No. 14/12 ASU Women's Basketball Opens Verizon ASU Classic Friday Night
Dec. 1, 2006
The No. 14/12 Arizona State women's basketball team returns to action on Friday evening when it hosts the Boston Terriers (6 p.m.) at Wells Fargo Arena in the first round of the 2006 Verizon Wireless ASU Classic.
The ASU-Boston game will be the first of two on Friday. Northern Arizona and Eastern Michigan will square off in the second first round game at approximately 8:30 p.m. The two winning teams will meet in the Verizon Wireless ASU Classic Championship game on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. while the two losing teams in meet in a consolation game at 4 p.m.
Friday's game against Boston will be ASU's second in 12 days. The Sun Devils opened their season with four consecutive wins before falling to No. 4 Tennessee on November 19. ASU got back on the winning track last Friday following its 67-63 win over Western Kentucky at the Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Boston comes into Friday's game with a 3-2 record. The Terriers won their first three games of the season before dropping back-to-back contests vs. Canisius College and at Connecticut.
This will be the first ever meeting between the two schools.
SCHEDULE FOR THE 2006 VERIZON WIRELESS ASU CLASSIC
Friday, December 1
Arizona State vs. Boston University (6 p.m.)
Eastern Michigan vs. Northern Arizona (approx. 8:30 p.m.)
Saturday, December 2
Consolation Game (4 p.m.)
Championship Game (approx. 6:30 p.m.)
VERIZON WIRELESS HOPELINE
ASU and Verizon Wireless invite you to turn your old phone into a HopeLine for domestic violence victims. Donate your used wireless phones and accessories before any game during the Verizon Wireless ASU classic and receive FREE Admission to the game. You can drop off your phones outside the ticket windows on the east and west entrances of Wells Fargo Arena and receive your ticket voucher.
EMERGENCY PERSONNEL NIGHT
Also, for this tournament, ASU Women's Basketball is holding the first ever Emergency Personnel Night. In honor of the hard work and dedication of the Emergency personnel of Maricopa County, we would like to invite you and your family to attend. Emergency personnel are FREE with ID, and friends and family are just $2!
Due to the Fall Festival of the Arts, Sun Devil fans are also asked to keep in mind that the following streets will be closed in both directions from 7 p.m. Nov. 30 to 5 a.m. Dec. 4:
1. Mill Avenue between Third Street and University Drive
2. Fifth Street between Ash and Myrtle avenues
3. Sixth Street between Maple Avenue and the Orchid House cul-de-sac
4. Seventh Street between Maple and Mill avenues
Arizona State's game against Boston can be heard live KXAM 1310 AM. It can also be heard live on the sundevilsportsnetwork.com (subscription-based service). Valley veteran broadcaster Jeff Munn is in his third year as the voice of ASU women's basketball. He will be joined on the broadcast by longtime basketball executive Seth Sulka.
ASU HEAD COACH Charli Turner Thorne
The winningest coach in Sun Devil history (177-130) and No. 6 in the Pac-10 in most career wins, Turner Thorne has led the Sun Devils to a school record seven consecutive post season appearances (NCAA Tournament in 2001-02 and 2005-06, WNIT in 2000, 2003-04) ... During the second half of last season Turner Thorne led ASU on a school record 10-game winning streak after leading the Sun Devils to a school record-tying nine-game winning streak earlier in the same season (also led ASU to its first Top 10 ranking in 22 years and tied the highest ranking in school history -- No. 9 -- in 2005-06) ... Last season led ASU to a 25-7 record, which tied the school's standard for most wins in a season, and also led ASU to its seventh consecutive postseason berth ... In 2004-05, 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 inaugural Pac-10 Tournament title in 2002, the first league championships in school history ... In the last three seasons, has led ASU to a 15-2 record when coming off a loss ... 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: 217-170
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
After playing five games the first 10 days of the season, this will be ASU's second game in 12 days since hosting Tennessee on November 19. The Sun Devils were last in action last Friday when they defeated Western Kentucky 67-63 at the Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The Sun Devils have won the Verizon Wireless ASU Classic the last five years. Last season the Sun Devils defeated Memphis and Western Kentucky for the championship.
