Who would have thought that Arizona State would be a cold-weather team? The Sun Devils women’s basketball team, ranked No. 10 in the nation, holds its second game outdoors tonight at Chase Field, and despite temperatures that could drop into the 40s, the plan is to keep the roof open, making it downright parka-wearing weather for fans.
If the rain comes, the roof could be closed, but it still will be a challenge for Texas Tech.
“That is something that is out of our control,” first-year Red Raiders coach Kristi Curry said of the chilly conditions. “So for us, I just think the positives outweigh the negatives.”
The game — officially known as the Hoops for Health Classic — is also the program’s chance to promote wellness through the Health Expo that will feature more than 20 groups distributing information and performing health screenings. Ballpark gates will open at 5 p.m. for the expo, which will focus on adult health issues on the concourse and children and family health in the outfield. There also will be games, prizes, raffles, autographs, and a visit from Sparky Sun Devil and Santa Claus in left field before the 7 p.m. game.
“This is a special game,” ASU coach Charli Turner Thorne said. “If your message is that you wouldn’t have anything without your health, especially in our society with the rat race and busy-ness about it, then this is a great way to say it.”
The game also is the last nonconference game before Pac-10 play begins on Friday back at Wells Fargo Arena against Arizona.
Texas Tech (8-3) comes in off a pair of wins but lost to Stanford and Fresno State on a California road trip earlier this month. The Red Raiders beat UCLA at a tournament in Hawaii during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
To hear Curry tell it, her team’s toughest opponent so far will be ASU.
“No doubt,” Curry said. “Without question, this will be our biggest challenge before Big 12 play.”
Curry, after plenty of success at Purdue, has to rebuild a former perennial power. Texas Tech, under 24-year coach Marsha Sharp, won a national championship and had been in the NCAA Tournament 18 times.
Led by 6-foot forward Alesha Robertson (13.5 points, 9.4 rebounds), the Red Raiders will try to slow down the Sun Devils.
Curry said her team isn’t as athletic as ASU but can overachieve.
BONUS SHOT: Starting forward Emily Westerberg has been named
to the watch list for the 2007 Naismith Award, given annually to the
men’s and women’s college basketball players of the year.
Texas Tech at ASU women
What: Hoops for Health Classic
When: 7 p.m. today
Where: Chase Field
Radio: KDUS (1060 AM)
Health Expo: 5-6:45 p.m. today. More than 20 health-related groups will distribute information and conduct screenings on the concourse and in the outfield. There will also be games, activities and giveaways in the outfield.