ASU Women's Basketball Hosts UCLA on Sunday
Jan. 2, 2010
Game No. 13No. 19/17 Arizona State(8-4, 0-1 Pac-10)vs.UCLA(8-4, 1-0 Pac-10)Sunday, January 3, 20102 p.m. MT Wells Fargo Arena Tempe, Ariz.
UP NEXTThe Arizona State women's basketball team (No. 19 AP/No. 17 ESPN/USA Today) will look for a split in the opening weekend of Pac-10 play when it hosts UCLA on Sunday (2 p.m) at Wells Fargo Arena.
The Sun Devils are coming off a tough 60-56 loss to USC on Friday in which the Trojans used a 16-3 run in the final four minutes to take the game. The Sun Devils lost despite holding solid advantages in both shooting percentage (.472-.396) and rebounding (40-28).
Danielle Orsillo once again led the Sun Devils on offense as she scored 16 points. Also coming through was a strong outing was junior Becca Tobin, who just missed out on a double-double after scoring nine points and tying her career high with 13 rebounds.
UCLA (8-4, 1-0 Pac-10) comes into Sunday's game on a three-game winning streak, most recently defeating Arizona 67-58 on Friday. Offensively the Bruins have been led by freshman G/F Markel Walker (12.0 ppg), sophomore G/F Jasmine Dixon (11.0 ppg) and junior G Darxia Morris (10.9 ppg). Much of UCLA's success this season can be attributed to its defense. The Bruins come into Sunday's game leading the Pac-10 in field goal percentage defense (.358) and second in scoring defense (53.9 ppg).Three of the last four games between the Sun Devils and Bruins have been decided by single digits, including two by three points. In the most recent meeting between the two teams the Sun Devils came away with a hard-fought 69-66 win last February in Los Angeles.
Following Sunday's week the Sun Devils will take their first road trip of the Pac-10 season when they travel to Washington to face Washington (Jan. 7) and Washington State (Jan. 9).
ON THE AIRArizona State's game vs.UCLA can be heard live on The Fan AM 1060. Pre-game coverage will begin at 1:30 p.m. Veteran broadcaster Jeff Munn is in his sixth season as the voice of ASU women's basketball. He will be joined on the broadcast by former Arizona State women's basketball coach Maura McHugh.
IN THE POLLSThe Sun Devils dropped four places in both polls (from 14th to 18th in the AP poll and from 13th to 17th in the ESPN/USA Today Top 25 coaches' poll) following their losses in Las Vegas to current Top 10 teams Texas A&M (10th) and Baylor (5th). Despite being idle last week, ASU fell one spot to 19th in the most recent AP poll (Dec. 28) however remained at No. 17 in the coaches' poll. ASU began the season ranked 16th in the AP poll and 11th in the coaches' poll. In November the Sun Devils were ranked 7th in the coaches' poll which represented its highest ranking in school history in either poll.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR ASU returns six players, including two starters - forward Kayli Murphy and guard Danielle Orsillo - from last year's active roster that went 26-9 and earned the program's second Elite Eight berth in the last three years. The Sun Devils are without last season's leading scorer Dymond Simon as she spends the season rehabbing from the knee injury she suffered in the 2009 regular-season finale at Stanford. Also missing for the 2009-10 season because of injury is junior guard Markisha Patterson, who transferred to ASU from Central Arizona where she was a teammate of guard Tenaya Watson, who also transferred to ASU. ASU is 26-7 in its last 33 games going back to last season. The record includes a school record 15-game winning streak during the 2009 Pac-10 season. ASU has won 81 percent (59-14) of its Pac-10 contests since the 2005-06 season. On Sunday the Sun Devils will be at home where they are 71-11 (.865) since the 2004-05 season, including a 39-7 (.848) record against Pac-10 opponents. ASU has outrebounded its opponent 10 times in 12 games this season. The Sun Devils lead the Pac-10 in rebounding defense (31.1) and are 2nd in rebounding margin (+10.7). Although UCLA has won 41 of the 66 all-time meetings, ASU has been dominant in recent years with wins in 11 of the last 13 meetings, including the last seven in succession. Currently ASU's leading scorer averaging 13.8 points per game, senior guard Danielle Orsillo has scored in double figures in all but one contest this season. Post players Janae Fulcher (14-22, .636), Kayli Murphy (17-28, .607), Becca Tobin (16-29, .552) and Kali Bennett (10-19, .526) have combined to make 58 percent (57-98) of their shots in ASU's last five games. Sun Devil head coach Charli Turner Thorne needs one more win to reach 300 for her career.
