WHAT'S HAPPENING: The University of Arizona women's basketball team (No. 22 A.P./No. 19 USA Today) kicks off the second round of Pac-10 play this weekend in the Pacific Northwest. The Wildcats play at Washington on Thursday, Feb. 8, at 7 p.m. PST, then they head to Pullman to take on Washington State on Saturday, Feb. 10, at 1 p.m. PST in a contest that will be broadcast live nationally on Fox Sports Net.
POSSIBLE STARTING LINEUP: 35 Krista Warren F/G 6-2 So. Cloverdale, CA 8.9 ppg 5.6 rpg 1.9 apg 45 Elizabeth Pickney F 6-4 Jr. Houston, TX 15.2 ppg 6.3 rpg 1.4 bpg 4 Candice Allen G 5-10 Fr. Ontario, CA 5.4 ppg 2.3 rpg 1.1 apg 10 Reshea Bristol G 5-10 Sr. Omaha, NE 14.7 ppg 4.9 rpg 6.7 apg 14 Jen Chesney G 6-0 Fr. Newberg, OR 1.4 ppg 1.5 rpg
OFF THE BENCH: (in numerical order) 13 Aimee Grzyb G 5-7 Fr. San Jose, CA 8.3 ppg 1.9 rpg 2.1 apg 22 Veranda James F 6-3 Fr. Pomona, CA 13.7 ppg 8.3 rpg 1.3 apg 50 LaKeisha Taylor C 6-4 Jr. Houston, TX 10.6 ppg 5.9 rpg 51 Michelle Mitchell C 6-4 Jr. Oregon City, OR 1.5 ppg 1.6 rpg
ABOUT ARIZONA: The 22nd-ranked Wildcats are looking to stay on the winning track this week, after ending their three-game losing skid and improving to 16-5 overall and 6-3 in Pac-10 play last weekend. The Cats are coming off a sweep of then-No. 22 Oregon (88-76) and Oregon State (83-73) at home over the weekend. After dropping out of the Associated Press Top 25 for a week, the Cats are back in this week at No. 22. They moved from No. 23 in last week's ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll up to No. 19 this week, their highest ranking of the season in that poll. Following a career performance of 26 points against Oregon last Thursday, junior forward Elizabeth Pickney continues to lead the Wildcats in scoring, with an average of 15.2 points per game. She is second in rebounding, at 6.3 per game. Senior guard Reshea Bristol is the second-leading scorer, at 14.7 ppg. She is leading Arizona and the Pac-10 in both assists (6.71 apg) and steals (3.00 spg). Although her playing status is still questionable for this weekend, freshman forward Veranda James is a close third in scoring at 13.7 ppg and has the team's top rebounding average at 8.3 per game. Junior center LaKeisha Taylor is fourth on the team in scoring, with 10.6 ppg, and second in the Pac-10 in field goal percentage, hitting 63.4 percent from the floor. As a team, Arizona is leading the Pac-10 in scoring (80.1 ppg), scoring margin (+13.3 ppg) and assist-to-turnover ratio (0.86). The Cats are second in three other categories, including rebounding (41.2 rpg) and free throw percentage (.708).
PICKNEY EARNS SECOND PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS: Junior forward Elizabeth Pickney was named the Pac-10 Women's Basketball Player of the Week for Jan. 29-Feb. 4. She averaged 22.5 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks while leading the Wildcats to a home sweep of the Oregon schools. On the week, Pickney shot 56.3 percent (18-of-32) from the floor and 81.8 percent (9-of-11) from the line. The Player of the Week honor is the second of Pickney's career, her second this season and the 22nd all-time selection for the Wildcats.
BOZEMAN DISMISSED FROM TEAM: Junior guard Tysell Bozeman was dismissed from the team on Monday for failure to comply with team policies. She had previously been suspended for two weeks early in January for related reasons. Bozeman played in 16 games for the Wildcats this season, starting 12. She averaged 9.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game.
