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Sun Devil WBB travels to Bay Area to face No. 2 Stanford on Friday

Jan 27, 2022

THE GAME: Sun Devil WBB (9-6, 1-1 Pac-12) at No. 2/2 Stanford (14-3, 5-0 Pac-12)
WHEN: Friday at 6 p.m. PST/7 p.m. MST
WHERE: Maples Pavilion • Stanford, Calif. 
WATCH: Pac-12 Network, Arizona, Bay Area (Kevin Danna/Ros Gold-Onwude)
LISTEN: KDUS AM 1060 (Jeff Munn – pregame coverage starts at 6:30 p.m. MST)
LIVE STATS: Click here
 
UP NEXT
The Sun Devil women's basketball team plays its first road game since Dec. 18 when it travels to the Bay Area to take on No. 2 and defending national champion Stanford on Friday (6 p.m. PST/7 p.m. MST). After playing 12 games the first 42 days of the season, this will be just ASU's fourth game in the last 37 days.
 
Last week, the Sun Devils (9-6, 1-1 Pac-12) returned to action after not having played a game since December 30. ASU – the last Pac-12 team to start conference play – upset No. 22 Colorado 57-52 in overtime on Friday before having its four-game winning streak snapped by Utah, 72-63 on Sunday. 
 
In the win over the Buffaloes, Taya Hanson scored a game-high 17 points and tied her career high with seven rebounds while Mael Gilles just missed her fourth double-double of the season (eight points, 11 rebounds) while adding a career-high five rejections for the Sun Devils (9-5, 1-0 Pac-12), who were playing without leading scorer Jade Loville.
 
Against Utah, ASU nearly came up with what would have been the second-largest comeback in NCAA Division I history. Trailing by 29 points with two minutes remaining in the second quarter, the Sun Devils fought back to get within six points with just over two minutes remaining in regulation before ultimately coming up short. Loville, who was held out for precautionary reasons on Friday, played for the first time since December 30 and scored 20 points. Ayzhiana Basallo scored nine of her 11 points in the fourth quarter by knocking down a trio of triples during ASU's rally.
 
Stanford (14-3, 5-0) is the only Pac-12 team unbeaten in league play. All three of its losses came against a very challenging non-conference schedule. The Cardinal has won six straight and 10 of its last 11 games. 
 
SERIES NOTES VERSUS STANFORD
• Stanford has won 10 of the last 15 meetings, including the last seven in a row. ASU swept the regular season series in 2014-15 (60-57 in Palo Alto/53-52 in Tempe) and 2015-16 (49-31 in Tempe/63-61-OT in Palo Alto). 
• The 60-57 win at Stanford in Jan 2015 was ASU's first over the Cardinal since 2006 and the first at Stanford since 1984. 
• Each team won on its home floor in 2017-18 (ASU 73-66 in Tempe/Stanford 74-50 in the Bay Area) before meeting again in the semifinals of the Pac-12 Tournament (Stanford 58-46). 
• Stanford claimed both meetings in 2019 (72-65 in Tempe and 71-50) in Palo Alto and the only meeting of 2020, 55-44 in Tempe. The 55 points was the fewest points Stanford scored in 2019-20. 
• Stanford prevailed in both contests last season, winning 68-60 in Tempe and 80-41 in the Bay Area. 
• As a student-athlete at Stanford, ASU head coach Charli Turner Thorne played under current Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer.
                   
