Sun Devil WBB’s Taya Hanson earns pair of Pac-12 awards
TEMPE, Ariz. - Sun Devil Women's Basketball's Taya Hanson was recognized by the Pac-12 on Monday as the conference announced its annual awards for the 2020-21 season as voted on by the league's head coaches.
Hanson, a junior guard from Kelowna, British Columbia, was named All-Pac-12 honorable mention and also earned Pac-12 All-Defense honorable mention recognition.
Hanson is currently among the Pac-12 leaders in 3-pointers per game (third/2.6 per game), scoring 10th (13.0 ppg) and 3-point field goal percentage (18th/34.9). During one six-game stretch, Hanson averaged 15.7 ppg, including a career-high 21 points in ASU's win over Cal (Jan. 1), a contest in which Hanson tied the single-game school record with seven triples. Hanson was nearly perfect from the line during that span (16-17).
Hanson currently leads ASU in scoring, 3-pointers (51), steals (1.4 spg) and free throw percentage (83.7) and is third in rebounding (4.4 rpg). She matched her career high in scoring coming into the 2020-21 season (14 points) twice – vs. SFA (Nov. 25) and at Arizona (Dec. 10) – before surpassing it with 15 points in ASU's win at Utah (Dec. 18). She surpassed it again (21 points) in ASU's aforementioned win over Cal. Hanson has pulled down six or more rebounds seven times this season, including a career-high seven boards at Arizona (Dec. 10) and vs. Washington (Feb. 12). On January 12, Hanson was named Canada Basketball's Player of the Week for December 28, 2020 – January 3, 2021 for her performances vs. Cal (Jan. 1) and Stanford (Jan. 3).
Most recently, Hanson scored 13 of her team-high 19 points in the second half and overtime of ASU's 66-64 upset of then-No. 9 Arizona 66-64 on Sunday. She accounted for half of ASU's season-high-tying 10 3-pointers, connecting on 71 percent (5-7) of her attempts from long range. With 56 seconds remaining in OT and the scored tied at 62-62, Hanson knocked down her fifth 3-pointer of the game – the 100th triple of her career – to put ASU ahead to stay.
Defensively, Hanson's play has helped the Sun Devils rank among the top 25 team in the nation in scoring defense for much of the season. She has had nine games with multiple steals this season, including a career-high five takeaways in ASU's win over Southern Utah earlier this season.
Up next for ASU is the 2021 Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas. ASU (No. 9 seed) will start play on Wednesday (2 p.m. PT/3 p.m. MT) when it faces USC (No. 8 seed) in the first round. The game will be shown on Pac-12 Network/Arizona/Los Angeles and can be heard on KDUS AM 1060. The full tournament schedule can be found by clicking here.