Jan. 6, 2004
WHAT'S HAPPENING: In the midst of a stretch that will see it play six of eight games on the road, the University of Arizona women's basketball team (11-3 overall, 3-0 Pac-10) continues a three-game road swing this weekend in the Bay Area. The Wildcats will play at California on Thursday, Jan. 8, at 7 p.m. PST in Berkeley, then they will take on No. 7 Stanford on Saturday, Jan. 10, at 2 p.m. PST in Palo Alto.
SCOUTING ARIZONA: The Wildcats are 11-3 overall and 3-0 in Pac-10 play after splitting a pair of games last weekend. Arizona drilled Arizona State, 81-60, on Jan. 2, but suffered a 76-66 loss at then-No. 17 LSU on Jan. 4. The loss at LSU ended a school-record-tying 10-game winning streak for the Wildcats.
The Wildcats have won 21 games in a row at home, the longest home winning streak in the program's history and the fifth-longest active home winning streak in the nation.
After experiencing an upswing in both polls last week, the Wildcats' loss on Sunday saw them lose votes again this week. Arizona received just 22 votes in the Associated Press Top 25, a drop from last week's 40 votes. In the USA Today Coaches Poll, the Cats missed being ranked by just one vote this week, earning 52 votes and falling from the No. 25 spot they held last week.
Sophomore All-America candidate Shawntinice Polk continues to lead Arizona in both scoring (17.2 ppg) and rebounding (9.2 rpg). Junior guard Dee-Dee Wheeler is second on the scoring chart, averaging 16.9 points per game, followed by senior guard Aimee Grzyb with 10.1 ppg.
Junior center Danielle Adefeso is the team's second-leading rebounder, averaging 5.7 per game. Sophomores CoCoa Sanford and Natalie Jones are tied for fourth in scoring, each averaging 7.3 ppg, while Sanford is third in rebounding, grabbing 5.1 rpg.
ARIZONA POSSIBLE STARTERS:
#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.)
HOME WIN STREAK STANDS AT 21: With their win over Arizona State on Jan. 2, the Wildcats extended their home winning streak to 21 games, a new school record for the longest home winning streak in the program's history. The previous record was 15 games from Jan. 4, 1999, to Jan. 6, 2000.
OVERALL WIN STREAK ENDS AT 10 GAMES: Winning 10 straight games from Nov. 29 through Jan. 2, the Wildcats tied the school record for longest winning streak, but they saw that streak come to an end with a 76-66 loss at 17th-ranked LSU on Jan. 4. The streak was the longest for any Wildcat team since the 1996-97 squad posted a 10-game streak early in that season.
ARIZONA IN THE PAC-10 STATS: Through games of Jan. 4, Arizona is leading the Pac-10 in turnover margin (+3.29), is second in scoring (74.4 ppg), second in scoring margin (+12.3 ppg), second in field goal percentage (.462), second in rebounding defense (32.9 rpg), third in field goal percentage defense (.390), third in three-point percentage defense (.390), third in rebounding margin (+6.5 rpg) and third in blocked shots (4.21 bpg).
Individually, Polkey is the Pac-10 leader in blocked shots (2.71 bpg), and she is second in field goal percentage (.573), third in rebounding (9.2 rpg) and fourth in scoring (17.2 ppg). Dee-Dee Wheeler is fourth in assists (5.21 apg), fourth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.66), sixth in scoring (16.9 ppg) and sixth in steals (2.14 spg)
Aimee Grzyb is fourth in three-pointers made per game (1.79 pg) and 18th in scoring (10.1 ppg), while Danielle Adefeso is 16th in rebounding (5.7 rpg). Natalie Jones is second in free throw percentage (.800) and seventh in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.25).
SCOUTING CALIFORNIA: The Golden Bears are 9-4 overall and 2-2 in Pac-10 play after splitting a pair of games at the Washington schools last weekend. Cal lost at Washington, 65-54, on Jan. 2 but recovered for an 85-71 win at Washington State on Jan. 4.
Three Bears are averging in double digits in scoring, let by senior guard Nihan Anaz with 17.0 points per game. Junior forward Leigh Gregory is second in scoring, at 12.3 ppg, and is the team's top rebounder with an average of 6.5 per game. Senior guard LaTasha O'Keith is third in scoring, averaging 10.0 ppg.
In her fourth season at Cal, head coach Caren Horstmeyer (Santa Clara, 1984) holds a 37-60 record with the Bears. She is 259-184 in 16 seasons as a collegiate head coach.
