Sun Devil Women’s Basketball Travels to Mexico for Cancun Challenge

WHAT: Sun Devil Women’s Basketball at 2013 Cancun Challenge
WHEN: Thurs., Nov. 28 vs. Illinois (noon CT/11 a.m. MT); Fri., Nov. 29 vs. No. 11 North Carolina (noon CT/11 a.m. MT); Sat., Nov. 30 vs. Arkansas State (noon CT/11 a.m. MT)
WHERE: Cancun, Mexico
Thurs., Nov. 28 vs. Illinois
Radio –  NBC Sports Radio AM 1060 (pre-game coverage begins at 10:30 a.m. MT)
Live Stream –
Fri., Nov. 29 vs. No. 11 North Carolina
Radio –  NBC Sports Radio AM 1060 (pre-game coverage begins at 10:30 a.m. MT)
Live Stream –
Sat., Nov. 30 vs. Arkansas State
Radio – 1440 AM KAZG (pre-game coverage begins at 10:30 a.m. MT)
Live Stream –
Coming off back-to-back wins, the Arizona State women’s basketball team (3-1), travels to Mexico for the Cancun Challenge where it will play three games – vs. Illinois on Nov. 28, vs. North Carolina on Nov. 29 and vs. Arkansas State on Nov. 30 – in three days. All three games will start at noon CT/11 a.m. MT.
This  week’s trip will conclude a stretch in which the Sun Devils are playing five of six games away from home. After the Cancun Challenge ASU will play four out of its last five non-conference games at home.
• Promise Amukamara scored 16 points and Kelsey Moos posted her first career double-double (10 points, 10 rebounds) to lead the Sun Devils to a 86-65 win over Providence on Saturday.
• Also scoring in double figures for the Sun Devils, who shot higher than 50 percent (52.4) for the second straight game were Joy Burke (14 points), Deja Mann (12 points) and Elisha Davis, who scored a career-high 11 points (all in the second half).
• Arizona State’s bench came up big on Saturday, outscoring the Providence bench 40-6. Burke and Davis led the way as the duo combined for 25 points.
• ASU’s 86 points represented the third time this season that it has scored 80 or more points.
• Deja Mann has scored in double figures in every game this season.
• Illinois (4-1) is off to its best start since 2009-10 when it went 7-1. The Fighting Illini comes into Thursday’s game averaging 92.4 points a game.
• Illinois leads the Big Ten in scoring margin (+32.8), steals (15.0), turnover margin (+10.6) and three-point field goals (8.8).
• In the only prior meeting, ASU defeated Illinois 51-50 at the 2011 San Juan Shootout. Former Sun Devil Janae Fulcher scored all eight of her points in the final 4:42, including the game-winning basket with 17 seconds remaining to help lead ASU to the win.
• North Carolina (4-1) is on a three-game winning streak, which started with a 78-68 win at UCLA on Nov. 17.
• Freshman forward Stephanie Mavunga was name the ACC Rookie of the Week after averaging 17.0 points and 10 rebounds in UNC’s wins over Coastal Carolina and Coppin State.
• Mavunga was the second straight Tar Heel to be named ACC Rookie of the Week. Allisha Gray won the award the prior week after a 30-point, 10-rebound performance in UNC’s win at UCLA..
• North Carolina is 4-0 versus ASU. After UNC won the first meeting 72-68 in 1999. The two teams would then play three times in the span of less than two years. The Tar Heels defeated ASU 79-72 in the Sweet 16 of the 2005 NCAA Tournament played in Tempe. Eight months last UNC would win by the identical score at a preseason tournament in Mexico. The most recent meeting occurred at the 2007 Tip Off Classic in Chapel Hill where the Tar Heels defeated ASU 75-60.
• Arkansas State (4-1) is coming off a 91-68 victory over Louisiana Tech.
• Redshirt sophomore guard Aundrea Gamble was recently named the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week for the second time this year. She earned the honor after averaging 22.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists during a three-game span.
• Saturday’s game will be the first time ASU and Arkansas State face each other.
• Three Sun Devils – seniors Deja Mann (13.8 ppg) and Adrianne Thomas (11.5 ppg) and junior Promise Amukamara (10.0 ppg) – are currently averaging double figures in scoring.
