POSSIBLE STARTING LINEUP: 45 Elizabeth Pickney F 6-4 So. Houston, TX 16.0 ppg 6.8 rpg 2.3 bpg 53 Tatum Brown F 6-4 Sr. Tacoma, WA 12.0 ppg 5.5 rpg 20 Julie Brase G 5-9 So. Tucson, AZ 7.0 ppg 3.0 rpg 2.0 apg 22 Monika Crank G 5-7 Sr. Page, AZ 6.8 ppg 4.8 rpg 2.3 apg 23 Felecity Willis G 5-7 Sr. Apple Valley, CA 9.5 ppg 5.8 apg 2.3 spg OFF THE BENCH (listed alphabetically): 33 Tysell Bozeman G 5-8 So. Riverside, CA 1.0 ppg 0.0 rpg 10 Reshea Bristol G 5-10 Jr. Omaha, NE 3.2 ppg 1.0 rpg 1.8 spg 3 Lisa Griffith G 5-6 Sr. Portland, OR 8.5 ppg 3.5 rpg 3.0 apg 34 Angela Lackey F 6-0 Sr. Louisville, KY 15 ppg 5.3 rpg 1.7 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 3.2 ppg 2.8 rpg 1.0 bpg 35 Krista Warren G 6-2 Fr. Cloverdale, CA 2.2 ppg 2.0 rpgABOUT ARIZONA: The 21st-ranked Wildcats improved to 4-0 on the year with a 74-63 win over New Mexico last Saturday.
With 16.0 points and 6.8 rebounds per game, sophomore forward Elizabeth Pickney continues to lead Arizona in both categories. She is averaging a team-best 2.3 blocks per game, as well. Senior forward Angela Lackey is second in scoring (15.0 ppg) and third in rebounding (5.3 rpg), with fellow senior Tatum Brown second in rebounding (5.5 rpg) and third in scoring with 12.0 ppg.
Two other players -- senior guards Felecity Willis (9.5 ppg) and Lisa Griffith (8.5) -- are both averaging better than eight points per game. Willis is leading the squad in both assists (5.8 apg) and steals (2.3 spg).
PICKNEY NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Sophomore forward Elizabeth Pickney has been 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 is the first of Pickney's career and the 16th all-time selection for Arizona.
ABOUT UC SANTA BARBARA: UCSB, ranked 15th this week, stands at 3-1 on the season after finishing as runner-up in the Preseason WNIT. 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 Nov. 22.
Junior guard Erin Buescher is UCSB's top scorer, with 17.8 ppg, and is averaging 7.2 rpg. Senior forward Kristi Rohr is averaging 13.2 ppg and 6.2 rpg, while fellow senior Stacy Clinesmith has averages of 10.2 ppg and 6.5 assists per game. Sophomore forward Kayte Christensen is UCSB's leading rebounder, at 8.2 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 has the narrow 4-3 lead in the series with UC Santa Barbara. 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: After 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: Plagued by poor shooting performances all the way around, Arizona eked out a 74-63 win over regional foe New Mexico on Nov. 27 at home.
Throughout the first half, the Wildcats would make small seven- and eight-point runs, only to have UNM come right back each time. There were seven ties in the first half alone, and New Mexico took a three-point (40-37) lead into halftime.
The second half closely resembled the first, although after taking over the lead with a 15-5 run at the start of the period, the UA never relinquished their lead. The Lobos were as close as two points (59-57) at the 5:06 mark, then the Cats finished the game with a 15-6 spurt that allowed them their final spread.
Four Wildcats reached double digits in scoring, led by Angela Lackey's 16 points. Tatum Brown notched 14 points and a team-high nine rebounds, and Felecity Willis had 14 points and six assists. Elizabeth Pickney contributed 10 points, and Monika Crank pulled down eight rebounds.
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 20 blocks already this season, an average of 5.0 per game. The 20 blocks is the highest total ever through the first four games of any season.
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 Insight.com Bowl Basketball Classic, with a field that features the Cats, Indiana, Middle Tennessee State and Texas Southern.
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 138-98 (.585) mark and has a 463-169 (.733) 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.
KEEP THE WIN STREAK GOING: Arizona head coach Joan Bonvicini has a perfect 17-0 career record against UC Santa Barbara. Two of those wins have come during her tenure at the UA; the rest were accomplished during her 12 years at Long Beach State.
RACKING UP THE WINS: Joan Bonvicini needs only 21 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.
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.
ARIZONA'S PRACTICE SCHEDULE: Here is the upcoming practice schedule for the Wildcats... 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 Fri. Dec. 3 4:30-7 p.m. McKale Sat. Dec. 4 9-11:30 a.m. McKale lifting after Sun. Dec. 5 4:30-6:30 p.m. McKale Mon. Dec. 6 vs. Colorado State, 7 p.m. McKale Tues. Dec. 7 OFF Wed. Dec. 8 4:30-7 p.m. McKale Thurs. Dec. 9 2-4 p.m. McKale lifting afterGOIN' DEEP: The best evidence that the UA is a deep squad this season? Lots of people playing lots of minutes. Currently, seven different Wildcats 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.
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 fifth in this week's AP poll, while Oregon is 13th, UC Santa Barbara is 15th, Kansas is 18th and Stanford is 20th. Hawai'i received votes for ranking this week.
Although this week's USA Today/ESPN Coaches' poll was unavailable at press time, UCLA was No. 4 last week, UC Santa Barbara was No. 10, Oregon was No. 14, Kansas was No. 21 and Stanford was No. 22. Colorado State, Louisville, Oklahoma, USC and New Mexico all received votes.
DUALLY SUCCESSFUL: Eleven schools have both their men's and women's basketball teams ranked among the AP Top 25 this week. They are Arizona, North Carolina, Stanford, Connecticut, Kansas, Auburn, UCLA, Illinois, Duke, Tennessee and Purdue.
THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME: During Joan Bonvicini's tenure at Arizona, the Wildcats have posted an 81-38 mark in McKale Center, including a 50-10 record over the last five seasons combined. Arizona has a record of 148-146 on its home court since the 1976-77 season.
ON LOCATION: The Wildcats are 1-0 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.
ARIZONA ON THE TUBE: The Wildcats are currently scheduled to make television appearances for four more games...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.
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)
RECORD WATCH: Lisa Griffith is Arizona's career leader in both three-pointers made (220) and attempted (593). She just moved up to the #12 spot on the UA's top-20 all-time leading scorers' list, and with 949 career points, she needs only 11 more points to move into the #11 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 363, and ninth on the career steals chart, with 165.
Felecity Willis is seventh in career three-pointers attempted (148) and eighth in three-pointers made (39). She is holding down fifth place on the all-time assists chart, with her 395 career dishes putting her 24 out of fourth place.
Willis is also on the verge of breaking into Arizona's all-time top 20 scoring list. She has 757 career points, needing only 16 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 seventh place with 44 career blocks.
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 297-389 (.433) all-time record, however it is 101-53 (.656) 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
WHAT THE COACHES THINK: Here is the predicted order of finish for the Pac-10 this season, according to the league's coaches...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.
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 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. 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.