THE SERIES vs. CALIFORNIA: Arizona holds a solid 25-13 lead in the series with California, including a win streak of 16 straight games. The Wildcats last lost to Cal, 94-66, on Feb. 11, 1995, in Berkeley. Last season, Arizona swept Cal, with a huge 83-53 win in Berkeley on Dec. 27 and a 68-51 victory in Tucson on Mar. 1. Arizona has an 11-8 all-time record when facing the Bears on their home court.
LAST MEETING WITH CALIFORNIA: Shawntinice Polk ripped off a game-high 22 points and blocked a school-record nine shots to lead then-No. 24 Arizona to a 68-51 win over California at home on Mar. 1, 2003. The victory gave the Wildcats their first home sweep of the Bay Area schools in four years.
The first half was a slow one for both teams. Cal scored the first bucket 22 seconds into the game, but that would be the Golden Bears' only lead of the contest as Arizona made back-to-back lay-ups to go ahead by four (6-2) at 18:25.
The Wildcats never relinquished their lead, but neither could they gain much of an advantage in the first half. Midway through the period, the Cats used a 9-3 spurt to gain a seven-point (19-12) lead at 13:56. Cal responded with six unanswered points to get back to within one (19-18) at 12:13.
That was the story for the whole first half, with the Wildcats never going up by more than seven points. Arizona did have a five-point (35-30) lead at halftime.
The Bears scored two quick buckets at the start of the second half to chop Arizona's edge back down to one point (35-34). They stayed within a few points of the Cats over the first six minutes of the half, then Arizona exploded for a 21-3 run that eventually led to a 22-point (66-44) advantage with 3:52 remaining. Cal came no closer than 16 points for the rest of the game.
In addition to Polk's 22 points, Krista Warren put up 16 points and a game-high eight rebounds. Dee-Dee Wheeler had 11 points and four rebounds, and Danielle Adefeso added seven points and four boards off the bench.
SCOUTING STANFORD: Ranked No. 7 in both the AP Top 25 and the USA Today Coaches Poll this week, the Cardinal are 11-2 overall and 4-0 in Pac-10 action after sweeping the Washington schools on the road last weekend. Stanford pounded Washington State, 90-69, on Jan. 2, then slipped past Washington, 77-69, on Jan. 4. The Cardinal will play host to Arizona State on Thursday before entertaining the Wildcats on Saturday.
The second-leading scorer in the Pac-10, senior forward Nicole Powell is the only Cardinal player averging in double digits in scoring, at 20.2 points per game. She is the top rebounder in the conference, averaging 11.1 per contest. Junior forward Sebnem Kimyacioglu is second in scoring, at 9.7 ppg, followed by juniors Kelley Suminski and Chelsea Trotter, each averaging 8.6 ppg.
Head coach Tara VanDerveer (Indiana, 1975) holds a 434-112 record in 18 years with the Cardinal. She has a career mark of 586-163 in 25 seasons as a head coach.
THE SERIES vs. STANFORD: The Cardinal have a healthy 35-11 lead in the series with Arizona, including five wins in the last six meetings with the Wildcats. The two teams met three times last season, with Stanford taking two out of three. Arizona's lone win last year was by a spread of 79-64 in Tucson on Feb. 27. The clubs last met in last season's Pac-10 Tournament championship game on Mar. 10, with Stanford logging a 59-49 win.
The Wildcats are 3-19 all-time when playing at Stanford. Arizona's last win in Palo Alto came on Jan. 6, 2001, by a score of 68-65.
LAST MEETING WITH STANFORD: Never able to fully recover from a 20-point first-half deficit, then-No. 22 Arizona fell to then-No. 9 Stanford, 59-49, in the Pac-10 Tournament championship game on Mar. 10, 2003, in San Jose, Calif.
Stanford came out of the gates on fire, immediately jumping out to an 11-2 lead in the first four minutes. Arizona managed to get back to within six (13-7) at 14:23, then the Cardinal blew the game open with a 20-6 run that gave them a 20-point (33-13) lead with 3:17 to play in the first half. The Wildcats out-scored Stanford, 11-2, over the remainder of the period, but they still trailed the Cardinal, 35-24, at the break.
Arizona opened the second half with a 15-8 run that sliced the Cardinal's lead to just four points (43-39) at 14:09. Stanford answered with a 9-4 spurt that gave it a nine-point (52-43) advantage with 9:23 to play. The Cats made another run at the Cardinal but could get no closer than five points for the rest of the contest, as Arizona saw its six-game win streak come to an end.
THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME: The Wildcats have won 30 of their last 37 home games and are 106-22 on their home court over the last seven seasons combined. Under head coach Joan Bonvicini, the Wildcats have posted a 137-50 mark in McKale Center. Arizona has an all-time record of 203-158 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 225-142 (.613) mark at Arizona and is 550-213 (.721) 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 home next weekend to face USC on Thursday, Jan. 15, at 7 p.m. The Wildcats will play host to UCLA on Saturday, Jan. 17, at 4 p.m. in a contest that will be broadcast live nationally on Fox Sports Net.
The following weekend, the Cats hit the road again for three straight games. Arizona will play at Oregon on Thursday, Jan. 22, at 7 p.m. PST, then the Wildcats will take on Oregon State in Corvallis on Saturday, Jan. 24, at 7 p.m. PST. The Cats will wrap up the road swing at Arizona State on Saturday, Jan. 31, at 6:30 p.m.
TAKING IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL: Dee-Dee Wheeler's numbers through the first eight games of this season were certainly nothing to scoff at. She posted averages of 15.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.6 steals per game, while shooting 42.6 percent (46-108) from the floor.
Yet, over Arizona's last six games, Wheeler seems to have raised her performance another notch. In the last six contests, she has averaged 19.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.8 steals per game. The most notable difference has been in her shooting -- she has hit a blazing 51.0 percent (49-96) of her shots over the last six games, including three contests where she shot 61 percent or better from the floor.
STUFF THIS: With 118 career blocked shots, sophomore Shawntinice Polk is already third on the UA career list in that category. She could become Arizona's all-time blocked shots leader before this season is over, as she needs just 29 swats to match the current career leader, Elizabeth Pickney (1999-2002), with 147. Polkey could join the Pac-10 career top 10 in blocked shots even before taking over as Arizona's career leader -- she needs just 18 more swats to tie for 10th on the conference career list.
BEYOND THE ARC: The Wildcats are allowing opponents to drain an average of 5.8 three-point field goals per game, yet the Cats are among the Pac-10 leaders in three-point percentage defense. Why? Because Arizona opponents are having to attempt an average of 18.5 three-pointers per game just to get those five to go down. No other Pac-10 team is facing that kind of a barrage -- the closest is UCLA, whose opponents are attempting an average of 16.0 three-pointers a game. Three of Arizona's last five opponents have thrown up 25 or more three-point attempts.
AS DEE-DEE GOES...: So goes her team, or at least that's the way it has seemed since her arrival at Arizona. During Dee-Dee Wheeler's career, the Wildcats have gone 11-3 when she has reached the 20-point mark in scoring. At the same time, the Wildcats are 28-7 when she scores 15 points or more.
In the Cats' 11 wins this season, Dee-Dee Wheeler has averaged 17.3 points and 3.9 rebounds per game and has hit 51.7 percent (74-145) from the field. However, in the Wildcats' three losses, Wheeler averaged only 15.7 ppg and shot a miserable 33.9 percent (20-59) from the floor.
LOOKING AT THE TRENDS: This season, Arizona is... 11-0 when shooting better than its opponent from the field, but 0-3 when shooting worse... 10-0 when tied or leading at the half, but 1-3 when trailing at halftime... 10-0 when giving up 69 points or less, but 1-3 when allowing 70 points or more... 8-0 when scoring 70 points or more... 10-1 when shooting 40% or better from the field... 9-1 when committing fewer turnovers than its opponent.
WE LIKE TO SCORE: During Joan Bonvicini's tenure at Arizona, Wildcat teams have won 73 games by margins of 20 points or more. Ten of those blowouts happened last season alone, and the Cats have logged five 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 153-21 record when scoring 80 points or more in a game. Under Joan Bonvicini, the Wildcats have gone 113-14 when topping the 80-point plateau.
GOING POLLING: Seven 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 and LSU is No. 17. Oregon, UC Santa Barbara, Virginia and Washington were among the teams that received votes for ranking.
In the USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Coaches Poll, Stanford is No. 7, and LSU is No. 17. UC Santa Barbara, Washington, Oregon and Oregon State were all among teams that received votes for ranking.
CAT SCRATCHES: The Arizona women's basketball program has a 385-434 (.470) all-time record, however it is 175-77 (.694) from the 1996 season to present... Joan Bonvicini has a 211-112 career record against Pac-10 teams.
ON LOCATION: This season, the Wildcats have an 8-0 record at home, are 2-2 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.
NEW ADDITIONS TO THE 1,000-POINT CLUB: For the first time in three years, the Wildcats have new additions to the "1,000-Point Club" this season. Both Dee-Dee Wheeler (Dec. 27) and Aimee Grzyb (Jan. 2) became the newest members of the UA's 1,000-Point Club this year. They are the first players to achieve this feat since both Elizabeth Pickney and Reshea Bristol joined that list during the 2000-01 season.