POSSIBLE STARTING LINEUP: 34 Angela Lackey F 6-0 Sr. Louisville, KY 13.1 ppg 5.6 rpg 1.8 spg 53 Tatum Brown F 6-4 Sr. Tacoma, WA 15.0 ppg 8.7 rpg 0.7 bpg 3 Lisa Griffith G 5-6 Sr. Portland, OR 9.7 ppg 2.2 spg 3.8 apg 20 Julie Brase G 5-9 So. Tucson, AZ 8.3 ppg 2.9 rpg 2.4 apg 23 Felecity Willis G 5-7 Sr. Apple Valley, CA 7.8 ppg 5.2 apg 1.7 spgABOUT ARIZONA: Thanks in part to a number of Pac-10 upsets over the weekend, the 19th-ranked Wildcats are now only one game out of first in the league standings. Winners of four of their last five games, the Cats improved to 16-3 overall and 5-2 in Pac-10 play with a 60-58 win over rival Arizona State last Sunday in their only action of the week.
OFF THE BENCH (listed alphabetically): 33 Tysell Bozeman G 5-8 So. Riverside, CA 3.0 ppg 1.0 rpg 0.4 apg 10 Reshea Bristol G 5-10 Jr. Omaha, NE 6.0 ppg 2.9 rpg 2.4 spg 22 Monika Crank G 5-7 Sr. Page, AZ 5.4 ppg 3.0 rpg 2.3 apg 51 Michelle Mitchell C 6-4 So. Oregon City, OR 1.2 ppg 1.7 rpg 45 Elizabeth Pickney F 6-4 So. Houston, TX 9.3 ppg 3.9 rpg 0.8 bpg 21 Jamie Sturdivant G 5-7 Fr. Simi Valley, CA 1.2 ppg 0.4 rpg 50 LaKeisha Taylor C 6-4 So. Houston, TX 2.6 ppg 2.8 rpg 0.4 bpg 35 Krista Warren F/G 6-2 Fr. Cloverdale, CA 3.4 ppg 2.6 rpg 0.6 apg
With 15.0 points and 8.7 rebounds per game, senior forward Tatum Brown remains the UA leader in both categories. Senior forward Angela Lackey is second in both categories with 13.1 ppg and 5.6 rpg. Sophomore forward Elizabeth Pickney stands as the team's third-leading rebounder with 3.9 per game.
Senior guard Lisa Griffith (9.7 ppg), Pickney (9.3 ppg) and sophomore guard Julie Brase (8.3 ppg) follow on the scoring chart. Senior guard Felecity Willis is the team's assists leader, at 5.2 per game, while junior guard Reshea Bristol is the steals leader, averaging 2.4 per contest.
Arizona is leading the Pac-10 in four different statistical categories, including scoring (80.9 ppg), scoring margin (+13.6 ppg) and assists (18.58 apg). Individually, Tatum Brown is leading the league in field goal percentage (.608) and is second in rebounding (8.7 rpg), while Felecity Willis is second in assists (5.16 apg).
ABOUT OREGON: The Ducks hold 14-5 overall and 5-2 Pac-10 records after splitting games at the L.A. schools last weekend. Oregon was downed at USC, 74-73, on a last-second shot on Thursday, then on Saturday, the Ducks rebounded to hand UCLA its first conference loss of the season, 67-58. Always a tough team to play in McArthur Court, Oregon is 6-0 at home this year and is on a 19-game home win streak. The Ducks are not currently ranked, but they are receiving votes in both polls.
Three Oregon players are averaging in double digits in scoring, led by sophomore guard Shaquala Williams with 17.9 points per game. Junior forward Angelina Wolvert is second in scoring (12.5 ppg) and leads the Ducks in rebounding, at 6.5 per game. Junior forward Brianne Meharry is averaging 10.3 ppg and is second in rebounding (6.2 rpg).
Oregon is leading the Pac-10 in scoring defense (61.1 ppg) and field goal percentage defense (.378). Shaquala Williams is the third-leading scorer in the conference, and Angelina Wolvert and Jenny Mowe are second in field goal percentage and blocked shots, respectively.
