COMING UP: The Arizona women’s basketball team (15-6, 7-3) travels to Palo Alto, Calif., for a 7 p.m. (PST) game at No. 2/4 Stanford (19-2, 10-1) this Thursday, Feb. 3. 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: After overcoming a 10-point halftime deficit to force overtime, Arizona was outscored 15-8 in the extra period, dropping an 84-77 heartbreaker to No. 20/22 Maryland in front of 3,316 fans at McKale Center last Saturday. The Wildcats shot 42 percent from the field, 36 percent from three-point range and 60 percent from the free throw line on the game. Meanwhile, Maryland combined for 48 percent from the field, 60 percent from beyond the arc and 84 percent from the arc. The Terrapins also out-rebounded Arizona 50 to 34. Junior Shawntinice Polk led a group of five Wildcats in double-digit scoring, finishing with 19 points, a team-high eight rebounds and four blocked shots. Freshman Jessica Arnold tallied 18 points, followed by senior Danielle Adefeso, junior Natalie Jones and freshman Ashley Whisonant with 11 apiece. Jones and senior Dee-Dee Wheeler dished out four assists apiece.
On the season, the Wildcats are led by Wheeler, who averages 17.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 2.8 steals per game. Polk adds 13.5 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game. As a team, Arizona is out-shooting its opponents 45 percent to 38 percent and out-rebounding them 37.9 to 36.9.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION: Susan King Borchardt, Sebnem Kimyacioglu and Azella Perryman each scored 10 points to lead Stanford to its 10th-consecutive victory, a 69-56 win over Washington State last Saturday. Five other players scored between six and nine points for the Cardinal, while Kristen Newlin pulled down a team-high 11 rebounds. Stanford shot 46 percent from the field, while Washington State connected on just 35 percent of its shots. The Cardinal also edged the Cougars on the glass, 40 to 39.
On the season, the Cardinal is led by freshman Candice Wiggins, who averages 16.7 points per game. Brooke Smith and Kelley Suminski add 13.0 and 11.8 points per game, respectively. T’Nae Thiel leads the team with 5.4 rebounds per game. As a team, Stanford is shooting 47 percent from the field, compared to the 35 percent of its opponents. The Cardinal is outscoring opponents 76.6 to 55.3 and are out-rebounding them 40.6 to 33.1.
SERIES SHORTS: Arizona trails the all-time series with Stanford 12-38. The last time the two teams met, on Jan. 9, Arizona fell 78-66 at McKale, snapping a 34-game home winning streak. The Wildcats are 8-18 at home, 3-20 away and 1-2 at a neutral site vs. the Cardinal.
UPCOMING PROMOTIONS: In an effort to aid victims of the devastating tsunami in Asia, the Arizona women’s basketball team will be collecting band-aids, bandages and other first aid supplies during Tsunami Relief Day presented by the UA Office of Community Relations. Fans can drop off items in front of the McKale Ticket Office prior to the 4 p.m. game next Saturday, Feb. 12, against USC.
RANKING IN THE PAC-10: As a team, Arizona leads the Pac-10 in blocks (4.0), ranks second in field goal percentage defense (.379), third in scoring (71.5), field goal percentage (.446) and three-point field goal percentage defense (.301), fourth in scoring margin (7.6), scoring defense (63.9) and defensive rebounds (23.6), and fifth in three-point field goal percentage (.326), rebounding (37.9), rebounding defense (36.9), rebounding margin (1.0), assists (14.8) and assist/turnover ratio (0.8).
Individually, Dee-Dee Wheeler ranks second in scoring (17.6) and assist/turnover ratio (1.8), third in assists (4.9), fourth in steals (2.8), fifth in minutes played (33.2), eighth in three-point field goals made (1.6), and tied for 16th in rebounding (5.0). Shawntinice Polk leads the league in blocked shots (2.2), ranks third in field goal percentage (.606), rebounding (8.2) and defensive rebounds (5.8), seventh in scoring (13.5) and ninth in offensive rebounds (2.3). Natalie Jones ranks sixth in free throw percentage (.789) and 15th in rebounding (5.1), while Jessica Arnold ranks eighth in three-point field goal percentage (.385).
In Pac-10 games only, Wheeler leads the league in scoring (18.3), ranks second in minutes played (34.2) and assist/turnover ratio (1.5), third in assists (4.8), steals (2.7) and three-point field goals made (1.9), seventh in three-point field goal percentage (.404), and 16th in rebounding (5.1). Polk ranks third in field goal percentage (.579) and defensive rebounds (5.4), fourth in rebounding (7.6) and blocks (1.3), and ninth in scoring (12.5). Jones is 10th in minutes played (30.9) and tied for 14th in rebounding (5.2), while Danielle Adefeso is tied for sixth in field goal percentage (.519).
RANKING NATIONALLY: As a team, Arizona ranks 32nd nationally in both scoring and field goal percentage, 50th in won-lost percentage, 68th in scoring margin, 70th in blocks and 77th in assists.
Individually, senior Dee-Dee Wheeler ranks 46th in steals per game, 49th in assists per game and 50th in points per game. Junior Shawntinice Polk ranks 10th in field goal percentage and 37th in blocks per game.
POLK SURPASSES 200-BLOCK MARK: With her third block of the game against Maryland last Saturday, junior center Shawntinice Polk notched her 200th career block, becoming the first Wildcat ever to reach that mark. She now has 201 blocked shots on her career.
THE GLASS IS THE ANSWER: It seems the most telling statistic for the Arizona women’s basketball team this season is rebounding. The Wildcats are 12-0 when out-rebounding their opponents. Arizona is just 2-5 when being out-rebounded and 1-1 when pulling down the same number of boards as its opponents this season.