ARIZONA'S LAST TIME OUT: The Wildcats wrapped up the first round of Pac-10 play and head coach Joan Bonvicini earned career win No. 500 when the Cats defeated Oregon State, 83-73, at home on Feb. 3. Arizona jumped out to an 11-6 lead in the first four minutes of the game, only to see Oregon State use a 16-5 run to take a six-point (22-16) lead at 10:27. The Beavers stretched the lead to seven (29-22) at 6:31, then the Cats put on a 12-2 run to take a 34-31 edge into halftime. The Wildcats opened the second half with a 15-6 spurt that pushed their lead out to 12 points (49-37) just five minutes into the period. OSU never seemed able to cut the lead much under nine until it used a 13-4 run to get back to within two points (74-72) at 2:42. Arizona stepped up the tempo, however, and closed the game with a 9-1 spurt. LaKeisha Taylor came off the bench for a team-high 20 points, while Elizabeth Pickney had 19 points and a season-high 11 rebounds for her second double-double of the season. Reshea Bristol contributed 19 points and five assists, and Aimee Grzyb added 12 points.
ABOUT WASHINGTON: Winners of three of their last four games, the Huskies are 13-6 overall and 6-3 in conference action after downing rival Washington State (91-71) in Pullman last weekend. UW is not currently ranked but is receiving votes for ranking in both polls. With 14.7 points per game, senior guard Megan Franza leads three Huskies averaging in double digits in scoring. Guards Giuliana Mendiola and Loree Payne are tied for second, each registering 10.5 ppg. Mendiola is the team's top rebounder, at 6.4 per game. Washington leads the Pac-10 in rebounding (43.7 rpg), assists (16.58 apg) and three-pointers made per game (6.79). Megan Franza is second in the conference in three-pointers made per game (1.84). Head coach June Daugherty (Ohio State, 1978) has a 72-62 mark in five years at Washington. She is 195-136 in 12 years as a head coach.
THE SERIES vs. WASHINGTON: Washington has a solid 22-8 lead in the series with Arizona, although the Wildcats have won each of the last four, and seven of the last 10, meetings. Earlier this season, the Cats earned an 88-72 victory over the Huskies on Jan. 13 in Tucson. Arizona has a 1-13 all-time record when playing UW in Seattle. The Cats' last loss to Washington was a 73-63 defeat on Jan. 9, 1999, in Seattle. Their first and only win in 14 tries in Seattle was a 96-85 victory there on Jan. 15, 2000.
LAST MEETING WITH WASHINGTON: LaKeisha Taylor scored a career-high 23 points, and Reshea Bristol tied a school record with 16 assists as the then-22nd-ranked Wildcats logged an 88-72 win over Washington at home on Jan. 13. Both teams got off to a slow start, with Arizona owning only a 25-12 lead by the 8:36 mark in the first half. Washington used a 22-12 run to cut the UA's lead to three (37-34) at 2:27, then the Wildcats finished the period on an 11-0 run to take a 48-34 edge into the break. Arizona pushed its lead out to 15 points (56-41) early in the second half, then UW got hot from three-point range and put on a 29-16 surge to cut the lead down to only two points (70-68) with 4:53 left in the game. The Cats managed to stop the bleeding and ended the contest with an 18-4 run that shut the Huskies down for good. In addition to her 16 assists, Bristol had 10 points. Elizabeth Pickney added 17 points on the strength of 9-for-10 shooting from the line, while both Veranda James and Aimee Grzyb contributed 13 points apiece. The victory gave Arizona a 4-0 start in Pac-10 play, marking the first time in the program's history that the Cats swept both of their first two weekends of conference action.
ABOUT WASHINGTON STATE: The Cougars have lost six of their last seven games and are 8-11 overall and 3-6 in Pac-10 play after dropping a 91-71 decision to Washington at home last weekend. WSU will play host to Arizona State on Thursday before taking on the Wildcats on Saturday. No Washington State player is averaging in double digits in scoring, although five players are posting seven points or more per game. With 9.6 points and 4.9 rebounds per game, sophomore center Kelley Berglund leads the Cougars in both categories. Senior forward Yvonne Volkman is second in scoring (9.5 ppg), followed by senior guard Katie Nyseth (8.7 ppg). Washington State is third in the Pac-10 in assists (15.74 apg) and is sixth in multiple categories, including free throw percentage (.668), field goal percentage (.413) and steals (8.79 spg). Katie Nyseth is second in the league in assists (4.89 apg) behind the UA's Reshea Bristol, but she leads the conference in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.27). Cougar head coach Jenny Przekwas (Wyoming, 1986) holds a 12-35 record in her second season at WSU. She has a 145-134 record in 10 years as a collegiate head coach.
