Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Wildcat Women Seeking to Reclaim Bowl Basketball Classic Title
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: December 11, 1999
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    WHAT'S HAPPENING: The University of Arizona women's basketball team (No. 19 AP/No. 19 USA Today) will seek to re-claim the title of the Bowl Basketball Classic on Sunday, Dec. 12, by facing Indiana in the championship game at 3 p.m. Middle Tennessee and Texas Southern will face one another in the tournament's consolation game at 1 p.m.

    THE INSIGHT.COM BOWL BASKETBALL CLASSIC: Each year since head coach Joan Bonvicini's arrival at Arizona, the Wildcats have played host to a four-team tournament in December. The tournament has changed names three times, from the Arizona Basketball Classic to the Copper Bowl Classic to the Bowl Basketball Classic.

    Arizona has made it to the championship in each of the nine tournaments and has claimed the title in three of the previous four tourneys. The Cats fell victim to then-2nd-ranked Louisiana Tech in the championship game of last year's tournament.

    LAST YEAR'S TOURNAMENT: The Wildcats finished as runner-up in the 1998 Bowl Basketball Classic, breaking a modest streak of three straight UA championships.

    In the first game on Dec. 4, then-2nd-ranked Louisiana Tech downed Iowa State, 89-60, and the Wildcats defeated Sam Houston State, 85-72. That set up a meeting between Iowa State and Sam Houston in the consolation game on Dec. 6, a contest which Iowa State easily won, 82-56. Arizona fought hard in the championship game against Louisiana Tech but, in the end, fell 85-72.

    Julie Brase and Lisa Griffith were both named to the All-Tournament Team for the Wildcats.

    45      Elizabeth Pickney       F       6-4     So.     Houston, TX     14.6 ppg 5.1 rpg 1.4 bpg
    53      Tatum Brown     	F       6-4     Sr.     Tacoma, WA      16.3 ppg 7.0 rpg 0.6 bpg
    20      Julie Brase     	G       5-9     So.     Tucson, AZ       9.6 ppg 2.9 rpg 2.3 apg
    22      Monika Crank    	G       5-7     Sr.     Page, AZ         6.4 ppg 4.0 rpg 2.9 apg
    23      Felecity Willis 	G       5-7     Sr.     Apple Valley, CA 7.9 ppg 6.0 apg 1.6 spg
    OFF THE BENCH (listed alphabetically):  
    33      Tysell Bozeman  	G       5-8     So.     Riverside, CA   1.6 ppg  0.8 rpg 0.2 apg
    10      Reshea Bristol  	G       5-10    Jr.     Omaha, NE       4.3 ppg  2.6 rpg 2.4 spg
    3       Lisa Griffith   	G       5-6     Sr.     Portland, OR    8.7 ppg  2.7 rpg 3.4 apg
    34      Angela Lackey   	F       6-0     Sr.     Louisville, KY  12.5 ppg 4.8 rpg 1.3 spg
    51      Michelle Mitchell       C       6-4     So.     Oregon City, OR 0.5 ppg  2.5 rpg
    21      Jamie Sturdivant        G       5-7     Fr.     Simi Valley, CA 0.0 ppg  1.0 rpg
    50      LaKeisha Taylor 	C       6-4     So.     Houston, TX     2.4 ppg  2.6 rpg 0.6 bpg
    35      Krista Warren   	G       6-2     Fr.     Cloverdale, CA  2.6 ppg  1.9 rpg 0.6 apg
    ABOUT ARIZONA: The 19th-ranked Wildcats improved to a perfect 7-0 on the season by running over Texas Southern, 96-46, in the first round of the Bowl Basketball Classic on Friday night. The Cats' victory extended their home win streak to 12 games, the longest home win streak in UA women's basketball history.

    With 16.3 points and 7.0 rebounds per game, senior forward Tatum Brown has taken over the UA lead in both categories. Sophomore forward Elizabeth Pickney is second in both, with 14.6 ppg and 5.1 rpg, and senior forward Angela Lackey is third in scoring at 12.5 ppg.

    Two other players -- sophomore guard Julie Brase (9.6 ppg) and senior guard Lisa Griffith (8.7 ppg) -- are both averaging better than eight points per game. Senior guard Felecity Willis is leading the squad in assists (6.0 apg), and junior guard Reshea Bristol is averaging a team-best 2.43 steals per game.

    ABOUT INDIANA: The Hoosiers improved to 4-4 on the year and advanced to the championship game by virtue of an 81-68 win over Middle Tennessee in the first round on Friday.

    With a very balanced attack, four Hoosiers are averaging in double digits in scoring. Sophomore center Jill Chapman leads Indiana in both scoring (16.4 ppg) and rebounding (7.5 rpg). Sophomore guard Heather Cassady is averaging 15.8 ppg, and freshman guard Jill Hartman is posting 11.4 ppg and is the second-leading rebounder, at 7.3 per game. After racking up 17 points against Middle Tennessee, junior guard Rainey Alting boosted her scoring average to 10.4 ppg.