Oregon head coach Jody Runge (Kentucky, 1985) holds a 134-58 record in seven seasons at the helm of the Ducks' program.
THE SERIES vs. OREGON: Oregon holds the decisive 19-9 lead in the series with Arizona, although the Cats have taken two of the last three meetings from the Ducks. The two teams have split games each of the last five years.
Last season, the Cats picked up a 78-74 win over the Ducks in Tucson on Jan. 21, but fell at Oregon, 82-76, on Feb. 21.
LAST TIME AT OREGON: The Wildcats put up a valiant fight but, in the end, just couldn't pull out the win as they fell to then-18th-ranked Oregon, 82-76, in Eugene on Feb. 21, 1999.
The Wildcats were with the Ducks through the first 10 minutes of the game, then Oregon went on a 12-0 run midway through the first half en route to a nine-point (42-33) halftime advantage. Oregon opened the second half by outscoring the Cats, 17-10, and pushed their lead to 16 (59-43) at 11:24.
Arizona then made a 15-6 run at the Ducks, climbing back to within six (65-59) points at the 4:25 mark. Oregon managed to get the lead back to 11 points, and Arizona's game-ending 11-6 spurt just wasn't enough to regain the lead.
Lisa Griffith knocked down a season-high five treys while tallying a game- and season-high 20 points. Angela Lackey had 15 points and a team-high six rebounds, and Julie Brase came off the bench to post 11 points, all in the second half. Felecity Willis had six assists, and Reshea Bristol nabbed five steals.
ABOUT OREGON STATE: After opening the year with a paltry 4-10 record, the Beavers have rebounded to win four of their last five games. They stand at 8-11 overall and 4-3 in Pac-10 play. Last weekend, the Beavers fell at UCLA (83-60) and defeated USC (57-53). Oregon State will play host to Arizona State on Friday before facing the Wildcats.
Sophomore guard Felicia Ragland holds OSU's scoring lead with 12.9 ppg. Senior center Sissel Pierce is second in both scoring (12.0 ppg) and rebounding (7.4 rpg). Senior forward Reda Petraitis is the top rebounder, with 7.7 per game.
OSU is the Pac-10's top team in rebounding margin (+5.8 rpg) and is tied with Oregon for the lead in blocked shots (4.89 bpg). Sissel Pierce is the conference leader in blocked shots (2.78 bpg), and Reda Petraitis is second in steals (2.53 spg).
Oregon State head coach Judy Spoelstra (Oregon State, 1983) is 56-73 in her fifth year at the helm of her alma mater's program. She has a 154-141 record in 11 years as a head coach.
THE SERIES vs. OREGON STATE: OSU holds the 15-13 edge in the series with Arizona. The Cats are on a five-game win streak against the Beavers.
The Wildcats earned a sweep of the Beavers last season, downing OSU, 91-60, in Tucson on Jan. 23, then beating OSU, 66-53, on Feb. 19 in Corvallis.
LAST TIME AT OREGON STATE: Despite a sluggish performance, Arizona pulled out a 66-53 win at Oregon State on Feb. 19, 1999.
OSU opened the contest with a 16-8 run, to which Arizona responded with a 12-0 run of its own. The Cats took over from there, blowing out to a 34-21 halftime lead.
The UA opened the second half with a 7-0 run, pushing the lead to 20 (41-21), and then went cold, as the Beavers made a furious 25-11 run to pull to within six points (52-46) at the 6:38 mark. The Wildcats outscored OSU, 14-7, down the stretch to snag the victory.
Angela Lackey nailed a game-high 18 points, while Lisa Griffith put up 15 points to go with game-highs of six steals and five assists. Felecity Willis added 12 points, and Elizabeth Pickney had 10 points and a team-leading eight rebounds.
HISTORY LESSON: Arizona holds a 4-3 all-time record in games played on Feb. 4. The Cats last played on that date last season, an 84-58 win over Washington at home.
The Wildcats are 2-4 all-time when playing on Feb. 6. Their last contest on that date was last year, an 85-64 win over Washington State at home.
