WHAT: No. 19 Sun Devil Women’s Basketball (15-2, 4-1 Pac-12) vs. No. 4 Stanford (16-1, 5-0 Pac-12)
WHEN: Monday at 5 p.m. MT
WHERE: Wells Fargo Arena, Tempe, Ariz.
RADIO: KAZG 1440 AM (coverage beginning at 4:30 p.m.)
TELEVISION: Pac-12 Networks
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The No. 19 Arizona State women’s basketball team will have an opportunity to play for a share of first place in the Pac-12 when it hosts fourth-ranked Stanford on Monday (5 p.m. MT).
The Sun Devils are coming off a 68-59 upset of No. 15 Cal on Friday, their third win over a Top 25 team this season. The game against Cal was the first of a difficult four-game stretch for the Sun Devils which has them facing three Top 25 teams in an 11-day span. After Monday’s game the Sun Devils will go on the road to face Utah, a team which swept ASU last season and is coming off a road upset of Pac-12 frontrunner Washington State. ASU will then travel to Boulder, Colo., to take on Colorado. Like Utah, the Buffaloes swept ASU last season and have been ranked in the Top 25 every week as of Jan. 13.
ASU will have a similar stretch the middle of next month when it faces Stanford and Cal (both on the road) and Colorado and Utah (both at home) in succession.
The Sun Devils (15-2, 4-1 Pac-12) enter Monday’s game vs. Stanford as one of four teams with only one loss in Pac-12 play – USC (6-1), Washington State (5-1) and Cal (4-1).
Stanford (16-1, 5-0 Pac-12) brings a 15-game winning streak to Tempe. The only blemish on its record this season is a 76-57 setback at current unbeaten and top-ranked UConn in early November. The Cardinal has won its first five Pac-12 games by an average of 26.4 points. It is shooting 53.2 percent in league play, including 51 percent from beyond the arc.
The Sun Devils came into Pac-12 play with a 10-game winning streak, which came to an end on Jan. 3 at Washington State (85-78). Two days later the Sun Devils were able to gain a split on their first Pac-12 road trip after defeating Washington 78-60. ASU started its current four-game homestand with a pair of hard-fought wins vs. USC (94-86 in OT) and UCLA (59-57) and followed that with Friday’s upset of No. 15 Cal.
The storyline of ASU’s success this season has been teamwork. Ten Sun Devils have scored in double figures this season; seven have led or tied for the team lead in scoring; seven have led or tied for the team lead in assists; and four have led or tied for the team lead in rebounds.
Monday’s game vs. Stanford will be televised live by Pac-12 Networks. Jim Watson (play by play) and Tammy Blackburn (color) will have the call.
The game can also be heard live on 1440 AM KAZG with coverage beginning at 4:30 p.m. Veteran broadcaster and the state of Arizona’s 2010 Broadcaster of the Year Jeff Munn is in his 10th season as the voice of ASU women’s basketball. He will be joined by former Sun Devil head coach Maura McHugh.
NOTES FROM LAST GAME
• Freshman center Quinn Dornstauder scored a career- and team-high 13 points to help lead ASU to a 68-59 win over No. 15 Cal, ASU’s third win over a Top 25 opponent this season. Promise Amukamara (11 points) and Deja Mann (10 points) also scored in double figures for ASU, which improved to 9-0 at home.
• With the 13 points, Dornstauder became the 10th different Sun Devil to post double figures in scoring this season and the seventh Sun Devil to lead or tie for the team lead in scoring.
• ASU committed 14 turnovers vs. Cal, the fifth time in its last eight games it has had 16 or fewer turnovers (averaged 20.9 TOs first nine games).
• For the second time in as many games, the Sun Devils found a way to win despite struggling from 3-point range. ASU followed its 27-percent effort (4-15) vs. UCLA with a one-of-11 showing (9.1 percent) vs. Cal. It was also the second straight game ASU came back to win after falling behind by eight points.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
• ASU was one of three schools – current No. 4 Stanford and current No. 21 Colorado – to start Pac-12 play with only one loss. For ASU, it was the sixth time since the 1986-87 (first season of Pac-10/12 play) that it entered conference play with only one loss. Stanford remains the Pac-12’s only one-loss team and is now the only team unbeaten in conference play after Washington State’s loss to Utah on Sunday.
• ASU’s 15-2 record matches the best record after 17 games in program history. The 2006-07 team, which went on to win a school record 31 games, was 19-2 before encountering its third loss of the season.
• ASU’s non-conference schedule included a pair of wins over Top 25 teams. The Sun Devils defeated then-No. 11 North Carolina 94-81 in OT at the Cancun Challenge on Nov. 29. On Dec. 30, ASU came from behind to beat then-No. 20 Syracuse, 63-60, in Tempe. ASU’s only loss in non-conference play came on the road in the season’s second game to a San Diego squad, which had its best start in school history winning its first 15 games (currently 16-2). The Sun Devils led by as many as 11 in the first half of their 85-78 loss at Washington State (Jan. 3). The difference in the game for ASU proved to be 15 missed free throws (28-43). ASU recorded its third win against a Top 25 opponent when it defeated No. 15 Cal 68-59 in Tempe on Jan. 17, ending the Bears’ Pac-12, regular-season winning streak at 19 games.
• ASU’s earlier 10-game winning streak tied the second-longest run in program history. It was also the 20th time since 2001 that ASU had a winning streak of five or more games. The string of 10 straight wins was ASU’s longest since it won a school record 15 straight in 2009 (after losing first two Pac-10 games won next 15).
• ASU has scored 80 or more points eight times this season and has shot 50 percent or higher seven times.
