Dec. 18, 2001
WHAT'S HAPPENING: The University of Arizona women's basketball team (4-4 overall, 0-0 Pac-10) kicks off Pac-10 play this week against the Bay Area schools. The Wildcats take on sixth-ranked Stanford on Wednesday, Dec. 19, then they face California on Friday, Dec. 21. Both contests begin at 7 p.m. in the McKale Center.
ARIZONA'S PROBABLE STARTERS:
35 - Krista Warren (F/G, 6-2, Jr., Cloverdale, CA) - 7.3 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 1.6 apg
45 - Elizabeth Pickney (F, 6-4, Sr., Houston, TX) - 18.4 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 1.9 bpg
50 - LaKeisha Taylor (C, 6-4, Sr., Houston, TX) - 11.5 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.5 spg
11 - Dee-Dee Wheeler (G, 5-6, Fr., Chicago, IL) - 13.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3.3 apg
13 - Aimee Grzyb (G, 5-7, So., San Jose, CA) - 9.0 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 2.0 apg
OFF THE BENCH:
20 - Julie Brase (G, 5-10, Jr., Tucson, AZ) - 5.3 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 3.6 apg
31 - Robin Roberson (G/F, 6-0, Fr., Berkeley, CA) - 4.8 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 1.1 spg
44 - Danielle Adefeso (F, 6-3, Fr., Los Angeles, CA) - 0.7 ppg , 0.7 rpg, 0.2 spg
24 - Michelle Tibbetts (G/F, 6-0, Fr., Burnsville, MN) - 0.7 ppg, 0.7 rpg
4 - Candice Allen (INJ) (G, 5-10, So., Ontario, CA) - 9.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 3.4 spg
SCOUTING ARIZONA: After opening the season with three straight wins, the Wildcats have been on a tailspin, losing four of their last five games to slip to 4-4 overall. This is Arizona's worst start since the 1994-95 team began that season 4-4.
Senior forward Elizabeth Pickney leads Arizona in scoring, with 18.4 points per game, and is second in rebounding, at 7.3 per game. Junior wing Krista Warren is the Cats' top rebounder, averaging 8.0 per game after pulling down a career-high 18 boards at SFA last weekend. Freshman guard Dee-Dee Wheeler is the team's second-leading scorer, at 13.6 ppg, followed by senior center LaKeisha Taylor's 11.5 ppg. Taylor is also third in rebounding, at 5.8 per game.
As a team, Arizona is leading the Pac-10 in free throw percentage (.789) and steals (10.62 spg) and is second in scoring offense (75.5 ppg) and three-point percentage (.346). The Cats are third in field goal percentage (.425) and three-pointers made per game (5.75 pg)
Individually, Dee-Dee Wheeler leads the league in free throw percentage (.909) and is third in steals (2.50 spg). Elizabeth Pickney is second in blocks (1.88 bpg) and fourth in scoring average (18.4 ppg). Krista Warren is third in rebounding average (8.0 rpg).
INJURY REPORT: Junior guard Julie Brase suffered a lower back sprain against Pittsburgh on Dec. 2 and missed two weeks before returning to action on Dec. 16 at Stephen F. Austin.
Sophomore guard Candice Allen suffered a grade-three concussion against Holy Cross on Nov. 30 and will miss this week's games. She will be reevaluated after Christmas break to determine her status for the Arizona State game on Dec. 30.
Freshman guard Katrina Lindner tore her right ACL during the Cats' annual Red & Blue Game on Oct. 30, and sophomore guard Jenn Chesney also tore her right ACL during preseason workouts in September. Both players will be redshirting this year.
SCOUTING STANFORD: Ranked No. 6 in the nation this week, the Cardinal were handed their first lost of the season at home on Sunday, 68-62, by No. 2 Tennessee. Stanford is 8-1 overall.
Senior Lindsey Yamasaki leads Stanford in scoring, with 18.1 points per game, and is second in rebounding, at 5.4 rpg. Sophomore forward Nicole Powell is second in scoring, averaging 16.7 ppg, and leads the Cardinal in rebounding with 9.4 per game. Freshman guard Kelley Suminski is third on the scoring chart, posting 9.1 ppg. The Cardinal have nine players averaging five points or more per game.
Head coach Tara VanDerveer (Indiana, 1975) holds a 372-103 record in 16 years at the helm of the Stanford program. She is 524-154 in 23 years as a head coach.