ARIZONA'S LAST TIME OUT: A 50 percent shooting performance in the second half helped the Wildcats pull out a 60-58 win over rival Arizona State at home on Jan. 30.
Arizona opened the game with an 11-2 run, then ASU proceeded to out-score the Cats, 27-16, over the remainder of the half, taking a 29-27 lead into the break.
Arizona State held onto the lead early in the second half until the UA went on an 11-4 spurt to take a two-point (38-36) lead at the 12:35 mark. From there, there were seven lead changes and four ties until Arizona managed to push out to a six-point (58-52) lead with 1:12 left.
The Sun Devils scratched back to within the final spread of two points by hitting a three-pointer with less than a minute remaining in the contest, but Arizona held on for the victory.
Tatum Brown was the only Wildcat in double digits, tallying her seventh double-double of the season with 18 points and a game-high 13 rebounds on 7-of-11 shooting from the floor. Krista Warren and Reshea Bristol each added seven points off the bench.
TRACKING THE PAC-10: At 6-1 in Pac-10 play, UCLA has a tenuous hold on first place in the league standings. Three teams are tied for second place with 5-2 marks -- Arizona, Oregon and Stanford.
LOOKING AHEAD: Arizona begins the second round of Pac-10 play next weekend with games at home against the Washington schools. The Cats will face Washington on Thursday, Feb. 10, at 7 p.m., then will take on Washington State on Saturday, Feb. 12, at 2 p.m.
HEAD COACH JOAN BONVICINI: In nearly a decade at the helm of the University of Arizona's women's basketball program, head coach Joan Bonvicini has collected an unparalleled list of accomplishments, both for the university and for her career.
Now in her ninth year at the UA, Bonvicini has posted a 149-101 (.596) mark and has a 474-172 (.734) record in 20 years as a collegiate head coach. She also has a 22-13 mark 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.
THE REST OF THE STAFF: Awarded the title of associate head coach during the summer of 1998, Denise Dove Ianello (Northern Illinois, 1991) is in her eighth year at the UA, functioning as both the team's recruiting coordinator and the perimeter coach. Second-year assistant coach Karen Caires (Cal State Northridge, 1990) works with the perimeter players, assists with scouting and recruiting and directs the Joan Bonvicini Hoop Camp. In his first year at the UA, assistant coach Curtis Loyd (Southern Utah, 1994) is involved primarily with scouting and with coaching the post players.
ARIZONA'S PRACTICE SCHEDULE: Here is the upcoming schedule for the Wildcats...
Tues. Feb. 1 5-7 p.m. McKale Wed. Feb. 2 2-4:30 p.m. McKale lifting after Thurs. Feb. 3 2-4:30 p.m. McKale depart for Oregon Fri. Feb. 4 at Oregon, 7 p.m. PST Sat. Feb. 5 practice at Oregon State, 11a.m.-1 p.m. PST Sun. Feb. 6 at Oregon State, 1:05 p.m. PST Mon. Feb. 7 OFF Tues. Feb. 8 4:30-7 p.m. McKale Wed. Feb. 9 2-4:30 p.m. McKale lifting afterTHE CATS IN PAC-10 PLAY: Currently at 5-2 in conference play, the Cats have tied the 1998 team for the best start ever in league action. The UA's best record ever through the first round of Pac-10 play was 7-2 by that 1998 squad.
DID YOU KNOW: Since Joan Bonvicini took over the Arizona program in 1991, the Wildcats have gone 77-74 against Pac-10 teams, although they have a 43-18 league mark over the last four seasons combined.
RACKING UP THE WINS: Joan Bonvicini needs only eight more victories at the UA to collect as many wins as the six previous Wildcat coaches combined.
BY THE NUMBERS: All but one of Arizona's wins this year have been by an average of 10 points or more... Each loss has been by an average of only 5.7 points... The Cats have hit five or more 3-pointers in 13 games this season... Arizona has 20 or more assists in 10 games this year... The Cats have had 10 or more steals in 14 games... Arizona has forced its opponent into 20 or more turnovers in 13 contests, and no opponent has committed less than 14.
