COMING UP: The Arizona women’s basketball team (19-9, 11-6) closes out the regular season with a 4 p.m. game against Washington (12-15, 8-9) this Saturday, Feb. 26. The game will be broadcast live on KJLL 1330 AM in Tucson. Live audio and stats are available at www.arizonaathletics.com. Video of the game will be available on the website on a delayed basis.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE WILDCATS: Arizona shot a season-high 57 percent from the field as it cruised to an 89-60 victory over Washington State 89-60 at McKale Center Thursday night. The Wildcats were 35-of-62 from the field and 9-of-17 (53 percent) from downtown on the game. Washington State made 39 percent of its shots, including 31 percent from three-point range and 88 percent from the free throw line. Arizona also out-rebounded the Cougars 34 to 30 and forced 27 Washington State turnovers. Senior Dee-Dee Wheeler finished with a team-high 18 points, including four three-pointers, to go along with five assists and three steals. Junior Shawntinice Polk recorded her eighth double-double of the season, tallying 17 points and 12 rebounds to go along with five steals, three assists and two blocks. Junior Natalie Jones added 17 points and six assists.
On the season, the Wildcats are led by Wheeler, who averages 17.9 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.9 steals per game. Polk adds 13.0 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game. As a team, Arizona is out-shooting its opponents 44 percent to 38 percent and out-rebounding them 37.9 to 37.5.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION: Arizona State shot 61 percent from the field en route to a 69-48 victory over Washington in Tempe Thursday night. The Huskies, meanwhile, shot just 31 percent from the field on the game and were out-rebounded 35 to 30. There were a combined 51 turnovers on the game. Cameo Hicks led Washington with 14 points, while Jill Bell pulled down a team-high six boards.
On the season, the Huskies have four players that average 9.0 points or more, led by Hicks with 9.3. Kayla Burt adds 9.2, followed by Kristen O’Neill and Bell with 9.1 and 9.0, respectively. Bell also averages a team-best 5.4 rebounds per game. As a team, Washington is shooting 38 percent from the field, compared to the 44 percent of its opponents. The Huskies are also being out-rebounded 39.9 to 37.6.
SERIES SHORTS: Arizona trails the all-time series with Washington 15-25, though the Wildcats have won six in a row. In the last meeting between the two teams, on Dec. 27, 2004, Arizona won 67-63 in Seattle. The Wildcats are 10-9 at home, 3-16 away and 2-0 at a neutral site vs. the Huskies.
NATIONAL WOMEN IN SPORT DAY: Arizona’s last home game of the season, Saturday’s match-up with Washington, is National Women in Sport Day. For $4, participants high school age and younger can attend an all-sport clinic, which begins at 2 p.m., conducted by Wildcat coaches and student-athletes. The cost also includes admission to the game, which begins at 4 p.m. There will also be a special halftime ceremony, as well as a post-game autograph session with Wildcat student-athletes from various teams. For more information, or to register a team or group for the clinic, contact Ryan Eklund at (520) 621-9399.
RANKING IN THE PAC-10: As a team, Arizona leads the Pac-10 in blocks (4.1), ranks second in scoring (72.0), field goal percentage (.444) and field goal percentage defense (.382), third in scoring margin (6.4\) and three-point field goal percentage defense (.306), fourth in three-point field goal percentage (.353), scoring defense (65.6), assists (15.1) and offensive rebounds (14.4), and fifth in rebounding (37.9), rebounding defense (37.5), rebounding margin (0.4), turnover margin (2.5), assist/turnover ratio (0.9) and defensive rebounds (23.5).
Individually, Dee-Dee Wheeler leads the league in scoring (17.9), ranks second in assist/turnover ratio (1.7), third in assists (4.4) and steals (2.8), fourth in minutes played (33.1) and three-point field goals made (1.7), eighth in three-point field goal percentage (.366) and 18th in rebounding (5.0). Shawntinice Polk leads the league in blocked shots (2.1), ranks third in field goal percentage (.557), rebounding (8.1) and defensive rebounds (5.9), eighth in scoring (13.0) and tied for ninth in offensive rebounds (2.2). Natalie Jones ranks seventh in free throw percentage (.791), 10th in minutes played (30.6) and 19th in rebounding (4.9), while Jessica Arnold ranks fourth in three-point field goal percentage (.420). Senior Danielle Adefeso is sixth in offensive rebounds (2.5).
In Pac-10 games only, Wheeler ranks second in scoring (18.5), third in assists (4.1), steals (2.7), three-point field goals made (2.0) and assist/turnover ratio (1.5), fourth in minutes played (33.5), fifth in three-point field goal percentage (.405) and 19th in rebounding (5.1). Polk leads the league in blocks (1.6), ranks third in rebounding (7.8) and defensive rebounds (5.7), fifth in field goal percentage (.510) and ninth in scoring (12.1). Arnold ranks second in three-point field goal percentage (.467), while Jones is eighth in free throw percentage (.776) and ninth in minutes played (31.1). Adefeso is third in offensive rebounds (2.7) and 15th in rebounding (5.4).
RANKING NATIONALLY: As a team, Arizona ranks 29th nationally in scoring, 38th in field goal percentage, 58th in three-point field goal percentage and 62nd in blocks.