THE SERIES vs. STANFORD: The Cardinal hold a solid 31-10 lead in the series with Arizona. The teams have played evenly over the last four seasons, with each team taking four of eight meetings. The Wildcats won last year's first meeting (68-65) on Jan. 6 in Palo Alto, but Stanford returned the favor with its own 74-66 win on the Cats' home court in March.
LAST MEETING WITH STANFORD: Despite a career-high 30 points from Elizabeth Pickney, Arizona was handed a 74-66 loss by Stanford at home on Mar. 8, 2001.
Stanford opened the game with a 15-4 run and maintained a double-digit lead through most of the first half. The Cats did manage to cut it to eight points (28-20) with 4:13 remaining in the period, but the Cardinal ended the half on an 8-3 spurt to take a 36-23 lead into the break.
The Wildcats picked up the intensity in the second half, opening the period with a 23-14 run that cut the Cardinal lead to four (50-46) at 12:46. Stanford promptly answered with eight unanswered points.
That was the story for the remainder of the game. Arizona came to within four points twice in the waning minutes, but Stanford always answered with runs of its own.
In addition to her 30 points, Pickney grabbed four rebounds and had a pair of steals. Then-freshman Jenn Chesney had six points, three assists and two rebounds, while Aimee Grzyb added two points and two rebounds. LaKeisha Taylor contributed five rebounds and one point.
SCOUTING CALIFORNIA: After opening the season with a 4-0 start, the Golden Bears have lost three in a row to stand at 4-3 on the year. Cal comes in to play the Wildcats after having a 13-day break in action.
Senior forward Ami Forney leads Cal in both scoring (13.6 ppg) and rebounding (6.0 rpg). Freshman forward Leigh Gregory is the only other Bear averaging in double digits in scoring, with 10.9 ppg. Cal has really spread the scoring wealth around this season, with 12 players averaging at least one point per game.
Cal head coach Caren Horstmeyer (Santa Clara, 1984) has a 16-19 record in her second season with the Golden Bears. She holds a 237-143 record in 14 years as a head coach.
THE SERIES vs. CALIFORNIA: With a 21-13 advantage over the Bears, the California series is the only Pac-10 series in which Arizona holds the lead. The Wildcats have won 12 in a row over Cal and 15 of the last 16.
LAST MEETING WITH CALIFORNIA: Four Wildcats reached double digits in scoring as Arizona downed California, 75-62, at home on Mar. 10, 2001, to end regular season play. The win ended a four-game losing skid for the UA.
The Golden Bears opened the game with seven unanswered points before Arizona responded with a 15-3 run to take a five-point lead at 11:45. Cal responded with its own 14-3 spurt, gaining a six-point (24-18) advantage with just over eight minutes remaining in the half. The Wildcats finished the period by out-scoring Cal, 19-8, and took a 37-32 lead into the break.
California made an 8-3 run at the Cats to begin the second half, tying the contest at 40-all just four minutes into the period. The Bears hung in there until Arizona went on a 10-2 run to gain a 14-point (62-48) lead with 6:46 left in the game.
Cal crawled back to within seven (69-62) at 1:47. The Wildcats then connected on 4-of-4 free throw attempts, nailed a field goal and held Cal scoreless for the remainder of the game to take the victory.
Elizabeth Pickney shot 8-for-13 from the floor on her way to a team-high 20 points, five rebounds and four blocked shots. Aimee Grzyb came off the bench for 13 points, while Candice Allen had 10 points and seven rebounds. Jenn Chesney contributed five points, and LaKeisha Taylor had three points and a rebound.
ARIZONA'S LAST TIME OUT: An 11-point halftime deficit was too much to overcome as Arizona was edged by Stephen F. Austin, 68-66, in Nacogdoches last Sunday.
The first 12 minutes of the game saw five ties and four lead changes before SFA ended the first half on a 21-9 run, taking a 42-31 lead into the break. During that stretch, the Cats went ice-cold from the floor, making only four of 13 attempts, and committed seven turnovers.
The Wildcats roared back in the second half, opening the period with a 12-2 run that cut the Ladyjacks' lead to only one (44-43) just four minutes into play. The Cats stayed close, but couldn't seem to get a lead, and were down by seven (54-47) with 10 minutes left in the game.
