COMING UP: The University of Arizona women's basketball team (8-17, 2-11 Pac-10) hosts the Oregon State Beavers (8-13, 3-9 Pac-10) on Thursday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. in McKale Center. The Wildcats look to give head coach Joan Bonvicini her 600th career victory, as she will become the 18th coach in NCAA history to accomplish that milestone.
CATCH THE ACTION: As always, Arizona women's basketball games can be heard live on KTUC AM 1400, with Paul Johnson calling the action from courtside.
Live statistics and live video feeds are available at Arizona athletics department official website: arizonaathletics.com
WASHINGTON RECAP: Washington used a 33-10 scoring run in the second half to cruise to a 79-64 win over Arizona on Saturday afternoon before a crowd of 3,824 in Bank of American Arena.
Arizona shot 40.7 percent (22-54) from the field, compared to a 54.4 percent (31-57) mark for Washington. The Huskies out-rebounded the Wildcats 36-29, as Arizona finished with 10 steals and 10 assists.
Individually for Arizona, senior Joy Hollingsworth led the way with a game-high 26 points on 11-of-22 shooting from the field, including 20 points in the second half before a hometown crowd. Junior Ashley Whisonant added 17 points.
Arizona got off to a slow start, going scoreless for the first 4:54 of the game while missing its first six shots from the field. A bucket by senior Linda Pace trimmed the early Husky lead to 5-2, as UW shot 2-of-9 from the field to open the game compared to a 1-of-8 mark for the Wildcats. Junior Ashley Whisonant connected on back-to-back baskets, as her three gave Arizona a 7-5 lead at the 12:43 mark.
With the game tied at 13-13, Washington used a three-point play by Jill Bell and a trey by Cameo Hicks to take a 19-13 lead with 7:56 left in the first. UW led Arizona 27-21 at the half, out-shooting the Wildcats 47.8 percent (11-23) to 25.9 percent (7-27).
Arizona used an early 8-0 scoring run in the second half to cut the deficit to 30-29 at the 16:47 mark. Washington then responded with a 33-10 run over the next 10:12 to blow the game wide open with a 63-39 lead and 6:35 left to play. Washington shot 58.8 percent (20-34) from the field in the second half to counter a 55.6 percent (15-27) mark for the Wildcats.
A QUICK LOOK AT ARIZONA: Arizona averages 64.6 points a game while shooting 39.5 percent (605-1531) from the field, 27.3 percent (114-418) from three-point range, and 68.9 percent (290-421) from the free throw line. The Wildcats have also tallied 227 steals (9.1 spg), third-best in the Pac-10, off of 489 opponent turnovers. Senior Joy Hollingsworth leads Arizona with 16.6 points a game (6th in the Pac-10) while posting 5.8 rebounds, and 2.24 steals per game (second in the Pac-10).
ABOUT THE BEAVERS: The Oregon State University Beavers enter Thursday’s game with an 8-13 overall record and a 3-9 mark in the Pac-10. OSU has lost three straight games, all at home, and is 2-6 on the road so far this season. Five of the Beavers’ losses this season are by six points or less. As a team, OSU shoots 43.2 percent (481-1114) from the field, 27.4 percent (68-248) from three point range, and 71.9 percent (259-360) from the free throw line while averaging 61.4 points a game. Senior guard Casey Nash is averaging a Pac-10 leading 20.6 points a game to go with 6.9 rebounds, and freshman forward Judie Lomax adds 11.3 points a 8.2 rebounds per game. Head coach LaVonda Wagner is in her second season at the helm of the Beaver program.
THE OREGON STATE-ARIZONA SERIES: Thursday’s game will be the 46th meeting all-time between the Wildcats and Beavers on the hardwood, with Arizona owning a 23-22 all-time series advantage. OSU defeated Arizona, 69-62, on Jan. 13 in Gill Coliseum. Last season, Oregon State swept the two-game series, breaking a six-game Wildcat winning streak. Since 1998, Arizona is 14-7 against the Beavers.
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 15 seasons at the helm, Bonvicini has guided the Wildcats to nine postseason appearances, including seven NCAA Tournament berths and a WNIT Championship.
Under Bonvicini's tutelage, the Wildcats have finished in the upper tier of the Pac-10 in nine of the last 10 years, and in 2003-04 won a share of the conference regular-season title for the first time in school history. During this time, Arizona has been nationally ranked multiple times, including a best ever ranking of No. 7 in 1998.
Bonvicini's success is mirrored in her players' accolades. She has produced one All-American, five honorable mention All-America selections, a Pac-10 Player of the Year, three Pac-10 Freshmen of the Year, 21 All-Pac-10 honorees, 16 Pac-10 All-Freshman Team choices and 11 Academic All-Pac-10 selections. Bonvicini holds a 274-199 (.579) mark at Arizona and is 599-270 (.689) in 27 years as a head coach, needing just ONE win to become the 18th coach in NCAA history to reach 600 career wins. She has a career record of 24-17 in NCAA Tournament play and has lost just two first-round games in 17 tourney appearances.
