No. 10 Sun Devils Host Washington on Thursday Night
Dec. 28, 2005
Currently on a seven-game winning streak, the No. 10 Arizona State women's basketball team (10-1, 1-0 Pac-10) will look to remain undefeated in Pac-10 play when it hosts the Washington Huskies on Thursday night (6 p.m., Wells Fargo Arena). A win against Washington would give ASU its longest unbeaten streak under head coach Charli Turner Thorne.
RADIO: Thursday night's game vs. Washington can be heard live both on KXAM 1310 AM and on the Internet (SunDevilSportsNetwork.com). Coverage will begin with 'Countdown to Tip-Off' at 5:30 p.m. Valley veteran broadcaster Jeff Munn is in his second year as the voice of ASU women's basketball.
TV: Fox Sports Northwest will be televising this Thursday's game. The game can also be seen live on Fox Sports Arizona beginning at 6 p.m.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR Currently 10-1, the Sun Devils are off to their best start since the 1990-91 season when they were also 10-1. The best `one-loss record' ASU has ever had to start the season is 14-1 (1982-83 season). Currently No. 10 in the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll, the Sun Devils are in the top 10 for the first time in 22 years. ASU's current seven-game winning streak ties its longest such streak under head coach Charli Turner Thorne (2000-01 and 2001-02 teams). A win vs. Washington would give ASU its longest winning streak since 1991-92 when it won its first nine games to start the season. Turner Thorne needs three more wins to reach 200 for her career. With four more wins, Turner Thorne will pass former Oregon head coach Jody Runge for No. 7 on the Pac-10's all-time wins list. In the ASU-Washington series the home team has prevailed the last eight times the two schools have met. In the two ASU-Washington games last season, ASU F Kristen Kovesdy hit a combined 13-14 shots, including a 7-7, 14-point performance in ASU's 68-48 win in Tempe last February.
GOVERNOR NAPOLITANO TO GUEST COACH: Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano will serve as a guest coach for the No. 10 Arizona State University women's basketball team on Thursday night at Wells Fargo Arena for the Sun Devils' game against the University of Washington.
Napolitano will sit on the bench with the Sun Devils during the game, be a part of team huddles and will attend pre-game, halftime and post-game locker room meetings with the team. She holds a 2-0 record on the bench for the Sun Devils, helping to guide ASU to a 65-40 win over Oregon on Feb. 19, 2004 and a 49-45 win last season over USC.
DID YOU KNOW? Arizona State's current No. 10 ranking in this week's USA Today/ESPN coaches poll is its highest ranking in 22 years. The last time ASU was ranked in the top 10 was when it was No. 10 in the AP poll the week of Jan. 22, 1983. The highest ranking the Sun Devils have ever achieved is No. 9 (AP poll, January 9, 1983).
ASU HEAD COACH Charli Turner Thorne: The winningest coach in Sun Devil history (157-123), Turner Thorne has led the Sun Devils to a school record six consecutive post season appearances (NCAA Tournament in 2001-02 and 2005, WNIT in 2000, 2003-04) ... Last season, Turner Thorne guided ASU to a 24-10 overall record and its first NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearance in 22 years ... Led her 2001-02 team to a 25-9 record, tying the ASU record for wins in a single season ... Guided ASU to a share of the Pac-10 title in 2001 and the Pac-10 Tournament title in 2002, the first league championships in school history ... Led Northern Arizona University to consecutive winning seasons in 1994-95 and 1995-96, the first coach in school history to accomplish that feat ... As a player, lettered four years at Stanford under Tara VanDerveer ... Graduated from Stanford in 1988 with a bachelor's degree in psychology and later earned her master's degree in education from Washington in 1990. Career Record: 197-163
SERIES HISTORY VERSUS WASHINGTON: Washington leads the series with ASU 26-14, while the Sun Devils hold a 11-9 advantage in games played in Tempe. ASU has won its last four home games over Washington and seven of the last eight meetings between the two schools at Wells Fargo Arena. ASU's only loss in that stretch was a 66-62 defeat on Jan. 11, 2001.
