Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Wildcat Women Open Six-Game Homestand This Weekend
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: November 23, 1999
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WHAT'S HAPPENING: The University of Arizona women's basketball team (24th A.P./23rd USA Today) kicks off a six-game home stand this weekend with a contest against regional foe New Mexico. The Cats will face the Lobos on Saturday, Nov. 27, at 7 p.m. in the McKale Center. On Tuesday, Nov. 30, Arizona will take on UC Santa Barbara in the McKale Center at 7 p.m.

45      Elizabeth Pickney       F       6-4     So.    Houston, TX      18.0 ppg  7.3 rpg 2.7 bpg
53      Tatum Brown     	F       6-4     Sr.    Tacoma, WA       11.3 ppg  4.3 rpg 1.0 spg
20      Julie Brase     	G       5-9     So.    Tucson, AZ       7.0 ppg   3.3 rpg 1.7 apg
22      Monika Crank    	G       5-7     Sr.    Page, AZ         8.3 ppg   3.7 rpg 2.7 apg
23      Felecity Willis 	G       5-7     Sr.    Apple Valley, CA 8.0 ppg   5.7 apg 2.3 spg

OFF THE BENCH (listed alphabetically):  
33      Tysell Bozeman    G       5-8     So.     Riverside, CA   2.0 ppg  0.0 rpg
10      Reshea Bristol    G       5-10    Jr.     Omaha, NE       3.3 ppg  1.3 rpg 2.0 spg
3       Lisa Griffith     G       5-6     Sr.     Portland, OR    8.7 ppg  4.7 rpg 3.7 apg
34      Angela Lackey     F       6-0     Sr.     Louisville, KY  14.5 ppg 5.0 rpg 1.5 spg
51      Michelle Mitchell C       6-4     So.     Oregon City, OR 1.0 ppg  4.0 rpg
21      Jamie Sturdivant  G       5-7     Fr.     Simi Valley, CA 0.0 ppg  0.0 rpg
50      LaKeisha Taylor   C       6-4     So.     Houston, TX     4.3 ppg  3.3 rpg 1.3 spg
35      Krista Warren     G       6-2     Fr.     Cloverdale, CA  3.0 ppg  2.0 rpg 1.0 spg
ABOUT ARIZONA: The 24th-ranked Wildcats are 3-0 after sweeping through a trio of games to win the Hawaiian Regent Wahine Classic in Honolulu last weekend. The UA logged wins over Oklahoma (75-59), Tennessee Tech (87-71) and host Hawai'i (86-73) to take the tournament title.

With 18.0 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, sophomore forward Elizabeth Pickney leads Arizona in both categories. She is averaging a team-best 2.7 blocks per game, as well. Senior forward Angela Lackey is second in both scoring (14.5 ppg) and rebounding (5.0 rpg), with fellow senior Tatum Brown third in scoring with 11.3 ppg.

Three other players -- senior guards Lisa Griffith, Monika Crank and Felecity Willis -- are all averaging better than eight points per game. Willis is leading the squad in both assists (5.7 apg) and steals (2.3 spg).

ABOUT NEW MEXICO: The Lobos have started their season with a perfect 2-0 mark after downing both Texas-El Paso (79-48) and New Mexico State (59-46) on the road last weekend.

Two Lobos are averaging in double digits in scoring, led by junior forward Miranda Sanchez's 16.0 points per game. Sophomore guard Molly McKinnon follows at 12.0 ppg, and freshman center Jordan Adams is the squad's leading rebounder with 5.0 per game.

Head coach Don Flanagan (Ft. Lewis College, 1971) holds an 84-39 mark in five years at the helm of the Lobo program.

FAMILIAR FACE: Although this is Arizona's first meeting with New Mexico in five years, the Wildcats have already faced one of the Lobos this season. UNM sophomore center Susan Bocock played for the New Zealand National Team which defeated the Wildcats, 70-62, in an exhibition game on Nov. 11. Bocock played six minutes off the bench in the contest but did not score any points.

THE SERIES VS. UNM: Arizona has the narrow 6-5 lead in the series with New Mexico. The two teams last met five years ago, a matchup which resulted in a 77-58 Arizona win at the Wahine Classic in Honolulu, Hawai'i.

The series with UNM is the oldest in Arizona women's basketball history, with the first recorded Wildcat game being a 73-36 win over the Lobos at the District Tournament in Las Cruces, N.M., on Feb. 2, 1973.