    Hoosier head coach Jim Izard (Mississippi, 1970) holds a 182-145 record in his 12th year at Indiana and is 345-194 in 18 years as a head coach.

    THE SERIES - ARIZONA VS. INDIANA: Indiana won the only other previous meeting with Arizona, 68-57, on Dec. 21, 1981, at the UC Irvine Invitational.

    HISTORY LESSON: The Cats have played only one other time on Dec. 12, a 61-54 win over Santa Clara in Tucson.

    ARIZONA'S LAST TIME OUT: Led by senior forward Angela Lackey's season-high 19 points, four Wildcats reached double figures in scoring and ran over Texas Southern, 96-46, in the first round of the Bowl Basketball Classic at home on Friday night.

    The Cats opened the contest with a 15-2 run and never looked back en route to a 30-point (48-18) halftime lead. Arizona turned the heat up midway through the second half and finished the contest on a 35-18 run over the final six minutes.

    In addition to Lackey's 19, fellow senior forward Tatum Brown tallied the Cats' first double-double of the season by racking up 15 points and a career-high 12 rebounds. Sophomore guard Elizabeth Pickney added 13 points, and senior guard Lisa Griffith came off the bench to put up 10 points.

    The 46 points was the lowest point total the Cats have allowed since allowing California to score only 44 on Jan. 29, 1998. Arizona's 96 points is its highest point total since scoring 96 against Northeastern in the first round of the Insight Classic on Dec. 5, 1997.

    LOOKING AHEAD: The Cats wrap up their six-game homestand with a contest against Northern Illinois on Wednesday, Dec. 15, at 7 p.m. in the McKale Center.

    THOUSAND WATCH: Senior guard Lisa Griffith is only 24 points from becoming only the eighth player in Arizona women's basketball history to reach the 1,000-point plateau in scoring.

    BREAKING THROUGH: Senior guard Felecity Willis is the latest addition to Arizona's all-time top 20 scoring list. She has 774 career points, which is good enough for her to take over the #20 spot, bumping former teammate DeAngela Minter off the list (773 pts.). She needs just 24 points to slide up into the #19 spot.

    A GREAT START: Arizona's perfect 7-0 start this season by far outweighs last year's 4-3 beginning and is the best start since the 1995-96 team began its season with a school-record 9-0 mark.

    THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME: Arizona is currently riding a 12-game home win streak, dating back to Jan. 4, 1999. This is the longest home win streak ever in the history of UA women's basketball. The previous long streak was a string of 10 games midway through the 1997-98 season.

    THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME, PART DEUX: During Joan Bonvicini's tenure at Arizona, the Wildcats have posted an 84-38 mark in McKale Center, including a 53-10 record over the last five seasons combined. Arizona has a record of 150-146 on its home court since the 1976-77 season.

    RECORDS FALLING ALREADY: Tatum Brown's 11-of-12 shooting performance against Colorado State on Dec. 6 tied the UA single-game record for field goal percentage (.917). It is also a new McKale Center record, breaking the previous mark of 84.6 percent (11-13) set by former UCLA player Denise Curry on Jan. 17, 1981.

    Arizona also set a new school record by hitting a sizzling 75.9 (22-29) percent in the first half against UC Santa Barbara on Nov. 30.

    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 141-98 (.590) mark and has a 466-169 (.734) 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 18 more victories at the UA to collect as many wins as the six previous Wildcat coaches combined.

    BONVICINI VS. INDIANA: Head coach Joan Bonvicini has a career record of 1-0 against Indiana, a game played while she was still at Long Beach State.

    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.

    DOVE IANELLO AMONG TOP ASSISTANTS: In a survey of women's basketball head coaches conducted by the Women's Basketball Journal last fall, Arizona associate head coach Denise Dove Ianello received votes for consideration as one of the top assistant coaches in the country.

    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.

    BENCH CONTRIBUTIONS: The UA bench has been quite productive already this season, contributing an average of 30.0 points per game. The highest point total from the bench so far this year came on Friday night -- a whopping 47 of the Cats' 96 points came from the subs.

    GOIN' DEEP: The best evidence that the UA is a deep squad this season? Lots of people playing lots of minutes. Currently, seven different Wildcat regulars are averaging more than 20 minutes a game, and two more are seeing over 10 minutes a contest. That's nine players averaging more than double digits in playing time.

    GOIN' DEEPER: Joan Bonvicini made very good use of her bench against Texas Southern on Friday night. Eleven players saw 10 minutes or better in playing time during the contest.

    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 eighth in this week's A.P. poll, while Oregon is 10th, Kansas is 14th, Stanford is 22nd and UC Santa Barbara is 23rd. Hawai'i and Colorado State both received votes for ranking this week.