STATE OF PLAY
• Through games played Jan. 26, ASU has an NCAA Net ranking of 46, one of seven Pac-12 teams in the Top 50 (Stanford - 3, Arizona - 8, Oregon - 12, Utah - 17, Colorado - 34, UCLA 41).
• Prior to its loss against Utah (Jan. 23), ASU had won seven times in eight games / In those contests ASU... averaged 69.3 ppg, shot 44.1 pct and 34.9 pct 3FGs while allowing only 53.5 ppg. Each figure was a big improvement from ASU's first six games (2-4 record) when it... averaged 61.3 ppg (-8.0), connected on 37.4 pct of its FGs (-6.7), 26.2 pct 3FGs (-8.7) while giving up a respectable 57.5 ppg (+4.0). 
 • Two Sun Devils have started every game: Jaddan Simmons, Taya Hanson – both returning starters from last season's squad.
• Simmons: Leads ASU in assists (3.1 apg/12th in Pac-12), steals (2.0 spg/t4th in the Pac-12), assist-to-TO ratio (1.64/6th in Pac-12) and FTs made (44) and attempted (61).
• Hanson: Is 2nd on the team in 3-pointers/19) and assists (2.5 apg), is 3rd in steals (1.2 spg) and tied for 6th in rebounds (3.6 rpg). Hanson scored a season-high 17 points and tied her career high with seven rebounds in ASU's OT win over No. 22 Colorado (Jan. 21).
• Transfers Jade Loville (Boise State) and Mael Gilles (graduate transfer from Rutgers) have both started all 14 games they have played in.
• Loville: Leads ASU in scoring (15.8 ppg/5th in Pac-12), 3-pointers (24/1.71 per game/t14th in Pac-12), FG pct (46.3/4th in Pac-12) and 3-point FG pct. (48.0/3rd in Pac-12). On Dec. 18, Loville became the fourth Sun Devil to score 30 or more points since 2000, as the 2021 All-Mountain West honoree dropped 34 points (most in the Pac-12 as of Jan. 26) in ASU's 79-60 win over San Diego. DNP for precautionary reason in ASU's contest vs. Colorado (Jan. 21).
• Gilles: Currently paces the team in rebounds (8.14 rpg/2nd in the Pac-12), offensive rebounds (2.6 rpg/3rd in Pac-12) and blocks (1.5 bpg/6th in Pac-12) and is 2nd in scoring (10.0 ppg) and steals (1.8 spg/9th in Pac-12) and 3rd in assists (2.4 apg). Gilles has three double-doubles and has just missed the feat in three other contests. Gilles has posted 11 or more rebounds five times this season. DNP for precautionary reasons in ASU's contest vs. Lipscomb (Dec. 30).
• Jayde Van Hyfte, the only Sun Devil on last season's roster to start every game in 2019-20, made her 2021-22 debut in the season's eighth game after not having played since the 2020-21 season opener. She has started every game she has played in – ASU's last eight games – and is shooting 74 pct (14-19 FGs) from the floor.
• After starting the first seven games, Maggie Besselink missed ASU's next six games due to injury. She returned to action vs. Colorado (Jan. 21). In per-game averages, Besselink is second on the team in rebounds (6.0 rpg) and is second in offensive rebounds (2.4 rpg). Her career-high 15 rebounds in the season's second game vs. Minnesota are the most by a Sun Devil this season. Besselink started 14 of the 18 games she played in last season and led the team in rebounds (5.7 rpg/16th in the Pac-12).
• Transfers Ayzhiana Basallo (two games missed) and Isadora Sousa (nine games missed) have also missed time due to injury. Basallo is currently second on the team in 3-point FG pct. (41.2) and is 3rd in 3-pointers (14).
• Reserves Katelyn Levings (one start/tied for third on the team in rebounds - 3.6), Gabriela Bosquez (one start/shooting 83 pct from the line/10-12), Sydney Erikstrup (scored career-high eight points vs. Marist) and Imogen Greenslade (grabbed career-high 11 rebounds in win vs. Harvard).
  