SUN DEVILS LOOK TO REMAIN AMONG THE BESTOver the last several years ASU has developed into one of the most successful programs not only in the Pac-10, but around the country as well. Since 2000, the Sun Devils have finished first or second in the Pac-10 a combined six times, and have finished lower than third only once. Nationally, ASU is one of 20 schools whose current streak of NCAA appearances is 5 or more, one of 15 schools that has qualified for the Sweet 16 three or more times in the last five seasons and one of 9 schools that has qualified for the Elite Eight at least two times in the last three years.
DEVILS BRING THE `D'If there is one thing ASU head coach Charli Turner Thorne's teams have become known for over the years it is defense. The Sun Devils offered another reminder of their excellence in defending in their 74-37 win over Furman on Dec. 28 in which they set season bests for fewest points allowed and blocked shots (9 - ties the highest single-game total in the Pac-10 this season). And speaking of blocks, after setting the school record for total blocks each of the last three seasons, the Sun Devils are once again on pace to do the same again this year. Leading the way are Kali Bennett (1.3 bpg) and Becca Tobin (1.3 bpg), who are currently tied for 7th in the Pac-10 in blocks per game. As a team ASU is currently 2nd in the Pac-10 averaging 4.6 rejections per game.
Last season six of ASU's nine Pac-10 opponents either scored their fewest points of the season against ASU or tied their lowest point total of the season. In Pac-10 play the Sun Devils led the league allowing only 53.0 points per game. In the last two years the Sun Devils have set single-game Pac-10 records for the fewest points ever allowed by a Pac-10 team (75-23 win over UC Irvine on Dec. 6, 2008) and the fewest points allowed in a Pac-10 game (59-30 win over Washington State on Feb. 21, 2008).
Since the 2005-06 season the Sun Devils have held the opposition to 50 or fewer points 34 times, including three times this season.
Charli Turner Thorne APPROACHING 300 CAREER WINSSun Devil head coach Charli Turner Thorne enters Sunday's game needing one more win to give her 300 for her career (299-198 career record). Turner Thorne has collected the majority of her 299 wins at ASU where she is 259-158 in her 14 seasons. Prior to arriving in Tempe, Turner Thorne was 40-40 in three seasons at Northern Arizona.While 300 wins is impressive on its own merit, a closer look at Turner Thorne's coaching career makes her success look even more remarkable. At NAU, she took over a program that had posted only one winning season in 19 years. She would go on to become the first coach in program history to lead the Lumberjacks to back-to-back winning seasons.
In 1996 Turner Thorne accepted the top position at ASU where she took on the challenge of coaching a squad that had not won more than eight games in three years. Fast forward to the present day and Turner Thorne is the winningest coach in ASU women's basketball history. Along the way she had led the Sun Devils to seven NCAA Tournament appearances (all in the last nine years), including the only two Elite Eight appearances in school history (both coming in the last three years).
ALWAYS FEELING AT HOME Since 2004 the Sun Devils have won 86.5 percent (71-11) of the games they have played at Wells Fargo Arena. In addition, under Turner Thorne ASU has also proven to be nearly as effective when it is playing away from home. Since the 2006-07 season the Sun Devils have won more than 70 percent of their games when they were the visiting team or made a trip to a neutral site.
#1 Dymond Simon - Sr. - G Is redshirting in 2009-10 as she continues to recover from ACL injury she suffered in 2009 regular season finale at Stanford. Led ASU in scoring (13.8 ppg) in 2008-09 on her way to Second-Team All-Pac-10 honors. Was a high school teammate of current Sun Devil senior Kayli Murphy.
#2 Sabrina McKinney - Fr. - G Outstanding defender who was a two-time Defensive Player of the Year for Bowie High School in Arlington, Texas. Has played in every game this season (17.3 mpg). Is currently 3rd on the team in assists (2.7 apg). Has tallied 4 or more assists 5 times this season. Has 9 assists and 3 turnovers in ASU's last 2 games. Scored a season-best 7 points at Xavier (Nov. 21). Made the first start of her career in ASU's win vs. Idaho State (Dec. 4). Dished out a season-high 6 assists in ASU's win vs. East Tennessee State (Nov. 28). Recorded a season-best 4 steals in win vs. Idaho State (Dec. 4).
#3 Joy Burke - Fr. - F/C Local product (Tempe Marco de Niza), who was a McDonald's All-American nominee and was also named to the Arizona Republic's All-Arizona Team and earned all-city accolades three times. Connected on 63 percent of her field goal attempts as a senior at Marcos de Niza while averaging 23.3 points, 17.8 rebounds, 7.5 blocks and 3.9 steals per game. Has played in 10 games this season and has made 44 percent of her shots (7-13). Has grabbed a season-best 5 rebounds on two occasions. Scored four points (2-2 FGs) and grabbed 3 rebounds in win over Furman (Dec. 28).
