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03-04 Pac-10 Tournament Notes
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 03/04/2008
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Complete Release as a PDF

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Coming Up:

The Arizona women's basketball team (10-19, 4-14 Pac-10) heads to San Jose, Calif., for first round action in the 2009 State Farm Pac-10 Tournament.? The ninth-seeded Wildcats will take on the No. 8 seed Oregon State Beavers (11-18, 4-14 Pac-10) on Friday, March 7 at 8:15 p.m. (PST) in HP Pavilion.? The winner of Fridayˇ?s game will face No. 1 seed Stanford (27-3, 16-2 Pac-10) on Saturday, March 8 at 5 p.m.

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Catch the Action:

As always, Arizona women's basketball games can be heard live on KTUC AM 1400, with Derrick Palmer and Shannon Hobson calling the action from courtside.? Please visit www.arizonaathletics.com for all of your live stats and live video needs.

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About the Pac-10 Tournament:

The State Farm Pac-10 Tournament has been a staple of the conferenceˇ?s postseason since the 2001-02 season.? The first tournament was played in Eugene, Ore., with the last five consecutive being played in San Jose, Calif., at the HP Pavilion.? All of the Pac-10ˇ?s teams will be competing for the Pac-10 Tournament crown.? The winner of the Pac-10 Tournament earns an automatic berth into the NCAA Championships.?

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PAC-10 Tournament Schedule:

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Fri., March 7

Game 1: No. 7 Oregon vs. No. 10 Washington State 6 p.m. PT

Game 2: No. 8 Oregon State vs. No. 9 Arizona 8:15 p.m. PT

Sat., March 8

Game 3: No. 3 Arizona State vs. No. 6 Washington 11 a.m. PT

Game 4: No. 2 California vs. Game 1 winner 1:15 p.m. PT

Game 5: No. 1 Stanford vs. Game 2 winner 5 p.m. PT

Game 6: No. 4 USC vs. No. 5 UCLA 7:15 p.m. PT

Sun., March 9

Game 7: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner 12 p.m. PT

Game 8: Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner 2:30 p.m. PT

Mon., March 10

Game 9: Championship Game 7:30 p.m. PT

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No. 9 Seed:

For the third year in a row, Arizona enters the Pac-10 Tournament as the No. 9 seed.? Although Oregon State and Arizona finished tied for eighth place in the conference standings, the Beavers won the tie breaker over the Wildcats with a win over sixth-place Washington that pitted UA as the No. 9 seed.? Last season, the ninth-seeded Wildcats knocked off the eighth-seeded Beavers, 69-54, in the first round of the Pac-10 Tournament.? In 2006, the ninth-seeded Wildcats defeated No. 8 seed Oregon, 64-57, in first round action.? Arizona has played in the Pac-10 Tournament as a No. 6 seed, a No. 3 seed, a No. 2 seed, and a No. 4 seed, before being No. 9 the last three-straight years.? All-time, Arizona is 6-6 in the Pac-10 Tournament, reaching the championship game twice (2003, 2004).? Arizona has lost in the first round twice in six Pac-10 Tournaments.

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Hello, Beavers, Again:

Arizona has faced Oregon State three times in the first round of the Pac-10 Tournament, including two of the last three years.? The Wildcats are 3-0 versus the Beavers in Pac-10 Tournament play, and have defeated OSU in each game by an average of 17 points.

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Arizona Results in the Pac-10 Tournament

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2002 Pac-10 Tournament

(Eugene, Ore.)

March 2, 2002

#3 Arizona State 66, #6 Arizona 58

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2003 Pac-10 Tournament

Runners-up

(San Jose, Calif.)

March 8, 2003

#3 Arizona 70, #6 Oregon State 56

March 9 2003

#3 Arizona 74, #2 Washington 51

March 10, 2003

#1 Stanford 59, #3 Arizona 49

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2004 Pac-10 Tournament

Runners-up

(San Jose, Calif.)

March 6, 2004

#2 Arizona 81, #7 Oregon State 58

March 7, 2004

#2 Arizona 77, #6 Washington 55

March 8, 2004

#1 Stanford 72, #2 Arizona 60

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2005 Pac-10 Tournament

(San Jose, Calif.)

March 5, 2005

#4 USC 74, #5 Arizona 66

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2006 Pac-10 Tournament

(San Jose, Calif.)

