WHAT: No. 14/14 Arizona State (11-3, 2-0 Pac-12) at Washington (11-3, 2-1 Pac-12)
WHEN: Friday at 7 p.m. PT/8 p.m. MT
WHERE: Alaska Airlines Arena, Seattle, Wash.
TELEVISION: Pac-12 Washington. Pac-12 Networks subscribers can also watch online by going to this site http://pac-12.com/live and using their cable provider log-in.
RADIO: Sun Devil WBB’s radio partner on the Sun Devil Sports Radio Network, presented by MidFirst, is NBC Sports Radio AM 1060. Coverage of Friday’s game will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Valley. Veteran broadcaster and the state of Arizona’s 2010 Broadcaster of the Year Jeff Munn is in his 12th season as the voice of ASU women’s basketball.
After playing its last five games at home, the No. 14 Arizona State women’s basketball team makes its first Pac-12 road trip of the season this weekend when it travels to the Pacific Northwest to take on Washington (Friday at 7 p.m. PT/8 p.m. MT) and Washington State (Sunday at noon PT/1 p.m. MT).
The Sun Devils (11-3, 2-0 Pac-12) bring an eight-game winning streak into Friday’s game. Last week they opened Pac-12 play with a pair of dominant defensive efforts in wins over Bay Area foes Cal (57-49) and Stanford (49-31). For the weekend, ASU held both teams to a paltry 33 percent shooting, including 15 percent (3-20) from long range, while giving up an average of only 40 points. Cal scored 33 points below its average while Stanford had its lowest single-game point total in program history (42.2 points below its average).
On the offensive end, Sophie Brunner led the way, averaging 14 points, 8.5 rebounds, 3.0 steals and 3.0 assists. She posted her first double-double of the season (11th of her career) with 12 points and 10 rebounds in the win over Stanford. Also averaging double figures in the two wins were Arnecia Hawkins (10.5 ppg) and Katie Hempen (10.0 ppg).
ASU’s current eight-game win streak represents the 23rd time since 2001 that it has had a winning streak of five or more games. Included in those streaks are a 10-game winning streak in 2013-14 and a 14-game winning streak last season. The latter streak was one win short of tying the school record for consecutive wins set in 2009.
The Sun Devils finished the non-conference portion of their schedule with a 9-3 mark. Their record came against a very difficult slate, which included contests against four teams ranked in the Top 25. ASU split those games, falling to then-No. 18 (currently No. 10) Kentucky 68-64 in OT and No. 2 South Carolina 60-58 by a combined six points. ASU would even its record against the Top 25 with wins at then-No. 19 Syracuse 61-54 and vs. then-No. 10 (currently No. 19) Florida State 68-56.
Much of ASU’s recent success can be attributed to what it has done on the defensive end as it has allowed an average of only 49.2 points during is current winning streak. The Sun Devils have also seen lots of improvement on the offensive end of late as they have shot higher than 45 percent three times in their last six games after doing it once in their first six games.
Friday’s game at Washington can be seen live on Pac-12 Washington. Cindy Brunson (play by play) and Julianne Viani (analyst) will call the action.
Sun Devil WBB’s radio partner on the Sun Devil Sports Radio Network, presented by MidFirst, is NBC Sports Radio AM 1060. Coverage of Friday’s game will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Valley. Veteran broadcaster and the state of Arizona’s 2010 Broadcaster of the Year Jeff Munn is in his 12th season as the voice of ASU women’s basketball.
SERIES HISTORY VERSUS WASHINGTON (ASU LEADS 30-29)
• The Sun Devils have dominated of late having won 19 of the last 24 meetings, including 17 of the last 20. The two teams have played only once each of the last two seasons. Last year, the Sun Devils were victorious 62-48 in Tempe. Sophie Brunner and Promise Amukamara tied for the team lead with 14 points. ASU led last year’s contest 37-13 at the half. In 2014, the Sun Devils tied a season-best with 11 triples in a 78-60 win in Seattle. Katie Hempen had four 3-pointers in the win.
• In 2010 the Huskies snapped a 10-game losing streak to the Sun Devils with a 62-56 victory in Seattle before the Sun Devils won the rematch in Tempe, 67-61 (OT).