THE SERIES vs. WSU: The Cougars have the narrow 16-13 lead in the series with Arizona. The Wildcats have won four in a row against the Cougars and seven of the last nine. On Jan. 11, Arizona drilled WSU, 97-58 in Tucson. The Cats are 6-8 all-time when playing in Pullman. Their last win there came last season (83-68 on Jan. 13), and their last loss at WSU was an 87-77 defeat on Jan. 7, 1999.
LAST MEETING WITH WSU: Six Wildcats reached double figures in scoring as then-22nd-ranked Arizona pounded Washington State, 97-58, at home on Jan. 11. It was the UA's biggest win ever in the series between the two schools. Never trailing in the contest, Arizona opened the game with a 17-7 run and never looked back, pushing its lead out to 26 points (44-18) by the 4:36 mark. WSU ended the period with its own 6-2 mini-spurt, but the Cats took the 48-26 advantage into the break. The Wildcats opened the second half with a 22-9 run and then stretched their lead to 40 points (85-45) with 6:50 left. Washington State drained a couple of threes and made some free throws, scoring eight unanswered points to cut the lead to 32 points (85-53) at the 4:37 mark. That proved to be WSU's last gasp, as Arizona ended the game with a 12-5 spurt. LaKeisha Taylor led all scorers with 18 points while grabbing nine rebounds. Veranda James had 15 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, and Reshea Bristol contributed 15 points and a game-high 10 assists.
LOOKING AHEAD: The Wildcats return home next weekend for a pair of games against the L.A. schools. Arizona will be looking for revenge when it plays UCLA on Thursday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m. The Cats will face USC on Sunday, Feb. 18, at 2 p.m. in a contest that will be broadcast live nationally on Fox Sports Net.
JAMES STILL QUESTIONABLE FOR THIS WEEKEND'S GAMES: Freshman forward Veranda James fell in her dorm room on Jan. 31 and hit her head, suffering her second concussion of the season. She had previously sustained a concussion during the Cats' game against UNLV on Dec. 6. As of press time, doctors had not yet cleared James for practice, and she is considered to be currently on a day-to-day basis. She may be unable to travel this weekend as well.
CREEPING UP ON A RECORD: With 227 career steals, Reshea Bristol just moved ahead of former teammate Lisa Griffith into the No. 2 spot on Arizona's all-time steals list. She needs only 29 more steals to tie Adia Barnes, another former teammate, for the career lead with 256 thefts.
HEAD COACH JOAN BONVICINI: In her 10th year at the helm of the Arizona women's basketball program, head coach Joan Bonvicini has collected an unparalleled list of accomplishments, both for the university and for her career. Bonvicini has posted a 175-110 (.614) mark in 10 seasons at Arizona and has more wins at the UA than all six of the previous Wildcat coaches combined. In 22 years as a collegiate head coach, Bonvicini has a 500-181 (.734) career record. She also has a 23-14 mark in NCAA tournament play and has never lost a first-round game in 14 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.
BONVICINI GAINS WIN No. 500: Wildcat head coach Joan Bonvicini earned her 500th career victory against Oregon State on Feb. 3. She is one of only 17 active Division I women's basketball coaches to reach that 500-win mark.
THE REST OF THE STAFF: Awarded the title of associate head coach two years ago, Denise Dove Ianello (Northern Illinois, 1991) is in her ninth year at the UA, functioning as both the team's recruiting coordinator and a perimeter coach. Third-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 second year at the UA, assistant coach Curtis Loyd (Southern Utah, 1994) is involved with scouting and with coaching the post players.
DID YOU KNOW: Since Joan Bonvicini took over the Arizona program in 1991, the Wildcats have gone 91-80 against Pac-10 teams, although they have a 57-24 league mark over the last five seasons combined.
