No. 13 Sun Devil WBB Hosts Oregon on Friday at 11 a.m. in Annual Sparky’s Kids to College Field Trip Game
WHAT: No. 13/12 Sun Devil WBB (17-1, 6-0 Pac-12) vs. Oregon (8-9, 1-5 Pac-12)
WHEN: Friday at 11 a.m. MT
WHERE: Wells Fargo Arena • Tempe, Ariz. Click here to purchase tickets.
TELEVISION: Pac-12 Networks
RADIO: 1440 AM KAZG (coverage begins at 10:30 a.m. MT)
Currently riding its longest winning streak since it won a school record 15 games in 2009, the No. 13 Sun Devil women’s basketball team returns home this weekend to take on Oregon (Friday at 11 a.m.) and No. 9 Oregon State (Sunday at 2 p.m.).
Friday’s contest will have a special 11 a.m. start time as part of `Sparky’s Kids to College Field Trip Day.’ Now in its ninth season, `Sparky’s Kids to College Field Trip Day,’ is an initiative designed to introduce fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders to a college campus. The Sun Devils have teamed up with the Dion Initiative for Child Well-Being and Bullying Prevention, which is a resource and research program here at Arizona State University that promotes environments that foster the health, well-being, and academic success of children.
The Sun Devils (17-1, 6-0 Pac-12) enter Friday’s game tied for first place in the Pac-12 with No. 9 Oregon State (16-1, 6-0). The Beavers play at Arizona on Friday night before Sunday’s game in Tempe. Both ASU and Oregon State are a game in front of third-place Stanford (13-5, 5-1) and two games ahead of Cal (12-5, 4-2) and UCLA (8-9, 4-2), who are both tied for fourth place. in the Pac-12
ASU returned with its winning streak (now 13 straight) intact after becoming the first school in the conference since 2000-01 to go on the road and win both games in the Bay Area – at Cal (67-52) and at Stanford (W, 60-57). Senior guard Promise Amukamara led the way as she averaged 18.5 points and 7.5 rebounds while connecting on 59 percent (16-27) of her shots from the floor in the two games. Amukamara led all scorers in both games as she had 20 in the win at Cal (one point short of matching her career high) and 17 in the win at Stanford. ASU connected on 44 percent (12-27) of its 3-point field goals in the two games and was a combined +33 on the boards (78-45) including a 29-12 advantage on the offensive glass. In addition to Amukamara, Sophie Brunner and Kelsey Moos each averaged 7.5 rebounds in the two games.
A quick glance at ASU’s success this season shows that it is similar to last season as there is a two-game improvement in the win column after 18 games (17-1 this season compared to 15-3 last season). A closer look however shows that the Sun Devils are winning games in much different fashion thanks to improvement on the defensive end. The Sun Devils are giving up 10.4 fewer points per game this season (55.4) than they were after 18 games last season (65.8). In addition, ASU has seen an improvement of nearly seven full percentage points in its 3-point FG percentage defense (21.5 percent in 2014-15 vs. 28.4 percent last season).With an improved defense the Sun Devils have not had to rely on late-game heroics as often as last season when the outcome of several games was hanging in the balance in the last five minutes. The numerical evidence points to the fact that the Sun Devils’ scoring margin this season (+17.4) is 7.6 points higher than it was last season (+9.8).
PROMOTION FOR SUNDAY'S GAME VS. OREGON STATE
Any child 12 and under will receive $1 admission prior to or on the day of the game at the ticket window! Kids attending the game can experience balloon artists, face painters, a bounce house, and more. Tickets for the whole family can be purchased by clicking her HERE.
Both of this weekend’s games can be seen live on Pac-12 Networks. Christian Miles (play by play) and Mary Murphy (analysis) will call both games. Friday’s game vs. Oregon can also be heard on 1440 AM KAZG (coverage beginning at 10:30 a.m.) and Sunday’s game vs. Oregon State can be heard on NBC Sports Radio AM 1060 (coverage beginning at 1:30 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 VS. OREGON (ASU LEADS 28-27 SINCE 1986-87)
• ASU has won 23 of the 28 meetings since the 2000-01 season. Oregon’s 82-81 win in Eugene in 2010 snapped a 10-game ASU winning streak in the series.
• ASU and Oregon split the season series last year with each team winning on its home floor – ASU 97-94 in Tempe and Oregon 98-90 in Eugene.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
• Currently 17-1, 6-0 Pac-12, ASU is off to its best start & conference start in school history. Previous best starts: 14-1 in 1982-83/best conference start: 5-0 in 2007-08.
• For the second time in as many seasons, the Sun Devils concluded the non-conference portion of their schedule with an 11-1 record. ASU was joined by Oregon State (10-1) and Washington (11-1) as the only other teams in the Pac-12 with one loss in non-conference play. ASU and Oregon State remain with only a single loss on their records.
• On Dec. 22 the Sun Devils made their first appearance of the season in the AP Top 25, entering the poll at No. 25. They moved up to 22nd on Dec. 29, No. 18 on Jan. 5 No. 14 on Jan. 12 and now up to 13th. ASU was ranked as high as No. 11 in the AP poll last season. ASU’s highest ever ranking in the AP poll was No. 8 in 2007.