March 3, 2006

#9 Arizona 64, #8 Oregon 57

March 4, 2006

#1 Stanford 77, #9 Arizona 50

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2007 Pac-10 Tournament

(San Jose, Calif.)

March 2, 2007

#9 Arizona 69, #8 Oregon State 54

March 3, 2007

#1 Stanford 65, #9 Arizona 55

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Arizona Honors in the Pac-10 Tournament

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2003 Pac-10 All-Tournament Team

Krista Warren, Dee-Dee Wheeler, Shawntinice Polk

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2004 Pac-10 All-Tournament Team

Aimee Grzyb, Shawntinice Polk

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Good Omen?: ?

Arizona is one of only two Pac-10 teams to have advanced to the championship game in back-to-back years (Stanford being the other).? The Wildcats advanced to the championship game in both 2003 and 2004.? In both of those tournaments, Arizona had the same first round opponent ?C Oregon State.

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Pac-10 Tourney = AWˇ?s Time: ?

Arizona senior Ashley Whisonant will get her final crack at the Pac-10 Tournament, and expect her to continue a trend she has followed during her career ?C tearing it up in San Jose.? In five Pac-10 Tournament games, Whisonant has averaged 16.4 points, including an 18.8 ppg average in her last four games in the tourney.? Last season, she dropped 23 points on Oregon State in the opener, before posting 18 against Stanford in the second round, registering her 1,000th career point.

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Record Books:

In second round action in 2003, Arizona shot 53.6 percent (30-56) from the field against Washington en route to a 74-51 win over the Huskies.? That mark is a Pac-10 Tournament record for the highest field goal percentage in a tournament game.

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UCLA Recap:

Arizona could not recover from a 16-0 deficit to start the game, and UCLA held on for an 80-70 win over the Wildcats on Saturday afternoon in Pauley Pavilion.?

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As a team, Arizona shot 40.3 percent (27-67) from the field, as UCLA posted a 49.2 percent (29-59) mark.? The Wildcats outrebounded the Bruins 39-36, and finished with 10 steals.

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Individually for the Wildcats, junior Amina Njonkou led the way with 18 points, and freshman Ify Ibekwe posted her second-straight double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds.? Senior Ashley Whisonant added 15 points and nine assists, and sophomore Rheya Neabors finished with nine points and a career-high 10 rebounds.? Freshman Tasha Dickey tallied 10 points and four steals.

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UCLA was led by Lindsey Pluimerˇ?s 18 points and 11 rebounds.

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UCLA raced out to a 16-0 lead in the first five minutes of the game, as Arizona missed its first nine shots from the field to start off the game.? The Bruins went on to increase their lead to 26-5 at the 12:15 mark.? The Wildcats rebounded to shoot 11-of-22 (50 percent) the rest of the half, and cut the deficit to 34-29 after a three by Dickey with 29 seconds left before halftime.? UCLA went into the half up 36-29.

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Arizona shot 35.5 percent (11-31) in the first, and was led by Dickeyˇ?s 10 points, as UCLA shot 48.5 percent (16-33) form the field led by Pluimerˇ?s 16 points.

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The Wildcats traded baskets with the Bruins in the first four minutes of the second half, but UCLA used a 12-5 scoring run over 4:54 to take a 53-39 lead with 13:00 minutes left in the game.? Arizona got within eight at 71-63 with 3:52 left after a fast-break layup by Njonkou, and cut the deficit to 73-66 after a three by Neabors at the 3:06 mark.? But UCLA would not let the Wildcats get any closer than that, as the Bruins shot 50 percent (13-26) from the field in the second half.

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A Quick Look at Arizona:

Arizona averages 63.0 points a game while shooting 40.6 percent from the field, 25.6 percent from three-point range, and 65.8 percent from the free throw line. Senior Ashley Whisonant leads Arizona with 15.4 points a game (third in the Pac-10) while posting 3.2 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game (first in the Pac-10).? Junior Amina Njonkou adds 13.0 points and 7.3 rebounds a game.

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About the Beavers:

The Oregon State Beavers enter the Pac-10 Tournament as the eighth-seed for a second-straight year with an 11-18 overall record and a 4-14 mark in the Pac-10.? OSU finished the Pac-10 season dropping 10 of its last 11 games, but notched a win over USC (55-54) at home on Feb. 23, as four of those losses were by five points or less.? As a team, Oregon State shoots 41.8 percent from the field, 34 percent from three-point range and 70.8 percent from the free throw line.? Ashley Allen leads the team with 15.3 points per game, and Brittney Davis adds 13.0 points a game.??Head coach LaVonda Wagner is in her third season at the helm of the Beaver program.

