COMING UP: Arizona (7-17, 3-11) travels to Corvallis, Ore., for a 7 p.m. (PST) game at Oregon State (10-11, 4-9) this Saturday, Feb. 11, at Gill Coliseum. Live audio of the game is available at www.arizonaathletics.com, as well as on KJLL 1330 AM in Tucson.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE WILDCATS: The Wildcats gave up a season-high 15 three-pointers en route to their fifth-straight loss, at 78-58 defeat at the hands of Oregon Thursday night. Arizona shot 40 percent from the field, 27 percent from beyond the arc and just 25 percent from the free throw line on the game. Oregon, meanwhile, connected on 44 percent from the field, 56 percent from downtown and 72 percent from the charity stripe on the game. The Ducks also out-rebounded the Wildcats 49 to 31. The one bright spot for Arizona was turnovers, as it committed a season-low seven on the game. Oregon had 13 miscues on the game. Senior Natalie Jones led Arizona with 16 points and seven rebounds. Junior Joy Hollingsworth tallied her second double-double of the season, finishing with 14 points and 12 boards. She also had six assists and two steals. Sophomore Ashley Whisonant added 16 points.
Jones leads Arizona this season with 14.6 points per game. Hollingsworth adds 14.1 points and 6.1 rebounds per game, while Whisonant averages 13.8 points. As a team, the Wildcats are shooting 40 percent from the field, compared to the 47 percent of their opponents. They are also being out-rebounded 34.3 to 39.7.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION: A second-half comeback fell short as the Beavers fell to Arizona State 77-67 Thursday night. Oregon State out-shot the Sun Devils 57 percent to 43 percent, but ASU dominated inside, out-rebounding the Beavers 37 to 24. Kim Butler had 19 points, while Mandy Close and Anita Rivera added 17 apiece. Oregon State went on a 7-0 run into halftime to get within five, and cut it to two early in the second half, but that was as close as the Beavers would get.
On the season, the Beavers are led by Butler, who averages 18.0 points per game. Close adds 12.8 points, while Rivera averages 12.0 points per game. Tiffany Ducker leads the team with a 6.9 rebounding average. As a team, OSU is shooting 43 percent from the field on the season, compared to the 40 percent of its opponents. The Beavers are being out-rebounded 33.5 to 36.8 on the season.
SERIES SHORTS: Arizona leads the all-time series with Oregon State 23-20. The last time the two teams met, on Jan. 12, Oregon State won 64-48 in Tucson. The Wildcats are 14-7 at home, 7-13 away and 2-0 at a neutral site vs. the Beavers.
INJURY UPDATE: Freshman Malia O'Neal suffered a concussion against UCLA last Saturday and is day-to-day. Sophomore Jessica Arnold suffered a concussion in practice last Wednesday and is day-to-day. Sophomore Ch?© Oh suffered a concussion at Washington State on Jan. 28 and is out indefinitely. Freshman Amina Njonkou re-aggravated her right foot at Stanford on Jan. 19 and is out indefinitely. Junior Linda Pace suffered a left knee injury against Washington State on Dec. 29 and is out for the rest of the season.
RANKING IN THE PAC-10: As a team, Arizona ranks in the bottom half of the conference in every statistical category but free throw percentage (third), offensive rebounds (fourth), turnover margin (fifth), steals (fifth) and three-point field goal average (fifth).
Individually, several Wildcats rank in the Top 10 in various categories. Senior Natalie Jones is third in free throw percentage (.830), sixth in minutes per game (34.7) and steals (2.2), and ninth in both scoring (14.5) and three-point field goal average (1.6). Junior Joy Hollingsworth is fourth in three-point field goal average (2.1) and 10th in minutes per game (33.3). Sophomore Ashley Whisonant is third in assists (3.9) and 10th in assist/turnover ratio (1.0). Freshman Whitney Fields is fifth (2.6) and sophomore Ch?© Oh is eighth in offensive rebounds (2.6).
BARE MINIMUM: Due to a plethora of injuries, Arizona has played the majority of each of the last two games with just seven players, including walk-on Jessie Robinson. The Wildcats hope to bolster that number to nine for Saturday’s game at Oregon State.
SHOOTING SORROWS LEAD TO LOSSES: In 16 of their 17 losses this season, the Wildcats have had a worse shooting percentage than their opponents. In fact, three of the four times Arizona has produced a better field goal percentage than its opponent (Furman, Lehigh, Chicago State), the team has also won the game. The only time the Wildcats shot better than their opponent and lost was at Washington.