ARIZONA'S PRACTICE SCHEDULE: Here is the upcoming practice schedule for the Wildcats... Wed. Feb. 7 12-2:30 p.m. (lifting before) McKale depart for Seattle Thurs. Feb. 8 at Washington, 7 p.m. PST Fri. Feb. 9 practice TBA at Washington State Sat. Feb. 10 at Washington State, 1 p.m. PST Sun. Feb. 11 OFF Mon. Feb. 12 2-4:30 p.m. (lifting after) McKale Tues. Feb. 13 4:30-7 p.m. McKale Wed. Feb. 14 2:30-4:30 p.m. (lifting after) McKale Thurs. Feb. 15 vs. UCLA, 7 p.m. Fri. Feb. 16 2-4:30 p.m. (lifting after) McKale Sat. Feb. 18 12-2 p.m. McKale
80 IS THE MAGIC NUMBER: It seems that the 80-point mark almost always means adding another to the "win" column for the Wildcats. In the 29-year history of UA women's basketball, the Cats have posted a 132-16 record when scoring 80 points or more in a game. Under Bonvicini, the Wildcats have gone 92-9 when topping that 80-point plateau.
WILDCAT RADIO FREQUENCY HAS CHANGED: All Arizona women's basketball broadcasts have moved, along with host station KCEE, to a new frequency. All broadcasts, including games and the Joan Bonvicini Coach's Show (Mondays, 6-7 p.m.), can now be heard on 97.1 KCEE FM, instead of the previous frequency of 940 AM.
NEXT UP FOR 1,000: Junior forward Elizabeth Pickney is the Wildcats' next candidate for the the UA "1,000-Point Club". She has 965 points for her career, just 35 points away from the 1,000 mark. Once she reaches that mark, she'll be only the 10th Wildcat ever to score a thousand points, and that would make her the second player to join the 1,000-Point Club this season. Her teammate Reshea Bristol reached the 1,000-point mark on Jan. 18 at USC.
KEYS TO THE WIN: This season, Arizona is... 10-3 when out-rebounding its opponent... 14-2 when shooting better than its opponent from the floor... 15-3 when shooting 40% or better from the field... 13-1 when four or more players reach double digits in scoring... 11-0 when leading at halftime... 12-1 when forcing more turnovers than it commits... 15-0 when scoring 70 points or more... 11-3 when opponents score 71 points or less.
HOW TO AVOID A LOSS: According to the season's trends thus far, the best way for Arizona to avoid losing this season might be to lead at the half, shoot better from the floor than the opponent, commit fewer turnovers than the opponent and score 70 points or more. The Cats are only 5-5 this year when tied or trailing at halftime, 2-3 when shooting worse from the field than the opponent, 3-4 when committing more turnovers than the opponent, 1-2 when shooting below 40% from the floor, 1-5 when scoring 69 points or less, and 3-4 when three or fewer Wildcats reach double digits in scoring.
THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME: Including a perfect 11-0 record so far this year, the Wildcats have won 16 of their last 17 home games and are 38-6 on their home court over the last three seasons combined. During Joan Bonvicini's 10 seasons at Arizona, the Wildcats have posted a 103-41 mark in McKale Center. Arizona has a record of 169-149 on its home court since the 1976-77 season.
ROAD WOES: In contrast to their 11-0 home record this year, the Wildcats are only 4-4 in road games this season. They are averaging 88.1 points per game and are out-scoring opponents by an average of 22.1 ppg in home games. Those numbers are significantly lower in road contests this year. A comparison...
The Cats at Home - Arizona 88.1 ppg 42.5 rpg 19.4 apg 9.8 spg .492 fg pct .723 ft pct Opp. 66.0 ppg 38.5 rpg 15.3 apg 5.7 spg .369 fg pct .667 ft pct +22.1 ppg +4.0 rpg
The Cats on the Road - Arizona 71.0 ppg 39.9 rpg 13.5 apg 8.8 spg .431 fg pct .694 ft pct Opp. 67.4 ppg 37.6 rpg 15.8 apg 9.6 spg .422 fg pct .601 ft pct +3.6 ppg +2.3 rpg
STEPPING UP: Junior center LaKeisha Taylor seems to have come into her own this season. During her first six games, Taylor registered only 6.0 points and 3.8 rebounds per game while shooting 58.3 percent (14-24) from the floor. However, over the last 14 games, Taylor has averaged to 12.6 points and 6.7 rebounds per game while hitting 64.5 percent (69-107) from the field. She has reached double digits in scoring in 10 of the Cats' last 14 games.
