No. 17 ASU Women's Basketball Faces Tulane on Sunday in WNIT Second Round

Nov. 16, 2008


The No. 17/18 Arizona State women's basketball team continues play in the 2008 Preseason WNIT on Sunday (2 p.m. MT) when it hosts the Tulane Green Wave in a second-round game at Wells Fargo Arena.

Both teams defeated their first round opponents -- ASU 76-59 over Cleveland State and Tulane 75-62 over Illinois State -- on Friday night to reach Sunday's second round game.

Four Sun Devils scored in double figures, led by senior center Sybil Dosty's 17-point, 11-rebound performance in ASU's win over the Vikings. Also tallying double-digit scoring totals for ASU were senior forward Lauren Lacey (11 points, 5 rebounds), and senior center Kirsten Thompson and junior guard Dymond Simon, who had 10 points each. Also coming through with key contributions were senior guards Briann January (8 points, 9 assists) and Kate Engelbrecht (9 points, 4 steals).

The Green Wave used a 20-8 run over the last six minutes to turn a one-point advantage (55-54) into a 75-62 win over the Redbirds. Like ASU, the Green Wave used a balanced attack in its victory as five players scored in double figures led by senior point guard Ashley Langford, who had 18 points. Senior forward Megan Valicevic scored all 12 of her points in the second half while junior guard Indira Kaljo came off the bench to add 10 points. The Green Wave controlled the boards with a plus-nine advantage (48-39) led by freshman forward Brett Benzio who grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds.

Sunday's game will be only the second time that ASU and Tulane have met. In the only prior meeting the Sun Devils defeated Tulane 83-68 in 1986.


All four of the ranked teams in the WNIT -- No. 4 Oklahoma, No. 6 North Carolina, No. 17 ASU and No. 22 Xavier -- won their first round contests. Seven of the eight first round contests were decided by double-digit margins with the exception coming in VCU's 59-57 win over Liberty.

The winner of Sunday's game between ASU and Tulane will play the winner of the second-round contest (Wed. 7 p.m. CT) between Middle Tennessee and Oklahoma in the semifinals at a time and place to be determined.

On the other side of the bracket, Indiana is hosting Xavier on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET and North Carolina is hosting VCU on Sunday at 5 p.m. ET.


Arizona State's game vs. Tulane can be heard live on KDUS 1060 AM and on the Sun Devil Sports Network (subscription-based service that can be accessed via Valley veteran broadcaster Jeff Munn is in his fifth year as the voice of ASU women's basketball.


• ASU returns 11 players, including three starters -- guards Briann January and senior posts Sybil Dosty and Lauren Lacey -- from last season's which went 22-11 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

• The Sun Devils were ranked No. 17 and No. 18 in the preseason polls for the Associated Press and ESPN/WBCA Coaches, respectively. The Sun Devils were picked to finish third in the Pac-10 by both the coaches and the media.

• ASU is seeking its third 2-0 start in the last four years.

• The Sun Devils are making their first ever appearance in the WNIT.


• ASU is now 11-2 in season openers under head coach Charli Turner Thorne following Friday's 76-59 win over Cleveland State.

• The following Sun Devils set or tied career bests on Friday: Sybil Dosty (tied - 4 blocked shots); Kate Engelbrecht (2 three-point FGs, 4 steals); Nia Fanaika (16 minutes); Danielle Orsillo (tied - 3 steals); Dymond Simon (28 minutes), Becca Tobin (7 rebounds).

• With 17 points and 11 rebounds Dosty recorded the fifth double-double of her Sun Devil career. It's the 13th time she has scored in double figures and the seventh time she has posted double figures in rebounding. Senior Lauren Lacey, who led ASU in scoring last season (12.6 ppg) had 11 points against the Vikings, marking the 26th time that she has scored in double figures as a Sun Devil.

• ASU's starting frontcourt of Dosty and Lauren Lacey combined for 28 points (12-18 FGs, 67 percent), 16 rebounds, four blocks and three assists while playing only 22 minutes each. Reserves Kirsten Thompson and Becca Tobin were also extremely efficient during their time on the floor. Thompson scored 10 points on 5-9 shooting while Tobin tied set a career best with seven rebounds.