Then Arizona turned up the heat, scoring 17 unanswered points to gain a 10-point (64-54) advantage at 6:59. SFA responded with back-to-back three-pointers and a couple of layups to tie the game at 64-all with just under three minutes left. Arizona's LaKeisha Taylor connected on a layup at 2:09 to give the Cats their final lead of the game, 66-64. Two Wildcat fouls, a missed layup and a turnover gave SFA the chance to slip in four more points for the win.
Freshman guard Dee-Dee Wheeler added 10 points and six rebounds as the Cats were handed their fourth loss in the last five games. With a 4-4 record, Arizona is off to its worst start since the 1994-95 team began that season at 4-4.
HEAD COACH JOAN BONVICINI: The winningest coach in Arizona women's basketball history, Joan Bonvicini has nurtured the Wildcat program into an upward-rising powerhouse. In 11 seasons at the helm of the Arizona program, Bonvicini has guided the Wildcats to six straight postseason appearances, including four NCAA tournament berths and two in the WNIT.
In her 11th season with the Wildcats, Bonvicini holds a 183-121 (.602) mark at Arizona and is 508-192 (.726) in 23 years as a head coach. She is 23-14 in NCAA tournament play and has never lost a first-round game 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.
DID YOU KNOW: Since Joan Bonvicini took over the Arizona program in 1991, the Wildcats have gone 94-85 against Pac-10 teams, although they have a 60-29 league mark over the last five seasons combined.
THE REST OF THE STAFF: Awarded the title of associate head coach in 1998, Denise Dove Ianello (Northern Illinois, 1992) is in her 10th year at the UA, functioning as both the team's recruiting coordinator and a perimeter coach. Fourth-year assistant coach Karen Caires (Cal State Northridge, 1990) works with the perimeter players and assists with scouting and recruiting. In his third year at the UA, assistant coach Curtis Loyd (Southern Utah, 1994) is involved with scouting and with coaching the post players and is the director of the Joan Bonvicini Hoop Camp.
NEW WILDCAT ON THE WAY: Associate head coach Denise Dove Ianello and her husband Rob, who is the UA football recruiting coordinator and wide receivers coach, are expecting their first child in April 2002.
THE CATS AND PAC-10 OPENERS: Under Joan Bonvicini, Arizona has a 7-3 mark in Pac-10 openers and has won its first conference contest in seven of the last eight years.
HOME GAME TIME CHANGED: The game time for the Wildcats' home contest against Oregon on Saturday, Feb. 2, has been moved to 4 p.m. to accomodate television broadcast. The game, which had originally been slated for a 2 p.m. tip, will be aired live in Tucson on KWBA channel 58 at 4 p.m. MST.
CRASHING THE BOARDS: Junior wing Krista Warren pulled down a career-high 18 rebounds at Stephen F. Austin on Dec. 16. That's the highest individual rebound total for any Wildcat since Adia Barnes grabbed her career high of 18 against Arizona State on Jan. 7, 1995.
FREE THROWS AND TURNOVERS TELL THE TALE: The Cats have been getting to the free throw line often enough during this season's games, but it's only when they shoot well, really well, from the stripe that they win. Arizona has shot 85 percent (85-100) from the line in the season's four victories. In the Cats' four losses, they hit only 71.3 percent (57-80) from the stripe. Arizona is also averaging seven more free throws made per game in its wins.
Arizona needs to take care of the ball to win too. In their wins, the Cats have averaged only 18.3 turnovers per game, but in their losses, they committed 25.0 turnovers per game.
BOMBS AWAY: Arizona is averaging 5.8 three-pointers made per game so far this year, having nailed 46 treys over the first eight games of this season. They were 10 games into the 2001 season before they collected that many three-pointers made last year.
CLOSE BUT...: Four of Arizona's eight games this season have been decided by five points or less. The Wildcats' last two losses were by a combined three points.
LOOKING AHEAD: After an eight-day break in action for Christmas, the Wildcats continue conference play at Arizona State on Sunday, Dec. 30, at 2 p.m.
Arizona begins the new year with a pair of games in Oregon. The Cats play at Oregon on Friday, Jan. 4, at 7 p.m. PST, then they take on Oregon State on Sunday, Jan. 6, in Corvallis at 2 p.m. PST.
MOVIN' ON UP: Senior forward Elizabeth Pickney just moved up into the No. 2 spot on Arizona's all-time scoring list, with 1316 career points. She surpassed Timi Brown (1987-91), who had 1315 career points. Pickney will likely finish her career as the second-leading scorer in Arizona history. It would be quite difficult for her to catch Arizona's all-time leading scorer, Adia Barnes (1995-98), who racked up 2237 career points.