JONES FIRING ON ALL CYLINDERS: Over the last four games, senior Natalie Jones has taken matters into her own hands. The guard has led the team in scoring all four games, posting three 20+ point games and finishing with double-doubles in twice. Over that span, she is averaging 22.3 points and 8.0 boards in 35.8 minutes per game.
ROAD WOES: Arizona is 1-9 on the road this season, including a 1-6 record in Pac-10 games away from McKale. This is not a new trend, however. Over the past six seasons, the Wildcats have had a winning record in Pac-10 road games only once (5-4 in 2003-04).
BURNS BURNING IT UP: Over the last seven games, freshman Kelsey Burns has really stepped up her game. During that time, the guard has averaged 7.7 points in 18.3 minutes per game. In the first 17 games, she had averaged 1.6 points in 5.6 minutes. Burns finished with a career-high 15 points against UCLA last Saturday, had 11 points against USC on Feb. 2 and had 10 points in Arizona’s upset of California on Jan. 22.
JONES JOINS 1,000-POINT CLUB: Senior Natalie Jones became just the 14th Arizona player ever to reach 1,000 points on her career on a free throw at the 2:02 mark of the second half at Washington State on Jan. 28. The guard now has 1,067 points on her career.
HALFTIME SCORE INDICATIVE OF FINAL RESULT: In Arizona’s 24 games this season, the halftime score has been indicative of the final result 20 times. The Wildcats are 2-15 when trailing at the intermission and 5-2 when leading. The only two games Arizona won after trailing at halftime were at home against Oregon and at California. Conversely, the two games the Wildcats lost after leading at halftime were against Central Connecticut State and Utah.
WILDCAT TRIFECTA: Senior Natalie Jones, junior Joy Hollingsworth and sophomore Ashley Whisonant lead the Wildcats this season. The trio account for 63 percent of the team’s points. Whisonant has reached double-digit scoring in 21 of the 24 games, while Jones and Hollingsworth have 10 or more points in 20 games.
JONES STARTS 89TH STRAIGHT GAME: Senior Natalie Jones started her 89th consecutive game at Oregon on Thursday. On her career, the guard has started 93 total games.
LACK OF SIZE EXPOSED: With the death of 6-5 Shawntinice Polk and the medical redshirt of 6-2 Shannon Hobson, Arizona is left without much size inside. As a result, the Wildcats have been out-rebounded in 18 of their 24 games this season. In those 18 games, the Wildcats have managed just 31.9 rebounds to their opponents’ 41.9 (-10.0).
CURRENT CATS ON UA CAREER LISTS: Senior Natalie Jones is fourth all-time at Arizona in free throw percentage (.770), fifth in three-point field goals attempted (364) and free throws made (282), sixth in three-point field goals made (109), seventh in free throws attempted (366), minutes played (3,382), games started (93) and personal fouls (304), eighth in games played (120), ninth in minutes per game (28.2), and 12th in scoring (1,067).
PAC-10 ACTIVE CAREER LEADERS: Arizona boasts several of the Pac-10’s active career statistical leaders. Senior Natalie Jones ranks second in assists (293), fourth in steals (178), sixth in three-point field goals made (109), sixth in scoring (1,067) and seventh in rebounds (514). Junior Joy Hollingsworth ranks fifth in three-point field goals made (119), seventh in steals (116), eighth in scoring (927), ninth in rebounds (447) and 12th in assists (151).
STACKED PAC: As a conference, the Pac-10 finished last season ranked as the third toughest conference in the nation after sending five teams to the NCAA Tournament. Finishing ahead of the Pac-10 were the Southeastern Conference and the Atlantic Coast Conference.
TOUGH SCHEDULE: The Wildcats have a challenging schedule that includes 12 games against eight teams (Arizona State, Maryland, Oregon, Stanford, UC Santa Barbara, USC, Utah and Wisconsin-Green Bay) that made it to the NCAA Tournament last year. Of those teams, six advanced to the second round, while Arizona State made it to the Sweet 16 and Stanford to the Elite Eight.
WILDCATS ON THE RADIO: All of Arizona’s games this season are broadcast on Tucson’s Jolt, KJLL 1330 AM. Paul Johnson is in his 11th year as the Wildcats’ play-by-play announcer.
UP NEXT: Arizona returns to Tucson to host California at 7 p.m. next Thursday, Feb. 16.