Dec. 16, 2003
WHAT'S HAPPENING: The University of Arizona women's basketball team (7-2 overall; 0-0 Pac-10) puts a six-game win streak on the line this week when the Wildcats hit the road for the first time since the end of November. The Cats will play at New Mexico on Saturday, Dec. 20, at 7 p.m. in "The Pit" in Albuquerque. During the game, the countdown will be on for junior guard Dee-Dee Wheeler, who is just 15 points shy of 1,000 for her career.
SCOUTING ARIZONA: The Wildcats are 7-2 overall and on a six-game win streak following a pair of big victories at home last weekend. Arizona rolled over BYU, 83-69, on Dec. 12, then thumped Texas State, 94-56, on Dec. 14. The Cats are in the midst of a stretch that will see them play seven of eight games at home.
Two more victories over the weekend apparently weren't enough to regain respect from the various pollsters, as the Wildcats lost votes in both polls this week. In the Associated Press Top 25, Arizona earned 25 votes, a loss of seven votes from last week's 32. The Cats also lost 10 votes in this week's USA Today Coaches Poll, going from 61 votes last week to just 51 votes this week.
Sophomore All-America candidate Shawntinice Polk continues to lead Arizona in both scoring (17.0 ppg) and rebounding (7.6 rpg). Junior guard Dee-Dee Wheeler is second on the scoring chart, averaging 15.7 points per game, followed by senior guard Aimee Grzyb with 10.9 ppg.
Junior center Danielle Adefeso is the team's second-leading rebounder, averaging 5.7 per game, and she is fourth in scoring at 7.6 ppg. Sophomore forward CoCoa Sanford is close behind Adefeso in both categories, with averages of 7.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game.
#00 - Shawntinice Polk (C, 6-5, So., Hanford, Calif.)
#44 - Danielle Adefeso (C, 6-2, Jr., Los Angeles, Calif.)
#11 - Dee-Dee Wheeler (G, 5-6, Jr., Chicago, Ill.)
#13 - Aimee Grzyb (G, 5-7, Sr., San Jose, Calif.)
#23 - Natalie Jones (G, 5-10, So., Anchorage, Alaska)
OFF THE BENCH:
#5 - CoCoa Sanford (F, 6-0, So., Inglewood, Calif.)
#15 - Anna Chappell (F, 6-1, So., Qualicum Beach, B.C.)
#30 - Jessica Duger (G/F, 5-10, Sr., Lake Havasu City, Ariz.)
#50 - Shannon Hobson (F/C, 6-2, Fr., Perris, Calif.)
#21 - Katrina Lindner (G, 5-6, So., Glengowrie, Australia)
#10 - Linda Pace (G, 5-9, Fr., San Diego, Calif.)
#25 - Rachael Schein (G/F, 5-11, Fr., Las Vegas, Nev.)
COUNTDOWN TO 1,000: Junior guard Dee-Dee Wheeler is just 15 points away from becoming only the 11th Wildcat ever to reach the 1,000-point mark in career scoring. She has 985 career points.
Senior guard Aimee Grzyb is quickly closing in on that 1,000-point plateau as well. With 965 career points, she needs just 35 to reach 1,000.
Whenever one of these players reaches that 1,000-point mark, she will be the first new addition to the UA "1,000-Point Club" since both Elizabeth Pickney and Reshea Bristol joined that list during the 2000-01 season. The "1,000-Point Club" at Arizona is currently comprised of 10 former Wildcats.
TAKING CARE OF THE BALL: The Wildcats have committed an average of just 15.7 turnovers per game through the first nine contests of this season. That is the lowest average ever for UA team through the first nine games of any season.
The previous low was 16.7 turnovers per game through the first nine games of the 1985-86 season. The previous best for a Bonvicini-coached team was 18.7 topg through the first nine games of 1999-2000.
ARIZONA IN THE PAC-10 STATS: Through games of Dec. 14, Arizona is second in the Pac-10 in scoring (75.3 ppg), second in rebounding defense (31.4 rpg), second in rebounding margin (+7.9 rpg), second in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.04), third in scoring margin (+13.1 ppg), third in field goal percentage (.458) and third in rebounding (39.3 rpg).