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Series Notes:

Fridayˇ?s game will be the 50th meeting all-time between the Wildcats and Beavers on the hardwood, with Arizona owning a 26-23 all-time series advantage.? OSU beat Arizona, 94-88, in the infamous 2-on-5 double overtime game on Jan. 3 earlier this season in Corvallis, but the Wildcats were able to notch a 71-63 win over OSU on Feb. 2.? Since 1998, Arizona is 17-8 against the Beavers, and has won three of the last four.

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Payback:

Arizona gets a second shot at Oregon State on Friday, as the teamˇ?s first meeting with the Beavers didnˇ?t go in favor of the Wildcats.? On Jan. 3, Arizona used a roster of six players to travel to Corvallis, Ore.? In that game, the ? Wildcats relinquished a 12-point lead at halftime and led by as many as 16 points in the second half before giving the game away to the Beavers.? The game went into double overtime, as Arizona finished the contest with two players on the court.? The Wildcats got some payback on Feb. 2 with a 71-63 win, but another win would be sweet as that Jan. 3 loss proved to be a season momentum swinging loss for Arizona.

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Streaky:

After beating New Mexico on the road in ˇ?The Pitˇ± (Dec. 15), the Wildcats had posted their fourth-straight win and were rolling with a 6-4 record.? Since that game, Arizona had lost eight-straight games before beating Washington State on Jan. 24, its longest losing streak since dropping nine-straight during the 2005-06 season.? The Wildcats snapped a five-game losing streak with a two-point win over USC on Thursday night.

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The Newest Wildcats:

The Arizona womenˇ?s basketball team has added walk-ons Ashley Gilpin and Sabreena Berger to its roster.?

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Gilpin, a senior from Las Cruces, N.M., is a 5-foot-9 guard currently studying psychology at the UA.? She hails from Mayfield HS, the same high school current Wildcat Marie McGee attended, and where the two were teammates.

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Berger, a 5-foot-9 sophomore, is from San Diego, Calif., and played high school ball at Point Loma HS.

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On the Road:

The Wildcats have been racking up those frequent flyer miles so far this season, as Arizona started the season playing nine of their first 15 games on the road.? Arizona will also end the regular season with five of its last seven games on the road.? With trips Los Angeles, the Bay Area, Washington, Oregon, Green Bay, Wis., Penn State, NC State, Long Beach, Calif., and New Mexico under their belts, the Wildcats have already racked up a grand total of 21,800 round trip miles.? Last week, Arizona added another 1,000 roundtrip miles to their portfolio with a trip to Los Angeles.? Arizona also gets to end the regular season with a trip to San Jose, Calif., for the Pac-10 Tournament, which will add 1,800 more roundtrip miles, bringing the Wildcatsˇ? grand total to 23,600 roundtrip travel miles this season.? Weˇ?ll keep you posted on when the Wildcats earn their free round trip to anywhere in the United States.

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Arizona Head Coach Joan Bonvicini (17th season):

The winningest coach in Arizona women's basketball history, Joan Bonvicini has taken the Wildcat program from obscurity into the national limelight. In her 17 seasons at the helm, Bonvicini has guided the Wildcats to nine postseason appearances, including seven NCAA Tournament berths and a WNIT Championship.? Under Bonvicini's tutelage, the Wildcats have finished in the upper tier of the Pac-10 in nine of the last 11 years, and in 2003-04 won a share of the conference regular-season title for the first time in school history.

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During this time, Arizona has been nationally ranked multiple times, including a best ever ranking of No. 7 in 1998.? Bonvicini's success is mirrored in her players' accolades. She has produced one All-American, five honorable mention All-America selections, a Pac-10 Player of the Year, three Pac-10 Freshmen of the Year, 22 All-Pac-10 honorees, 17 Pac-10 All-Freshman Team choices and 18 Academic All-Pac-10 selections. Bonvicini holds a 287-222 (.564) mark at Arizona and is 612-293 (.674) in 29 years as a head coach. On Feb. 8, 2007, Bonvicini became the 18th coach in NCAA Division I women's basketball history to reach the 600 win milestone with a 65-61 victory over Oregon State in McKale Center. She has a career record of 24-17 in NCAA Tournament play and has lost just two first-round games in 17 tourney appearances.

