No. 24 ASU Women's Basketball Goes for Fourth Straight Win on Saturday
Jan. 4, 2008
Currently riding a season-best three-game winning streak, the No. 24 Arizona State women's basketball team closes out its trip to the state of Oregon with a contest against the Oregon State Beavers on Saturday (7 p.m. PT/8 p.m. MT) in Corvallis. A win would give the Sun Devils (9-5, 3-0 Pac-10) their best ever start in Pac-10 play.
The Sun Devils equaled their best Pac-10 start (2005-06 team also started 3-0) with a 63-50 win over the Oregon Ducks on Thursday night in Eugene. Four Sun Devils scored in double figures led by junior post Lauren Lacey, who poured in a career-best 23 points on 10-14 shooting. Lacey scored 14 of her 23 points in the second half, including nine during a decisive 13-0 ASU run, which turned a two-point advantage (48-46) into an insurmountable 61-46 lead with 1:24 left to play.
The Sun Devils' recent success has been a product of being at close to full strength for the first time all season after enduring an assortment of injuries during the non-conference portion of their schedule when they lost as many games (5) as they did all of last season. Last year's ASU squad, which won a school record 31 games, had a propensity for taking over games in the second half. In their last two outings the Sun Devils have used that formula to defeat USC and Oregon, outscoring both squads by a combined 24 points in the second half. During their current three-game winning streak, the Sun Devils have held their opponents to a shooting percentage of 29.5 percent in the last 10 minutes of the game, including 14.3 percent from beyond the arc.
Saturday's game will be the last contest in the Beaver State for Oregon native Jill Noe. Currently in her sixth year with the Sun Devils (received two medical redshirts) Noe was a two-time 3A Player of the Year while playing for Wilsonville High School in Wilsonville, Ore. Noe is currently 11th on ASU's all-time scoring list with 1,073 points.
The Beavers come into Saturday's game having won thee of their last four. The only loss during that stretch was a four-point setback (76-72) to in-state rival Oregon in the Pac-10 opener for both teams. They are led by senior guard Ashley Allen, who is currently pacing the Pac-10 in scoring (21.0 ppg).
ASU's game vs. Oregon State can be heard live on KXAM 1310 AM. and on the sundevilsportsnetwork.com (subscription-based service). Coverage of the game will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Valley. Veteran broadcaster Jeff Munn is in his fourth year as the voice of ASU women's basketball.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
ASU is 28-2 in its last 30 regular season Pac-10 games going back to the 2004-05 season. The Sun Devils closed the 2005-06 season by winning their final nine Pac-10 games. ASU set a school record last season by winning 16 of 18 Pac-10 games (two losses came vs. Stanford). ASU's current 3-0 Pac-10 record ties its best ever start in league play (also accomplished by the 2005-06 team).
The Sun Devils have won 13 of their last 14 Pac-10 contests away from home, including the last eight in a row. The only blemish during that stretch was a 77-71 setback at Stanford last season.
Junior Lauren Lacey has averaged 19.3 points and 8.0 rebounds during ASU's current three-game winning streak. Lacey, who has also shot 54.5 percent (24-44) during the winning streak, has scored in double figures in ASU's last 10 contests, including a career-high 23 points in Thursday night's win at Oregon.
ASU's has won its last nine meetings against Oregon State, including the last four played in Corvallis.
In its last six games ASU has allowed its opponents to shot a paltry 18.1 percent from three-point range (13-72). Last Sunday the Sun Devils held USC, the Pac-10's No. 1 team in three-point FGs coming into this week's action to a 3-for-15, 20-percent percent performance.
Currently with 1,073 career points, Jill Noe needs 62 points to move past Jovonne Smith (1989-92) for 11th place on ASU's all-time scoring list. Also one of ASU's all-time top three-point threats Noe (125 career three-point FGs) Noe needs nine three-point FGs to pass Betsy Boardman (2000-05) for third on ASU's all-time list.
SERIES HISTORY VERSUS OREGON STATE
Arizona State holds a 26-19 lead in the all-time series with Oregon State dating back to the 1983-84 season. The Sun Devils have won 11 of the last 12 meetings between the two schools, including the last nine in succession. Although the Beavers hold a 13-9 advantage in games played in Corvallis, ASU has won the last four.