STRONG SCHEDULE: Seven of the 18 opponents on the Cats' 2001-02 schedule were either ranked or receiving votes for ranking in the most recent polls.
In this week's Associated Press Poll, Stanford is the only opponent ranked, standing at No. 6. Arizona State, Notre Dame and New Mexico all received votes for ranking.
In the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll, Stanford is ranked at No. 6. Arizona State, Washington, Notre Dame, Oregon and Rice were all among the teams receiving votes for ranking.
CHECKING THE RECORD BOOK: Wildcat senior Elizabeth Pickney is among the Arizona career leaders in 15 different statistical categories. She recently became Arizona's career leader in blocked shots, now with 128. Pickney is second in career scoring (1316), second in free throws made (374), second in free throws attempted (497), fourth in career rebounding average (5.7 rpg), fourth in scoring average (13.0 ppg), fourth in field goals made (469), fourth in total rebounds (571) and fifth in games started (92).
Junior guard Julie Brase is fourth in career three-point percentage (.364), is tied for eighth in career three-pointers made (59) and is 10th in three-pointers attempted (162). Only a sophomore, guard Aimee Grzyb is already third in three-point percentage (.368), seventh in three-pointers made (63) and ninth in three-pointers attempted (171).
GOTTA REBOUND: Arizona has been out-rebounded in five of the season's eight games so far. They are being out-rebounded by an average of 3.3 boards per game for the season. The biggest rebounding disparity was 17 boards, which came on Nov. 27 when the Cats were out-rebounded by New Mexico, 52-35.
The Wildcats did out-rebound Stephen F. Austin by 16 (53-37) on Dec. 16 but still were unable to pull out the win.
THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME: The Wildcats have won 23 of their last 28 home games and are 45-10 on their home court over the last four seasons combined. During Joan Bonvicini's 11 seasons at Arizona, the Wildcats have posted a 110-45 mark in McKale Center. Arizona has a record of 176-153 on its home court since the 1976-77 season.
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 30-year history of UA women's basketball, the Cats have posted a 136-19 record when scoring 80 points or more in a game. Under Bonvicini, the Wildcats have gone 96-12 when topping that 80-point plateau.
BY THE NUMBERS: The Cats have hit four or more 3-pointers in six of this season's eight games... Arizona has had 15 or more assists in four games... The Cats have had 12 or more steals in four games... Arizona has forced its opponent into 20 or more turnovers in three contests... The UA has scored 80 points or better in two games.
KEYS TO THE WIN: This season, Arizona is... 3-0 when shooting 80% or better from the line... 3-0 when forcing more turnovers than it commits... 4-2 when scoring 70 points or more... 3-1 when shooting better than its opponent from the free throw line... 4-2 when holding its opponent to 77 points or less.
PICKNEY BECOMES UA CAREER BLOCKS LEADER: With a career-high-tying five blocks at New Mexico on Nov. 27, senior forward Elizabeth Pickney has taken over as Arizona's career blocked shots leader. She has 128 career blocks, placing her ahead of former career leader Marte Alexander (1995-98), who had 121.
CAT SCRATCHES: The Cats are 3-0 this season when Elizabeth Pickney scores 20 points or more... The Arizona women's basketball program has a 342-409 (.455) all-time record, however it is 146-73 (.667) from 1994 to present... Joan Bonvicini has a 184-98 career record against Pac-10 teams.
ON LOCATION: This year, Arizona is 3-2 at home, 1-2 on the road and 0-0 in neutral games. Last season, the Wildcats were 15-2 at home, 4-9 in road games and 1-1 in neutral contests.
JOAN BONVICINI COACHES HER 700th GAME: The Dec. 16 contest at Stephen F. Austin was the 700th game of Arizona head coach Joan Bonvicini's career.
WILDCAT PICKPOCKETS: The Wildcats racked up an astounding 19 steals in their 81-80 loss to Pittsburgh at home on Dec. 2. That's the highest single-game steals total since the team collected 22 steals in a losing effort at Oregon (68-66) on Jan. 24, 1998.
CHALLENGING START: Over these first 15 days of the 2002 season, the Wildcats played six games, including five opponents that saw postseason action in 2001. That slate included last year's WNIT champion Ohio State, the NCAA champion Notre Dame and the WNIT runner-up New Mexico.