• After averaging 20.9 turnovers in its first nine contests, ASU is averaging 16.5 in its last eight games. They have had 16 or fewer turnovers five times during that span.
• ASU has won the battle of the boards in all but three games this season – at San Diego (Nov. 13), vs. Miami (Dec. 21) and vs. UCLA (Jan. 12).
• Eight of ASU’s wins this season have come when they were either trailing (Texas Tech, North Carolina, Long Beach State, Syracuse, UCLA) or ahead by only one point (Arkansas State, Miami, USC) at some point in the last five minutes of regulation. The Sun Devils are 6-0 in games decided by five points or less or overtime.
• Freshman Kelsey Moos is averaging 11.0 points and 6.0 rebounds while shooting 63.5 percent (33-52) in ASU’s last eight games.
• ASU’s bench is outscoring the opposition’s bench by an average of 17.1 points per game (32.3-15.2).
• Included in freshman Sophie Brunner’s last 12 games are three double-doubles, six double-digit scoring efforts and eight games with seven or more rebounds (7.8 rpg - 46 off/47 def).
• Over ASU’s last 6 games, senior Joy Burke leads the team in FG pct. (65.8/25-38) and is 2nd in scoring (10.0 ppg).
• Sophomore Elisha Davis has 18 assists and only four turnovers in ASU’s last four games. She has also had a season-high five rebounds 4x in ASU’s last eight games.
• Senior guard Adrianne Thomas is shooting 54 percent from the floor (14-26) in ASU’s last four games.
• Brunner (56), Burke (44) and Moos (38) have combined for 138 of ASU’s 246 offensive boards.
• Ten different Sun Devils have scored in double figures this season – Deja Mann (11x), Burke (8x), Moos (8x), Brunner (7x), Thomas (7x), Katie Hempen (6x), Amukamara (6x), Davis (3x), Eliza Normen (1x) and Quinn Dornstauder (1x).
SERIES NOTES VS. STANFORD (STANFORD LEADS 54-11)
Stanford holds a 54-11 advantage in the all-time series with Arizona State. The Cardinal has won the last 14 meetings, most recently a 69-45 victory last season in the Bay Area, the only meeting between the two schools in 2012-13.
ASU’s last win in the series came when it defeated then-No. 11 Stanford 62-59 on Feb. 16, 2006 in Tempe. Between 2006-09, six of Stanford’s seven wins were by single-digit margins.
Current Sun Devil associate head coach Amanda Levens scored 17 of her 22 points in the second half as ASU ended second-ranked Stanford’s 22-game winning streak with a 70-63 victory to win the inaugural Pac-10 women’s tournament in 2002.
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.
SOPHIE BRUNNER NAMED PAC-12 FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
Sophie Brunner was named the Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Freshman of the Week last month after helping lead the Sun Devils to three wins at the Cancun Challenge.
Brunner averaged 9.0 points and 6.3 rebounds while connecting on 82 percent of her shots in helping the Sun Devils win their games vs. Illinois (Nov. 28), (then) No. 11 North Carolina (Nov. 29) and Arkansas State (Nov. 30).
Brunner, who had been slowed by an ankle injury she sustained in ASU’s win at Texas Tech on Nov. 17, came up especially big in ASU’s wins over North Carolina and Arkansas State.
Against North Carolina, Brunner recorded the first double-double of her career (10 points, 10 rebounds) as she scored all 10 of her points and had seven of her 10 rebounds in the second half and overtime of ASU’s upset of the Tar Heels.
One day after ASU upset UNC, Brunner played a big role helping the Sun Devils defeat Arkansas State as she scored 11 of her career-high 13 points in the second half. Brunner scored seven points and had four of ASU’s five rebounds (including three offensive) in the final five minutes to help the Sun Devils edge the Red Wolves, 69-66.
Brunner averaged 11.5 points and 9.0 rebounds while connecting on 78 percent of her shots (7-9) and 75 percent of her free throws (9-12) in the final two games of the tournament vs. UNC and Arkansas State.
SUN DEVIL WOMEN’S BASKETBALL HONORS NO. 21 JERSEY OF HALL OF FAMER RYNELDI BECENTI
On Dec. 21, 2013, 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, became the first Sun Devil women’s basketball player to have her jersey hung from the rafters of Wells Fargo Arena..
“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 Charli 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.”
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. 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.
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.
TURNER THORNE GUIDES SUN DEVIL WOMEN’S BASKETBALL TO ELITE STATUS
The all-time winningest coach in program history and No. 2 in the Pac-12 in career wins (317), Charli Turner Thorne has turned Sun Devil women’s basketball into one of the nation’s premiere programs since taking over in 1996-97. Included in ASU’s earlier run of 13 consecutive postseason appearances (2000-12) were a school record five-consecutive NCAA Tournament bids from 2005-09. During that time the Sun Devils qualified for the Elite Eight on a pair of occasions, making ASU one of only 15 programs in the country to have qualified for the Elite Eight at least two times between 2007-12.
On Jan. 25, 2013, Turner Thorne became the third Pac-12 coach to reach 300 victories following ASU’s 60-53 win over USC, a game in which ASU came back from 16 down in the second half.
A closer look at Turner Thorne’s path to 300 puts into perspective the incredible 180-degree turnaround Sun Devil women’s basketball has undergone since she came to ASU. To reach 150 wins it took Turner Thorne 272 games (150-122 - .551) as she rebuilt a program that had an aggregate record of 20-60 in the three years prior to her arrival and only two NCAA Tournament wins in its history. It would take her 215 games to get 150 more wins. Since picking up her 150th win at ASU, Turner Thorne is 167-77 (.684). Included in those wins are eight of Turner Thorne’s 11 NCAA Tournament victories.