LONG RANGE BOMBING: The Wildcats have hit at least one 3-pointer in 52 consecutive games, dating back to Mar. 5, 1998.
FREE THROW WOES: The Wildcats, who ended last year shooting 72.1 percent from the free throw line, have been wildly inconsistent from the stripe this season. They have shot as well as 84 percent (21-25 vs. Tennessee Tech, Nov. 20) and as poorly as 53.1 percent (17-32 vs. Northern Illinois, Dec. 15) so far this year.
The UA has shot over 70 percent from the charity stripe in only nine of the 19 games this year and has been over 80 percent only twice.
CRASHING THE BOARDS: Rebounding has been a major problem for the Wildcats over the last few years, but they are on an upswing in that area. The UA has out-rebounded its opponent in 18 of this season's games so far. That's a great improvement over last season, when the Cats out-rebounded only seven opponents in all 29 games combined.
BENCH CONTRIBUTIONS: The UA bench has been quite productive this season, contributing an average of 29.1 points per game. The highest point total from the bench so far this year came on Dec. 10 against Texas Southern, when 47 of the UA's 96 points came from the subs.
THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME: During Joan Bonvicini's tenure at Arizona, the Wildcats have posted an 89-40 mark in McKale Center, including a 58-12 record over the last five seasons combined. Arizona has a record of 155-148 on its home court since the 1976-77 season.
STRONG SCHEDULE: Four of the UA's opponents this season are ranked in this week's polls.
UC Santa Barbara is tied for 13th in this week's A.P. poll, while UCLA is 15th, Oklahoma is 22nd and Kansas is 25th. Oregon, Stanford and Colorado State all received votes for ranking.
In this week's USA Today/ESPN Coaches' poll, UC Santa Barbara is No. 14, UCLA is No. 17, Kansas is No. 24 and Oklahoma is No. 25. Stanford, Oregon and Hawai'i all received votes for ranking.
DUALLY SUCCESSFUL: Nine schools had both their men's and women's basketball teams ranked among the A.P. Top 25 this week. They are Arizona, Duke, Tennessee, Connecticut, Auburn, Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa State and Louisiana State.
80 IS THE MAGIC NUMBER: Seems that the 80-point mark almost always means adding another to the "win" column for the Wildcats. In the 28-year history of Arizona women's basketball, the Cats have posted a 119-16 record when scoring 80 points or more in a game. Under Bonvicini, the Wildcats have gone 79-9 when topping that 80-point plateau.
WE CAN HANDLE THE CLOSE ONES...: Under head coach Joan Bonvicini, the Cats have gone 24-18 in games settled by five points or less, including a 8-4 mark in games settled by one or two points.
...BUT WE REALLY PREFER THE BLOWOUTS: Over the last nine seasons, Bonvicini's Arizona teams have won 49 games by spreads of 20 points or more.
KEYS TO THE WIN: This season, Arizona is... 15-3 when out-rebounding its opponent... 13-0 when shooting better than its opponent from the floor... 14-2 when shooting 40% or better from the field... 15-1 when scoring 70 points or more... 13-2 when committing fewer turnovers than the opponent... 13-3 when three or more players reach double digits in scoring.
CAT SCRATCHES: The Cats are forcing opponents to commit an average of 4.1 more turnovers per game than the UA, the highest ratio in the Pac-10... The Arizona women's basketball program has a 309-392 (.441) all-time record, however it is 113-56 (.669) from 1994 to present... Joan Bonvicini has a 167-88 career record against Pac-10 teams.
ON LOCATION: The Wildcats are 9-2 at home this season, 4-1 in road games and 3-0 in neutral contests. Arizona posted an 11-3 mark at home, was 5-8 on the road and notched a 2-0 record in neutral contests last year.
ARIZONA ON THE TUBE: The Wildcats are currently scheduled to make television appearances for two more games...
Sat. Feb. 19 at UCLA Fox Sports Net 1 p.m. PST Sat. Feb. 26 at Arizona St. Fox Sports Net Ariz. 8 p.m.