• Danille Orsillo played in her first game since last year's season opener at North Carolina. In her return to the lineup she scored four points and tied her career best with three steals in 18 minutes of play.

• After playing every game each of the last two seasons junior F missed the first game of her career because of a hand injury sustained in practice. Murphy is expected to return later this month.

• Freshman G/F Kimberly Brandon made her Sun Devil debut.


Arizona State senior 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 Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year and Second-Team All-Pac-10 honors in helping the Sun Devils qualify for the NCAA Tournament for a fourth consecutive season. Currently in fifth place on ASU's all-time assists list with 380, January needs 62 assists to become ASU's all-time assists leader. In other career categories, January entered 2008-09 ranked No. 2 in free throw percentage (.829), sixth in steals (192), and seventh in free throws (300) and three-point field goal percentage (.360).

Other members of the preseason All-Pac-10 Team included (junior F/C) Jayne Appel and (sophomore F) Kayla Pedersen of Stanford and (senior F/C) Devanei Hampton and (senior F) Ashley Walker of Cal.


Without question one of the biggest adjustments for the Sun Devils last season was playing without Danielle Orsillo. Orsillo earned Pac-10 Freshman Honorable Mention honors in 2006 and took her game to an even high level the following season, culminating in being named to the All-Greensboro Regional All-Tournament Team when the Sun Devil faced Bowling Green (Sweet Sixteen) and Rutgers (Elite Eight) in the 2007 NCAA Tournament.

Last season Orsillo was poised for an even bigger season. It appeared the sky would be the limit for her after scoring a career-best 21 points in the Sun Devils' season opener at North Carolina. Unfortunately it would be the only game Orsillo would play last season as she was diagnosed with a season ending knee injury shortly after her breakout performance against the Tar Heels. This season Orsillo is expected to be back at full strength which is exciting news for the Sun Devils.

'It's so great to have Danielle back and it is so hard to tell that she missed a year' said ASU head coach Charli Turner Thorne. 'Danielle is definitely getting back to 100 percent fitness level where she wants. She is rebounding, she is putting the ball in the basket, she has great chemistry with her older teammates. Just to have her energy and that go-getter mentality back is going to be exciting. And it is going to help this team this year.


When Arizona State had its named called on Selection Monday last March it marked the fourth consecutive season that the Sun Devils had earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament, the longest such streak in program history. 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. Last season Turner Thorne led ASU to its fourth consecutive 20-win season, also a `first' in school history. In 2007 Turner Thorne led ASU to its first ever appearance in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. Since the 2004-05 season the Sun Devils are 103-33, including a 7-4 record in NCAA Tournament games.

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 13th 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 (181) in the Pac-10 Conference.


Two local standouts who have achieved exceptional success and a top-notch guard from California highlighted the 2008 women's basketball signing class for Arizona State announced by Sun Devil head coach Charli Turner Thorne on Wednesday. Joy Burke, Deja Mann and Markisha Patterson all signed letters of intent to study and play basketball at ASU.

A 6-foot-5 post player, Burke was named to The Arizona Republic's All-Arizona team in 2008 in addition to earning second-team All-Tribune honors from the East Valley Tribune following a season in which she led Tempe Marcos de Niza to the state quarterfinals. During her decorated junior season, Burke averaged 19.8 points, 14.5 rebounds and 5.5 blocks per game.

A 5-foot-8 combo guard, Mann will be joining the Sun Devils from Merced High School in Merced, Calif. Mann, who was sidelined because of injury her junior season, had an outstanding sophomore campaign in which she averaged nearly 16 points, 10 rebounds, four steals and three assists per game on her way to being named the Central California Conference MVP. Mann, who averaged 14.1 points per game as a freshman, also starred on the Modesto Magic club team this past summer. An outstanding shooter, Mann ranked No. 25 on's best 'Gunners' of the summer. A 5-foot-8 guard, Patterson will be coming to ASU from Central Arizona College where last season she helped lead her team to a runner-up finish at the National Junior College Athletic Association championships. Known as a defensive specialist at Central Arizona, Patterson is very familiar with what it takes to win championships. In 2007, she helped lead Tolleson High School to the Class 5A Division II state title after she scored 19 points and grabbed 17 rebounds in the championship game.

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