#4 Haley Parsons - RS-Fr. - G Redshirted last season. After an excellent offseason, spent much of the preseason recovering from injury (was not cleared to play until early December). Made her Sun Devil debut in ASU's win over North Dakota (Dec. 9) and recorded a pair of assists in 9 minutes of play. Accounted for 3 points, 1 assist and 1 steal in win vs. Furman (Dec. 28).
#5 Deja Mann - Fr. - G A 2009 graduate of Merced High School in Merced, Calif., where she earned first-team All-Central California Conference honors each of her first two seasons, including being named the conference's MVP her sophomore season. Has played in every game this season (12.8 mpg). Scored 5 points (2-3 FGs) in her Sun Devil debut vs. South Dakota State (Nov. 15). Tallied a season-best 6 points in ASU's win vs. East Tennessee State (Nov. 28).
#11 Kali Bennett - RS-So. - C Transfer from the University of Washington who figures to play a big role this season after sitting out the 2008-09 season because of NCAA transfer rules. As a freshman at Washington in 2007-08, averaged 4.9 points and 3.0 rebounds while tying for the team lead in blocked shots with 15. Currently tied for the team lead in blocks (1.3 bpg), is second in rebounding (6.8 rpg) and is 4th in scoring (7.2 ppg). Has scored in double figures 3 times this season. Was named the MVP of the Rainbow Wahine Classic after averaging 15.0 points, 12.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in wins over Hawaii (Nov. 27) and East Tennessee State (Nov. 28). The win over Hawaii included a career-best 15 rebounds while she made the first start of her Sun Devil career against East Tennessee State.#12 Alex Earl - So. - G Will have a much bigger role this season following the graduation of three guards from last year's team when she played in 23 games (4.3 minutes per game). Has excellent perimeter shooting skills. Has played in 11 games this season (14.4 mpg) with one start (vs. Pepperdine, Dec. 5). Is second on the team in 3-point FGs (6). Missed ASU's 2009-10 season opener and she recovered from a foot injury. Made all four of her field goal attempts, including a pair of 3-pointers, and scored a career-high 12 points in ASU's win over Yale (Nov. 19). Hit 3-of-4 shots, including both of her 3-point FG attempts, and scored 8 points to go along with 3 assists in win vs. Pepperdine (Dec. 5). Scored 7 points (3-3 FGs) and had a career-best 4 assists vs. USC (Jan. 1).
#13 Danielle Orsillo - Sr. - G Returns as ASU's most experienced player in the backcourt. Started all 35 games last season after missing all but one game of the 2007-08 season with a knee injury. Named to the 2009 Trenton Regional All-Tournament Team after she averaged 12.5 points and 2.5 assists while making all 10 of her free throws in ASU's four NCAA Tournament games Has scored in double figures 22 times in her last 27 games going back to last season, including 11 times in 12 games this season. Currently leads the team in scoring (13.8 ppg), 3-point FGs (17, 1.4 per game), free throw percentage (.903) and steals (2.0 spg) and is 2nd in assists (2.8 apg). Has led or tied for the team lead in scoring 8 times this season, including a season-best 18 points in back-to-back Sun Devil wins vs. East Tennessee State (Nov. 28) and Idaho State (Dec. 4). Currently with 1,096 points, needs 71 points to move up to 13th place on ASU's all-time scoring list. Was named to the Rainbow Wahine Classic All-Tournament Team after averaging 16.5 points in ASU's wins over Hawaii (Nov. 27) and East Tennessee State (Nov. 28). Was named MVP of the ASU Classic after averaging 15.5 points in ASU's wins over Idaho State (Dec. 4) and Pepperdine (Dec. 5). Scored 12 points to go along with a season-best 5 assists and a career-best 5 steals in ASU's win over North Dakota on Jan. 9. Contributed 14 points in ASU's losses to Texas A&M (Dec. 19) and Baylor (Dec. 20) at the Las Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic. Scored 16 points (6-8 FGs) and tied her career best with 3 3-point FGs in win vs. Furman (Dec. 28). Scored 16 points to go along with 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals vs. USC (Jan. 1).
#21 Kayli Murphy - Sr. - F/C Returns as ASU's most experienced player in the frontcourt. Played in every game her first two years before a hand injury caused her to miss the first six games last season. Would go on to start in 27 of the 29 games in 2008-09. Has started all 12 games in 2009-10 and is currently 2nd on the team in field goal pct. (.526) and 3rd in both scoring (7.9 ppg) and rebounding (6.1 rpg)). Has made 71 percent of her shots (10-14) in ASU's last 3 games. Had the second double-double of her career in the 2009-10 season opener against South Dakota State in which she tied her career best in scoring with 12 points and grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds. Was named to the Rainbow Wahine Classic All-Tournament Team after averaging 10.0 points and 5.5 rebounds in ASU's wins over Hawaii (Nov. 27) and East Tennessee State (Nov. 28) Led the team in scoring with a career-high 15 points in ASU's win over North Dakota (Dec. 9).#23 Markisha Patterson - Jr. - G Transfer from Central Arizona, who is redshirting this season as she recovers from knee injury. Was part of NJCAA national runner-up (2008) and NJCAA champion (2009) teams during her two seasons at Central Arizona where she was a teammate of fellow ASU newcomer Tenaya Watson.