Individually, Polkey is second in the conference in field goal percentage (.616), third in blocked shots (2.56 bpg), fourth in rebounding (7.6 rpg) and fifth in scoring (17.0 ppg). Dee-Dee Wheeler is third in assists (5.11 apg), sixth in scoring (15.7 ppg) and seventh in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.64).
Aimee Grzyb is currently leading the Pac-10 in three-pointers made per game (2.00 pg) and is 15th in scoring (10.9 ppg), while Danielle Adefeso is fifth in field goal percentage (.562) and 17th in rebounding (5.7 rpg). CoCoa Sanford is sixth in free throw percentage (.826) and 18th in rebounding (5.4 rpg), and Natalie Jones stands seventh in assists (3.44 apg) and eighth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.63).
SCOUTING NEW MEXICO: The Lobos are 6-3 on the year after splitting a pair of games last week. UNM fell to San Francisco, 43-37, on Dec. 11 in the Lobos' only road game of the season thus far, but they recovered to hand in-state rival New Mexico State a 62-39 loss at home on Dec. 14.
Posting averages of 10.8 points and 8.6 rebounds per game, junior forward Lindsey Arndt leads UNM in both categories and is the only Lobo averaging in double digits in scoring. The rest of the scoring is evenly distributed for New Mexico, with seven other players averaging four points or more a game. Senior forward Melissa Forest is the Lobos' second-leading rebounder, grabbing 5.6 per game.
Head coach Don Flanagan (Ft. Lewis, 1971) holds a 174-84 mark in nine seasons at New Mexico.
THE SERIES vs. NEW MEXICO: Arizona has a narrow 8-7 lead in the series with the Lobos, including a 70-61 win over UNM at home last season. Although the Wildcats have won four of the last six meetings with the Lobos, Arizona hasn't won a game in Albuquerque since an 83-33 victory there on Feb. 28, 1975. The last time the Cats traveled there, they lost, 75-67, on Nov. 21, 2001.
LAST MEETING WITH NEW MEXICO: Shawntinice Polk snagged her seventh consecutive double-double while leading Arizona to a 70-61 win at home over New Mexico on Dec. 18, 2002. The Cats moved to 5-2 on the year and snapped an eight-game Lobo win streak.
Arizona opened the game with a 13-5 spurt over the first five minutes, but UNM responded with eight unanswered points to tie the score at 13-13 with 10:59 left in the first. The Cats used a 13-3 run to gain a 10-point (26-16) advantage at 5:04 and led by a score of 35-27 at halftime.
New Mexico began the second half with its own 13-5 spurt to tie the game at 40-40 just six minutes into the period, but the Wildcats never trailed. At 11:21, they began a 25-10 run that gave them a 15-point (69-54) lead, their largest of the game, with 1:09 to play. Polk got eight of her 14 second-half points during that Wildcat run.
The Lobos out-scored the Cats, 7-1, down the stretch but were unable to get any closer than the final spread of nine.
Polk finished with game highs of 26 points and 11 rebounds, to go with a trio of assists. Aimee Grzyb had 13 points and four rebounds, while Krista Warren added 12 points, six rebounds and three steals. Natalie Jones had seven points and three rebounds.
HOME WIN STREAK STANDS AT 18: With their win over Texas State on Dec. 14, the Wildcats extended their home win streak to 18 games, a new school record for the longest home win streak in the program's history. The previous record was 15 games from Jan. 4, 1999, to Jan. 6, 2000.
THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME: The Wildcats have won 27 of their last 34 home games and are 103-22 on their home court over the last seven seasons combined. Under head coach Joan Bonvicini, the Wildcats have posted a 134-50 mark in McKale Center. Arizona has an all-time record of 200-158 on its home court since the 1976-77 season.
ARIZONA HEAD COACH Joan Bonvicini: The winningest coach in Arizona women's basketball history, Joan Bonvicini has taken the Wildcat program from obscurity into the national limelight. In her 13 seasons at the helm of the Arizona program, Bonvicini has guided the Wildcats to seven post-season appearances, including five NCAA tournament berths and two in the WNIT.
Entering her 13th season with the Wildcats, Bonvicini holds a 221-141 (.610) mark at Arizona and is 546-212 (.720) in 23 years as a head coach. She has a career record of 23-15 in NCAA tournament play and has lost in the first round only once 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.