A TALE OF TWO HALVES: Arizona seems to be a "second-half team" this season. The Cats are averaging 37.1 ppg during the first halves of this season's contests, out-scoring opponents by an average of only 4.5 ppg in that period. During the second halves of this season's games, though, the Wildcats are averaging 42.8 ppg and are out-scoring opponents by an average of 8.9 ppg for that period.
BY THE NUMBERS: Twelve of Arizona's wins this year have been by a total of 10 points or more... Five of those wins have been by spreads of 30 points or more... The Cats have hit four or more 3-pointers in 16 games... Arizona has had 15 or more assists in 12 games... The Cats have had 10 or more steals in 10 games... Arizona has forced its opponent into 20 or more turnovers in 12 contests... The UA has scored 80 points or better in 11 games.
GETTING TO THE LINE: Arizona is averaging 17.9 points per game from the free throw line this season. The Cats have made it to the free throw line 531 times over 21 games, for an average of 25.3 attempts per contest. The Wildcats have connected on 376 of those attempts (70.8 percent).
STRONG SCHEDULE: Several of Arizona's 2001 opponents were listed in this week's national rankings. In this week's Associated Press Top 25, Notre Dame is No. 1 and Arizona State is No. 23. Oregon, Stanford, Washington, Auburn and UC Santa Barbara were among teams receiving votes for ranking. In the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, Notre Dame is No. 1 and Oregon is No. 23. Stanford, Auburn, Arizona State, Washington, Louisville and UC Santa Barbara were all among the teams receiving votes.
CHECKING THE RECORD BOOK: Senior guard Reshea Bristol is second on the Arizona career list in steals (227), third in free throws made (304), fourth in free throws attempted (419), fifth in three-pointers attempted (233), fifth in three-pointers made (77), seventh in assists (370), eight in three-point percentage (.330) and tenth in field goals attempted (890). She is in the No. 7 spot on the UA's all-time scoring list, with 1,071 career points, and needs 73 points to move into the No. 6 spot. Junior forward Elizabeth Pickney is third on the UA career list in blocked shots (96), fourth in rebounding average (5.4 rpg), fourth in scoring average (11.8 ppg), fourth in free throws made (278), fifth in free throws attempted (372), seventh in free throw percentage (.747) and eighth in field goal percentage (.485). She just moved into the No. 14 spot on the all-time scoring chart with 965 career points, needing just two more points to move to No. 13. She is only 35 points away from becoming the 10th Wildcat to reach the 1,000-point mark in career scoring.
WE CAN HANDLE THE CLOSE ONES...: Under head coach Joan Bonvicini, the Cats have gone 27-21 in games settled by five points or less, including a 9-4 mark in games settled by one or two points.
...BUT WE REALLY PREFER THE BLOWOUTS: Over the last 10 seasons, Bonvicini's Arizona teams have won 55 games by spreads of 20 points or more.
ON LOCATION: Arizona has an 11-0 mark at home this year, is 4-4 on the road and is 1-1 in neutral games. The Wildcats were 12-3 at home last season, 9-4 in road games and 4-0 in neutral contests.
CAT SCRATCHES: The Arizona women's basketball program has a 334-400 (.455) all-time record, however it is 138-64 (.683) from 1994 to present... Joan Bonvicini has a 181-94 career record against Pac-10 teams.
WILDCATS ON TELEVISION: The Cats are currently scheduled to make television appearances for at least three more games...
Sat., Feb. 10 at Washington St. Fox Sports Net 1 p.m. PST Sun., Feb. 18 USC Fox Sports Net 2 p.m. Thurs., Mar. 1 at Oregon State Fox Sports Northwest (taped delay)
The Mar. 3 (at Oregon) and Mar. 10 (California) contests have been selected by Fox Sports Net as potential TV games. The television status of each contest will be determined approximately 12 days before the specified dates.