• Thomas (23-26) and Mann (9-10) have combined to shoot 89 percent (32-36) from the line in the season’s first four games.
• Mann has nine assists and only two turnovers, while Thomas leads the team with nine steals.
• Senior Joy Burke (14) and freshmen Sophie Brunner (10) and Kelsey Moos (11) have combined for 35 of ASU’s 52 offensive boards.
• ASU’s bench has outscored the opposition’s bench 131-65 in the firs four games. Sophomore Elisha Davis (8-17 FGs) and Arnecia Hawkins (8-18 FGs) are both averaging 5.0 ppg or better off the bench in the first four games.
• Eight different Sun Devils – Mann (4x), Thomas (3x), junior Promise Amukamara (2x), Moos (2x), Burke (1x) redshirt sophomore Katie Hempen (1x), sophomore Elisha Davis (1x), and Brunner (1x)– have scored in double figures this season.
• Freshman C Quinn Dornstauder has come off the bench and had significant contributions in all of ASU’s wins this season.
The Sun Devil women’s basketball program has consistently been among the Pac-12/Pac-10’s best for the last several years both on the court and in the classroom...
• Since the 2000-01 season ASU is one of only two schools in the Pac-12 to have won both a regular season conference title and the conference tournament title.
• ASU has finished third or higher in the Pac-12 nine times since 2001.
• Since 2005-06, ASU has led the Pac-12 in the number of conference first-team all-academic awards and the combined number of first- and second-team all-academic awards.
Ryneldi Becenti, a member of the Arizona State University Sports Hall of Fame who twice earned honorable mention All-America notice as a member of the Sun Devil women’s basketball team, will have her No. 21 jersey honored and displayed from the rafters of Wells Fargo Arena on Sat., Dec. 21 when the Sun Devils host the University of Miami.
“As we started to evaluate the stars of our distinguished past, it quickly became apparent that no player was more celebrated or had more of an impact – both in her community and within our own Sun Devil community – than Ryneldi Becenti,” said Turner Thorne. “While already in our Hall of Fame for her achievements as a student-athlete, we felt a program-specific tribute like this was fitting for a special individual whose influence went beyond the basketball court.
“The incredible work ethic and desire that led her to our program galvanized the Native American community. Her outstanding contributions as a Sun Devil enhanced her legendary status and remain an inspiration for many. I am so proud to be announcing that we will be hanging Ryneldi Becenti’s No. 21 jersey from the rafters of Wells Fargo Arena on Dec. 21. We hope all our fans and basketball enthusiasts alike will mark the date in their calendars to come out and help us pay tribute to this Sun Devil icon.”
Becenti was a two-time honorable mention All-America honoree while also becoming one of only three Sun Devils (at the time) to earn All-Pac-10 first-team honors twice in a career.
Following two successful seasons at Scottsdale Community College, Becenti joined ASU where her outstanding all-around play was pivotal in helping the Sun Devils earn a NCAA Tournament berth in 1992, the program’s first tournament invite since 1983.
By the conclusion of her two-year Sun Devil career, Becenti would accumulate 396 career assists, which at the time represented the second-highest career total in program history. Her career average of 7.1 assists per game remains a Pac-12 record to this day, while her 17-assist outing vs. Marquette in 1992 still sits atop the team’s list for most assists in a single game. With 15 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists in a Jan. 25, 1992, game against Oregon State, Becenti became the first player in school history to record a triple-double and was the lone player in the NCAA – men or women – to record the feat that season.
Becenti’s enormous popularity in the community and the Navajo Nation received national acclaim in March 1993, when she was featured in a Sports Illustrated article written by award-winning journalist Gary Smith.
As a member the 1993 USA team at the World University Games, Becenti became the first Native American female to earn a medal at the event. She would also go on to earn the distinction of becoming the first Native American to play in the WNBA as a member of the hometown Phoenix Mercury.
In 1996, she became the first woman inducted into the American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame adding to her list of enshrinements, which includes the Scottsdale Community College Hall of Fame, Arizona State University Hall of Fame and the Arizona High School Sports Hall of Fame.
A native of Fort Defiance, Ariz., Becenti earned high school All-America honors playing for Window Rock High School. Her stellar play continued at Scottsdale Community College where she earned junior college All-American recognition.

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