In the first meeting of the season former Sun Devils Emily Westerberg (15 points) and Aubree Johnson (11 points) combined for 26 points in a 59-43 win over the Beavers in Corvallis. In the second meeting in Tempe, Johnson scored a career-best 27 points and the Sun Devils shot 54.4 percent in a 78-63 win.
EARLY SEASON NOTES
The 49 points Fresno State scored on Dec. 17 represented the 11th time since the start of last season that ASU has held an opponent under 50 points.
Eight of ASU's 14 opponents have shot below 22 percent from three-point range.
In ASU's 66-42 win over UC Santa Barbara (Nov. 17), Jill Noe tallied 12 points, seven rebounds and eight assists and narrowly missed becoming the first Sun Devil to record a triple-double since Ryneldi Becenti in 1992. For Noe, it is the third such time she has flirted with the feat. Last season she recorded 17 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds in a win over Northern Arizona and during her freshman season she posted 17 points, nine assists and nine rebounds in a win over Denver.
Since the start of the 2006-07 season, the Sun Devils are 28-1 when they have outrebounded their opponents. The only exception came earlier this season when ASU fell to Auburn 75-69 in the championship game of the Verizon Wireless ASU Classic. In that game ASU held a slight 40-39 edge on the boards.
Through ASU's first 14 games junior Lauren Lacey is first on the team in both scoring (12.6 ppg) and rebounding (6.9 rpg); Briann January is second on the team in scoring (11.4 ppg) and first in assists per game (4.8 apg), steals per game (2.7 spg), made free throws (54) and attempts (63) and free throw percent (.857).
ORSILLO SIDELINED FOR THE SEASON
On Dec. 26, ASU head coach Charli Turner Thorne announced that junior guard Danielle Orsillo would miss the remainder of the season because of a knee injury. Orsillo was originally diagnosed with a bone bruise in her left knee one week after scoring a career-best 21 points in ASU's season opener at North Carolina (Nov. 11). She would go on to miss ASU's next 10 regular season games before it was determined that she would miss the rest of the season. In 2006-07 Orsillo scored in double figures 16 times and was one of four Sun Devils to play in all 36 games. Orsillo's list of accomplishments last season included being named MVP of the Verizon Wireless ASU Classic and Pac-10 Player of the Week in addition to earning a spot on the Greensboro Regional All-Tournament Team.
DOSTY NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Arizona State junior center Sybil Dosty was named the Pac-10 Women's Basketball Player of the Week according to an announcement by Pac-10 Commissioner Tom Hansen on Monday. Dosty averaged 17.0 points and 10.5 rebounds while shooting 57.9 percent from the field in ASU's come-from-behind victories over UCLA (62-59) and USC (66-63) last weekend. The Tucson, Ariz., native averaged 13.0 points and 7.0 rebounds in the second half of both games in helping the Sun Devils overcome an eight-point deficit against the Bruins and an 11-point deficit against USC. Dosty is the second ASU player to earn Pac-10 Player of the Week honors this season. Last month junior center Kirsten Thompson was recognized following her performance in ASU's win over UC Davis.
JANUARY NAMED TO PRESEASON ALL-PAC-10 TEAM
Arizona State junior guard Briann January was one of five players named to the preseason All-Pac-10 team. The team was chosen by members of the conference's women's basketball media. January is coming off a season in which she earned All-Pac-10 honorable mention honors in helping lead ASU to a school record 31 wins and its first Elite Eight appearance in school history. In 2006-07, the 5-8, Spokane, Wash., product finished third in the Pac-10 in steals (2.1 per game), fourth in assists (4.0 per game) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.67), and sixth in free throw percentage (81.7). A starter in 34 games, January concluded her sophomore campaign first on the team in both assists and steals and second in both scoring (10.2 points per game) and free throw percentage. Thus far in 2007-08, January has wasted no time in picking up where she left off last season. She is second on the team in scoring (11.4 ppg) and first in assists per game (4.8 apg), steals per game (2.7 spg), made free throws (54) and attempts (63) and free throw percent (.857). January has scored in double figures in 11 of 14 games this season, including a 22-point performance against Texas (Dec. 22), which tied her career best.