ARIZONA'S LAST MEETING WITH UNM: On Nov. 27, 1994, the Wildcats logged a convincing 77-58 win over New Mexico at the Wahine Classic in Honolulu, Hawai'i.

Arizona opened the game with a 22-7 run and never looked back en route to a 19-point (42-23) halftime lead. The Cats expanded that lead to 31 (56-25) by beginning the second half with a 14-2 spurt. UNM was able to scrap back to within 17 (73-56) late in the game but never came any closer.

UA sophomore center Jacque Clark ran off a game-high 18 points and grabbed six rebounds. Senior guard JiJi Sweet had 12 points and six rebounds, and junior guard Brenda Pantoja tallied 10 points and a game-high eight assists. Freshman forward Adia Barnes pulled down a game-high-tying eight rebounds.

ABOUT UC SANTA BARBARA: UCSB, ranked 12th this week, stands at 3-1 on the season after finishing as runner-up in the Preseason WNIT last weekend. The Gauchos garnered wins over UNLV (77-56), Texas Christian (86-61) and Illinois (71-61) before falling to Georgia (85-64) in the championship game on Monday night.

Junior guard Erin Buescher is UCSB's top scorer, with 17.8 ppg, and is averaging 7.3 rpg. Senior forward Kristi Rohr is averaging 13.3 ppg and 6.3 rpg, while fellow senior Stacy Clinesmith has averages of 10.3 ppg and 6.5 assists per game. Sophomore forward Kayte Christensen is UCSB's leading rebounder, at 8.3 per game.

UCSB coach Mark French (UCSB, 1973) holds a 230-126 record in his 13th year at the head of his alma mater's program.

THE SERIES VS. UCSB: Arizona also has the lead in the series with UC Santa Barbara, 4-3. The Cats have won four of the last five meetings with the Gauchos, including last year's 78-71 win in Santa Barbara.

ARIZONA'S LAST MEETING WITH UCSB: Still smarting from a 34-point loss to the Wildcats the year before, UC Santa Barbara (then ranked 24th in the USA Today poll) was seeking revenge on its home court, but Arizona still came out on top, 78-71, on Dec. 19, 1998.

The first half was a close one, although UCSB led by eight (40-32) at halftime. The UA opened the second half with a 17-4 run, giving the Cats a five-point lead (49-44) just over five minutes into the period.

UCSB scrapped back to within one point (72-71) at the 1:21 mark, but the Cats hit a crucial shot just seconds later and went on to hit 4-of-6 from the charity stripe over the final 11 seconds to claim the victory. Angela Lackey notched a team-high 19 points, including 11 in the second half. Elizabeth Pickney broke free of a shooting slump, hitting 7-of-10 from the floor to finish with 17 points and a game-high nine rebounds.

Felecity Willis had 14 points and seven assists, while Reshea Bristol had 11 points and a then-career-high seven assists. Tatum Brown added 11 points and six rebounds as well.

ARIZONA'S LAST TIME OUT: On Nov. 21, Arizona claimed the championship of the Hawaiian Regent Classic in Honolulu with an 86-73 victory over host team Hawai'i.

The two teams played close during the first eight minutes of the game, then the Cats pulled away to end the period on a 29-7 run, taking a 43-21 advantage into the break.

Foul trouble by the Wildcats and a barrage of Rainbow treys allowed Hawai'i to whittle away at the UA lead during the second half, coming to within eight points (75-67) with just under four minutes left. The UA defense clamped down, allowing only two Hawai'i field goals over the final 3:50, and the Cats hit 4-for-6 from the line down the stretch to hang on for the win.

With 20 points and eight rebounds, Elizabeth Pickney led the UA in both categories. Angela Lackey added 15 points and five rebounds off the bench, while Lisa Griffith contributed 15 points and a career-high-tying seven rebounds. Felecity Willis was credited with a game-high seven assists.

CATS TAKE CHAMPIONSHIP AT HAWAIIAN REGENT WAHINE CLASSIC: The Wildcats swept through three games in Honolulu on Nov. 19-21 to take the title at the Hawaiian Regent Wahine Classic, hosted by the University of Hawai'i.

Arizona garnered victories over Oklahoma (75-59), Tennessee Tech (87-71) and host team Hawai'i (86-73) to open the 1999-2000 season with a perfect 3-0 mark.