BRISTOL HITS 1,000: At the 17:03 mark in the second half of the game at USC on Jan. 18, senior guard Reshea Bristol drained a three-pointer and became only the ninth Wildcat women's basketball player to reach the 1,000-point mark in career scoring.
NICE START: With their 14-2 start, the Wildcats tied the 1999-2000 team for the best record ever through the first 16 games of a season. The Cats' 4-0 start in Pac-10 play this year is their best start ever in conference action.
BRISTOL NAMED NATIONAL STAR OF THE WEEK (Jan. 8): After leading the Cats to a road sweep of the Bay Area schools, senior guard Reshea Bristol was named the WomensCollegeHoops.com "National Star of the Week" for Jan. 2-9.
BRISTOL NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK AGAIN (Jan 8): Wildcat senior guard Reshea Bristol was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week for Jan. 2-8. She averaged 22.0 points, 6.5 assists, 4.5 steals, 4.0 rebounds and 1.0 blocks while leading the Wildcats to a road sweep of the Bay Area schools. She shot 90.9 percent (10-11) from the line, 66.7 percent (4-6) from three-point range and 46.9 percent (15-32) from the floor. That was the second straight week that Bristol earned the Player of the Week honor. The Player of the Week honor is the third of Bristol's career, her second this season and the 22nd all-time selection for Arizona.
BRISTOL NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK (Jan. 1): Wildcat senior guard Reshea Bristol was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week for Dec. 18-31. She helped lead Arizona to a 3-1 mark during that time frame, including all-tournament acclaim as the Cats earned runner-up honors at the San Juan Shootout. In wins over Puerto Rico-Mayaguez, Nebraska and Kansas and a narrow loss to then-No. 9 Auburn, she averaged 16.0 points, 5.5 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game in 123 total minutes of play. The Player of the Week honor is the second of Bristol's career.
THE CATS AND PAC-10 OPENERS: Under Joan Bonvicini, Arizona has a 7-3 mark in Pac-10 openers and has won its first conference contest in seven of the last eight years.
NON-CONFERENCE SUCCESS: The Wildcats wrapped up regular season non-conference play this year with an outstanding 10-2 mark. Their only two losses were to No. 5 Notre Dame and No. 9 Auburn. During its 10 non-conference wins, Arizona averaged an astounding 86.8 points per game and out-scored opponents by an average of 24.9 points per game. Arizona has recorded a 60-14 mark against non-conference opponents over the last six years combined.
WHAT A GAME!: During the Dec. 20 contest against UPR-Mayaguez at the San Juan Shootout, Arizona set a new school record for margin of victory by defeating the Bulldogs, 105-41, a margin of 63 points. That surpassed the previous record if 56 points (99-43) set only 12 days earlier against Bowling Green on Dec. 8. Arizona's 105 points in that contest is its highest offensive output since scoring 105 points against Sacramento State at home on Dec. 17, 1994. The 41 points scored by the Bulldogs is the best defensive effort since the Cats allowed Cal Poly-SLO to score only 39 on Jan. 9, 1996, in Tucson. The Cats also out-rebounded the Bulldogs by 24 (46-22), the best rebounding margin since the UA out-rebounded Sacramento State by 31 (59-28) during that Dec. 17, 1994 game.
OFFENSIVE EXPLOSION: For the first time in the program's history, the Wildcats had four consecutive games of 90 points or more. Arizona defeated UNLV (91-74) on Dec. 6, Bowling Green (99-43) on Dec. 8, Fresno State (92-55) on Dec. 10 and Louisville (90-60) on Dec. 17 to put together the first-ever string of four straight games with offensive outputs of 90+ points.
PICKNEY NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK (Dec. 11): Junior forward Elizabeth Pickney was named Pac-10 Player of the Week for Dec. 4-11. She averaged 20.3 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game while leading the Wildcats to a 3-0 record for the week. In the three home victories, she shot a combined .489 from the floor (23-for-47), .824 from the line (14-for-17) and hit her first career three-pointer. This is Pickney's second career Pac-10 Player of the Week honor and Arizona's 20th Player of the Week honor all-time.