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
• As of Jan. 26, ASU is ranked among the top third in the Pac-12 in offensive rebounds per game (2nd/13.93 rpg), 3-pt FG pct. defense (3rd/29.0), scoring defense (3rd/36th in the nation/56.3 ppg) and shot blocks (4th/23rd in the nation/5.1 bpg).
• Currently with 996 career points – 775 points at Boise State and 221 points at ASU – Jade Loville needs four points to reach 1000 for her career. Loville's last eight games: 18.6 ppg, 50.9 FG pct. (55-108), 60.9 3FG pct (14-23), 86.2 FT pct. (25-29).
• The team's active career leader in 3-pointers (130/seventh place on ASU's all-time list), Taya Hanson needs two 3s to tie Briann January (132/2006-09) for sixth place, three to tie Betsy Boardman (133/2000-05) for fifth place and four to tie Crystal Cobb (134/1989-94) for fourth place and seven to tie Jill Noe (137/2003-08) for third place.
• Four players have led or tied for the team lead in scoring – Loville (7x), Simmons (4x), Hanson (4x), Gilles (3x).
• Defensively, ASU has given up 55 or fewer points nine times this season. In its win over 57-52 OT win over Colorado (Jan. 21), ASU held CU nearly 18 points below its scoring average. Colorado's 52 points tied its lowest point total of the year. It needed the five additional minutes in OT to reach that total as the Buffaloes had 46 points in regulation.
• ASU has allowed an average of only 57.2 ppg since the start of the 2014-15 season (a span of 239 games). It has held the opposition to 50 or less points 72 times during that stretch (68-4 in those contests).
• ASU has allowed 13 or fewer points in a quarter 32 times this season. 
• Including its 8-5 record this season, ASU is 81-18 (.818) in non-conference, regular season games since 2013.
 
SEASON SUMMARY
• The first month of the season was punctuated by a challenging schedule for a team not only getting used to playing with one another, but also adjusting to the personnel it did not have due to injuries. After starting 2-4, the Sun Devils have responded with wins in seven of their last eight games.
• ASU opened the 2021-22 season splitting its first two contests, defeating Northern Colorado 71-41 (Nov. 9) before falling to Minnesota 66-59 in OT (Nov. 12). Loville (16.5 ppg) and Hanson (12.0 ppg) both averaged double figures in scoring in the two games. Gilles averaged 7.0 ppg, 5.0 rebs, 4.0 blocks and 3.0 steals. Besselink had a career-high 15 rebounds vs. Minnesota.
• Despite a strong defensive effort, ASU was not able to overcome shooting 30 percent in a 55-44 loss at BYU (Nov. 17).
• Coming off a 13-percent (3-24) outing from long range at BYU, ASU came within one 3-pointer of tying the single-game school record after hitting 13 from downtown in an 82-53 win over Marist (Nov. 21). Ten of ASU's 13 triples came during a first half in which ASU shot a blistering 59 percent from beyond the arc.
• ASU went 1-2 at the Cancun Challenge played on Thanksgiving weekend. ASU started the tourney with setbacks against Houston (68-60) & No. 6 Baylor 62-52. In both contests, the Sun Devils fought back to get within single digits after trailing by double-figures. In the final of the three games it played in three days, ASU defeated Fordham 58-43. Simmons was named to the All-Tournament Team after averaging 13.7 points while connecting on 93 pct (13-14) of her free throws in the three games.
• ASU swept its home tournament, the ASU Classic, defeating UTSA (68-44) & Harvard (91-54) to extend its winning streak to three games. Loville (13.0 ppg), Gilles (11.0 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 4.0 apg, 2.5 spg) and Basallo (10.0 ppg, 3.0 apg) were ASU's top contributors in the wins. Gabriela Bosquez (career-high nine points) and Imogen Greenslade (career-high 11 rebounds) both had strong outings against Harvard.
• Despite a career-high 18 points from Gilles, the Sun Devils had their three-game winning streak snapped at Creighton, 69-62 (Dec. 12). ASU shot 47 pct for the game, its third straight contest shooting 45 pct or higher. ASU doubled up Creighton in scoring (24-12) in the third quarter to take a five-point lead going the final frame. Creighton outscored ASU 28-16 over the last 10 minutes – the most points scored by an ASU opponent in a quarter this season – to come back and claim the win. 
• On Dec. 18, Loville became the fourth Sun Devil women's basketball player to score 30 or more points since 2000, as the 2021 All-Mountain West honoree dropped 34 points (most in the Pac-12 as of Dec. 28) in ASU's 79-60 win over San Diego.
• The Sun Devils were originally scheduled to open Pac-12 play with contests at UCLA (Dec. 31) and at USC (Jan. 2). On Dec. 24, it was announced the first half of ASU's road trip to Los Angeles had been postponed. ASU announced on Dec. 28 it reached an agreement to play Lipscomb on Dec. 30 in Tempe (ASU won 70-54). On Dec. 29, it was announced the second half of ASU's trip to the City of Angles would not be happening, either. ASU would go on to have its next four contests – vs. UW and WSU, at UO and OSU – postponed.
• Coming off an unplanned period of just over three weeks without having played a game, ASU started Pac-12 play – the final Pac-12 team to start league play after having its first six conference games postponed due to COVID-19 protocols – with a 57-52 overtime upset of No. 22 Colorado on Jan. 21. It followed that with a 72-63 loss at home to Utah, a game in which ASU nearly came up with what would have been the second-largest comeback in NCAA Division I history. Trailing by 29 points with two minutes remaining in the second quarter, the Sun Devils fought back to get within six points with just over two minutes remaining.
 