WIN #600: As mentioned above, head coach Joan Bonvicini stands just ONE win shy of 600 in her career. With a win on Thursday, she will become the 18th coach in NCAA history to accomplish the 600-win plateau.
GOOD OMEN?: Joan Bonvicini is in line to notch win No. 600 against the Beavers on Thursday. Career win No. 500 for Bonvicini came against Oregon State on Feb. 3, 2001, an 83-73 victory over the Beavers.
Joan Bonvicini Coaching Career Win Milestones:
First Career Win:
Nov. 17, 1979 ?- vs. Drake, 97-67
100th Career Win:
March 4, 1983 ?- vs. Cal State Fullerton, 98-75
200th Career Win:
Jan. 22, 1987 ?- vs. San Jose State, 120-53
300th Career Win:
March 10, 1990 ?- vs. Pacific, 85-83
400th Career Win:
Dec. 1, 1996 ?- vs. Long Beach State, 97-57
500th Career Win:
Feb. 3, 2001 ?- vs. Oregon State, 83-73
600th Career Win:
GET AHEAD, STAY AHEAD: Arizona is 7-4 this season when leading at halftime. However, the Wildcats were 1-3 when leading at the half before beating Washington State last Thursday, after leading the Cougars 26-24 at halftime. Arizona is 1-13 when trailing at the half, with its only come-from-behind win coming against Washington State at home.
CARDIAC CATS: So far this season, the Wildcats have succeeded in the close ball games. Arizona is 5-2 in games decided by five points or less. The Wildcats topped the Cougars last Thursday with a four-point victory (55-51).
MAGIC NUMBER: On the season, Arizona is 5-3 when scoring 70 points or more in a game, including a season-high 83 points scored in its season-opening win against Nicholls State. All-time, Arizona is 176-21 (.893) when scoring 80 points or more, as the Wildcats are 129-14 (.902) under head coach Joan Bonvicini when reaching the 80 point plateau. Arizona is 1-11 this season when posting 60-69 points in a game.
RUN IT, RUN IT: So far this season, Arizona has shown the ability to put together some large scoring runs. Here is a breakdown of some of the Wildcats' major scoring-streaks:
25 points: 30-5 scoring run over 12:50 in the first half vs. Nicholls State
21 points: 30-9 run over the final 6:53 of the first half at UTEP
18 points: 23-5 run over the first 12:38 of the second half vs. Long Beach State
16 points: 16-0 run over 3:13 in the first half vs. Louisiana Tech
16 points: 20-4 run over the final 8:11 of the game at Maryland
15 points: 15-0 run over 4:40 in the first half vs. GW
14 points: 15-1 run over 3:57 in the second half vs. Long Beach State
12 points: 16-4 run over 5:16 in the second half vs. Stanford
12 points: 17-5 run over 3:30 in the second half vs. UCLA
12 points: 12-0 run over 5:55 in first half vs. NC State
12 points: 18-6 run over the final 7:50 of the game vs. Nicholls State
11 points: 14-3 run over 9:20 to start the second half vs. Washington State
10 points: 17-7 run over 6:24 in the first half vs. New Mexico
10 points: 13-3 run over 4:24 in the second half vs. Washington
10 points: 10-0 run over 1:47 in the second half vs. GW
10 points: 10-0 run over 3:54 in the first half vs. USC
THE BIG, BAD RUN: Although Arizona can score points in bunches, the Wildcats have a tendency to give up large scoring runs to the opposition. Here is a look at some of the scoring runs Arizona has given up to opponents:
26 points: 31-5 scoring run to Maryland over 9:59 to start the first half
23 points: 33-10 run to Washington over 10:12 in the second half
21 points: 26-5 run to Texas A&M in the final 7:31 of the first half
20 points: 26-6 run at Arizona State over 9:26 to start the first half
19 points: 27-8 run to Stanford over 7:41 in the first half
16 points: 16-0 run to California over 7:45 in the first half
16 points: 21-5 run to UTEP in the final 3:37 of the game
14 points: 17-3 run at Oregon over 4:28 in the first half
13 points: 13-0 run to Fresno State in the final 4:33 of the game
13 points: 16-3 run to Louisiana Tech over 5:29 in the first half
12 points: 14-2 run to USC over 7:14 in the first half
12 points: 13-1 run at Oregon over 5:54 in the second half.
12 points: 16-4 run to New Mexico over 5:21 to start the first half
12 points: 15-3 run to Washington State over 4:51 in the first half
11 points: 11-0 run to California over 3:06 in the first half
11 points: 16-5 run to USC over 4:04 in the second half
11 points: 15-4 run to USC in the final 4:23 of the game
11 points: 15-4 run to New Mexico over 4:51 midway through the second half
10 points: 10-0 run to Utah over 3:16 in the first half
10 points: 10-0 run to UCLA over the final 2:34 of the first half
WATCH YOUR POCKETS: The Wildcats have excelled at picking the pockets of opponents this season. Arizona has tallied 227 steals (9.1 spg) on the year, which is third best in the Pac-10. UA has also forced 489 opponent turnovers. The Wildcats have recorded double-figures in steals in 12 games this season, finishing with 10 against the Huskies on Saturday. Senior Joy Hollingsworth leads Arizona with a mark of 2.24 spg, the second-best mark in the Pac-10.