ASU DURING ITS CURRENT SEVEN-GAME WINNING STREAK ... Averaging 79.0 points per game and has out-scored its opponents by an average of 21.1 points per game. The Sun Devils have jumped on their opponents early, out-scoring them 277-185 in the first half. ASU's average first half lead has been 13.1 points. Furthermore, the Sun Devils are plus-37 (91-54) in the turnover department in the first half of those games and have scored 92 points off those 91 forced turnovers compared to 45 points for their opponents. Shooting 49.3 percent from the field. Has made 15 more three-point field goals (32-17) than its opponents. Is shooting 78.1 percent from the free throw line and has made 37 more free throws (107-70) than the opposition. Has almost double the number of its opponents assists (153-77). Has out-rebounded its opponents 266-191, an average of +10.7 rebounds per game. The 54 rebounds ASU had vs. Memphis were its most since grabbing 55 vs. UCLA on January 16, 2003 ... Its 24 offensive rebounds were also the most since its 24 offensive rebounds vs. UCLA (1/16/03). Senior F Kristen Kovesdy is leading the Sun Devils in rebounding during their current winning streak, averaging 7.6 per game. Kovesdy has led the team in scoring the last seven games, averaging 12.6 points per game. She is shooting 54.8 percent during that span. Also averaging double figures the last seven games have been redshirt junior G Jill Noe (12.4 ppg, 47.8 percent from three-point range) and junior F Emily Westerberg (11.4 ppg). Sophomore G Reagan Pariseau has 26 assists to only 11 turnovers and is shooting 54.2 percent from the field (13-24), including 50 percent from three-point range (8-16). Pariseau had a season-best 10 points (all in the second half) in ASU's 83-59 win over Arizona (Dec. 22). Coming off the bench, senior Amy Denson has averaged 9.0 points (53.8 FG pct.) and 4.4 rebounds.
HOME SWEET HOME: With their victory over UT-San Antonio on December 19, the Sun Devils extended their regular season home court winning streak to 13 games. The Sun Devils are now 31-2 in regular season home games going back to the 2003-04 season. In those 33 games the Sun Devils are out-scoring their opponents by more than 16 points (71.4 - 55.1) and are shooting almost seven percentage points higher (45.0 - 38.4).
SHOOTING FOR THE TOP: Despite shooting 42 percent in the season's first two games, including 15 percent from three-point range, ASU head coach Charli Turner Thorne insisted that she had no concerns about her team's shooting. It is now easy to see why. Coming into this week's game, the Sun Devils are No. 1 in the Pac-10, shooting 49.0 percent from the field. In their last nine games the Sun Devils are shooting 50.4 percent from the field, including 39.8 percent from three-point range (39-98). Leading the way for ASU has been senior F Kristen Kovesdy whose 57.6 field goal percentage leads the Pac-10. Also in the top 5 of the Pac-10 in field goal percentage is junior Emily Westerberg, who is No. 3 in the Pac-10 shooting 53.3 percent from the field.
SUN DEVILS REBOUND FROM LOSS (LITERALLY): In their 79-72 loss to No. 8 North Carolina earlier this season, the Sun Devils were out-rebounded by the Tar Heels (38-28), the first and only time this season that ASU had fewer rebounds than its opponent. Following the loss, ASU head coach Charli Turner Thorne felt it was rebounding that made the difference in the game.
'Our inability to rebound hurt us,' said Turner Thorne. 'We did not box out and do the things we talked about doing when it came to rebounding and that is what made the difference.'
The following night against Mississippi State, the Sun Devils dominated the Lady Bulldogs, winning by a 22-point margin, 70-48. In the rebounding department the Sun Devils responded to Turner Thorne's challenge to rebound better, grabbing 13 more rebounds than the Lady Bulldogs (34-21). In fact the 21 rebounds by Mississippi State are tied for the fewest rebounds by a Pac-10 opponent this season.
The Sun Devils would take it a step further one week later vs. Memphis (Dec. 2) and Western Kentucky (Dec. 3) in which they would post their two highest rebound totals of the season. Against Memphis the Sun Devils grabbed 54 rebounds, their most since grabbing 55 vs. UCLA on January 16, 2003. Their 24 offensive rebounds vs. the Tigers were also the most since their 24 offensive rebounds vs. UCLA (1/16/03). The following night against Western Kentucky, ASU tallied 38 rebounds to 27 for the Lady Toppers.