DISHING IT OUT: Against UNLV on Dec. 6, senior guard Reshea Bristol racked up a career-high 14 assists. That was the highest single-game assists total for any individual since former Wildcat Brenda Pantoja -- who was on UNLV's bench for that Dec. 6 game as an assistant coach -- collected 14 against Washington State at home on Feb. 29, 1996.
GOOD BEGINNINGS: With Joan Bonvicini at the program's helm, the Wildcats have won six straight season openers and eight in the 10 years she has been at the UA.
BRASE TO REDSHIRT: Wildcat junior guard Julie Brase will redshirt for the 2000-2001 season after having wrist surgery before the start of the season. Brase played in all 32 games last year, starting 19, and averaged 6.1 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game.
WHAT THE COACHES THINK: Here is the predicted order of finish for the Pac-10 this season, according to the league's coaches... 1. Stanford, 2. Oregon, 3. USC, 4. ARIZONA, 5. Arizona State, t6. UCLA, t6. Washington, 8. Oregon State, 9. California, 10. Washington State. The Pac-10 women's basketball media members picked Arizona to finish fourth, as well.
BUT WE CAN DO BETTER: In each of the previous three years, Arizona has equalled or bettered the Pac-10 coaches' pick for its finish... 2000 - picked fourth, finished tied for second; 1999 - picked fifth, finished fourth; 1998 - picked second, finished tied for second.
CATS INK EARLY SIGNEES: The Arizona women's basketball program signed four players on the first day of the early signing period last week. Forwards Danielle Adefeso (Santa Monica, CA/St. Monica HS) and Shawntinice Polk (Hanford, CA/Hanford HS) and guards Robin Roberson (Berkeley, CA/Berkeley HS) and Dee Dee Wheeler (Chicago, IL/Dunbar HS) will all join the Wildcats for the 2001-02 season.
PAC-10 APPROVES CONFERENCE TOURNAMENTS: The Pacific-10 Conference Chief Executive Officers have approved the establishment of men's and women's post-season basketball tournaments. The men's tournament will be an eight-team event to be staged at Staples Center in Los Angeles. The women's tournament will be a 10-team event hosted on campus by one of the Pac-10 members. Both tournaments will begin in March 2002. In each case, the winner of the Tournament will earn the Conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Championship. Oregon has been selected as the first school to host the Pac-10 women's basketball tournament. The historical event will take place in March 2002 on the UO campus.
1999-2000 IN REVIEW: After returning 10 letterwinners and all five starters from the previous year's squad, the 1999-2000 Wildcats utilized their depth and experience to roll to a 25-7 overall mark, setting a new school record for most wins in a season. The Cats garnered a 13-5 record in Pac-10 play, finishing in a tie for second with Stanford. Arizona opened the season with a nine-game win streak and went on to register an 11-1 mark in non-conference action. By winning their first Pac-10 game to improve to 12-1, the Cats tied the school record for the best start in the history of the program. The Wildcats earned their fourth consecutive NCAA tournament berth, ending up as the No. 8 seed in the Mideast Region. Arizona travelled to Knoxville, Tenn., where it downed No. 9 seed Kent, 73-61, in the first round of the tournament. The Cats faced No. 1 seed and eventual national runner-up Tennessee in the second round and put up a valiant fight, only to fall, 75-60. The UA set or tied 23 school records during the season, including most wins in a season (25), highest winning percentage (.781), most three-point field goals made in a season (162) and most points in a season (2,484). The Wildcats were ranked 21st in the final Associated Press Poll of the year and were 20th in the last USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll.
ON THE INDIVIDUAL FRONT: With 12.7 points per game, forward Angela Lackey finished as Arizona's leading scorer for the second straight year. She was second in rebounding, at 5.3 per game. Fellow forward Tatum Brown was second in scoring, with 12.4 points per game, and was the team's top rebounder, with 7.7 boards per contest. Forward Elizabeth Pickney was third in both categories, averaging 9.8 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. Guards Lisa Griffith (8.9 ppg), Reshea Bristol (8.6 ppg), Felecity Willis (7.8 ppg) and Julie Brase (6.1 ppg) followed on the scoring chart. Willis was the team's assists leader, at 5.3 per game, while Griffith had the highest steals average, at 2.1 per game.