Senior F Emily Westerberg needs four more points to reach 1,000 for her career. Westerberg would be the 17th Sun Devil to accomplish the feat. The most recent ASU player to go over the 1,000-point mark was Kristen Kovesdy, who ended her career last season as the No. 5 all-time scorer in Sun Devil history.
The Sun Devils entered this week's action ranked No. 1 in the Pac-10 in scoring offense (80.3 ppg), scoring margin (+20.2 pts), field goal percentage (.501), three-point field goal percentage (.393) and assists (21.33 per game).
Westerberg currently ranks No. 3 in the Pac-10 in field goal percentage (.603). Senior F Aubree Johnson is one of two players in the Pac-10 to have made every one of her free throw attempts (10+ att). Johnson is currently 13-13 for the season.
In their six games, ASU has been led in scoring by four different players - Westerberg (three times), January (once), freshman G Dymond Symon (once) and Johnson (once).
Only one ASU opponent (Tennessee) has shot better than 34 percent from three-point range.
EARLY SEASON RECAP
The Sun Devils opened their season winning their first four games by an average of 31.5 points. ASU won the season-opening Veterans Day Classic (Nov. 10, 12 & 13) after capturing wins over Nebraska (87-60), New Mexico (67-49) and Florida Atlantic (96-60). They followed that with a 91-46 win over Nicholls State (Nov. 15).
Sun Devil senior G Jill Noe (11.7 ppg, 8.7 rpg) and G Briann January (8.7 ppg, 3.7 apg, 3.0 spg) were named to the Veterans Day Classic All-Tournament Team while senior F Emily Westerberg (16.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg) was named the MVP.
The Sun Devils encountered their first loss of the season to the No. 4 Tennessee Lady Vols (Nov. 19). ASU had a season-high 25 turnovers while allowing Tennessee to shoot 54.8 percent in the 83-74 loss. The loss to Tennessee snapped ASU's 26-game regular season home-winning streak and its streak of wins in 13 consecutive regular season games going back to last season.
ASU's bench has more than double the amount production of its first six opponents, outscoring them 194-89, an average of 32.3-14.8 per game.
ASU has won 14 of its last 15 regular season contests dating back to 2005-06. ASU won its last nine regular season games of 2005-06 and had won its first four this season before falling to the No. 4 Tennessee Lady Vols, 83-74 on Nov. 19.
Since 2004-05, the Sun Devils are 22-4 in their pre-conference regular season games. They have defeated five ranked teams in that span, including No. 11 Georgia and No. 8 UConn in 2004, No. 17 Vanderbilt and No. 18 New Mexico in 2005 and No. 18 New Mexico in 2006. ASU's only losses in that span came at No. 3 LSU in 2004 (54-65), at New Mexico in 2004 (45-61), vs. No. 8 North Carolina in last year's Caribbean Classic in Cancun (72-79) and vs. Tennessee (74-83) last month in Tempe.
ASU has won 26 of its last 27 regular season home games. The Sun Devils are 44-3 at home since the 2003-04 season.
WESTERBERG NAMED TO PRESEASON ALL-PAC-10 TEAM
Arizona State senior F Emily Westerberg was named to the 2006-07 Preseason All-Pac-10 Team, announced last month during the annual Pac-10 Women's Basketball Media Day.
Last season Westerberg became the first Sun Devil since 1992-93 to earn First-Team All-Pac-10 honors in back-to-back seasons after a year in which she finished second on the team in scoring (12.8 ppg), rebounding (5.1 rpg), assists (80) and blocks (9) and third in both steals (34) and three-point field goals (18).
Thus far in 2006-07, Westerberg has more than lived up to the preseason honor. She was named Most Valuable Player of the season opening Veterans Day Classic. Westerberg averaged 16.7 points and 4.7 rebounds in wins over Nebraska, New Mexico and Florida Atlantic. She added a season-best 21 points in ASU's 83-74 loss to No. 4 Tennessee (Nov. 19). Westerberg's play against the Lady Vols was so impressive that Tennessee head coach Pat Summitt singled her out in her post-game remarks following the game. Said Summitt, 'We didn't have an answer [for Emily Westerberg]. I went over and told her, `You are a heck of a player.' I knew that from just watching tape. She is very efficient. She is just a very skilled player. She plays hard. She gets open. We had a hard time keeping the ball out of her hands. We talked about it at halftime: You have to limit her touches or the numbers are going to mount.'