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
• ASU has finished in the top third of the conference 12 times since 2001, most recently finishing in the runner-up spot last season (15-3), one game behind Oregon State (16-2). ASU’s 2015 Pac-12 highlights included racing out to its best ever start in league play (7-0), becoming the first school in the conference since 1988 to sweep Stanford during the regular season (60-57 in Palo Alto and 53-52 in Tempe) and – combined with its 67-52 win at Cal – became the first school to sweep the Bay Area road trip since the 2000-01 season.
• ASU comes into this week’s games leading the Pac-12 (and No. 12 in the nation) in scoring defense (52.3 ppg).
• ASU has held the opposition to a single-digit point total 17 times this season and 25 or fewer points in a half 12 times. The six points Hartford scored in the first half against ASU on Dec. 14 represented the fewest points ASU has ever allowed in a half. The 31 points Stanford scored against ASU represented the Cardinal’s lowest single-game point total in school history.
• ASU is 14-1 in its last 15 road games (not including neutral site games) going back to last season.
• After finishing the non-conference portion of its schedule with a 9-3 record, ASU is 31-5 in non-conference games the last three seasons.
• In their first seven games the Sun Devils shot 38.3 percent from the floor and 28.9 percent from 3-point range. In their last seven games they are shooting 43.3 percent (+5.0) and 39.4 percent from beyond the arc (+10.5 percent). Senior guards Katie Hempen (14-28) and Arnecia Hawkins (8-19) are have combined to shoot 47 percent (22-47) from long range during that stretch.
• After averaging 19.7 turnovers in its first three games, ASU has improved that figure to 13.3 in its last 11 games. Last season the Sun Devils set the school record for fewest turnover per game (14.3).
• Both of ASU’s starting forwards – Kelsey Moos and Sophie Brunner were injured in the second half of ASU’s 60-58 loss vs. South Carolina on Nov. 27 in Hawaii. Moos would go on to miss four games (returned at Syracuse on December 12) and Brunner missed six games (returned vs. Marquette on December 19). Moos also missed ASU’s contest vs. CSUN on Dec. 28. Brunner currently leads the team in scoring (11.4 ppg) rebounds (6.4 rpg), FG pct (50.0) and steals (2.5 spg). She has led or tied for the team lead in rebounds in all but one game in which she has played. Moos is second in rebounding (5.3 rpg) and FG percentage (45.0).
• With the earlier injuries to Brunner and Moos, senior guard Arnecia Hawkins stepped up to help fill the offensive void. During an earlier 10-game stretch (eight starts), Hawkins led ASU in scoring average (12.1 ppg) while connecting on 52 percent of her shots. Hawkins scored 12 points and grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds vs. VCU (Dec. 5). She added 17 points in ASU’s win over Marquette (Dec. 19). Hawkins was named the Ann Meyers Drysdale Women’s National Player of the Week and Pac-12 Player of the Week for her performance in ASU’s 68-56 upset of No. 10 Florida State (Dec. 21) as she scored a career-high 23 points (13 in the fourth quarter) while making all seven of her field goal attempts (including a trio of 3-pointers). She added 18 points in ASU’s win over CSUN (Dec. 28) and 12 in ASU’s win over Stanford.
• Currently in second place on ASU’s all-time list for career 3-pointers (148), senior guard Katie Hempen (started 56 of 82 games at ASU/49 straight starts) needs 14 triples to pass Kylan Loney (161 - 2001-05) as ASU’s all-time leader. Hempen, who is fourth on the team in scoring (9.8 ppg), has connected on 45.2 percent of her 3-pointers this season (4th in the Pac-12).
• ASU’s leading scorer off the bench last season, starting junior center Quinn Dornstauder is currently third on the team scoring (10.4 ppg).
• Senior guard Elisha Davis (started 53 of 113 career games/51 straight starts) has 73 assists (6.1 apg) and only 34 turnovers (2.2 per game) in her last 12 games. Davis is No. 5 on ASU’s all-time list for career assists (395). She needs 2 to pass Ryneldi Becenti (396/1991-93) for No. 4, 5 to pass Kylan Loney (399/2001-05) for No. 3 and 47 to pass Jodi Rathbun (441/1983-86) for No. 2. Briann January (2006-09) is ASU’s all-time assists leader (534).
