ASU Women's Basketball Hosts Washington on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
Feb. 3, 2010
Winners of five of its last six games. the Arizona State women's basketball team begins the second round of Pac-10 play this week when it hosts Washington on Thursday (6:30 p.m. MT) and Washington State on Saturday (1 p.m. MT).
The Sun Devils (13-7, 5-4 Pac-10) begin the second half of the Pac-10 season tied for fourth place with California (11-9, 5-4 Pac-10). The Sun Devils trail USC (14-6, 7-2 Pac-10) and UCLA (13-7, 7-2 Pac-10), who are currently tied for second place, by two games. Stanford (19-1, 9-0 Pac-10) currently occupies the top-ranked spot in the standings.
ASU went over the .500 mark in conference play following a dramatic and hard-fought 63-61 win over California on Saturday in which the Sun Devils outscored the Golden Bears 14-2 in the final four minutes to overcome a 10-point deficit. Senior Danielle Orsillo capped the rally by scoring the game-winning basket with five-tenths of a second left. Orsillo scored 12 of her game-high 20 points in the second half, including six in the final four minutes. Also coming through with strong outings were redshirt freshman Janae Fulcher, who tied her career best in scoring with 12 points while going a perfect 6-6 from the field and redshirt sophomore Kali Bennett, who had eight of her game-high 11 rebounds in the second half.
ASU's play in the final four minutes on Saturday was nothing short of extraordinary. The Sun Devils limited Cal to only four shots (1-4 FGs) while outrebounding the Golden Bears 6-0 (Bennett personally accounted for five of those rebounds, including four on the defensive end while playing with four fouls). Offensively, ASU was 4-6 from the field and was perfect from the line (6-6) as Orsillo (2-2), Kimberly Brandon (2-2) and Tenaya Watson (2-2) all came through with clutch performances from the line.
Overshadowed by its comeback was the defensive job ASU had against Cal senior guard Alexis Gray-Lawson. The Pac-10's leading scorer in conference games coming into last Saturday's game (25.3 ppg), Gray-Lawson, who had averaged 43 points in Cal's prior two games, was held to 14 points on 6-of-20 shooting.
Washington (9-10, 4-5 Pac-10) has lost four of its last five contests since opening the Pac-10 season with a 3-1 record. In their most recent contest, the Huskies snapped a four-game losing streak by defeating Washington State 76-70 in overtime. The Huskies are led by senior guard Sami Whitcomb, who is currently ninth in the Pac-10 in scoring (14.8 ppg).
Thursday's game against Washington can be seen live on Fox Sports Arizona and Saturday's game against Washington State can be seen live on Fox Sports Net. Both games can also be heard live on The Fan AM 1060. Coverage will begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday and at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Veteran broadcaster Jeff Munn is in his sixth season as the voice of ASU women's basketball.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
ASU returns 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. Despite returning six players from last year's team, the Sun Devils began the season as a relatively inexperienced group. Of ASU's returning players, only seniors Kayli Murphy and Danielle Orsillo and junior Becca Tobin saw significant playing time last season.
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 has won 79 percent (64-17) of its Pac-10 contests since the 2005-06 season.
On Thursday the Sun Devils will be at home where they are 73-12 (.859) since the 2004-05 season, including a 41-8 (.837) record against Pac-10 opponents.
Although Washington leads the all-time series with ASU 27-23, the Sun Devils have dominated the series of late having won 12 of the last 15 meetings, including 10 of the last 11. In this season's prior meeting (Jan. 7), the Huskies snapped a 10-game losing streak to the Sun Devils with a 62-56 victory in Seattle. After tying the score at 34-34 early in the second half the Sun Devils trailed the Huskies for the remainder of the game. The Sun Devils got as close as two, 54-52, with 2:45 left however Washington would score seven of the next nine points to put the game out of reach. Becca Tobin scored a career-best 19 points as she missed only one shot the entire game (7-8 FGs).
ASU has outrebounded its opponent 14 times in 20 games this season. The Sun Devils lead the Pac-10 in rebounding defense (31.9) and are 2nd in the conference and 18th in the nation in rebounding margin (+7.2).
Currently ASU's leading scorer averaging 14.0 points per game, senior guard Danielle Orsillo has scored in double figures in all but three contests this season. She averaged 18.0 points during ASU's recent 4-game winning streak.
The Sun Devils have averaged 14.5 turnovers in their last four contests, five below their season average (19.5).
Junior Tenaya Watson is shooting 54 percent (19-35) in ASU's last six games. Included in that stretch was a career-best 14-point outing at Arizona (Jan. 24).
