2002-03 Women's Basketball Season in Review
June 5, 2003
TEMPE, Ariz. -
With a young team that featured three true freshmen and two sophomores in the starting lineup, the 2002-03 Arizona State women's basketball team turned in a 16-14 overall record and made a school-record fourth consecutive postseason appearance. Arizona State earned a bid to the 2003 Women's National Invitation Tournament, its second appearance in that tournament, to become the first team in school history to advance to the postseason in four straight years (WNIT in 2000 & 2003, NCAA in 2001 & 2002). The Sun Devils finished eighth in the Pac-10 with a 7-11 conference record. The young Sun Devils also tied the school record for home wins with a 13-4 home mark, including upsets of three ranked opponents, and turned in the team's third consecutive winning season.
2002-03 Team Accomplishments
- A total of four players earned All-Pac-10 Conference honors, including honorable-mention All-Pac-10 selection Carrie Buckner. Amy Denson and Jill Noe were first-team Pac-10 All-Freshman selections, while Kristen Kovesdy was an honorable-mention Pac-10 All-Freshman selection. It marked the first time in school history that ASU has had more than one player on the league's all-rookie team in a single-season (let alone three) and the seventh straight year that a Sun Devil has earned mention on the Pac-10 All-Freshman Team.
- Jen Albert and Carrie Buckner were both named to the Pac-10 Conference All-Academic First Team, marking the second time in school history and the second consecutive year that Arizona State has had two players earn first-team all-academic accolades. Kylan Loney also earned honorable-mention Pac-10 All-Academic honors.
- The Sun Devils led the Pac-10 Conference in three-point shooting defense for the second straight year and the fourth time in five seasons, allowing their opponents to shoot just 29.7 percent from beyond the arc.
- ASU also led the Pac-10 in offensive rebounds and finished in the top five in scoring defense (third), free throw percentage (fourth), field goal defense (fifth), rebounding (third), rebounding defense (second), assists (fifth), steals (third) and turnover margin (fifth).
- In addition to the team finishing third in the Pac-10 in rebounding, four Sun Devils ended up ranked in the top 20 in the league in the category: Kristen Kovesdy tied for 10th at 6.1 rebounds per game, Amy Denson 15th at 6.0 rpg, Jill Noe 17th at 5.8 rpg and Carrie Buckner 19th at 5.5 rpg.
- Arizona State opened the season with a 5-0 start, the best start in Charli Turner Thorne's tenure at ASU and the best since the 1991-92 team won its first nine games. ASU finished the non-conference season with an 8-1 record, which was tied with several teams for the second-best start in school history.
- With 7,274 fans in attendance at the AstraZeneca Hoops for the Cure Classic II, the Sun Devils set a school single-game attendance record for Wells Fargo Arena.
- The Sun Devils won their first five home games of the year to set a school record with 13 straight home wins, a streak that dated back to the last eight home games of the 2001-02 season.
- Arizona State turned in a 13-4 record at Wells Fargo Arena this season, tying the school record for home wins in a single season, a mark set by the 2001-02 team.
- That wins total included three upsets of ranked opponents, including a 74-70 victory over then 14th-ranked Georgia, which advanced to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen this year. ASU also defeated No. 19 Arizona and No. 20 Washington this season.
- ASU won the Wells Fargo Holiday Classic in November, defeating Portland State and Wisconsin-Milwaukee to win the tournament. Kylan Loney earned Tournament MVP honors, while Jen Albert and Amy Denson were also named to the All-Tournament Team.
- The Sun Devils blocked 90 shots on the season, which was just one rejection shy of the school record of 91 set by the 1982-83 team.
- ASU's top three scorers and rebounders were true freshmen. Jill Noe led the team in scoring at 12.6 points per game to become the first freshman to lead the Sun Devils in scoring since Theresa Jantzen accomplished the feat in 1998-99. Kristen Kovesdy became the first freshman to lead the team in rebounding (6.1 rpg) since Molly Tuter in 1993-94. Noe, Kovesdy and Denson all finished in the top 10 in points and rebounds by an ASU freshman. Noe finished second in points and assists, third in steals and fourth in rebounding, while Kovesdy finished second in rebounding and blocks, sixth in scoring and 10th in steals. Denson was third in rebounding and fifth in scoring.