    In this week's USA Today/ESPN Coaches' poll, UCLA is No. 8, Oregon is No. 9, Kansas is No. 15, UC Santa Barbara is No. 17 and Stanford is No. 23. Colorado State, Hawai'i, Louisville and Oklahoma all received votes for ranking.

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

    WE CAN HANDLE THE CLOSE ONES...: 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.

    ...BUT WE REALLY PREFER THE BLOWOUTS: Over the last nine seasons, Bonvicini's Arizona teams have won 47 games by spreads of 20 points or more.

    KEYS TO THE WIN: This season, Arizona is... 6-0 when out-rebounding its opponent... 7-0 when shooting better than 40% from the field... 7-0 when scoring 70 points or more... 7-0 when three or more players reach double digits in scoring.

    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 114-15 record when scoring 80 points or more in a game. Under Joan Bonvicini, the Wildcats have gone 74-8 when topping that 80-point plateau.

    RECORD WATCH: Lisa Griffith is Arizona's career leader in both three-pointers made (225) and attempted (603). She just moved up to the #8 spot on the UA's top-20 all-time leading scorers' list, and with 976 career points, she needs just 24 more points to move into the #7 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 373, and ninth on the career steals chart, with 169.

    Felecity Willis is seventh in career three-pointers attempted (150) and eighth in three-pointers made (40). She is holding down fifth place on the all-time assists chart, with her 414 career dishes putting her five out of fourth place.

    Willis is also the latest addition to Arizona's all-time top 20 scoring list. She has 774 career points, which is good enough for her to take over the #20 spot, bumping former teammate DeAngela Minter off the list (773 pts.).

    As only a sophomore, Elizabeth Pickney has already entered the UA's top 10 list for career blocked shots. She stands in seventh place with 45 career blocks.

    ON LOCATION: The Wildcats are 4-0 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: Dating back to last season, Arizona has won 16 of its last 19 games... The Cats are forcing opponents to commit an average of 4.6 more turnovers per game than the UA... The Arizona women's basketball program has a 300-389 (.435) all-time record, however it is 104-53 (.662) from 1994 to present... Joan Bonvicini has a 162-86 career record against Pac-10 teams.

    BROWN NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK (Dec. 6): Senior forward Tatum Brown was named the Pacific-10 Conference Women's Basketball Player of the Week for Nov. 29-Dec. 5. Brown scored a career-high 21 points and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds to lead No. 21 Arizona to an 86-76 upset over No. 15 UC Santa Barbara on Nov. 30. In just 26 minutes of action, she shot 9-for-12 (.750) from the field and 3-for-4 (.750) from the line.

    The Player of the Week honor is the first of Brown's career, and the 17th all-time selection. Brown's honor followed Elizabeth Pickney's Player of the Week laurels the previous week, marking the first time in school history that the Wildcats have had back-to-back Pac-10 Players of the Week.

    BETTER SUCCESS WITH RANKED TEAMS: After earning a mere 1-7 mark against nationally ranked teams last year, the Cats have already equalled that win total against ranked teams this season. On Nov. 30, the UA earned an 86-76 upset of No. 15 UC Santa Barbara, the highest ranked team the Cats have defeated since they garnered a 91-90 victory over 11th-ranked Stanford on Jan. 12, 1998.

    SHOOTING THE LIGHTS OUT: The Cats shot a school-record 75.9 percent (22-29) from the floor in the first half of the UCSB contest on Nov. 30. For the game, they shot 63 percent (34-54), the highest field goal percentage for any team since the school record was set at 64.3 percent (36-56) against Drake on Nov. 25, 1990.

    PICKNEY NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK (Nov. 29): Elizabeth Pickney was named Pac-10 Player of the Week for Nov. 15-28. Pickney averaged 16.0 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.3 blocked shots per game in the UA's four straight victories to open the season. She shot a team-high .575 (23-40) from the field and .720 (18-25) from the line during that stretch.

    Pickney was named the Tournament MVP at the Hawaiian Regent Wahine Classic, leading Arizona to the team title with three wins. In the tourney, she averaged 18.0 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. The Player of the Week honor was the first of Pickney's career and the 16th all-time selection for Arizona.

    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 collected 20 blocks over the first four game of the year, the highest block total ever over that stretch in any season.

    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.

    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. Felecity Willis and Tatum Brown were named to the All-Tournament Team, as well.

    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.

    FUTURE 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.

    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
    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.

    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.

    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.

    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 and went 12-6 in the Pac-10 to finish in fourth place.

    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. In Piscataway, N.J., 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 on the year, including setting new marks in single season free throws made (520) and blocked shots (88).

    With 14.4 points per game, Angela Lackey led four Wildcats averaging in double digits in scoring. Felecity Willis came in second with her 12.1 ppg scoring average, followed closely by 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 Reshea Bristol posted 11.4 points and 4.4 rebounds per game.

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