IN CASE YOU ARE JUST JOINING US
• ASU returns nine players, including four starters – senior guards Katie Hempen and Elisha Davis and junior posts Sophie Brunner and Kelsey Moos – from last year’s team that finished with 29 wins (second most in team history) and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. Brunner (Pan American Games – silver medal) and Hempen (World University Games – gold medal) both earned medals in July while competing for USA Basketball. Also earning a medal was junior center Quinn Dornstauder (Canada), who brought back a silver medal from the World University Games.
• ASU started the season ranked 15th in both the AP media poll and the USA Today Coaches’ poll.
• ASU was picked to finish third in the Pac-12 by the league’s coaches (1. Oregon State 2. Stanford 3. ASU) and second by the media who cover the league (1. Oregon State 2. ASU). Junior forward Sophie Brunner was selected to the media’s preseason All-Pac-12 team.
• On Dec. 14, 2015, ASU head coach Charli Turner Thorne recorded her 400th career win following ASU’s 60-29 win at Hartford.
• Two of ASU’s three losses – vs. current No. 7 Kentucky (68-64 in OT on Nov. 15) and vs. current No. 2 South Carolina (60-58 on Nov. 27 in Hawaii) – have come by a combined six points to two of the nation’s top seven teams.
• On Dec. 12, 2015, the Sun Devils won at Syracuse 61-54 and ended the Orange’s 72-game non-conference home court winning streak.
• In the last three seasons the Sun Devils are 20-6 in games decided by five points or less and/or overtime.
• The Sun Devils have won 36 of their last 41 home games going back to the 2013-14 season. Last season ASU was 16-2 at home and allowed an average of only 55.1 in those games.
DOMINANT DEVIL DEFENSE
One of the hallmarks of the Sun Devils women’s basketball team’s success during Charli Turner Thorne’s tenure at ASU has been great defense. Whether its offense is firing on all cylinders or not, ASU’s outstanding defense always gives it a shot to come out on top. Through the first 14 games, this year’s Sun Devil team has continued the tradition of keeping the opposition’s offense in check. On average, opposing teams have scored 19.7 points under below scoring average when facing ASU. In fact, only one opponent (Marquette), scored more points than what it averaged coming into its game vs. ASU. Some of the Devils’ most impressive defensive performances this season include...
• Held second-ranked South Carolina 18.8 points below its scoring average.
• Set a school record for fewest points allowed in a half (6) at Hartford.
• Florida State scored 21.7 points below its average and tied its lowest output in a quarter (9 points) against ASU.
• Cal, which had scored more than 100 points in three of its previous four games prior to facing ASU, was held 33.2 points below its average.
• Held ninth-ranked Stanford to its fewest points in school history (31) in 49-31 win.
Other defensive notes...
• Eleven of ASU’s 14 of opponents have shot below 30 percent from 3-point range.
• ASU has held the opposition to a single-digit point total in a quarter 17 times this season times this season and 25 or fewer points in a half 12 times.
• ASU has forced 18 or more turnovers nine times and 20 or more turnovers seven times.
• Marquette is ASU’s only opponent that has scored more than 60 points in regulation (Kentucky scored 56 in regulation and ended up with 68 points after overtime).
• ASU made its 13th all-time appearance in the NCAA Tournament (its 10th under head coach Charli Turner Thorne) and earned a No. 3 seed in the Greensboro Regional (tied highest NCAA seed in school history)... ASU got off to its best start (18-1) and conference start (7-0) in school history. In addition, ASU reached 20 wins faster than any team in program history (22 games)... ASU’s 14-game winning streak (started on Nov. 30 and ended on Jan. 25) was its second longest in school history. Only the 2008-09 team won more games in succession (15)… Tied the 2006-07 squad for the best road record in school history (10-1)… ASU’s two wins over Stanford during the regular season represented the first time a conference school swept Stanford during the regular season since 1988... Finished among the nation’s Top 30 teams in 3-Point Field Goal Percentage Defense (4th/25.4), Scoring Defense (21st/55.9 ppg), 3-Point Field Goal Percentage (22nd/36.1), Field Goal Percentage (27th/44.0) and Scoring Margin (27th/+11.0... Set the school record for fewest turnovers per game (14.3). Eclipsed the previous record (16.4 by the 2011-12 team) by more than two turnovers per game... Gave up nearly 10 fewer points per game (9.8) in 2014-15 (55.9) compared to the 2013-14 team (65.7).