RECORD WATCH: Lisa Griffith is the Arizona and the Pac-10 career leader in both three-pointers made (257) and attempted (677). She is in the #6 spot on the UA's top-20 all-time leading scorers' list, with 1,100 career points. She needs 44 more points to move into the #5 spot.
Griffith is also on the career top-10 list for games started, coming in at #3 with 97 career starts. She stands at third on the career steals chart, with 200, and is fifth on the career assists list, with 422.
Felecity Willis is seventh in both career three-pointers made (48) and attempted (173). She is holding down fourth place on the all-time assists chart, with 470 career dishes.
Willis is also the latest addition to Arizona's all-time top 20 scoring list. She has 867 career points, which puts her in the #18 spot. She needs only two more points to move up to #17.
Sophomore forward Elizabeth Pickney has already entered the UA's top 10 list for career blocked shots. She stands in fifth place with 51 career blocks.
GRIFFITH BECOMES PAC-10 LEADER: On Jan. 30, senior guard Lisa Griffith became the Pac-10 career leader in three-pointers attempted, surpassing former Washington player Jamie Redd's total of 675. Griffith became the Pac-10 career leader in 3-pointers made during the 1998-99 season.
BONVICINI REACHES MILESTONES: With the win over Arizona State on Jan. 30, Arizona head coach Joan Bonvicini earned her 150th win at the UA and 475th win as a head coach.
PICKNEY TOPS 500: Against UCLA on Jan. 20, sophomore forward Elizabeth Pickney became the latest Wildcat to top the 500-point plateau in career scoring.
LISA GRIFFITH NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK (Jan. 17): Senior guard Lisa Griffith was named the Pacific-10 Conference Women's Basketball Player of the Week for Jan. 10-16.
Griffith averaged 20.0 points, 4.0 assists, 2.5 steals and 2.0 rebounds per game while leading the Wildcats to their first-ever road sweep of the Washington schools on Jan. 13 and 15. She shot 59.1 percent (13-of-22) from the floor, including a blazing 61.1 percent (11-of-18) from three-point range.
In the win at Washington, Arizona's first victory ever in Seattle, Griffith drained a school-record-tying seven treys en route to a career-high 26 points. She shot 7-of-10 from beyond the arc, marking the first time any Wildcat has hit seven treys in one game since Griffith herself did it twice during the 1996-97 season. In the win over Washington State, she tallied 14 points, four steals and seven assists.
The Player of the Week honor is the second of Griffith's career (also Feb. 17, 1997), and the 18th all-time selection for Arizona.
CATS EARN FIRST ROAD SWEEP IN WASHINGTON: With wins at Washington State (83-68) on Jan. 13 and at Washington (96-85) on Jan. 15, Arizona completed its first-ever road sweep of the Washington schools. While the Cats had previously been able to defeat Washington State in Pullman, this season's win at Washington was the UA's first in 14 attempts.
A GREAT START: With their victory over California on Jan. 6, the Wildcats tied the 1995-96 team for the best start ever at 12-1. The UA's 14-2 record through the first 16 games of the year was also a program best.
CATS SET RECORD WITH HOME WIN STREAK: Arizona set a new school record this season with a 15-game home win streak, dating from Jan. 4, 1999, to Jan. 8, 2000. They saw their streak end with a 98-95 loss to Stanford on Jan. 8. The previous long streak was a string of 10 games midway through the 1997-98 season.
NON-CONFERENCE SUCCESS: The Cats went 11-1 in regular season non-conference play this year, their best non-conference mark since the 1995-96 team went 9-0. The 11 victories are the most regular season non-conference wins ever under Joan Bonvicini.
During the 12 non-conference games, the Cats averaged 83.1 points per game and out-scored their opponents by an average of 18 points per game. They shot 48.8 percent from the field, including a blazing 42.3 percent from three-point range. The UA out-rebounded its opponents by an average of 6.2 boards per contest. The Cats also averaged 20.0 assists and 11.0 steals per game, while forcing opponents to commit an average of 22.8 turnovers per game.