SUN DEVILS LOOK TO REMAIN AMONG THE BEST
Over 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 73-68 win over Oregon on Jan. 14. In that contest the Sun Devils held the Ducks' high-powered offense, which came into the game leading the nation in scoring (87.0 ppg), 19 points below its average. Earlier this season the Sun Devils set season bests points for allowed (37) and blocks (9) in their 74-37 win over Furman on Dec. 28.
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).
The Sun Devils enter Thursday's game ranked first in the Pac-10 in rebounding defense (31.9 rpg) and 2nd in blocks (4.3 bpg).
Since the 2005-06 season the Sun Devils have held the opposition to 50 or fewer points 35 times, including four times this season.
Charli Turner Thorne WINS HER 300TH
In addition to giving ASU its first Pac-10 win of the season, ASU's 64-59 win over Washington State on Jan. 9 also represented the 300th career win for Sun Devil head coach Charli Turner Thorne. Now in her 14th season at ASU, Turner Thorne has collected the majority of her 303 wins in Tempe, where she is 263-161. Prior to arriving at ASU, 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 has 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 85.5 percent (73-12) 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 nearly 70 percent of their games when they were the visiting team or made a trip to a neutral site.
ADRIANNE THOMAS SIGNS WITH ASU
Charli Turner Thorne today announced on November 11 that Adrianne Thomas signed a national letter of intent to study and play basketball at Arizona State.'I could not be more excited about the addition of Adrianne Thomas,' Turner Thorne said. 'She is a powerful, explosive scoring combo guard who will fit in perfectly with our up-tempo offense and aggressive pressuring defense.
'Adrianne is an extremely tough and smart competitor who has had outstanding coaching through her high school and club programs. I predict she will adapt to the college game very quickly. Besides being one of the top guards in the country, Adrianne comes from an amazing family who has instilled in her great core values including impeccable character and strong leadership. She will be a great Sun Devil.'A 5-9 guard, Thomas will be coming to ASU from Summit High School in Fontana, Calif., where she has earned Sunkist League MVP honors three times. In 2009 Thomas, who has scored in double figures 32 times the last two seasons, earned All-Sunkist League First-Team and All-CIF Southern Section First-Team recognition after leading her team to the state semifinals.
As a sophomore in 2008, Thomas helped Summit to its first CIF sectional championship game and the state quarterfinals. With her FBC club team she was named to the All-Tournament Teams of the adidas Womanhood National Championships, Summertime Invitational and adidas Super 64.
'Adrianne is a superstar on the court, off the court, in the classroom and in the community,' said Summit girls basketball coach Alexis Barile. 'On the court she's the type of player that won't allow our team to lose. In crunch situations she's the one that pulls us together and makes sure we win. She has a refuse-to-lose mentally. She's going to fit into the ASU program very well as a person first and then as a basketball player.'
2009-10 ASU Bio Updates
#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 (16.0 mpg). Is currently tied for 2nd on the team in assists (2.1 apg) and 5th in steals (0.9 spg). Has tallied 4 or more assists 5 times this season. 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 14 games this season. 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 (12.7 mpg). Scored 5 points (2-3 FGs) in her Sun Devil debut vs. South Dakota State (Nov. 15). Tallied 6 points in ASU's win vs. East Tennessee State (Nov. 28). Scored a season-best 7 points (3-6 FGs) vs. UCLA (Jan. 3). Has grabbed a season-best 4 rebounds 3 times this season.
#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. Is currently 2nd on the team in blocks (1.2 bpg) and rebounding (6.1 rpg) and 5th in scoring (6.2 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. Had her third double-digit rebounding game with 11 at California (Jan. 30).
#12 Alex Earl - So. - G Has a much bigger role this season following the graduation of three guards from last year when she played in 23 games (4.3 minutes per game). Has excellent perimeter shooting skills. Has played in 19 games this season (16.5 mpg) with 4 starts. Is second on the team in 3-point FGs (14). Missed ASU's 2009-10 season opener vs. South Dakota State (injured foot). 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). Played a career-high 31 minutes and scored 8 points and had 2 steals at Washington (Jan. 7). Scored 11 points (4-5 FGs, 3-4 3-point FGs) in win vs. Oregon State (Jan. 21). Grabbed a career-high 4 rebounds and tied her career high with 2 steals at Stanford (Jan.28).
