WHAT: Sun Devil Women’s Basketball (8-1) at Cal State Fullerton (1-7)
WHEN: Saturday at 5 p.m. PT/6 p.m. MT
WHERE: Titan Gym/Fullerton, Calif.
RADIO: NBC Sports Radio AM 1060 (pre-game coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. MT)
LIVE VIDEO: http://www.bigwest.org/story.asp?story_id=16324
The Arizona State women’s basketball plays its final non-conference road game on Saturday (5 p.m. PT/6 p.m. MT) when it travels to Fullerton, Calif., to take on Cal State Fullerton.
The Sun Devils (8-1) come into Saturday’s game on a seven-game winning streak, most recently defeating Sacred Heart (81-49) and Long Beach State (74-67 - OT) in last weekend’s ASU Classic.
After Saturday’s game, the Sun Devils will play their final two non-conference games at home starting on Sat., Dec. 21 when they host Miami at 12:30 p.m. ASU’s contest vs. Miami will be Native American Day at Wells Fargo Arena. The Sun Devil women’s basketball program will honor the No. 21 jersey of former Sun Devil Ryneldi Becenti by making it the first ASU women’s basketball jersey to be hung from the rafters of the arena.
After a break for the holidays, ASU will close non-conference play on Mon., Dec. 30 (6 p.m.) when it hosts current No. 25 Syracuse.
Saturday’s game Cal State Fullerton can be heard live on NBC Sports Radio AM 1060 with coverage beginning at 5:30 p.m. MT. 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.
NOTES FROM LAST WEEK’S ASU CLASSIC
• The Sun Devils extended their winning streak to seven games after defeating Sacred Heart (81-49) and Long Beach State (74-67-OT) in the annual ASU Classic.
• Freshman forward Sophie Brunner was named the MVP of the ASU Classic after averaging 16.0 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.5 steals. Brunner, who connected on 78.6 percent of her shots (11-14) for the weekend, recorded a career high in scoring on consecutive days as she posted 15 points vs. Sacred Heart on Saturday before coming back with 17 more in Sunday’s win over Long Beach State. She scored 12 of her 17 points vs. Long Beach State in the second half and overtime. She also added a career-high 12 rebounds vs. LBSU to account for her second double-double of the season Thirteen of her 19 rebounds in the two games came on the offensive end.
• Also named to the ASU Classic All-Tournament Team were senior guard Deja Mann and freshman forward Kelsey Moos. Mann averaged 12.0 points and 4.0 rebounds in the two wins. She scored 15 points and was perfect from the floor (5-5 FGs), including 3-3 from 3-point range, in ASU’s win over Sacred Heart. Moos, who did not play vs. Sacred Heart as a precautionary measure after having a collision while diving for a ball in ASU’s previous game vs. Arkansas State, scored 13 points and grabbed six rebounds in the ASU Classic championship game vs. Long Beach State (Dec. 8).
• ASU’s win against Long Beach State was the 350th win of ASU head coach Charli Turner Thorne’s career (310 at ASU and 40 at Northern Arizona).
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
• Currently with 310 wins as ASU’s head coach, Charli Turner Thorne needs three more wins to move into the No. 2 spot for most career wins by a Pac-12 head coach. Last weekend, Turner Thorne recorded the 350th win of her coaching career (310 at ASU, 40 at Northern Arizona) following ASU’s win over Long Beach State.
• ASU’s current seven-game winning streak represents the 20th time since 2001 that the Sun Devils have had a winning streak of five or more games. The last time the Sun Devils won as many as seven games in a row was during the 2010-11 season.
• In ASU’s last 4 games, freshman Sophie Brunner is averaging 13.8 ppg and 9.3 rpg while shooting 78.3 percent from the floor (18-23). That stretch includes a pair of double-doubles – 10 points and 10 rebounds vs. North Carolina (Nov. 29) and career bests of 17 points and 12 rebounds vs. Long Beach State last Sunday.
• Two Sun Devils – seniors Deja Mann (13.7 ppg) and Adrianne Thomas (10.4 ppg) – are currently averaging double figures in scoring.
• Mann (24-26) is currently shooting 92.3 percent from the line.
• As of Dec, 12, ASU ranked among the top third in the Pac-12 in FG pct. (1st/46.9), steals (1st/10.7 spg), scoring margin (3rd/+15/6), rebounding defense (3rd/33.7 rpg), scoring offense (4th/78.9 ppg), 3-point FG pct. (4th/36.2), 3-point FG pct. defense (4th/27.7) and offensive rebounds (4th/14/6 rpg).
• Brunner (30), senior Joy Burke (28) and Kelsey Moos (17) have combined for 75 of ASU’s 131 offensive boards.
• Eight different Sun Devils – Mann (7x), Brunner (5x), Thomas (4x), junior Promise Amukamara (3x), Burke (4x), , Moos (3x), redshirt sophomore Katie Hempen (2x) and sophomore Elisha Davis (2x)– have scored in double figures this season.
• Freshman C Quinn Dornstauder is currently shooting 75 percent from the floor (6-8).
• ASU has scored 80 or more points six times this season.
• Three Sun Devils – Brunner (70.0/1st), Amukamara (53.7/5th) and Burke (52.8/7th) – currently rank among the top 10 in the Pac-12 in field goal percentage.
SCOUTING CAL STATE FULLERTON/SERIES NOTES
• Cal State Fullerton is off to a 1-7 start. Four of the Titans’ seven losses have been by 12 or fewer points. Most recently, Cal State Fullerton lost at current No. 17 Iowa State, 79-52, in a game in which it trailed by only two points at the half.
• Junior guard Chante Miles leads the Titans in scoring with 14.3 ppg.
• The Sun Devils have won 10 of their 16 all-time meetings vs. Cal State Fullerton. The most recent meeting came in 2011 in a game won by the Sun Devils, 63-49 in Tempe. Current Sun Devil Promise Amukamara came off the bench to score 12 points in the win.
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 earlier this 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 TO HONOR NO. 21 JERSEY OF HALL OF FAMER RYNELDI BECENTI ON DEC. 21
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, will have her No. 21 jersey honored and displayed from the rafters of Wells Fargo Arena on Sat., Dec. 21 when the Sun Devils host the University of Miami.
“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 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. I am so proud to be announcing that we will be hanging Ryneldi Becenti’s No. 21 jersey from the rafters of Wells Fargo Arena on Dec. 21. We hope all our fans and basketball enthusiasts alike will mark the date in their calendars to come out and help us pay tribute to this Sun Devil icon.”
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.
Following two successful seasons at Scottsdale Community College, Becenti joined ASU where her outstanding all-around play was pivotal in helping the Sun Devils earn a NCAA Tournament berth in 1992, the program’s first tournament invite since 1983.
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.
Becenti’s enormous popularity in the community and the Navajo Nation received national acclaim in March 1993, when she was featured in a Sports Illustrated article written by award-winning journalist Gary Smith.
As a member the 1993 USA team at the World University Games, Becenti became the first Native American female to earn a medal at the event. She would also go on to earn the distinction of becoming the first Native American to play in the WNBA as a member of the hometown Phoenix Mercury.
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.