WHERE WE STARTED
Entering her 25th season leading the Maroon and Gold, head coach Charli Turner Thorne welcomed back several talented returners, including veteran players G Taya Hanson (set school record for most 3-pointers per game last season) and F Jayde Van Hyfte (one of the team's top post performers who was forced to miss last season due to injury). 
 
After showing several flashes of brilliance during its first year in Tempe, Turner Thorne's Top Five recruiting class – including G Jaddan Simmons (first Sun Devil freshman to average double figures in scoring since 2003) and posts Maggie Besselink (team's top rebounder last season) and Katelyn Levings (played in and started all but two games last season) – is poised to have an even bigger impact this season. 
 
Add to that a quartet of outstanding transfers – seasoned Big Ten standout Mael Gilles, 2021 All-Mountain West performer Jade Loville, 2020 Mountain West Conference Newcomer of the Year Ayzhiana Basallo and two-time NJCCA All-American Isadora Sousa. Combining the talents of key returners with the infusion of new talent, Turner Thorne and the Sun Devils will look to feature a high-tempo offense to go with the signature, hard-nosed, pressuring defenses that Turner Thorne's teams have come to be known for over the years.
 
WELCOME TO TEMPE
ASU added a quartet of talented and experienced transfers in the offseason who head coach Charli Turner Thorne feels has the potential to have a major impact this season. Three of the four transferred in April with 2020 Mountain West Conference Newcomer of the Year Ayzhiana Basallo being the first to officially join the program. Basallo, a 5-5 guard who will have two years of eligibility, arrived at ASU from San Jose State where she earned her degree in communication earlier this year. In her only full season at San Jose State – did not play in 2018-19 due to NCAA transfer rules and SJSU's 2020-21 season was canceled after only four games due to COVID-19 – Basallo earned the Mountain West Conference's Newcomer of the Year award for a season in which she averaged a team-high 18.5 points per game while shooting 44.7 pct from the field, 45.4 pct from beyond the arc (school single-season record) and 92.5 pct at the free throw line (school single-season record). 
 
Jade Loville, a 5-10 wing who earned All-Mountain West honors last season, joined ASU from Boise State. In 2020-21, Loville, who has two years of eligibility, scored in double figures 19 times last season, setting the school's single-game scoring record with 40 points at UNLV on Feb. 10, 2021. She scored 20 or more points nine times and was named the Mountain West Player of the Week after averaging 26.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game in a two-game sweep of San Jose State (Dec. 31 and Jan. 2). 
 