- Those three rookies accounted for 11 of ASU's 12 double-doubles this season led by freshman guard Jill Noe who had five double-doubles on the year. Freshman forwards Kristen Kovesdy and Amy Denson each had three double-doubles, while sophomore Carrie Buckner turned in the other for the Sun Devils. ASU had a true freshman turn in her first career double-double in each of the team's first three games of the year.
- ASU's newcomers accounted for 62.3 percent of the team's scoring (1188 of 1907 points) and 56.2 percent of its rebounding (638 of 1135 rebounds) this year.
- Arizona State started three true freshmen and two sophomores in 2002-03. ASU returned just one starter and six letterwinners from its 2001-02 Pac-10 Tournament Championship and NCAA Tournament squad (with the losses of junior and two-year starter Betsy Boardman and sophomore forward Alexis Tate to season-ending knee injuries) but added a recruiting class of five freshmen and one junior college transfer which was ranked in the top 25 in the nation by Blue Star. The 2002-03 Sun Devil active roster featured a junior college transfer, three sophomores and six freshmen.
- Arizona State's invitation to the 2003 Women's National Invitation Tournament bodes well for the future. Of the 32 teams that advanced to the WNIT in 2002, 12 earned NCAA Tournament bids this year (Illinois, George Washington, Washington, Holy Cross, DePaul, Western Kentucky, Miami, Southwest Missouri State, Michigan State, Georgia Tech, Valparaiso and Virginia Tech) and six advanced to the WNIT for a second season (Hawai'i, Oregon State, Missouri, Siena, Delaware and St. Joseph's).
- With a 106-100 record in her seven years at ASU, head coach Charli Turner Thorne holds sole possession of second place in all-time wins by a Sun Devil women's basketball coach. Turner Thorne earned the 100th win of her ASU career with a 78-63 victory over Oregon on Jan. 4 of this year. Juliene Simpson is the all-time winningest coach in ASU women's basketball history, notching a 134-92 mark in eight years (1979-87).
2002-03 Individual Accomplishments
Jen Albert * F * 6-2 * Jr. * Longmont, Colo./Niwot HS- Played in all 30 games with six starts.- Earned first-team Pac-10 All-Academic honors for the second straight season.- Was the team's leading scorer off the bench with 4.5 points per game.- Finished third on the team in field goal percentage (.419) and third in free throw percentage (.714).- Was named to the All-Tournament Team after averaging 10.5 points per game at the Wells Fargo Holiday Classic.- Scored a career-best 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting in a Feb. 6 win over Washington State.
Carrie Buckner * G * 5-9 * So. * Corvallis, Ore./Crescent Valley HS- Earned honorable-mention All-Pac-10 honors.- Earned first-team Pac-10 All-Academic honors.- Was one of two players to start all 30 games this season.- Led the Sun Devils and ranked fifth in the Pac-10 in steals with 2.1 steals per game (63 steals).- Finished fourth on the team in scoring (8.0 ppg) and rebounding (5.5 rpg).- Ranked 19th in the Pac-10 in rebounding and ninth in offensive rebounds with 2.47 offensive boards per game.- Also finished third on the team with 11 blocked shots on the year.- Scored in double figures 10 times this season, including a career-best 16 points at UCLA on Feb. 16.- Turned in the first double-double of her career with 10 points and 12 rebounds in ASU's upset of 19th-ranked Arizona on Jan. 23.
Rainy Crisp * G * 5-6 * Sr. * Farmington, N.M. * New Mexico State- Saw action in 26 games with two starts.- Was ASU's lone senior on a very young team.- Played in 112 games with three starts in her Sun Devil career.- Was one of three Sun Devils to finish the season with a positive assist-to-turnover ratio (1.1).- Helped ASU to two of its most successful seasons in school history, including a share of the 2001 Pac-10 Championship, the 2002 Pac-10 Tournament Championship, back-to-back 20 wins seasons (including a school-record 25 wins in 2001-02) and ASU's first back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in 19 years (2001 & 2002).- Finished her career with 182 assists (1.6 per game) and an outstanding assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.5 (182 assists to 121 turnovers).- Also ended up with 88 career steals in her four years in Tempe.