Individually, senior Dee-Dee Wheeler ranks 37th in points per game and 41st in steals. Junior Shawntinice Polk ranks 22nd in field goal percentage and 41st in blocks.
WHEELER SCORES 500 IN THIRD-STRAIGHT SEASON: In Arizona’s win over Washington State, senior captain Dee-Dee Wheeler surpassed the 500-point mark for the third consecutive season. The Chicago native currently has 501 points this season, the same total she put up during her sophomore campaign. With a minimum of two games left this year, Wheeler needs 57 points to reach her 2003-04 total of 558.
WHEELER CAPTURES ANOTHER RECORD: With her third minute logged in Thursday’s game against Washington State, senior Dee-Dee Wheeler moved into first place in the Arizona career record books in minutes played. She has now played 3,886 minutes during her four-year career.
ADEFESO STEPS IT UP: Over the last 11 games, senior Danielle Adefeso has really picked up her game. Starting 10 of the 12 games, she is shooting 43 percent from the field and 78 percent from the free throw line, while averaging 8.5 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. Prior to that, Adefeso was averaging 3.6 points and 2.7 rebounds per game.
HALFTIME SCORE INDICATIVE OF FINAL RESULT: This season, the Wildcats’ halftime score is 93 percent reliable in predicting the final score. Arizona is 18-1 when leading at the half and 1-8 when trailing. The Wildcats lost at USC after leading at halftime and came back to defeat Arizona State at home after trailing 27-23 at the intermission.
MAKING FREE THROWS COUNT: After shooting just 60 percent from the free throw line over the first 17 games of the season, Arizona has shot 70 percent or better in seven of its last 11 games. During that time, the Wildcats are 161 of 224 (72 percent) from the charity stripe.
WHEELER MAKES HISTORY AT OREGON: Senior captain Dee-Dee Wheeler made her 113th career start at Oregon last Saturday, putting her in sole possession of first place in the Arizona record books. The Chicago native started 24 of 28 games as a freshman, 30 of 31 as a sophomore, all 33 as a junior and 27 of 28 this season. She is three games away from the all-time games played record.
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 15-1 when out-rebounding their opponents. Arizona is 3-7 when being out-rebounded and 1-1 when pulling down the same number of boards as its opponents this season.
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 1,903 career points, while Polk has scored 1,426 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 173-20 (90 percent) all-time when reaching the 80-point plateau. With Joan Bonvicini at the helm, the Wildcats are 125-13 (91 percent) when scoring 80 points or more. This year alone, Arizona is 9-0 in games where it has reached 80 points in the scoring column.
WHEELER AND DOUBLE-DIGIT SCORING: Point guard Dee-Dee Wheeler has scored 10 or more points in 106 of her 120 career games. Her streak of 48 consecutive games in double-figure scoring came to an end Jan. 14 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 26 of 28 games this season, including 11 games with 20 or more points.
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 on Jan. 16. In 14 years at the helm, she boasts a 257-157 (.621) record and is the winningest coach in Arizona women’s basketball history.
CATS NEARLY UNBEATABLE AT HOME: Over the past three seasons, Arizona has won 40 of 43 (.930) games at McKale Center. The Cats’ 34-game home winning streak, the longest in the nation, came to an end Jan. 9 when the team fell 78-66 to Stanford.
POLK SURPASSES 200-BLOCK MARK: With her third block of the game against Maryland on Jan. 29, junior center Shawntinice Polk notched her 200th career block, becoming the first Wildcat ever to reach that mark. She now has 215 blocked shots on her career.
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 292 steals on her career.
DOUBLE-DOUBLE TROUBLE: During her career, junior Shawntinice Polk has recorded 45 double-doubles (21 as a freshman, 16 as a sophomore and eight 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 34-11 (.756) when Polk notches a double-double.
CURRENT CATS ON UA CAREER LISTS: Senior guard Dee-Dee Wheeler is first in steals (292), games started (114) and minutes played (3,886), second in scoring (1,903), field goals made (739), field goals attempted (1,612) and minutes played average (32.4), third in scoring average (15.9), fourth in three-point field goals made (182), three-point field goals attempted (504) and three-point field goal percentage (.361), tied for sixth in assists (455), tied for seventh in games played (120), eighth in free throws made (243) and turnovers (377), ninth in personal fouls (292), and 10th in free throws attempted (334).
Junior Shawntinice Polk is first in double-doubles (45), blocks (215) and rebounding average (9.8), second in field goal percentage (.582) and total rebounds (885), third in field goals made (589), fourth in scoring average (15.8) and scoring (1,426), sixth in free throws made (248) and free throws attempted (439), seventh in minutes played average (28.7) and tied for eighth in games started (85).
Junior Natalie Jones is sixth in free throw percentage (.761), and ninth in three-point field goals made (68) and three-point field goals attempted (229).
ARIZONA RANKS NATIONALLY IN ATTENDANCE: Arizona currently ranks 45th nationally in attendance with an average attendance of 2,451. Connecticut is the leader with a 13,843 average, while Pac-10 opponents Oregon, Stanford and Washington rank 26th, 27th and 31st, respectively, at 3,896, 3,741 and 3,304.
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.
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.
UP NEXT: Arizona travels to San Jose, Calif., for the Pac-10 Tournament next Friday-Monday, March 4-7. If they win on Saturday, the Wildcats are guaranteed at least a No. 3 seed in the tournament.