ARNOLD RETURNS WITH HUGE IMPACT: Since returning to the starting lineup on Jan. 20, freshman guard Jessica Arnold is averaging a team-high 15.8 points per game on 49 percent (20-of-41) shooting. Wearing a shoulder brace that makes shooting awkward, Arnold has led the team to a 3-1 record. She scored 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting against Oregon on Jan. 20. She followed that up with her best game ever as a Wildcat against Oregon State on Jan. 22, when was 5-of-7 from the field, 3-of-4 from downtown and 8-of-8 from the charity stripe for a career-high 21 points. Last Wednesday against Arizona State, Arnold led the team with 14 points, followed by an 18-point performance in the Wildcats’ heartbreaking loss to Maryland last Saturday.
WILDCATS BOAST PAC’S ACTIVE SCORING LEADERS: Arizona boasts the Pac-10’s top two active career scoring leaders in All-America candidates Dee-Dee Wheeler and Shawntinice Polk. The point guard Wheeler currently has 1,772 career points, while Polk has scored 1,344 points in her three seasons at Arizona. The duo rank second and fourth all-time at Arizona in career points.
80 IS THE MAGIC NUMBER: In the program’s 33-year history, the Wildcats are almost guaranteed a win when they reach 80 points. Arizona is 171-20 (90 percent) all-time when reaching the 80-point plateau. With Joan Bonvicini at the helm, the Wildcats are 123-13 (90 percent) when scoring 80 points or more. This year alone, Arizona is 7-0 in games where it has reached 80 points in the scoring column.
WHEELER BECOMES ARIZONA’S STEAL LEADER: Senior guard Dee-Dee Wheeler tied the school record for career steals at the 10:41 mark in the first half of the game at Southern California on Jan. 14 and took sole possession of the record with 11:08 left in the game. She now has 272 steals on her career.
BONVICINI WINS 250TH GAME AT ARIZONA: Joan Bonvicini notched her 250th win as the head coach at Arizona when the Wildcats defeated then-No. 19 UCLA on the road last Sunday. In 14 years at the helm, she boasts a 252-153 (.622) record and is the winningest coach in Arizona women’s basketball history.
DOUBLE-DOUBLE TROUBLE: During her career, junior Shawntinice Polk has recorded 42 double-doubles (21 as a freshman, 16 as a sophomore and five as a junior). The longest streak came at the start of her career, when she opened the 2002-03 season with eight consecutive double-doubles. During her three seasons, the Wildcats are 32-10 when Polk notches a double-double.
WHEELER AND DOUBLE-DIGIT SCORING: Point guard Dee-Dee Wheeler has scored 10 or more points in 99 of her 113 career games. Her streak of 48 consecutive games in double-figure scoring came to an end at USC as the senior finished with just five points. She posted double-digit scoring in 19 of 28 games as a freshman, 28 of 31 as a sophomore, all 33 as a junior and 19 of 21 games this season.
CATS NEARLY UNBEATABLE AT HOME: Over the past three seasons, Arizona has won 37 of 39 (.949) games at McKale Center. The Cats’ 34-game home winning streak, the longest in the nation, came to an end Jan. 9 when the Wildcats fell 78-66 to Stanford.
WHEELER STARTS 100TH GAME: When she took the court against Arizona State on Jan. 3, senior Dee-Dee Wheeler was making the 100th start of her career. In doing so, she became just the sixth Wildcat ever to start 100 or more games.
CURRENT CATS ON UA CAREER LISTS: Senior guard Dee-Dee Wheeler is first in steals (273), second in scoring (1,772), field goals made (691), field goals attempted (1,510) and minutes played average (32.4), third in total minutes played (3,658), fourth in scoring average (15.7), three-point field goals made (167), three-point field goals attempted (467), three-point field goal percentage (.358) and games started (108), and seventh in assists (434).
Junior Shawntinice Polk is first in double-doubles (42), blocks (201), rebounding average (10.0) and field goal percentage (.593), second in total rebounds (829), third in scoring average (16.2), fourth in scoring (1,344) and field goals made (557), sixth in free throws attempted (411), seventh in minutes played average (28.8) and 10th in free throws made (230).
ARIZONA RANKS NATIONALLY IN ATTENDANCE: Arizona currently ranks 43rd nationally in attendance with an average attendance of 2,494. Connecticut is the leader with a 14,066 average, while Pac-10 opponents Stanford, Oregon, Washington and Arizona State rank 27th, 28th 33rd and 41st, respectively, at 3,688, 3,670, 3,148 and 2,542.
WILDCATS ON THE RADIO: All of Arizona’s games this season are broadcast on Tucson’s Jolt, KJLL 1330 AM, the radio home of Arizona women’s basketball. With Paul Johnson in his 10th year as the Wildcats’ play-by-play announcer, the Jolt will broadcast every game, home and away.
CAT TELEVISION APPEARANCES: The Wildcats have two more games this season that will be broadcast on FSN:
Saturday, Feb. 12 - 4 p.m. vs. USC
Saturday, Feb. 19 - 2 p.m. at Oregon
In addition, the Wildcats’ home game against Washington (Feb. 26) is a "wild card" game that could get picked up in the Pac-10 television package with FSN.
JOAN BONVICINI COACH’S SHOW: Hosted by Wildcat radio announcer Paul Johnson, the Joan Bonvicini Coach’s Show is broadcast live from 6-7 p.m. every Monday on KJLL 1330 AM and is held at the Varsity Clubs of America, located at Speedway and Alvernon. The show features Bonvicini with several special guests, ranging from players to staff members. Fans are invited to join the audience of the show at the Varsity Clubs each week during Pac-10 play.
UP NEXT: Arizona faces California at 2 p.m. (PST) this Saturday, Feb. 5.