Amy Denson * F * 6-1 * Fr. * Central Point, Ore. * Crater HS- Earned first-team Pac-10 All-Freshman honors.- Played in all 30 games, starting 29.- Finished second on the team in scoring (9.9 ppg) and rebounding (6.0 rpg).- Ranked 15th in the Pac-10 in rebounding.- Was second on the team with three double-doubles and missed two others by just one rebound.- Finished third in rebounding and fifth in scoring on ASU's freshman records lists.- Earned all-tournament honors at the Wells Fargo Holiday Classic after averaging 12.5 points and 9.0 rebounds per game to help ASU to the tournament title.- Scored a career-high 18 points on two occasions (at Stanford on Dec. 27 and at Washington on Jan. 9).- Averaged 9.7 points and a team-best 6.2 rebounds per game in Pac-10 play.- Had 16 games in double figures for scoring and four for rebounding, including a career-best and team-high 14 boards in ASU's Nov. 29 win over Portland State.
Kristen Kovesdy * F * 6-3 * Fr. * Scottsdale, Ariz. * St. Mary's HS- Earned honorable-mention Pac-10 All-Freshman honors.- Saw action in all 30 games, starting 23.- Led the team and finished 10th in the Pac-10 in rebounding (6.1 rpg).- Became the first freshman to lead the Sun Devils in rebounding since Molly Tuter in 1993-94.- Also paced the Sun Devils and finished seventh in the league in field goal percentage, knocking down 51.0 percent of her attempts.- Knocked down her first 16 attempts of the season, including a perfect 7-of-7 performance in ASU's season-opening win over Chicago State. Did not miss her first shot until the 11:59 mark of the second half vs. Portland State, ASU's third game of the year.- Scored a career-best 19 points in ASU's Nov. 25 win over Northern Illinois.- Had 17 points and eight rebounds in ASU's first-round WNIT win over Hawai'i on March 20.- Led the team and was ninth in the Pac-10 in blocked shots with 0.67 per game (20 blocks).- Finished second on the ASU freshman lists in rebounds and blocked shots. Ended up sixth in scoring and 10th in steals on the same lists.- Turned in three double-doubles on the year including 13 points and a career-high 13 rebounds vs. UCLA on Jan. 16.- Had 14 games in double figures for scoring and five for rebounding.
Kylan Loney * G * 5-7 * So. * Ames, Iowa * Ames Senior HS- Earned honorable-mention Pac-10 All-Academic honors.- Was one of two Sun Devils to start all 30 games, leading the team in minutes played (28.2).- Has started all 64 games in her short career.- Led the team and finished eighth in the Pac-10 in assists with 104 (3.47 apg).- Ranked ninth in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.1).- Also paced the Sun Devils and finished seventh in the Pac-10 in three-point percentage, knocking down 36.4 percent of her attempts from beyond the arc (44-121).- Already ranks 10th on the ASU career charts for three-pointers made (58) and assists (208) after just two seasons in Tempe.- Was named Tournament MVP at the Wells Fargo Holiday Classic after scoring 20 points and knocking down four three-pointers in the championship game vs. Wisconsin-Milwaukee.- Scored a career-high 21 points, including 5-of-9 three-point attempts, in ASU's Jan. 4 win over Oregon.- Finished fourth on the team in scoring at 8.1 points per game, nearly doubling her scoring from a season ago (4.5 ppg in '01-02).- Was also second on the team in free throw percentage at 78.7 percent (48-61).- Led the team in assists in 17 of 30 games including a career-high eight assists March 1 vs. Stanford.
Lauren Michalski * G * 5-9 * Fr. * Marin County, Calif. *Marin Catholic HS- Played in five games this year.- Walk-on who was an invaluable member of ASU's scout team.- Had two points and an assist in ASU's Dec. 20 win at Akron.