CHARLI TURNER THORNE HAS SUN DEVIL WBB AMONG NATION’S ELITE
Arizona State head women’s basketball coach Charli Turner Thorne was named one of 10 semifinalists for the Naismith Women’s College Coach of the Year in 2015 for a season in which she led the Sun Devils to their best start in school history (18-1), their best conference start in school history (7-0), a second-place finish in the Pac-12 and 29 wins, the second-highest number of wins in school history.
The all-time winningest coach in program history and No. 2 in the Pac-12 in career wins (365), 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.
In 2013-14, Turner Thorne helped the Sun Devils post one of the best turnarounds in the country as they went from a 13-18 record and a ninth-place Pac-12 finish (5-13) the previous season to a 23-10 record and fourth-place Pac-12 finish (11-7). Included among ASU’s 23 wins in 2013-14 were three triumphs over Top 25 teams.
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. On December 14, 2015, Turner Thorne added another milestone as she won her 400th career game (360 at ASU and 40 at Northern Arizona).
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 at ASU 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 215-94 (.696).
Last season, Turner Thorne led the Sun Devils to the NCAA Tournament for the 10th time in her ASU tenure.
SUN DEVIL WBB EARNS NO. 7 RANKING IN WBCA ACADEMIC TOP 25
The Arizona State University women’s basketball team was among the top 10 women’s basketball programs in the classroom in 2014-15. The Sun Devil women’s basketball team’s combined team GPA of 3.558 was No. 7 among NCAA Division I institutions, according to the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association’s (WBCA) 2015 Academic Team Honor Rolls, announced this past July. ASU was one of only seven schools among the WBCA’s Top 25 that also participated in the 2015 NCAA Tournament. On the court, the Sun Devils recorded the best finish of schools appearing in the WBCA’s Top 25 after advancing to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. Since the 1996-97 season (Charli Turner Thorne’s first season at ASU) ASU leads the Pac-12 in the number of first-team All-Academic conference awards (17) and the combined number of first- and second-team All-Academic conference awards (37).
SUN DEVIL WBB SIGNS TOP 10 CLASS FOR NEXT SEASON
On Nov. 11, 2015, Arizona State University head women’s basketball coach Charli Turner Thorne announced the signing of five student-athletes – Sydney Goodson, Reili Richardson, Jamie Ruden, Kiara Russell and Robbi Ryan – whose outstanding ability, talent and potential for immediate impact have the signing class ranked among the top 10 in the country by espnW HoopGurlz.
Goodson, a 5-8 guard, will be joining the Sun Devils from Liberty Christian School in Argyle, Texas, where she has already led her team to a pair of TAPPS Class 5A state title game appearances. After a runner-up finish in 2013, the Lady Warriors came away with the title in 2015 as Goodson averaged 12.5 points, 3.4 assists and 2.5 steals on her way to earning First-Team All-State honors and being named the District’s Offensive Player of the Year.
Richardson will be coming to ASU from Brea Olinda High School in Brea, California. The 5-9 guard averaged 17.4 points as a junior while earning numerous awards, including MaxPreps 2014-15 California All-State Division 3 Second-Team recognition, Southern Section All-Open Division Team and Orange County Register All-County First-Team honors.
A 6-1 post, who has incredible versatility, Ruden has averaged 20 or more points each of the last three seasons for John Marshall High School (Rochester, Minnesota). Ruden is coming off a junior campaign in which she earned AP First-Team All-State and Minnesota Girls Basketball Coaches Association Class 4A All-State recognition after averaging 23 points, eight rebounds and two assists per game in leading John Marshall to a 27-2 record and a state runner-up finish.
Also coming to ASU from the North Star State is Russell, a 5-8 guard out of Osseo High School in Osseo, Minnesota. Like Ruden, Russell also earned 2015 Minnesota Girls Basketball Coaches Association Class 4A All-State honors after a spectacular junior campaign in which she averaged 23.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 3.8 steals.
A 5-9 guard, Ryan enters the 2015-16 season as the reigning Gatorade Player of the Year in the state of Wyoming, where she has enjoyed a prolific career at Sheridan High School (Sheridan, Wyoming). Named to the All-State team in each of her first three seasons, Ryan has twice been invited to the U17 Olympic trials for women’s basketball and has also competed in the Chicago Nike National Invitation Tournament.