#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 28 times in her last 34 games going back to last season, including 17 times in 20 games this season. Currently leads the team in scoring (14.0 ppg), 3-point FGs (21), free throw percentage (.843) and steals (1.8 spg) and is tied for 2nd in assists (2.1 apg). Has led or tied for the team lead in scoring 12 times this season, including a season-best 20 points on two occasions, most recently in ASU's 63-61 come-from-behind win at Cal in which she hit the game winner with five-tenths of a second remaining. Currently with 1,211 career points, needs 14 points to move into 9th place on ASU's all-time scoring list. Averaged 18.0 points during ASU's recent 4-game winning streak. 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). Came within one point of matching her career high in scoring as she poured in a season-best 20 points (7-14 FGs, 6-6 FTs) to go along with 2 assists and 3 steals in ASU's win over Oregon State (Jan. 16). Scored 12 of her 16 points in the second half of ASU's win at Arizona (Jan. 24). Tied her season best in scoring at Cal (Jan. 30) by scoring 12 of her game-high 20 points in the second half, including the game winning basket with five-tenths of a second left.
#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 20 games in 2009-10 and is currently 3rd on the team in rebounding (5.9 rpg) and fourth in scoring (7.6 ppg) and field goal percentage (.483). Has connected on 86 percent of her free throws (18-21) in ASU's last 6 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). Played a career-high 30 minutes and scored 11 points (5-10 FGs) and grabbed 7 rebounds at Washington (Jan. 7). Nearly had a double-double after scoring 10 points (3-6 FGs, 4-4 FTs) and grabbing 8 rebounds in win at Washington State (Jan. 9). Scored all 11 of her points from the free throw line (11-12 FTs) to go along with 6 rebounds and 2 assists vs. Oregon (Jan. 14). Was again close to a double-double following 9-point, 11-rebound performance at Arizona (Jan. 24).
#22 Janae Fulcher - RS-Fr. - F/C
After redshirting in 2008-09, has a bigger hole 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 (12.2 mpg). Is first on the team in field goal percentage (.561, 37-66 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 a career-high 12 points vs. Baylor (Dec. 20). Matched her career high with 12 points (6-6 FGs) in ASU's win at Cal (Jan. 30).
#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.
#25 Kimberly Brandon - So. - G/F
Sister Gennifer is a freshman on the California women's basketball team. Has started 16 of 20 games in 2009-10 (19.0 mpg). 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). Recorded 9 points (3-3 FGs, 3-4 FTs) to go along with 4 rebounds and 2 steals in ASU's win vs. Oregon (Jan. 14). Pulled down 6 rebounds, to go along with 3 assists and 3 steals in win vs. Oregon State (Jan. 16). Scored 4 points, grabbed 6 more rebounds and had 3 more steals in win at Arizona (Jan. 24). Scored 7 points to go along with 2 steals and 2 assists at Stanford (Jan. 28). Scored 6 points and tied her career high with 7 rebounds in win at Cal (Jan. 30).
#30 Gabby Fage - Sr. - G
Reserve guard who has played in 80 career games. Is currently sidelined indefinitely with a knee injury. Has played in 13 games in 2009-10, missing ASU's first 3 contests in December as she recovered from a broken nose. Has grabbed a season-best 5 rebounds on two occasions and has 12 assists and only 4 turnovers. 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 18 of 20 games in 2009-10 and currently leads the team in rebounding (6.3 rpg) and blocks (1.4 bpg) and is 2nd in field goal percentage (.536), scoring (10.5 ppg) and free throw pct. (.813). In addition, leads the team in free throw attempts (75) and makes (61). Has scored in double figures 11 times this season. Made the first start of her career in ASU's 2009-10 season opening win against South Dakota State and scored 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 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). Scored a career-high 19 points (7-8 FGs) at Washington (Jan. 7). Blocked 6 shots (one short of tying the single-game school record) and pulled down 8 rebounds in ASU's win vs. Oregon State (Jan. 16). Came up one rebound short of a double-double (19 points 9 rebounds) and tied her career high in scoring in addition to recording 4 assists and 2 steals in ASU's win at Arizona (Jan. 24).
#35 Tenaya Watson - Jr. - G
Transfer from Central Arizona who has started 19 of 20 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 (2.8 apg), 2nd in steals (1.3 spg) and 3rd in field goal pct. (.500) and scoring (7.7 ppg). Has averaged 10.0 points and is shooting 54 percent (19-35 FGs) in ASU's last six 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). Had 12 points and 4 assists in win vs. Oregon State (Jan. 16). Set new career highs in scoring (14), steals (4) and blocks (4) in ASU's 73-67 win at Arizona (Jan. 24) on Sunday. Also, hit 83 percent of her shots (5-6) in the game. Led the team with 12 points (4-8 FGs) at Stanford (Jan. 28).