#22 Janae Fulcher - RS-Fr. - F/C After redshirting in 2008-09, will have a big role this season after three post players graduated from last year's team. Helped lead her high school basketball team, La Jolla Country Day, to four league championships. Has played in every game this season and is currently averaging 5.1 points and 3.3 rebounds. Leads the team in field goal percentage (.578, 26-45 FGs). Had the first double-double of her career with 11 points (5-6 FGs) and 10 rebounds in 12 minutes of play at Yale (Nov. 19). Scored 7 points (3-4 FGs) in win vs. East Tennessee State (Nov. 28). Scored a career-high 12 points vs. Baylor (Dec. 20).
#25 Kimberly Brandon - So. - G/F Had a tremendous offseason and will have an even bigger role in 2009-10 after playing in 30 games last season (5.8 minutes per game). Sister Gennifer is a freshman on the California women's basketball team. Has started 11 of 12 games in 2009-10 and is currently averaging 5.0 points and 4.1 rebounds. Made the first start of her career in ASU's 2009-10 season opener against South Dakota State (Nov. 15). Had career-best numbers in points (12) and assists (4) in win at Yale (Nov. 19). Scored 9 points (4-7 FGs) and recorded career bests in steals (4) and blocks (2) in win vs. Furman (Dec. 28).
#30 Gabby Fage - Sr. - G Reserve guard who has played in 76 career games. Will look to pick up where she left off at the end of the 2008-09 season as she played a big role in helping the Sun Devils qualify for the Elite Eight for the second time in three years. After averaging 5.8 minutes in her first 24 games of the season, averaged 22.8 minutes in ASU's four NCAA Tournament contests. Has played in 9 games in 2009-10, missing ASU's first 3 contests in December as she recovered from a broken nose. Has grabbed a season-best five rebounds on two occasions and has an assist-to-turnover ratio of 9-3. Scored 4 points, dished out 2 assists and had 2 rebounds in win at Hawaii (Nov. 27).
#32 Becca Tobin - Jr. - F/C Came into the 2009-10 season having played in 66 games her first two seasons. Has started 10 of 12 games in 2009-10 and currently leads the team in rebounding (7.3 rpg), is tied for the team lead in blocks (1.3 bpg), is 2nd in scoring (9.9 ppg) and is 3rd in field goal pct. (.525). In addition, leads the team in free throw attempts (40) and makes (35) is second in free throw percentage (.875). Made the first start of her career in ASU's 2009-10 season opening win against South Dakota State and scored a career-best 18 points to go along with six rebounds. Was named to the ASU Classic All-Tournament team after averaging 11.5 points (8-12 FGs, .667 FG pct) and 7.5 rebounds in ASU's wins vs. Idaho State (Dec. 4) and Pepperdine (Dec. 5). Pulled down a season-best 10 rebounds in ASU's win over North Dakota (Dec. 9). Was named to the Las Vegas Holidays Hoops Classic's All-Tournament Team after averaging 14.0 points and 5.0 rebounds while making 58 percent of her shots against Texas A&M and Baylor. Tied her career high with 13 rebounds to go along with 9 points and 2 blocks vs. USC (Jan. 1).
#35 Tenaya Watson - Jr. - G Transfer from Central Arizona who has started 10 of 11 games this season. At Central Arizona was part of NJCAA national runner-up (2008) and NJCAA champion (2009) where she was a teammate of fellow ASU newcomer Markisha Patterson. Was named the MVP of the 2009 NJCAA Tournament after averaging 16.8 points in Central Arizona's four tournament games. In the NJCAA championship game she scored a career-best 30 points and grabbed six rebounds to help Central Arizona defeat Missouri Jefferson College 78-77. Is currently 1st on the team in assists (3.3 apg) and is 3rd in steals (1.1 spg). Has averaged 11.3 points and has made 57 percent of her field goals (13-23) and 88 percent of her free throws (7-8) in ASU's last three games. Scored 8 points, grabbed 7 rebounds, dished out 7 assists and blocked 2 shots in her Sun Devil debut against South Dakota State (Nov. 15). Added 10 points (3-5 FGs, 4-4 FTs) in ASU's win vs. East Tennessee State (Nov. 28). Tallied a career-high 13 points, which included a 7-of-8 performance from the free throw line vs. Texas A&M (Dec. 19). Scored 12 points (6-9 FGs) and had 6 assists in win vs. Furman (Dec. 28).