OFFENSIVE BOARDS: So far this season, the Wildcats have done a solid job on the offensive glass. On the year, the Wildcats have grabbed 339 offensive rebounds. Arizona has posted double-figures in offensive rebounds in 20 of 25 games this season. Arizona has posted double-figures in offensive rebounds in nine of the last 10 games, and 12 of the last 14 games, finishing 11 at Washington after posting 21 offensive boards at Washington State, the second-highest total this season.
GETTING TO THE LINE: The Wildcats have improved on their free throw shooting in the second half of the season, as Arizona is shooting 76.3 percent (87-114) from the charity stripe in the last seven games. In the last four games, the Wildcats have made 56-of-72 free throws, good for 77.8 percent. On the season, Arizona is shooting 68.9 percent (290-421) from the line, including a 71.4 percent (165-231) mark in Pac-10 play.
SLUMP BUSTER: Arizona was in quite the slump before shooting 55.6 percent (15-27) from the field in the second half at Washington. Over the course of four halves before that, which covered three games, the Wildcats were shooting a combined 28.0 percent (35-125) from the field. Arizona shot 10-of-35 (28.6 percent) from the field in the second half against California, and posted marks of 29.6 percent (8-27) and 27.8 percent (10-36) at Washington State. The Wildcats shot 25.9 percent (7-27) from the field in the first half at UW, yet still only trailed 27-21 at the half.
GIVE HER THE ROCK: Senior Joy Hollingsworth is coming off back-to-back 20 point performances, a first this season, after finishing with 26 points against the Huskies on Saturday. Hollingsworth made a career-high 11 field goals on just 22 attempts, with 20 of her 26 points coming in the second half. She was also 4-of-8 from behind the arc. Last week, Hollingsworth averaged 23.0 points a game on 47.4 percent (18-38) shooting from the field, including a 50.0 percent (9-18) mark from three point range.
The Seattle native is averaging a team-best 16.6 points a game (6th in the Pac-10), as she has scored 20 points or more on nine different occasions. She is also averaging 5.8 rebounds and 2.24 steals a game (second in the Pac-10), and has posted double-figure point totals in 22 out of 25 games this season. Hollingsworth is shooting 39.2 percent from the field (148-378), and averages 14 shots a game.
PT FOR LP: Senior guard Linda Pace broke into the starting lineup this past week against the Washington schools and made an immediate impact with her playing time. Against Washington State, Pace posted season highs of four rebounds and four steals in 21 minutes of action. At Washington, Pace followed up with a season-high five points in a season-best 24 minutes of playing time.
BRING IT: Like every season, Arizona competes against some of the toughest competition in the nation. This year will be no different. The Wildcats will face a strong non-conference slate to go along with the always-difficult Pac-10 Conference season. Arizona will play 20 games this season against 12 teams that participated in the 2006 NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats will face defending national champion Maryland and NCAA Tournament teams George Washington and TCU in the first week of the season. Arizona also hosts NC State, Louisiana Tech and New Mexico, and travels to Texas A&M and Utah. After the brutal non-conference slate, Arizona must throw blows with its Pac-10 Conference foes, including Arizona State, California, Stanford, Washington, USC, and UCLA, all tournament teams from a year ago.
RANK THIS: Arizona's tough schedule is apparent when you take a look at this year's preseason rankings. In the WBCA/USA Today/ESPN Preseason Top-25 Poll, nine of the top 25 teams in the nation will play the Wildcats during the season. Defending champs Maryland tops the list at No. 1 in the nation, followed by No. 4 Stanford, No. 12 Arizona State, No. 14 Texas A&M, No. 20 New Mexico, No. 21 California, No. 22 USC, No. 23 UCLA, and No. 25 Washington. Additionally, five other Arizona opponents (George Washington, Utah, TCU, Louisiana Tech, and NC State) received double-digit votes in the poll.
This week, six of Arizona's 2006-07 opponents are ranked in the top-25. So far this season, Arizona is 0-9 against ranked opposition.
CATS PICKED TO FINISH SEVENTH IN THE PAC-10: The University of Arizona women's basketball team was selected to finish seventh in the Pac-10 Conference in a preseason vote by the conference's head coaches on Oct., 16. The Wildcats garnered 32 points in the poll, as defending Pac-10 champion Stanford was chosen as the favorite to win this year's Pac-10 title.
The Cardinal received nine of 10 first-place votes and 81 points, as Arizona State received the remaining first-place nod and tallied 70 points to place second. USC was tabbed to finish third with 63 points, followed by California and Washington with 53 points for a tie for the fourth-place slot. UCLA grabbed 46 points to place sixth, followed by Arizona (32), as Oregon (22), Washington State (16) and Oregon State (14) rounded out the poll.
Arizona was also selected to finish seventh in the Pac-10 Media Poll released Nov. 7.
UP NEXT: Arizona will host the Oregon Ducks, on Saturday, Feb. 10 at 2 p.m. in McKale Center.