SUN DEVILS WORK THROUGH EARLY SEASON INJURIES
When the announcement came down on Dec. 26 that junior guard Danielle Orsillo would miss the remainder of the 2007-08 season because of a knee injury, it represented the latest injury-related setback the Sun Devils have encountered in the first two months of the season. Sun Devil players have already missed a combined 19 games this season.
Dymond Simon, a member of the Pac-10's All-Freshman Team last season, was limited early in the season as she returned from a torn ACL she suffered in January. Three times this season Simon has scored in double figures, including a season-best 17 points in ASU's win over Yale on Nov. 19. Simon was having a strong outing against Texas Tech on Dec. 13, scoring 11 points in 12 minutes before being forced to leave the game after aggravating her knee injury. She would return to the game for two minutes before leaving again. Simon would go on to miss ASU's next two games, including the Sun Devils' 62-51 loss to Texas (Dec. 20). She returned for the start of conference play.
Junior post Sybil Dosty injured her knee earlier this fall and was forced to miss all of ASU's preseason practices. She averaged only 12 minutes in the first four games as she was slowly worked into the rotation. Since then, Dosty has played 20.9 minutes a game and has averaged 9.5 points and 7.6 rebounds while shooting 56.3 percent from the field. She was named Pac-10 Player of the Week after averaging 17.0 points and 10.5 rebounds while shooting 57.9 in ASU's come-from-behind victories over UCLA (Dec. 28) and USC (Dec. 30).
Junior guard Kate Engelbrecht suffered a hand injury during the first preseason practice and was forced to miss the rest of ASU's preseason workouts and its first two games. She scored a season-high eight points in ASU's win over Fresno State on Dec. 17.
Senior guard Reagan Pariseau missed ASU's games against Auburn (Dec. 2) and UC Davis (Dec. 9) after injuring her ankle early in ASU's win over Gonzaga on Nov. 30. She returned to action on Dec. 13 at Texas Tech and made an immediate impact, scoring a season-best nine points on 4-4 shooting. Although she was healthy for ASU's contest vs. Texas (Dec. 20), Pariseau would only play 22 minutes and was limited for much of that time after absorbing a blow to the head early in the game. Then, midway through the second half, Jill Noe, who came into the Texas game averaging 14 points in her previous five games, was forced to leave the game because of an ankle injury.
HELP IS ON THE WAY
Without question, one of the biggest challenges facing ASU coming into the 2007-08 season was figuring out how it would compensate for the loss of All-Pac-10 performers Aubree Johnson and Emily Westerberg. In addition to being responsible for a combined 23.0 points and 10.8 rebounds per game in 2006-07 the duo also gave ASU a strong inside presence on both ends of the floor.
Enter junior transfers Sybil Dosty and Lauren Lacey. Biding their time since they last played a meaningful game in the spring of 2006, Dosty and Lacey were two players who were very eager to get on the floor and help the Sun Devils ascend to the top. Both players got to take a bit of a test drive with their teammates in real competition during ASU's trip to Italy last May in which the Sun Devils squared off against four different teams from around the country.
Originally a native of Tucson, Dosty spent her first two collegiate seasons at the University of Tennessee where she was part of a Final Four team her freshman year. Lacey, who transferred from the University of Minnesota, was also part of two squads that went to the NCAA Tournament.
Thus far in 2007-08, Lacey is first on ASU in scoring (12.6 ppg) and first in rebounding (6.9 rpg). She led ASU with a career-best 19 points in its win over Iowa on Nov. 23 and would surpass that total with 20 against Auburn (Dec. 2). She would once again exceed her single-game career-best with a 23-point performance at Oregon (Jan. 3). The 23 points represent the most points scored by a Sun Devils this season. Lacey has scored in double figures in ASU's last 10 games and has grabbed a career-best 10 rebounds three times during that span.
