Skip to main content

ASU women's basketball opens season tonight


November 14, 2008

The No. 17/18 Arizona State women's basketball team opens its season this Friday (6 p.m. MT) when it squares off against Cleveland State in the first round of the 2008 Preseason WNIT.

The Preseason WNIT field includes eight teams that competed in the NCAA Tournament last season. In addition to ASU and Cleveland State, other teams from the WNIT field that participated in the NCAA Tournament in 2008 include Illinois State, Liberty, Oklahoma, Robert Morris, and Xavier.

Oklahoma (No. 4 Associated Press) and North Carolina (No. 6) are the top-ranked teams in the field. Other ranked teams include the No. 17 Sun Devils and No. 22 Xavier.

The winner of Friday night's game between ASU and Cleveland State will play the winner of the contest between Illinois State and Tulane being played in New Orleans on Friday. If the Sun Devils prevail against Cleveland State they would host a second round game against ISU or Tulane on Sunday at 2 p.m. in Wells Fargo Arena.

The Sun Devils are coming off a season in which they went 22-11 (14-4 Pac-10) and earned a berth to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth consecutive season. ASU returns three starters from last year's team, including 2008 Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year Briann January and 2008 Second-Team All-Pac-10 selection Lauren Lacey.

Friday's game marks the second time in as many seasons that the Sun Devils will be kicking off their season in a marquee preseason event. Last year the Sun Devils began their season playing North Carolina in the 2007 State Farm Tip-Off Classic.

Cleveland State is coming off its best season in school history in which it made its first ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Vikings return three starters from last year's squad that won the Horizon League Championship. Leading the Vikings is junior guard Kailey Klein who was selected to the preseason All-Horizon League team for the second straight year after averaging 19.8 ppg, 6.1 rpg and 3.2 apg last season. Also returning is senior Dominique Butler who averaged 10.1 points and 6.1 rebounds last season.

The Vikings are coached by Kate Peterson Abiad who is in her sixth season.

Ticket Information

Tickets for Friday night's season opener are still available and can be purchased at the window or by calling 480-727-0000. Tickets prices are as follows: Floor Reserved $20; Adult Reserved $10; Adult General Admission $8; Faculty/Staff General Admission $5; Junior/Senior General Admission $6 Group General Admission (15 or more) $3.

Television/Radio

Arizona State's vs. Cleveland State can be seen live on Fox Sports Arizona. Darren Sutton and Joan Bonvicini will call the game. The game can also be heard live on the Sun Devil Sports Network. Pre-game coverage will begin at 5:30 p.m. Valley veteran broadcaster Jeff Munn is in his fifth year as the voice of ASU women's basketball.

January Selected for Preseason All-Pac-10 Team

ASU senior guard Briann January was one of five players selected for the Pac-10's Preseason All-Conference Team. The team was chosen by media who cover Pac-10 women's basketball. January, the 2008 Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year, was the only guard selected to the team. Other members included (junior F/C) Jayne Appel and (sophomore F) Kayla Pedersen of Stanford and (senior F/C) Devanei Hampton and (senior F) Ashley Walker of Cal.