CATS TAKE SEELBACH CLASSIC TITLE: Arizona won its third regular-season tournament when it swept through the Seelbach Cardinal Classic in Louisville, Ky., on Dec. 28-29. The Cats had a solid showing in the first round with a 91-61 pounding of Marshall on Dec. 28. Although host team Louisville managed to hang with the UA most of the contest, the Cats pulled out an 80-70 victory in the championship game to take the tournament title.
After averaging 14.0 points and 13.0 rebounds per game over the two contests, Wildcat Tatum Brown was selected the Tournament MVP, her second such honor of the year. Louisville native Angela Lackey was selected to the All-Tournament Team as well, also her second such honor of the season.
GRIFFITH JOINS 1,000-POINT CLUB: With 3:04 left in the first half at Kansas on Dec. 21, senior guard Lisa Griffith knocked down her third three-pointer of the game to become the eighth Wildcat to reach the 1,000-point plateau in career scoring. The last Wildcat to join the 1,000-point club was Griffith's former teammate, Adia Barnes, who reached that mark during the 1996-97 season.
WILDCATS CLAIM TITLE OF INSIGHT.COM BOWL BASKETBALL CLASSIC: After falling in the championship game of the 1998 tournament, Arizona reclaimed the title of its ninth annual Insight.com Bowl Basketball Classic with victories over Texas Southern (96-46) and Indiana (87-70) on Dec. 10-12.
The UA's Tatum Brown was unanimously voted the Tournament Most Valuable Player after averaging 20.5 points, 11.5 rebounds and 2.5 steals over the two games. Angela Lackey was named to the All-Tournament Team, as well.
RECORDS FALLING ALREADY: Tatum Brown's 11-of-12 shooting performance against Colorado State on Dec. 6 tied the UA single-game record for field goal percentage (.917). It is also a new McKale Center record, breaking the previous mark of 84.6 percent (11-13) set by former UCLA player Denise Curry on Jan. 17, 1981.
Arizona also set a new school record by hitting a sizzling 75.9 (22-29) percent in the first half against UC Santa Barbara on Nov. 30.
BROWN NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK (Dec. 6): Senior forward Tatum Brown was named the Pacific-10 Conference Women's Basketball Player of the Week for Nov. 29-Dec. 5. Brown scored a career-high 21 points and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds to lead No. 21 Arizona to an 86-76 upset over No. 15 UC Santa Barbara on Nov. 30. In just 26 minutes of action, she shot 9-for-12 (.750) from the field and 3-for-4 (.750) from the line.
The Player of the Week honor is the first of Brown's career, and the 17th all-time selection. Brown's honor followed Elizabeth Pickney's Player of the Week laurels the previous week, marking the first time in school history that the Wildcats have had back-to-back Pac-10 Players of the Week.
SHOOTING THE LIGHTS OUT: The Cats shot a school-record 75.9 percent (22-29) from the floor in the first half of the UCSB contest on Nov. 30. For the game, they shot 63 percent (34-54), the highest field goal percentage for any team since the school record was set at 64.3 percent (36-56) against Drake on Nov. 25, 1990.
PICKNEY NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK (Nov. 29): Elizabeth Pickney was named Pac-10 Player of the Week for Nov. 15-28. Pickney averaged 16.0 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.3 blocked shots per game in the UA's four straight victories to open the season. She shot a team-high .575 (23-40) from the field and .720 (18-25) from the line during that stretch.
Pickney was named the Tournament MVP at the Hawaiian Regent Wahine Classic, leading Arizona to the team title with three wins. In the tourney, she averaged 18.0 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. The Player of the Week honor was the first of Pickney's career and the 16th all-time selection for Arizona.
SULTANS OF SWAT: The Wildcats racked up nine blocked shots in the contest against Tennessee Tech on Nov. 20. That is the highest single-game block total since the 1985 squad collected 10 at Tennessee-Chattanooga on Jan. 5, 1985. Elizabeth Pickney had five of the UA's blocked shots against Tennessee Tech, a career high for her.
As a team, Arizona collected 20 blocks over the first four game of the year, the highest block total ever over that stretch in any season.