Sophomore forward Elizabeth Pickney averaged 18.0 points and 7.3 rebounds per game for the Cats and was the overwhelming favorite for tournament Most Valuable Player laurels. Senior guard Felecity Willis and senior forward Tatum Brown were named to the All-Tournament Team, as well.

SULTANS OF SWAT: The Wildcats racked up nine blocked shots in the contest against Tennessee Tech on Nov. 20. That is the highest single-game block total since the 1985 squad collected 10 at Tennessee-Chattanooga on Jan. 5, 1985. Elizabeth Pickney had five of the UA's blocked shots against Tennessee Tech, a career high for her.

As a team, Arizona has collected 18 blocks already this season, an average of 6.0 per game. The 18 blocks is the highest total ever through the first three games of any season.

GOOD BEGINNINGS: With Joan Bonvicini at the program's helm, the Wildcats have won five straight season openers and a total of seven in the nine years she has been at the UA.

In the 28 years of Arizona women's basketball, the Wildcats have won 15 season openers. The UA went on to post winning records in eight of those first 14 seasons.

LOOKING AHEAD: The Wildcats continue their six-game homestand with a contest against Colorado State on Monday, Dec. 6, at 7 p.m. On Dec. 10 and 12, Arizona will host the ninth annual Bowl Basketball Classic, with a field that features the Cats, Indiana, Middle Tennessee State and Texas Southern.

ARIZONA'S PRACTICE SCHEDULE:  Here is the upcoming practice schedule for the Wildcats...
        Wed.    Nov.    24      4:30-7 p.m.     	McKale
        Thurs.  Nov.    25      9-11 a.m.       	Bear Down       lifting after
        Fri.    Nov.    26      10 a.m. -12:30 p.m.     McKale
        Sat.    Nov.    27      vs. New Mexico, 7 p.m.  McKale
        Sun.    Nov.    28      4-6:30 p.m.     	McKale  	lifting before?
        Mon.    Nov.    29      4:30-7 p.m.     	McKale
        Tues.   Nov.    30      vs. UC Santa Barbara, 7 p.m. McKale
        Wed.    Dec.    1       OFF
        Thurs.  Dec.    2       2-4:20 p.m.     	McKale  	lifting after
HEAD COACH JOAN BONVICINI: In nearly a decade at the helm of the University of Arizona's women's basketball program, head coach Joan Bonvicini has collected an unparalleled list of accomplishments, both for the university and for her career.

Now in her ninth year at the UA, Bonvicini has posted a 137-98 (.583) mark and has a 462-169 (.732) record in 20 years as a collegiate head coach. She also has a 22-13 mark in NCAA tournament play and has never lost a first-round game in 13 appearances.

Prior to taking over at the UA, Bonvicini led Long Beach State to 10 consecutive NCAA appearances, including two trips to the Final Four. She registered a 325-71 mark in 12 seasons with the 49ers.

RACKING UP THE WINS: Joan Bonvicini needs only 22 more victories at the UA to collect as many wins as the six previous Wildcat coaches combined.

THE REST OF THE STAFF: Awarded the title of associate head coach during the summer of 1998, Denise Dove Ianello (Northern Illinois, 1991) begins her eighth year at the UA, functioning as both the team's recruiting coordinator and the perimeter coach. Second-year assistant coach Karen Caires (Cal State Northridge, 1990) works with the perimeter players, assists with scouting and recruiting and directs the Joan Bonvicini Hoop Camp. In his first year at the UA, assistant coach Curtis Loyd (Southern Utah, 1994) is involved primarily with scouting and with coaching the post players.

WEDDING BELLS AND BASKETBALLS... AND FOOTBALLS: Associate head coach Denise Dove married UA football recruiting coordinator/wide receivers coach Rob Ianello on July 3 this past summer.

STRONG SCHEDULE: There are a lot of quality teams which stand between the Wildcats and a fourth straight NCAA appearance in 2000. This year's slate features eight teams which earned NCAA berths last season, including two schools -- UCLA and Colorado State -- that played one another in the Sweet Sixteen.

Pac-10 foe UCLA is ranked fourth in this week's AP poll, while UC Santa Barbara is 12th, Oregon is 16th, Kansas is 19th and Stanford is 23rd. Colorado State and New Mexico each received votes for ranking this week.

In this week's USA Today/ESPN Coaches' poll, UCLA is No. 4, UC Santa Barbara is No. 10, Oregon is No. 14, Kansas is No. 21 and Stanford is No. 22. Colorado State, Louisville, Oklahoma, USC and New Mexico all received votes.