Jill Noe * G * 5-10 * Fr. * Tualatin, Ore. * Wilsonville HS- Earned first-team Pac-10 All-Freshman honors.- Played in all 30 games, starting 29.- Led the team and finished 11th in the Pac-10 in scoring at 12.6 points per game.- Is the first true freshman to lead the Sun Devils in scoring since Theresa Jantzen turned in 10.9 points per game in 1998-99.- Also paced the team and tied for fifth in the Pac-10 in free throw percentage, knocking down 81.4 percent of her attempts from the charity stripe (118-145).- Ended up second on the team in assists (2.7) and steals (1.9).- Finished second on the team and ninth in the Pac-10 in three-point shooting at 35.5 percent (39-110).- Also ended up third on the team and 17th in the league in rebounding (5.8 rpg).- Had a team-best five double-doubles on the year including 17 points and 10 rebounds in her Sun Devil debut on Nov. 22 vs. Chicago State.- Scored in double figures 21 times with five 20-point games including a career-best 23 points twice (vs. Oregon State on Jan. 2 and at Washington State on Jan. 11).- Just missed the third triple-double in ASU school history when she had 17 points, nine rebounds and nine assists in a Dec. 9 win over Denver.- Turned in the second-best performance by a freshman in school history in scoring and assists. Also finished third on the ASU freshman charts in steals and fourth in rebounding.- Became the first true freshman in the Pac-10 since Stanford's Nicole Powell in 2000-01 to earn two Pac-10 Player of the Week honors in a single season, earning the recognition on Dec. 16 and again on Jan. 6.
YoVanna Rosenthal * G * 5-7 * Fr. * Phoenix, Ariz. * Thunderbird HS- Saw action in 27 games, averaging 1.4 points and 0.8 steals in just 5.3 minutes per game.- Tied for sixth on the team with 22 steals.- Scored a career-best 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting to lead the team Feb. 22 at Arizona.- Had three points and a career-best five steals in nine minutes vs. Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the championship game of the Wells Fargo Holiday Classic on Nov. 30.- Improved as the season went on, averaging 3.8 points per game in the last five contests.- Had 11 games with at least one steal and seven with more than one steal.
Lauren Stagg *G * 5-10 * So. * Airdrie, Alberta * George McDougall HS- Played in all 30 games, averaging 11.5 minutes per game.- Doubled her averages from one season ago with 2.0 points and 1.5 rebounds per game.- Also added 1.0 assists per game.- Finished fourth on the team with 10 blocked shots.- Led the team with a career-high five assists Feb. 14 at USC.- Turned in a career-best eight points on two occasions (Nov. 30 vs. Wisconsin-Milwaukee and again Dec. 9 vs. Denver).- Pulled down a career-high six rebounds in a Feb. 27 win over California.
Jenny Thigpin * F * 6-3 * Fr. * Hanford, Calif. * Hanford HS- Played in 29 games, starting one (vs. Arizona on Jan. 23).- Averaged 3.0 points and 2.7 rebounds per game.- Was ASU's leading rebounder off the bench.- Finished second on the team in blocked shots with 16.- Also ranked fifth in blocked shots on the ASU freshman list.- Finished second on the team in field goal percentage, knocking down 49.3 percent of her shots (37-75).- Scored a career-high 10 points on 5-of-8 shooting to lead the team Feb. 22 at Arizona.- Pulled down a career-best nine rebounds Feb. 1 at Oregon State.
Iman Young * G * 5-9 * Jr. * San Pablo, Calif. * Contra Costa College- Saw action in 25 games, averaging 12.9 minutes per game.- Averaged 3.8 points and 2.1 assists per game.- Was third on the team with 53 assists.- Turned in the best assist-to-turnover ratio on the team (1.5).- Led the Sun Devils with a career-best 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting in the second round of the WNIT at Baylor on March 23.- Added four assists and two rebounds vs. the Lady Bears.- Paced the team in assists in five games.- Dished out a career-best five assists in each of the games of the Wells Fargo Holiday Classic.