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Wildcat Women Close Out Regular Season
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 02/21/2006
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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COMING UP: Arizona (7-20, 3-14) closes out regular-season play with a 4 p.m. game at No. 11/13 Arizona State (22-5, 13-4) this Saturday, Feb. 25. 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: In a very competitive game where it said good-bye to its seniors and retired the jersey of fallen star Shawntinice Polk, Arizona fell 87-76 to No. 11/12 Stanford Saturday. The Wildcats shot 38 percent from the field, 38 percent from three-point range and 68 percent from the free throw line on the game. The team’s 11 treys was a season-high for Arizona. Stanford shot 51 percent from the field, 41 percent from beyond the arc and 72 percent from the charity stripe on the game. The Cardinal out-rebounded the Wildcats 41 to 36. Both teams committed 15 turnovers. Senior Natalie Jones led all players with 27 points, a career-high 14 rebounds, four assists and two steals. Junior Joy Hollingsworth added 12 points and six boards, while Ashley Whisonant and Kelsey Burns each finished with 10 points.

Jones leads Arizona this season with 15.1 points per game. Hollingsworth adds 14.3 points and a team-best 6.0 rebounds per game, while Whisonant averages 13.7 points. As a team, the Wildcats are shooting 40 percent from the field, compared to the 48 percent of their opponents. They are also being out-rebounded 34.4 to 39.7.

SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION: Kristen Kovesdy had 14 points and seven rebounds, helping Arizona State rout California 62-43 last Saturday for its school-record eighth-straight conference victory. Jill Noe scored nine points and Aubree Johnson added eight for the Sun Devils. Arizona State was 27-for-61 (44 percent) from the field and out-rebounded the Bears 40-26. After a late first-half charge, the Sun Devils went on a 12-3 spurt to start the second half, opening up an 18-point lead. California never got closer than 11 the rest of the way.

On the season, the Sun Devils are led by Kovesdy, who averages 12.3 points and 6.6 rebounds. Emily Westerberg adds 11.0 points per game. As a team, ASU is shooting 45 percent from the field on the season, compared to the 43 percent of its opponents. The Sun Devils are also out-rebounding their opponents 37.5 to 31.5.

SERIES SHORTS: Arizona trails the all-time series with the Sun Devils 39-30. The last time the two teams met, on Dec. 22, 2005, the Wildcats fell 83-59 in Tucson. Arizona is 16-17 at home, 12-21 away and 2-1 at a neutral site vs. Arizona State.

INJURY UPDATE: Sophomore Ch?© Oh suffered a concussion at Washington State on Jan. 28 and is day-to-day. Junior Linda Pace suffered a left knee injury against Washington State on Dec. 29 and is out for the rest of the season.

AWARDS DINNER: The University of Arizona Department of Intercollegiate Athletics will host the annual Women’s Basketball Award Dinner on Tuesday, March 21, at the Jim Click Hall of Champions. A reception will begin at 5 p.m., with the awards ceremony starting at approximately 5:45 p.m. Tickets are $25 per person. For reservations, please call (520) 621-2331.

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), turnover margin (fourth), offensive rebounds (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 second in free throw percentage (.821), fourth in steals (2.2), sixth in minutes per game (35.0), eighth in scoring (15.1) and 10th in three-point field goal average (1.6). Junior Joy Hollingsworth is fourth in three-point field goal average (2.2) and eighth in minutes per game (33.6). Sophomore Ashley Whisonant is fifth in assists (3.6) and ninth in assist/turnover ratio (1.0). Freshman Kelsey Burns is eighth in three-point field goal percentage (.381).

SHOOTING SORROWS LEAD TO LOSSES: In 19 of their 20 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 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 1,124 points on her career.

HALFTIME SCORE INDICATIVE OF FINAL RESULT: In Arizona’s 27 games this season, the halftime score has been indicative of the final result 23 times. The Wildcats are 2-18 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.

HOLLINGSWORTH IN SEASON THREE-POINT RECORDS: In her first season as a Wildcat, junior Joy Hollingsworth has already made her mark. The guard currently ranks fourth in the Arizona single season record books in three-point field goals attempted (175) and sixth in three-point field goals made (60).

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 24 of the 27 games, while Jones and Hollingsworth have 10 or more points in 23 games each.

JONES STARTS 92ND STRAIGHT GAME: Senior Natalie Jones started her 92nd consecutive game against Stanford last Saturday. On her career, the guard has started 96 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 21 of their 27 games this season. In those 21 games, the Wildcats have managed just 32.3 rebounds to their opponents’ 41.6 (-9.2).

CURRENT CATS ON UA CAREER LISTS: Senior Natalie Jones is second all-time at Arizona in free throw percentage (.774) and games played (123), fifth in three-point field goals attempted (376) and free throws made (304), sixth in three-point field goals made (114), minutes played (3,494) and personal fouls (312), seventh in games started (96) and free throws attempted (393), eighth in rebounds (543) and steals (187), ninth in minutes per game (28.4) and 12th in scoring (1,124). Sophomore Jessica Arnold ranks ninth in three-point field goal percentage (.338).

PAC-10 ACTIVE CAREER LEADERS: Arizona boasts several of the Pac-10’s active career statistical leaders. Senior Natalie Jones ranks second in assists (299), fourth in steals (187), sixth in three-point field goals made (114), sixth in scoring (1,124) and seventh in rebounds (543). Junior Joy Hollingsworth ranks fifth in three-point field goals made (128), seventh in steals (121), eighth in scoring (976), ninth in rebounds (463) and 11th in assists (155).

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 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 travels to San Jose, Calif., for the Pac-10 Tournament next Friday-Monday, March 3-6, at HP Pavilion. All-session tickets for the tournament are $85 and are available by calling (520) 621-CATS.

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