TEMPE, Ariz. – Arizona State University head women’s basketball coach Charli Turner Thorne and junior forward Sophie Brunner were both recognized by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), which announced its regional postseason awards on Wednesday.
Turner Thorne and UCLA head coach Cori Close were both named the Region 5 Coaches of the Year while Brunner was named to the All-Region Team. Brunner was one of 52 players named to the five All-Region teams from which the 10-member WBCA NCAA Division I Coaches’ All-America Team will be selected.
Turner Thorne, who was named the John R Wooden Pac-12 Coach of the Year last month, was honored by her WBCA peers for a season in which she led ASU to its first regular season Pac-12 title since 2001 and a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament, the highest seed in program history. The 2015-16 Sun Devils posted several other noteworthy accomplishments throughout the year including tying the school record for consecutive wins (15); setting a new single-season program record for most road wins (11); tying the highest AP ranking in school history (No. 8) and setting a new program record for most consecutive wins to start the conference season (9). The all-time winningest coach in program history and No. 2 in the Pac-12 in career wins (380), Turner Thorne has now led the Sun Devils to the NCAA Tournament 11 times. Earlier this season she recorded the 400th win of her career (includes 40 wins at NAU) after ASU's win at Hartford.
Brunner, who earlier this season earned Pac-12 All-Conference honors (coaches and media) and All-Defense honorable mention (coaches) for the second consecutive year, started all 27 games she played in and led ASU in scoring (10.7 ppg), rebounds (7.4 rpg - 11th in Pac-12), FG pct (53.0 - third in the Pac-12) and steals (1.7 spg - ninth in the Pac-12) and was third in assists (1.9 apg). One of the team’s top all-around players, Brunner averaged 11.5 points and 8.1 rebounds while connecting on 57 percent of her field goals vs. teams that qualified for the 2016 NCAA Tournament (12 games). After missing six straight games in late November/early December because of an ankle injury, Brunner came back to help ASU tie the school record for most conference wins. Early in the conference season Brunner was named espnW’s National Player of the week after averaging 11.7 points and 8.7 rebounds while shooting 52 percent from the field in wins over then-ninth-ranked Stanford, Washington and Washington State. She would go on to help ASU record last-second wins vs. USC and at Stanford.
The 2016 WBCA NCAA Division I Coaches’ All-America Team will be announced on Saturday, April 2, during NCAA® Women’s Final Four® Super Saturday festivities in Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.