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500:

Head coach Joan Bonvicini reached another milestone on Jan. 26, at Washington.? The game at Washington marked head coach Joan Bonviciniˇ?s 500th game as the leader of the Wildcat program.? She became just the sixth coach in Arizona history in any sport to coach 500 games.

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900:

In Arizonaˇ?s game at Stanford on Feb. 14, head coach Joan Bonvicini coached in her 900th career game on the sidelines.? She became the 14th head coach in NCAA Division I womenˇ?s basketball history to coach in 900 games.?

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Road Warriors:

With a wins against Long Beach State and New Mexico, the Wildcats managed to win two-straight road games for the first time since the 2004-05 season.? Arizona last won two-straight on the road in December of 2004 with wins at Chicago State and Washington.? Arizona won at USC for the first time since 2003 on Thursday night.

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Pit This:

Arizona went into New Mexicoˇ?s Pit and did something most visiting teams canˇ?t do: win.? The Wildcats snapped the Lobosˇ? 13-game home winning streak with their 44-36 win, as New Mexico was 7-0 on the season before that game.

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Slow Starts:

Through 29 games, Arizona has been outscored 985-806 by opponents in the first half, and is 5-16 when trailing at the half.? When leading at the half or tied at the half, Arizona is 5-3.? Arizona trailed USC at the half 29-21, but rallied to outscore the Women of Troy 43-33 in the second half for a two-point win.? The Wildcats were down 36-29 at UCLA before falling 80-70.

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Shoot better = W:

As simple as it may seem, Arizonaˇ?s best equation for winning ball games is to shoot better than its opponents.? The Wildcats are 10-4 so far this season when outshooting the opposition.? Arizona outshot USC 39.7-35.8 last Thursday night in the two-point win.

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Almost History:

Arizonaˇ?s 44-36 win over New Mexico came very close to some intriguing historical proportions.? Arizonaˇ?s 44 points in the win was the programˇ?s lowest point total in a victory since beating Utah, 46-36, on Jan. 17 1974.? Arizonaˇ?s school low for a point total in a win is 36 in a win (36-30) over Northern Arizona on Feb. 10, 1973.

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Making History:

Arizonaˇ?s shooting against Cal on Jan. 19 made some dubious school history.? In that game, the Wildcats shot a school record low 24.1 percent from the field (13-54) in Pac-10 play.? Arizonaˇ?s 13 field goals in the game are also a school record low in Pac-10 play.

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Toe That Line:

So far, the Wildcats have shown an ability as a team to get to the free throw line.? Arizona has made it to the line 526 times (18.1 free throw attempts per game), but is only shooting 65.8 percent (346-526) from the charity stripe.? Opponents are shooting 71.4 percent (344-482) from the line against the Cats this season.

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Against USC last Thursday night, Arizona shot a season-high 91.7 percent from the line, connecting on 11-of-12 free throw attempts, which was a big reason for the win on the road over the Women of Troy who were 11-1 at home before that loss.

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Make Those Free Throws:

Free throw shooting has been a major factor in Arizonaˇ?s ability to win and lose games.? In the Wildcatsˇ? loss against USC (Dec. 28), Arizona shot 17-of-29 from the line (58.6 percent) against the Women of Troy, including a 13-of-23 (56.5 percent) mark in the second half.? Poor shooting from the line kept Arizona from making legitimate comeback attempt at the end of the game, as the Wildcats scored five-straight points in the final 22 seconds of the game to cut the deficit to seven points.? Against UCLA (Jan. 30), Arizona shot 19-of-29 from the line (65.5 percent) against the Bruins, including an 11-of-18 mark (61.1 percent).? Even though the 19 free throws were the second most for the Wildcats on the season, not being able to hit free throws in the second half prevented another comeback attempt, as Arizona cut the deficit to six points with 33 seconds to play in the game.

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Despite playing with six players, and with four players down the stretch, Arizona could have held off an Oregon State comeback (Jan. 3) had it hit its shots at the line.? The Wildcats shot a season-low 47.4 percent (9-of-19) from the free throw line against the Beavers, including a 3-of-7 mark in the first half, and a 3-of-8 mark in overtime.