Coming into Thursday night's game, the Sun Devils are No. 2 in the Pac-10 in rebounding margin (+7.7). During their current seven-game winning streak, the Sun Devils have out-rebounded their opponents 266-191, an average of +10.7 rebounds per game. The No. 1 team in the Pac-10 in rebounding margin is Washington (+8.0) who the Sun Devils will be facing on Thursday night. Despite the fact that Washington and ASU are Nos. 1 and 2 in the Pac-10 in rebounding, it may come as somewhat of a surprise that only one player from the two schools -- Sun Devil senior F Kristen Kovesdy -- is among the Pac-10's top 10 individual rebounders.
KOVESDY NAMED ONE OF 30 FINALISTS FOR BAYER ADVANTAGE SENIOR CLASS AWARD: ASU senior F Kristen Kovesdy was recently named one of 30 finalists for the Bayer Advantage Senior Class Award, which is presented annually to the nation's senior player-of-the-year for NCAA Division I men's and women's basketball. From the list of 30 nominees, a national media committee will select 10 finalists for the award in February as the conference season hits its peak. Those ten names will be placed on the official ballot for a nationwide voting process during the NCAA Tournament in March. Fan balloting will be coupled with results from voting by coaches and media to determine the winner. ASU's all-time leader in field goal percentage and currently No. 10 on its all-time scoring list, Kovesdy currently leads the Sun Devils in scoring (13.4 ppg) and rebounding (6.8 rpg) and leads the Pac-10 in field goal percentage (57.6 percent).
KOVESDY CLIMBS THE CHARTS: With 13 points in ASU's 83-59 victory over Arizona last Thursday, senior F Kristen Kovesdy continued to move closer to passing former Sun Devil Jovonne Smith (1,134 points, 1989-93) for No. 9 on the all-time scoring list. Kovesdy now needs 33 points for the No. 9 spot. With 47 more points Kovesdy will pass former Sun Devil Lisa Salsman (1,148 points, 1989-93) for No. 8 on the all-time scoring list.FREE THROWS: ASU has nine players averaging 10 or more minutes per game ... Jill Noe's 20 points against North Carolina are the most by a Sun Devil in any game this season ... ASU has had the same starting five in every game this season: Reagan Pariseau (G), Jill Noe (G), Emily Westerberg (F), Aubree Johnson (F) and Kristen Kovesdy (F/C) ... Westerberg leads the Sun Devils in minutes per game, averaging 27.1 ... Among players coming off the bench, freshman G Briann January currently leads the Sun Devils in minutes per game (18.7). She has played 20 or more minutes in ASU's last five games ... Freshman G Kate Engelbrecht has made the most of the shots she has taken, having hit 77 percent of them (13-17) ... In their 11 games the Sun Devils have been led in scoring by four different players -- Denson, Kovesdy, Noe and Westerberg ... According to CollegeRPI.com, the Sun Devils are No. 8 in the nation in RPI (a measure of strength of schedule and how a team does against that schedule). Their strength of schedule is ranked No. 20 in the country.
WHAT'S NEXT FOR CHARLI? Arizona State head coach Charli Turner Thorne added another great accomplishment to her coaching dossier earlier this month when it was revealed that ASU was ranked No. 10 in the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll. For the Sun Devils it was their first appearance in the top 10 of a major poll in 22 years. If the figure `22 years' sounds familiar it's because last season Turner Thorne led the Sun Devils to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 22 years.
Currently in the midst of her 10th season in Tempe, Turner Thorne has more than established the Sun Devils as one of the teams to watch on an annual basis in the Pac-10 Conference. In fact, since the 2000-01 season, the Sun Devils have won the second-highest number of overall games (112) in the Pac-10 Conference.
Turner Thorne is currently No. 8 among Pac-10 coaches in all-time victories with 157. With four more wins, Turner Thorne will pass former Oregon head coach Jody Runge for No. 7 on the Pac-10's all-time list. With three more wins, Turner Thorne will earn the 200th overall coaching victory of her career.
UP NEXT: ASU faces Washington State on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Wells Fargo Arena.