. Vanderbilt - 11 points.

• ASU has had 15 or fewer turnovers three times this season. 

• ASU has held the opposition to 25 percent or less from 3-point range in half of its games this season (3/6).

• The Sun Devils have won 16 of their last 17 home games going back to last season.

• Sophie Brunner has led or tied for the team lead in rebounds five times thus far. She recorded her second double-double of the season (sixth of her career) with 13 points and 11 rebounds in ASU’s 63-57 loss to Green Bay (Nov. 29). 

• Of the 41 points Katie Hempen has scored in the last four games, 32 have come in the second half.

• Seven different Sun Devils have scored in double figures this season. Promise Amukamara, Sophie Brunner, Elisha Davis and Katie Hempen have all scored in double figures four times this season. Also scoring in double figures have been Kelsey Moos (3x), Arnecia Hawkins (1x) and Eliza Normen (1x). Quinn Dornstauder has come one basket shy of scoring in double digits having accounted for eight points on two different occasions.

• After averaging 7.5 points and shooting 45 percent from the floor in ASU’s first four games, Kelsey Moos has averaged 13.0 ppg while shooting 64 percent in the last two.

• Promise Amukamara, who came into this season shooting 42 percent the first three years of her career, is shooting 52 percent thus far.

SUN DEVIL WBB TO HONOR JERSEY OF HALL OF FAMER KYM HAMPTON ON DEC. 6

Kym Hampton, a member of the Sun Devil Sports Hall of Fame who was ASU’s first All-American in women’s basketball and who went on to star professionally – both internationally and in the WNBA – will have her No. 32 jersey honored and displayed from the rafters of Wells Fargo Arena on Sat., Dec. 6 when the Sun Devils host SMU. 

One of the most decorated players to ever wear a Sun Devil jersey, Hampton (1981-84) is ASU’s all-time career leader (men’s or women’s basketball) in scoring (2,361 points) and rebounds (1,415). 

Hampton was the first ASU women’s basketball player to earn all-America honors (1981-1982). In addition to the aforementioned career scoring and rebounding records, Hampton set several other records, many of which still stand today, including: most career blocks (178), most points (683) and rebounds (413) in a season and most points (44), rebounds (28) and field goals (19 - tied) in a single game.

 Hampton’s play helped lead ASU to a four-year record of 76-34, including a pair of NCAA Sweet 16 appearances. She led ASU to its first postseason appearance in 1981 as the Sun Devils advanced to the championship game of the National Women’s Invitation Tournament. Hampton’s 23 points enabled ASU to upset top-seeded Tennessee Tech 85-76 in the opening round. The following season, Hampton scored 31 points to pace the Sun Devils as they defeated Georgia 97-77 in their first ever NCAA Tournament game, which was played in Tempe. In 1983, Hampton tallied a double-double against Utah to help lead the Sun Devils back to the Sweet 16.

Hampton concluded her remarkable Sun Devil career in being named the 1984 Sun Angel Athlete of the Year, an award which honored academic and athletic excellence.

 Following her ASU career, Hampton took her talents to the international stage where she excelled for more than 12 years, helping her teams win four championships along the way. She reached the pinnacle of women’s professional basketball in 1997 when she was chosen by the New York Liberty in the first round of the WNBA Elite Draft. Hampton started every game during the franchise’s first three seasons, which included a pair of WNBA runner-up appearances. She averaged 9.3 points and 5.8 rebounds in her three years with the Liberty. She forever etched her spot in team history by scoring the franchise’s first ever basket in 1997.

Hampton will join Ryneldi Becenti as the only the Sun Devil women’s basketball players to have their jerseys hung from the rafters of Wells Fargo Arena.

TURNER THORNE GUIDES SUN DEVIL WOMEN’S BASKETBALL TO ELITE STATUS

The all-time winningest coach in program history and No. 2 in the Pac-12 in career wins (330), Charli Turner Thorne has turned Sun Devil women’s basketball into one of the nation’s premiere programs since taking over in 1996-97. Included in ASU’s earlier run of 13 consecutive postseason appearances (2000-12) were a school record five-consecutive NCAA Tournament bids from 2005-09. During that time the Sun Devils qualified for the Elite Eight on a pair of occasions, making ASU one of only 15 programs in the country to have qualified for the Elite Eight at least two times between 2007-12.

In 2013-14, Turner Thorne helped the Sun Devils post one of the best turnarounds in the country as they went from a 13-18 record and a ninth-place Pac-12 finish (5-13) the previous season to a 23-10 record and fourth-place Pac-12 finish (11-7). Included among ASU’s 23 wins last season were three triumphs over Top 25 teams.

On Jan. 25, 2013, Turner Thorne became the third Pac-12 coach to reach 300 victories following ASU’s 60-53 win over USC, a game in which ASU came back from 16 down in the second half. 

A closer look at Turner Thorne’s path to 300 puts into perspective the incredible 180-degree turnaround Sun Devil women’s basketball has undergone since she came to ASU. To reach 150 wins it took Turner Thorne 272 games (150-122 - .551) as she rebuilt a program that had an aggregate record of 20-60 in the three years prior to her arrival and only two NCAA Tournament wins in its history. It would take her 215 games to get 150 more wins. Since picking up her 150th win at ASU, Turner Thorne is 180-86 (.677). Included in those wins are nine of Turner Thorne’s 12 NCAA Tournament victories.

Most recently, Turner Thorne led the Sun Devils to the NCAA Tournament for the ninth time in her ASU tenure. Among schools that qualified for the 2014 NCAA Tournament, ASU’s nine NCAA bids since 2000 are the second-most in the West.

SUN DEVIL WBB AMONG NATION’S BEST IN THE CLASSROOM

The 2013-14 Arizona State University women’s basketball team was among the top 25 women’s basketball programs in the classroom in 2013-14 as the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced its 2014 Academic Team Honor Rolls on Thursday.

The Sun Devil women’s basketball team’s combined team GPA of 3.412 was No. 21 among NCAA Division I institutions. ASU was one of only three teams (DePaul and Florida Gulf Coast) among the WBCA’s top 25 that also participated in the 2014 NCAA Tournament.

The WBCA Academic Top 25 annually recognizes NCAA Division I, II and III; NAIA; and junior/community college women’s basketball teams across the nation that carry the highest combined grade point average (GPA) inclusive of all student-athletes on their rosters for the entire season. The 2013-14 season is the 19th in which the WBCA has compiled the honor rolls.

In March, the Sun Devils had the highest combined number (3) of first- (1 - Joy Burke) and second-team (2 - Elisha Davis and Deja Mann) honorees represented on the Pac-12’s All-Academic Team. Also earning Pac-12 honorable mention recognition were Promise Amukamara, Katie Hempen and Eliza Normen.

Since the 1996-97 season, head coach Charli Turner Thorne’s first season at ASU, the Sun Devils lead the Pac-12 in the number of first-team All-Academic conference awards (15) and the combined number of first- and second-team All-Academic conference awards (34).

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