LOOKING AHEAD: Arizona returns to Tucson after Christmas to open Pac-10 play on Saturday, Dec. 27, against Washington at 2 p.m. The Cats cap the weekend's action on Monday, Dec. 29, against Washington State at 7 p.m. Arizona remains at home to face rival Arizona State on Friday, Jan. 2, at 7 p.m.
The Wildcats play their final non-conference game at Louisiana State on Sunday, Jan. 4, at 2 p.m. CST, then they travel to the Bay Area for their first road Pac-10 games of the season at California (Jan. 8) and Stanford (Jan. 10).
CRASHING THE BOARDS: After averaging just 2.6 rebounds per game over the first five contests of the season, sophomore guard Natalie Jones has registered 5.8 rpg over the last four games, including a new career high of eight rebounds against Texas State on Dec. 14.
Fellow sophomore CoCoa Sanford has grabbed five or more rebounds in six of the season's nine contests so far. She averaged a solid 7.5 rpg during last weekend's two games.
AS DEE-DEE GOES...: So goes her team, or at least that's the way it has been for the last two years. Over the last two seasons, Arizona has posted a perfect 10-0 mark when Dee-Dee Wheeler reaches the 20-point mark. During Wheeler's career, the Wildcats have gone 26-5 when she scores 15 points or more.
In the Cats' seven wins this season, Dee-Dee Wheeler has averaged 17.0 points and 3.9 rebounds per game and shot 50.6 percent (45-89) from the field. However, in the Wildcats' two losses, Wheeler averaged only 11.0 ppg and shot just 28.1 percent (9-32) from the floor.
LOOKING AT THE TRENDS: The season may be young, but the Wildcats are already developing some trends in their wins and losses. This season, Arizona is... 7-0 when tied or leading at the half, but 0-2 when trailing at halftime... 7-0 when shooting better than its opponent, but 0-2 when shooting worse... 7-0 when giving up 69 points or less, but 0-2 when giving up 70 points or more.
GOING POLLING: Nine of Arizona's 2003-04 opponents were either nationally ranked or received votes for ranking in this week's polls.
According to the Associated Press poll, Stanford is No. 7, LSU is No. 16, UC Santa Barbara is No. 20, and Oregon is No. 21. Washington and Virginia were among the teams that received votes for ranking.
In the USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Coaches Poll, Stanford is No. 7, LSU is No. 18, Oregon is No. 21, UC Santa Barbara is No. 22, and Washington is No. 24. Virginia, UCLA, Arizona State and California were all among teams that received votes for ranking.
WE LIKE TO SCORE: During Joan Bonvicini's tenure at Arizona, Wildcat teams have won 71 games by margins of 20 points or more. Ten of those blowouts happened last season alone, and the Cats have logged three more 20-plus wins already this year.
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 32-year history of UA women's basketball, the Cats have posted a 151-21 record when scoring 80 points or more in a game. Under Joan Bonvicini, the Wildcats have gone 111-14 when topping the 80-point plateau.
CURRENT CATS ON THE UA CAREER LISTS: Wildcat senior guard Aimee Grzyb is third in career three-pointers made (166), third in three-pointers attempted (494), fourth in three-point percentage (.358), fifth in minutes-played average (30.8 mpg), tied for seventh in games started (81), is eighth in total minutes played (3052) and 16th in total points (965).
Junior guard Dee-Dee Wheeler is third in career scoring average (14.5 ppg), third in minutes-played average (31.2 mpg), fifth in career three-point percentage (.355), sixth in three-point field goals made (100), sixth in three-pointers attempted (282) and 11th in total points (985).
Although only a sophomore, Shawntinice Polk has already broken into Arizona's career lists in several categories. She is first in career field goal percentage (.611), first in rebounding average (10.1 rpg), second in double-doubles (23), third in blocked shots (103) and seventh in minutes-played average (28.7 mpg).
ON LOCATION: This season, the Wildcats have a 5-0 record at home, are 1-1 on the road and 1-1 in neutral contests. Last year, Arizona was 13-1 at home, 7-6 on the road and 2-2 in neutral games.