TEMPE, Ariz. — Despite losing four of their last five games, the ASU women’s basketball team has played well enough to remain in the AP Top-25 in the latest rankings.
A large part of their success this season is due to the addition of USC transfer Ja’Tavia Tapley who leads the team in just about every statistical category.
She averages 11.5 points per game, 6.6 rebounds, and has tallied 13 blocks and 31 steals this year. Her performance has exceeded the expectations of ASU head coach Charli Turner Thorne.
“I’m just going to be honest, yeah” Turner Thorne said. “I knew she would help us and I knew she would be solid, but she’s been way more than solid.”
While Tapley has helped ASU, the Sun Devils in turn have helped her find something she’d lost: her confidence and her love for the game.
“They make it easy for me to play for them,” Tapley said. “That made that love for basketball and everything come back and I’m so glad it’s back.”
Tapley’s goal has always been to play professionally after college, but prior to transferring, she’d lost confidence in the possibility of a pro career. Her hope for that future has also been renewed, whether it's in the WBNA or overseas.
“I’m even hearing stuff about being able to get into the WBNA,” Tapley said. “It’s definitely opened my mind up to that opportunity and taking that chance. That’d be so big for me and my family.”
“I’m excited to see how she can finish strong and see how good she can get for the little bit of time that we have left with her,” Turner Thorne said.
ASU hosts Washington State on Friday, Feb. 14 and Washington on Sunday, the 16th.