A 6-1 forward who originally came up through Canada's youth national teams Mael Gilles is using her fifth year of eligibility to play for ASU after spending the last four seasons with Rutgers (started 55 of 101 career games). Last season, Gilles averaged 8.1 points and 4.3 rebounds in helping Rutgers earn its highest seed in the NCAA Tournament since 2012. A starter in all 18 games she played in last season, Gilles notched six double-figure scoring efforts, including a season-high 16 points on two occasions. 
 
In early June, ASU welcomed Isadora Sousa, a six-foot guard who played the last two seasons at Chipola College in Marianna, Fla. A native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sousa has twice been named an NJCCA All-American – third team in 2020 and second team in 2021 – by World Exposure Report. She is coming off a campaign in which she earned FCSAA/NJCAA VIII All-State, All-Panhandle Conference first-team and FCSAA/NJCAA VIII All-Tournament Team honors in helping lead Chipola to its seventh FCSAA Championship and an appearance in the NJCAA Tournament semifinals.
 
One of the biggest challenges ASU faced last season was overcoming its youth/inexperience as out of 120 possible starts, 95 were made by freshmen (62) or upperclassmen who were first-year starters (33). In addition to the talent they brought, just as important is the experience as Gilles (56/104), Loville (87/23) and Basallo (60/33) brought a combined 224 games of NCAA D1 playing experience, including 139 starts.
  
YVONNE SANCHEZ JOINS CHARLI TURNER THORNE'S COACHING STAFF 
Last April Yvonne Sanchez – a coach with more than 30 years of experience both as an assistant and head coach – joined Charli Turner Thorne's staff as assistant coach at ASU. Sanchez came to Tempe from the University of Michigan where she spent the last three seasons as assistant coach. While in Ann Arbor, the Wolverines won nearly 70 percent of their games and earned a pair of bids to the NCAA Tournament (Michigan would likely have also been a 2020 NCAA Tournament participant had the postseason not been canceled due to the pandemic). In 2021, the Wolverines earned their highest NCAA Tournament seed ever (No. 6) and reached the Sweet 16 for the first time in program history with wins over No. 11 seed Florida Gulf Coast and No. 3 seed Tennessee. Michigan fell just short of its first Elite Eight after being edged by No. 2 seed Baylor in overtime, 78-75.
 
Sanchez was on staff at the University of New Mexico from 2000-2016, spending the last five seasons of her tenure as head coach. She amassed 77 victories as head coach and was named the 2014-15 Mountain West Coach of the Year after winning a school-record 14 conference games. In her first season as head coach, the Lobos reached the Mountain West Conference championship game. She would duplicate the feat in 2015 when the Lobos went 21-13. During her time as an assistant coach (2000-08) and associate head coach (2008-11), the Lobos won two Mountain West regular-season titles and five conference tournament crowns and made seven NCAA Tournament appearances. New Mexico won 239 games from 2000-2011, highlighted by the program's only NCAA Sweet 16 appearance, in 2003.
 
NEWS FROM SIGNING DAY
On Nov. 10, 2021, Charli Turner Thorne announced local superstar Trayanna Crisp, rated a four-star and Top 100 student-athlete by ESPN.com, signed a national letter of intent to study and play basketball at Arizona State.
 
A five-foot-eight combo guard who is rated No. 20 in the nation at her position by ESPN.com, Crisp will continue to play in front of the hometown fans that witnessed her win state championships as a freshman and sophomore while playing for Goodyear Millennium High School. A first-team all-region selection, most recently Crisp averaged 14.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.2 assists in helping lead PHH Prep to the Grind Session girls basketball world championship. As a sophomore, Crisp, who has returned to Millennium for her senior season, was recognized as the 5A offensive player of the year for per-game contributions of 14.8 points, 3.6 steals, 3.0 assists 4.2 rebounds while shooting 49 percent from the field.
 
Crisp's impact with Millennium was as sudden as it was superb as she contributed 9.7 points, 2.6 assists and 2.4 steals per game as a freshman in helping Millennium win the first of consecutive state titles.