ASU Basketball: Women Upset Stanford


On Monday afternoon, the ASU Women’s Basketball team upset Stanford 60-57.  It is now time for the ASU community to take notice of this team.

Beating Stanford is a huge accomplishment.  The Stanford Cardinal have been the overwhelming standard in PAC-12/PAC-10 women’s basketball for years.  They are led by a Hall of Fame coach in Tara Vanderveer and are perennial participants deep into the national tournament.  As usual, Stanford is ranked #11 nationally coming into today’s game.

With the win, the ASU women move to 17-1 overall and 6-0 in the PAC-12.  This victory at Maples Pavilion features the best start in school history. It is the first time ASU has beaten Stanford since 1996 and the first road win against the Cardinal since 1984.  The ASU women are now tied with Oregon State for first place in the conference standings.

The #13 Sun Devils doubled up the Cardinal on the boards, out-rebounding Stanford 44-22.  A great defensive effort, especially in the second half led to a desperation 3-point heave by Stanford at the final buzzer.  It missed and led to a brief, but spirited celebration for the ladies from Tempe in front of the quiet and stunned home crowd.

The Sun Devils were paced by senior guard Promise Amakamura, who’s speed and athleticism is vexing opponents.  Amakamura and teammate Katie Hempen both average 12.1 points per game.  Sophie Brunner is the statistical leader of this team, averaging 12.9 points per game and 7.4 rebounds per game.  But this team is deep and versatile and flat-out loves to play defense.

For coach Charli Turner Thorne, this may be her best team ever.  Her 2009 team that went to the Elite Eight in 2009 (26-9 record) is often considered her best team.  The rest of the story for this 2014 squad is yet to be written, but it’s a safe bet that this team is going to make a lot of noise going into March.

The celebratory mood will be short-lived as ASU prepares for the Oregon schools this week, including co-leaders Oregon State on Sunday.  The ladies are undoubtedly hoping for a good crowd to support their efforts.  It’s long overdue.