One of ASU's 2006-07 co-captains along with senior F Aubree Johnson, Westerberg needs four points to become the 17th player in school history to score 1,000 career points.
SUN DEVILS SIGN TWO FOR 2007
A local standout who led her team to a state championship and a multi-faceted talent from the Pacific Northwest highlight the 2006 recruiting class for the Arizona State University women's basketball program. Rebecca Tobin and Stephanie Wilber signed letters of intent on November 8 to study and compete at Arizona State.
The Arizona Republic's Northwest Valley Girls Basketball Player of the year in 2006, Tobin is coming off a season in which she helped lead Glendale Cactus to the 4A Division I state title. Tobin proved to be a dominant inside presence for the Cobras, setting the girls single-season state record for blocks with 191, far surpassing the previous record of 167. Tobin was every bit as effective on the offensive side as well in leading Cactus with 16.3 points per game. In addition, she also averaged 10.3 rebounds, 3.5 steals and 3.1 assists. In the 2006 4A state championship game against top-seeded Scottsdale Saguaro, Tobin scored a game-high 26 points in helping the Cobras secure their second state title in three years.
A 6-1 guard, Wilber will be coming to ASU from Auburn Riverside in Auburn, Wash. Wilber helped lead Riverside to a 22-7 record and a sixth-place finish in the 2006 Washington state 4A state tournament. During the 2005-06 season, Wilber averaged 16.0 points, 11.5 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game. Wilber earned several honors along the way including being named first-team All-South Puget Sound League North Division; First-Team All-League; Second Team All Area by the News Tribune (Tacoma, Wash.); and Honorable Mention All Area by the Seattle P-I. In addition to her accomplishments for Riverside, Wilber also had 18 points and 11 rebounds for Team Concept in the 2006 Arizona Elite Classic championship.
WHAT'S NEXT FOR CHARLI?
Arizona State head coach Charli Turner Thorne added another great accomplishment to her coaching dossier last season when it was revealed that ASU was ranked No. 10 in the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll (ASU would eventually ascend to No. 9, which tied its highest ever ranking). 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 in 2004-05 Turner Thorne led the Sun Devils to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 22 years. Turner Thorne was recognized for the job she has done with ASU last season when she was named the Russell Athletic/Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Region 8 Coach of the Year.
Currently in the midst of her 11th season in Tempe, Turner Thorne has more than established the Sun Devils as one of the teams to watch on an annual basis not only in the Pac-10 Conference, but also across the country. In fact, since the 2000-01 season, the Sun Devils have won the second-highest number of overall games (132) in the Pac-10 Conference. Turner Thorne is currently No. 6 among Pac-10 coaches in all-time victories with 177.
ASU HOSTING HOOPS FOR HEALTH CLASSIC ON DECEMBER 18
The Arizona State women's basketball program announced IN September that it will take on the Texas Tech Lady Raiders in the Hoops for Health Classic Dec. 18, 2006 at Chase Field in Phoenix. In addition to showcasing women's college basketball at the highest level, the game will be used as a vehicle to promote health awareness by giving fans the opportunity to participate in a Health Expo around the stadium's concourse and on the field prior to the game.
The Hoops for Health Classic will be the second outdoor college basketball game played at Chase Field, home of Major League Baseball's Arizona Diamondbacks. On December 27, 2000, Arizona State and Tennessee played in the first ever outdoor college basketball game (Hoops for the Cure Classic) in which Tennessee prevailed 67-63. That game produced Arizona State and Pac-10 records for the highest attendance at a women's basketball game (16,282).
Texas Tech returns three starters from last year's team which finished the season 15-14. The Lady Raiders are coach by Kristy Curry, who is in her first year at Texas Tech after spending seven seasons at Purdue where she led the Boilermakers to a pair of Big Ten regular season and three Big Ten Tournament championships.