• ASU’s current 13-game winning streak (second-best in school history) represents the 21st time since 2001 that the Sun Devils have had a winning streak of five or more games. The school record is 15 set during the 2008-09 season.
• The Sun Devils have been ranked as high as No. 1 (Dec. 7) in this season’s NCAA RPI. As of Jan. 21 they are No. 6.
• As of Jan. 21, ASU is second in the nation in 3-point FG percentage defense (21.5), 11th in FG percentage (46.4),14th in scoring margin (+17.4), 23rd in assists (16.4) and 25th in scoring defense (55.4).
• The Sun Devils have won 15 straight home games & 24 of 25 going back to last season. ASU is outscoring its opponents by an average of +19.5 ppg at home this season (10-0).
• ASU has had the same starting lineup in every game this season: G Elisha Davis, G Katie Hempen, G Promise Amukamara, F Kelsey Moos and F Sophie Brunner.
• ASU is shooting 47.8 percent from the floor during its 13-game winning streak (7x higher than 50 percent) and is outscoring the opposition by an average of 20.5 ppg.
• ASU has had 15 or fewer turnovers 10 times this season, including a season-low nine vs. Villanova (Nov. 28).
• ASU has held the opposition to 25 or fewer points in a half 14 times this season, including 13 in the first half vs. Washington (Jan. 3), which came into the game averaging 83.2 ppg. It has also held the opposition to 25 percent or less from 3-point range in 11 of its 18 contests. Only two opponents – Northwestern (5 - Dec. 21) and Washington State (4 - Jan. 5) – have connected on more than three triples in a game this season.
• Nine different Sun Devils have scored in double figures this season. Of those nine, six have posted double-digits in scoring multiple times. Leading the way are Katie Hempen & Sophie Brunner, who have scored in double figures 13 times. Also scoring in double figures have been Promise Amukamara (12x), Elisha Davis (8x), Kelsey Moos (7x), Quinn Dornstauder (6x), Peace Amukamara (1x), Arnecia Hawkins (1x) and Eliza Normen (1x).
• The team’s leader in steals (2.0 spg) and top rebounding guard on the team (3.9 rpg), Promise Amukamara is ASU’s leading scorer during its current winning streak (13.4 ppg).
• Sophie Brunner has scored 20 or more points four times this season, including a career-best 26 points in ASU’s win vs. Arizona (Jan. 10). Also ASU’s leading rebounder (7.4 rpg), Brunner was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week on Jan. 12. As of Jan. 18, Brunner is ranked No. 13 in the nation in FG percent (56.9).
• Elisha Davis has had five or most assists 11 times, including a career-high 11 at Illinois State (Dec. 16). Equally important is she has had 10 games with two or fewer turnovers – 2 (3x), 1 (3x), 0 (4x). She has 25 assists and eight turnovers in last four games.
• Katie Hempen, who has knocked down three or more 3-pointers seven times this season, has scored in double figures nine times in ASU’s last 12 games. In ASU’s win over Washington State (Jan. 5), Hempen scored a career-high 21 points and tied her career high in 3-pointers (4) and assists (5).
• Kelsey Moos has had seven or more rebounds nine times this season, including seven times in ASU’s last nine games. She is shooting 64 percent in last five games.
• Quinn Dornstauder currently leads the Sun Devil bench in both scoring (7.6 ppg) and rebounding (5.1 rpg) while shooting 58.2 percent from the floor. Dornstauder has scored in double figures in six of ASU’s last 11 games, including a career-best 19 points at Illinois State (Dec. 16). She posted her first career double-double (11 points, 11 rebounds) vs. Yale (Dec. 28).
• ASU’s win over Vanderbilt on Nov. 30 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.
• The Sun Devils were picked to finish seventh in the Pac-12 by the coaches and sixth by the media. 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.
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 (342), 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 192-86 (.691). Included in those wins are nine of Turner Thorne’s 12 NCAA Tournament victories.
Last season, 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
In addition to the success it has enjoyed on the court over the years, the Sun Devil women’s basketball program has been equally brilliant in the classroom where it has earned national recognition for its academic achievements. While the team’s current success on the court is receiving the most attention, the program learned in December of another great accomplishment that it is just as proud of as it concluded the fall semester with a cumulative team GPA of 3.47.
Just like the continued success they are experiencing on the court, the Sun Devils have not skipped a beat when it comes to hitting the books. Last season the Sun Devil women’s basketball team was among the top 25 women’s basketball programs listed on the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association’s (WBCA) 2014 Academic Honor Roll.
ASU’s combined team GPA of 3.412 in 2013-14 was No. 21 among NCAA Division I institutions. In addition, 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.
But it doesn’t stop there. Last March it was revealed that 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).
SUN DEVIL WBB HONORS ALL-TIME GREAT KYM HAMPTON
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 – hade her No. 32 jersey honored and displayed from the rafters of Wells Fargo Arena at halftime of ASU’s game vs. SMU on Dec. 6.
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 joins Ryneldi Becenti as the only Sun Devil women’s basketball players to have their jerseys hung from the rafters of Wells Fargo Arena.