The leader in field goal percentage during her two seasons at Tennessee, Dosty is currently first on the team in FG pct. (.532). Last week Dosty averaged 17.0 points and 10.5 rebounds while shooting 57.9 percent from the field in ASU's come-from-behind victories over UCLA and USC (66-63). The Tucson, Ariz., native averaged 13.0 points and 7.0 rebounds in the second half of both games in helping the Sun Devils overcome an eight-point deficit against the Bruins and an 11-point deficit against USC. Dosty was recognized for her performances against the Bruins and Trojans in being named the Pac-10's Player of the Week.
WHAT'S NEXT FOR CHARLI?
With its 67-49 win over Bowling Green in the Sweet Sixteen of the 2007 NCAA Tournament the Arizona State women's basketball team clinched its first ever appearance in the Elite Eight of the 'The Big Dance.' It was the latest `first time ...' for the Sun Devils under head coach Charli Turner Thorne, who continues to build on what is the most successful period in the program's history. Since the 2004-05 season the Sun Devils are 89-28, including a 6-3 record in NCAA Tournament games the last three seasons.
In 2005-06 Turner Thorne had the Sun Devils in the Top 10 of both polls for the first time 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. After leading the Sun Devils to a 25-7 in 2005-06 Turner Thorne was recognized being named the Russell Athletic/Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Region 8 Coach of the Year.
Now in her 12th 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 (166) in the Pac-10 Conference.
SUN DEVILS SIGN THREE
A pair of explosive posts from Southern California and a top guard from the Pacific Northwest, highlight the 2008 Arizona State women's basketball signing class announced by head coach Charli Turner Thorne. Kimberly Brandon, Alex Earl and Janae Fulcher signed letters of intent to study and compete at Arizona State.
A 6-2 forward, Brandon is an exceptional talent, whose versatility and explosiveness will benefit the Sun Devils right away in 2008-09. Brandon, who is ranked the No. 92 overall player in the country (No. 22 at her position) by hoopgurlz.com, will be coming to ASU from Chatsworth High School in Chatsworth, Calif., where in 2006-07 she averaged a double-double in points and rebounds in leading her team to the City Section title while earning all-league honors along the way.
A 5-10 guard, Earl has been a four-year member of the varsity squad at Southridge High School in Beaverton, Ore. The team leader in assists, steals and three-point field goals, Earl was named third-team all-state and first team all-league in 2007 following a season in which she helped lead the Skyhawks to their third consecutive 6A state title. A 2006-07 Street & Smith's Prep All-American Honorable Mention selection, Earl also earned all-league notice in 2005 and 2006, was named to the Oregon City `End of the Trail' All-Tournament Team in 2005 and 2006 (also earned MVP honors in '06), and played on Team Concept during the 2007 Nike Elite Regional Camp. In addition to her ability on the hardwood, Earl was also a four-year starter on Southridge's soccer team, earning second-team all-state honors in 2005 and first-team all-league honors in 2005 and 2007. Earl, whose father has coached basketball, was also a U.S. National Team member in 2004 and was on the Olympic Development Team for the state of Oregon for three years.
Fulcher will be coming to Tempe from Country Day High School in La Jolla, Calif., where the 6-3 post has averaged 9.3 points and 7.8 rebounds per game during her first three years on the varsity squad. Named team captain for the 2007-08 season, Fulcher is ranked the No. 15 post player by Girls Basketball Report in addition to being named an honorable mention All-American by The Sporting News and a McDonald's All-American nominee. Last season Fulcher averaged 12.4 points and 8.4 rebounds per game on her way to a bevy of honors, including All-CIF Div. IV First Team, UT All-San Diego Section First Team, Hall of Champions All-County First Team and Street & Smith's All-American Honorable Mention. Country Day would go on to be Coastal League champions and CIF SD Section Div. IV champions. In 2005-06, Fulcher nearly averaged a double-double every game with 9.9 points and 9.5 rebounds every time she stepped on the floor. She would go on to be named All-League First Team Coastal South, All-CIF Div. IV First Team and UT All-San Diego Section First Team in helping lead Country Day to Coastal League and CIF SD Section Div. IV titles before finishing as a Southern Regional runner-up.
WHAT'S COMING UP?
The Sun Devils will play on the road for the third time in as many games when they face the Arizona Wildcats on Sat., Jan. 12 (4 p.m. MT) in Tucson.