DUALLY SUCCESSFUL: Ten schools have both their men's and women's basketball teams ranked among the AP Top 25 this week. They are Arizona, Auburn, North Carolina, Connecticut, Stanford, Kansas, UCLA, Illinois, Tennessee and Purdue.

DID YOU KNOW: Since Joan Bonvicini took over the Arizona program in 1991, the Wildcats have gone 72-72 against Pac-10 teams, although they have a 38-16 league mark over the last three seasons combined.

RECORD WATCH: Senior guard Lisa Griffith is Arizona's career leader in both three-pointers made (218) and attempted (585). She recently moved up to the #13 spot on the UA's top-20 all-time leading scorers' list, and with 941 career points, she needs only one more point to move into the #12 spot.

Griffith is also on the career top-10 list for games started, coming in at #4 with 86 career starts. She stands at sixth on the career assists list, with 360.

Felecity Willis is eighth in both career three-pointers made (38) and attempted (147). She is holding down fifth place on the all-time assists chart, with her 389 career dishes putting her 30 out of fourth place. Willis is also on the verge of breaking into Arizona's all-time top 20 scoring list. She has 743 career points, needing only 30 points to join the ranks of the UA's all-time leading scorers.

As only a sophomore, Elizabeth Pickney has already entered the UA's top 10 list for career blocked shots. She stands in eighth place with 43 career blocks.

ARIZONA ON THE TUBE:  The Wildcats are currently scheduled to make television appearances 
for four more games... 

Tues. Dec. 21 at Kansas Sunflower Cablevision* 7:05 p.m. CST Sat. Jan. 22 USC Fox Sports Net 2 p.m. Sun. Jan. 30 Arizona State Fox Sports net 2 p.m. Sat. Feb. 19 at UCLA Fox Sports Net 1 p.m. PST (* broadcast in Lawrence, Kan., area on taped-delay basis)

THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME: During Joan Bonvicini's tenure at Arizona, the Wildcats have posted an 80-38 mark in McKale Center, including a 49-10 record over the last four seasons combined. Arizona has a record of 147-146 on its home court since the 1976-77 season.

ON LOCATION: The Wildcats are 0-0 at home this season, 1-0 in road games and 2-0 in neutral contests. Arizona posted an 11-3 mark at home, was 5-8 on the road and notched a 2-0 record in neutral contests last year.

CAT SCRATCHES: Under head coach Joan Bonvicini, the Cats have gone 23-16 in games settled by five points or less, including a 7-4 mark in games settled by one or two points... The Arizona women's basketball program has a 296-389 (.432) all-time record, however it is 100-53 (.654) from 1994 to present... Joan Bonvicini has a 162-86 career record against Pac-10 teams... Over the last nine seasons, Bonvicini's Arizona teams have won 46 games by spreads of 20 points or more.

80 IS THE MAGIC NUMBER: Seems that the 80-point mark almost always means adding another to the "win" column for the Wildcats. In the 28-year history of Arizona women's basketball, the Cats have posted a 111-15 record when scoring 80 points or more in a game. Under Joan Bonvicini, the Wildcats have gone 71-8 when topping that 80-point plateau.

GREAT EXPECTATIONS: For the third year in a row, the Wildcats earned a preseason national ranking. The Cats were ranked 25th in the Associated Press Preseason Top 25, and they were 24th in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Preseason Top 25.

The Wildcats were ranked among the top 25 teams in five different "unofficial" preseason polls this fall. The UA's highest ranking in these polls was 13th by Women's Basketball magazine and the lowest was 22nd by both Street & Smith's and the Basketball News Report.

Senior forward Angela Lackey earned preseason third team All-America honors from Lindy's College Basketball and honorable mention All-America laurels from Street & Smith's College Basketball.

WHAT THE COACHES THINK:  Here is the predicted order of finish for the Pac-10 this season, 
according to the league's coaches... 

1. UCLA 6. Washington 2. Oregon 7. USC 3. Stanford 8. Oregon State 4. ARIZONA 9. California 5. Arizona State 10. Washington State WHAT THE MEDIA THINK: Here is the predicted order of finish for the Pac-10 this season, according to the league's women's basketball media members...