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Against Oregon (Jan. 5), the Wildcats erased a 16-point second half deficit and trailed 56-53 with 1:10 left to play, but shot 12-of-20 (60 percent) from the charity stripe.? On Feb. 21, Arizona was 8-of-13 (61.5 percent) from the line, including a 5-of-9 clip in the second half in a two-point loss to Washington at home.

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What do you know about Pressure?:

Arizona can put on some pressure defense, and opponents have shown they canˇ?t handle it.? Through 29 games, Arizona has forced 563 turnovers on the opposition, which equates to an average of 19.6 turnovers a game.? The Wildcats forced 19 turnovers on USC last Thursday, scoring 24 points off of those turnovers, and scored 22 points off of 18 UCLA turnovers in the last game.

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Ball Thieves:

The Wildcats have shown they can scratch at opponents, posting 231 steals so far on the season for an 8.0 steals per game average.? Arizona ranks fourth in the Pac-10 in the steals department, and had 10 steals at UCLA on Saturday.

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Rejectmuch:

Last season, Arizona tallied 51 blocked shots the entire season.? This year, it is a different story.? The Wildcats surpassed last yearˇ?s total in 15 games with 53 blocks, and own 102 blocks in 29 games.? Arizona currently ranks second in the Pac-10 in the blocks department behind Stanford, averaging 3.5 blocks a game.? A big reason for the complete 180 when it comes to blocks has with its aggressive play upfront.? Freshman Ify Ibekwe leads the team with 28 blocks on the year, and junior Beatrice Bofia is second on the team with 23 blocks.? Sophomore Rheya Neabors is third on the squad with 18 blocks so far this season.? Arizona has posted four blocks or more in 12 games so far, including nine of the last 16 contests, and has recorded 39 blocked shots in the last 11 games.

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With four blocks at USC last Thursday, the Wildcats posted 100 blocks in a season for the first time since 2005.

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Paint Job:

So far, Arizona has been doing a solid job scoring in the paint.? Through 29 games, the Wildcats have posted 951 points in the paint, which accounts for 52.1 percent of the teamˇ?s point production (1,826), and average 32.8 points per game down low.? Arizona scored 32 of its 70 points in the paint against UCLA in its last outing.

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Pac-10ˇ?s Best:

In Pac-10 play, a few Wildcats have been tearing it up.? Through the Pac-10 schedule, senior Ashley Whisonant averaged 15.9 points a game, second in the Pac-10, and a league best 37.9 minutes of action, while dishing out a league-best 4.8 assists per game.? Junior Amina Njonkou was seventh in scoring and fourth in rebounding with 14.1 points and 8.0 rebounds a game in league play.? Freshman Ify Ibekwe ranked fourth in blocked shots (1.43) and sixth in rebounding (7.9) in Pac-10 play.

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AW Leads the Way:

Senior guard Ashley Whisonant has been counted on to lead at the point this season, and she has flourished in that position.? Whisonant has played at an All-Pac-10 level all season long.? The Bowie, Md., native is averaging a team-high 15.4 points, 3.2 rebounds and 4.9 assists a game while snagging 1.8 steals a contest.? She is also averaging a team-high 37.3 minutes per contest.? Whisonant ranks third in the Pac-10 in scoring average, first in assists per game, and first in minutes per game.?

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Game of a Lifetime:

Ashley Whisonant showed why she is one of the best players in the Pac-10 at Oregon State on Jan. 3.? Whisonant led a team of just six players with a career-high 34 points in 48 minutes of action.? Her 34 points is the fourth-best mark in school history, one point shy of the all-time school record (35 points).? She tied a school record with 15 field goal attempts, and set a new school record with 29 field goal attempts.?

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All-Time Scorer:?

Ashley Whisonant scored her 1,000th career point in the final game of the season last year, and look for her to continue to climb up the Arizona all-time point leader list this season.? So far this season, Whisonant has moved up nine spots on the all-time Arizona scorers list, and currently ranks fifth all-time with 1,451 career points in 122 games (11.9 career ppg average).? Her 20 points at Washington moved her past Timi Brown (1987-91, 1,315 points) for fifth-place all-time in school history.? She now needs 16 points to tie former teammate Shawntinice Polk (2003-05, 1,467 points) for fourth all-time.? With 23 points against Washington on Feb. 21, she became just the fifth player in school history to amass 1,400 career points.

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On Fire:

So far this season, Whisonant has posted double-figures in points in 24 of 29 games, including 15 of the last 17.? She finished with 15 points against UCLA in the last game.

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