CATS TAKE CHAMPIONSHIP AT HAWAIIAN REGENT WAHINE CLASSIC: The Wildcats swept through three games in Honolulu on Nov. 19-21 to take the title at the Hawaiian Regent Wahine Classic, hosted by the University of Hawai'i.
Arizona garnered victories over Oklahoma (75-59), Tennessee Tech (87-71) and host team Hawai'i (86-73) to open the 1999-2000 season with a perfect 3-0 mark.
Elizabeth Pickney averaged 18.0 points and 7.3 rebounds per game for the Cats and was the overwhelming favorite for tournament Most Valuable Player laurels. Felecity Willis and Tatum Brown were named to the All-Tournament Team, as well.
DOVE IANELLO AMONG TOP ASSISTANTS: In a survey of head women's coaches conducted by the Women's Basketball Journal last fall, UA associate head coach Denise Dove Ianello received votes for consideration as one of the top assistant coaches in the country.
FUTURE WILDCATS: On the first day of the early signing period (Nov. 10), Arizona inked a trio of high school recruits from the state of California. The signees were 5-10 guard Candice Allen (Ontario, CA/Ayala HS), 5-7 guard Aimee Grzyb (San Jose, CA/Archbishop Mitty HS) and 6-3 forward Veranda James (Pomona, CA/Ganesha HS).
WHAT THE COACHES THINK: Here is the predicted order of finish for the Pac-10 this season, according to the league's coaches...
1. UCLA 6. Washington 2. Oregon 7. USC 3. Stanford 8. Oregon State 4. ARIZONA 9. California 5. Arizona State 10. Washington StateGREAT EXPECTATIONS: For the third year in a row, the Wildcats earned a preseason national ranking. The Cats were ranked 25th in the Associated Press Preseason Top 25, and they were 24th in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Preseason Top 25.
The Wildcats were ranked among the top 25 teams in five different "unofficial" preseason polls this fall. The UA's highest ranking in these polls was 13th by Women's Basketball magazine and the lowest was 22nd by both Street & Smith's and the Basketball News Report.
Angela Lackey earned preseason third team All-America honors from Lindy's College Basketball and honorable mention All-America laurels from Street & Smith's College Basketball.
1998-99 IN REVIEW: Despite losing the squad's only two seniors before the season ever started, the very young 1998-99 Wildcats held their own and came up with an 18-11 overall record and went 12-6 in the Pac-10 to finish in fourth place.
The Cats faced a rough non-conference schedule that featured three teams which spent most of the season among the top four in the national rankings. Arizona went 5-4 against those non-conference opponents, with quality losses to Purdue, Louisiana Tech and Colorado State and a big road win over UC Santa Barbara.
That tough early slate prepared the Cats for a season of Pac-10 play which showed more parity than it has in years. After getting off to a rocky 1-3 start in league play, the Cats rebounded to finish the season 11-3, with wins over Pac-10 co-champion Oregon and over perennial power Stanford.
The Wildcats then received their third consecutive berth in the NCAA Tournament, earning a #6 seed in the Midwest Region. In Piscataway, N.J., Arizona faced NCAA tourney veteran Florida in the first round of play and defeated the Gators, 87-84, in overtime to move on to the second round for the third straight year. The Cats then took on host Rutgers, only to end the season on a sour note, falling to the Scarlet Knights, 90-47.
For the season, Arizona had its most balanced offense in five years, with four players averaging in double digits in scoring, and ended its season by winning 12 of its final 16 contests. The Cats broke or tied 13 school records on the year, including setting new marks in single season free throws made (520) and blocked shots (88).
With 14.4 points per game, Angela Lackey led four Wildcats averaging in double digits in scoring. Felecity Willis came in second with her 12.1 ppg scoring average, followed closely by Elizabeth Pickney at 11.4 ppg. Pickney was the team's top rebounder, with 5.8 per game, while Willis was the team's assists leader, averaging 5.5 apg. Lackey was second in rebounding with 5.4 rpg, and Reshea Bristol posted 11.4 points and 4.4 rebounds per game.