1. UCLA 6. Arizona State 2. Oregon 7. USC 3. Stanford 8. Oregon State 4. ARIZONA 9. California 5. Washington 10. Washington State

THE CATS AND THE NCAA TOURNEY: Arizona made its first-ever NCAA tournament appearance in 1997, receiving a No. 7 seed in the West Region. The Cats defeated 25th-ranked Western Kentucky in the first round, then went on to scare host and sixth-ranked Georgia (80-74) in the second game.

The 1998 season saw the Cats enter the tournament as the No. 3 seed in the East Region. The UA swept through the first two games, picking up wins over Santa Clara and Virginia, and made it into the Sweet Sixteen, only to fall to then-third-ranked Connecticut.

Last year, the Cats earned a #6 seed in the Midwest Region, defeating 11th-seeded Florida, 87-84, in overtime to nab yet another first-round win. Arizona fell to #3 seed and ninth-ranked Rutgers, 90-47, in the second round of the tourney.

Arizona has been placed in a different region in each of its three years of NCAA tournament competition.

SOON-TO-BE WILDCATS: On the first day of the early signing period (Nov. 10), Arizona inked a trio of high school recruits from the state of California. The signees were 5-10 guard Candice Allen (Ontario, CA/Ayala HS), 5-7 guard Aimee Grzyb (San Jose, CA/Archbishop Mitty HS) and 6-3 forward Veranda James (Pomona, CA/Ganesha HS). Arizona still has three more scholarships to give for the 2000-2001 season.

1998-99 IN REVIEW: Despite losing the squad's only two seniors before the season ever started, the very young 1998-99 Wildcats held their own and came up with an 18-11 overall record. After being picked by both the coaches and the media to finish in fifth place, the UA finished fourth in the Pac-10 with a 12-6 mark.

The Cats faced a rough non-conference schedule that featured three teams which spent most of the season among the top four in the national rankings. Arizona went 5-4 against those non-conference opponents, with quality losses to Purdue, Louisiana Tech and Colorado State and a big road win over UC Santa Barbara.

That tough early slate prepared the Cats for a season of Pac-10 play which showed more parity than it has in years. After getting off to a rocky 1-3 start in league play, the Cats rebounded to finish the season 11-3, with wins over Pac-10 co-champion Oregon and over perennial power Stanford.

The Wildcats then received their third consecutive berth in the NCAA Tournament, earning a #6 seed in the Midwest Region. The Cats travelled to Piscataway, N.J., for the first- and second-round games, hosted by #3 seed and ninth-ranked Rutgers.

Arizona faced NCAA tourney veteran Florida in the first round of play and defeated the Gators, 87-84, in overtime to move on to the second round for the third straight year. The Cats then took on host Rutgers, only to end the season on a sour note, falling to the Scarlet Knights, 90-47.

For the season, Arizona had its most balanced offense in five years, with four players averaging in double digits in scoring, and ended its season by winning 12 of its final 16 contests. The Cats broke or tied 13 school records this year, including setting new marks in single season free throws made (520) and blocked shots (88).

The Wildcats finished the year as the Pac-10 leader in free throw percentage (.721) and in assist/turnover ratio (0.86). The Cats were second in offense (74.2 ppg), assists (16.59 apg) and turnover margin (+3.79 tpg).

ON THE INDIVIDUAL FRONT IN `99: With 14.4 points per game, forward Angela Lackey led four Wildcats averaging in double digits in scoring. Guard Felecity Willis came in second with her 12.1 ppg scoring average, followed closely by forward Elizabeth Pickney at 11.4 ppg. Pickney was the team's top rebounder with 5.8 per game, while Willis was the team's assists leader, averaging 5.5 apg.

Lackey was second in rebounding with 5.4 rpg, and guard Reshea Bristol posted 11.4 points and 4.4 rebounds per game, followed by guard Lisa Griffith with 9.7 points and 4.8 assists per game.

Several Wildcats finished the year among the Pac-10 statistical leaders. Bristol was third in the Pac-10 in steals (2.71 spg), and Willis was third in both assists (5.52 apg) and in field goal percentage (.546). Lackey was fifth in scoring (14.4 ppg), Pickney was fifth in blocked shots (1.21 bpg), and Griffith was fifth in assists (4.79 apg).

Arizona head coach Joan Bonvicini made her 13th career trip to the NCAA tournament. She has brought her career record in NCAA play up to 22-13, never losing an NCAA first-round game. Bonvicini moved her mark to 134-98 at the helm of Arizona's program and went to 459-169 in 20 years as a head coach.

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