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Oregon Awaits Cats in Pac-10 First Round
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 03/07/2011
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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March 7, 2011

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TUCSON - The No. 4 seed Arizona Wildcats and the No. 9 seed Oregon Ducks will play the second game of the first round of the Pacific Life Pac-10 Basketball Tournament on Wed., March 9. Tip-off is scheduled for 2:15 p.m. MT/3:15 p.m. PT at the Galen Center.

Since the start of the Pac-10 Tournament during the 2001-02 season, the Wildcats are 8-9 in their nine previous appearances. The Cats have advanced to the championship game twice, losing to Stanford both times. This season, Arizona earned its highest seed (fourth) since being named the No. 2 seed for the 2004 tournament. Arizona and Oregon's last and only meeting in the tournament came during the 2006 season when UA bested UO, 64-57.

The Arizona Wildcats and the Oregon Ducks will meet for the 54th time on Wednesday. The Ducks lead the series 29-24 over the Wildcats. Earlier this season, UA opened its Pac-10 slate with a 109-94 win over UO and then picked up another win in Eugene, 88-65, on March 5. Last season, the two teams split the home and home series with Arizona winning 119-112 in overtime at McKale on Jan. 16 and the Ducks winning 92-74 on Feb. 11 at McArthur Court. Since the 2008 season, Arizona holds a slight edge over Oregon, 5-3.

The Wildcats have won five-straight games, including four-straight Pac-10 road wins, and six of their last seven contests. Under third-year head coach Niya Butts, the Wildcats have improved from 12 overall wins and four Pac-10 victories in 2008-09, to 14 overall wins and six Pac-10 wins in 2009-10, to sitting at 19-10 overall and 10-8 in league play currently.

The Wildcats' 10-8 conference record is their best since the 2004-05 campaign and their 19 wins overall are the most since that same season. The 2010-11 season marks the highest finish in the Pac-10 for Arizona since tying for the Pac-10 regular-season crown in 2004.

Arizona has three players averaging in double figures: senior forward Ify Ibekwe (16.1), sophomore guard Davellyn Whyte (15.2) and senior forward Soana Lucet (11.3). Ibekwe leads Arizona and the Pac-10 at the glass with 10.0 rebounds per game and is the only Pac-10 player to average a double-double on the season.

Ibekwe also leads the conference in scoring (16.1), three-point field goal percentage (28-59-.475) and defensive rebounds (7.2) while junior guard Shanita Arnold dishes out 5.0 assists per game to lead the Pac-10 and ranks No. 3 in assist/turnover ratio (1.5). The Wildcats rank in the top three in the Pac-10 in the following statistical categories: scoring offense (72.6), scoring margin (+4.6), field goal percentage (775-1797-.431) and assists (15.0).

The Oregon Ducks are 13-16 overall and 4-14 in Pac-10 play. Amanda Johnson paces the Ducks with 15.6 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. She sits at No. 5 in the league in scoring and No. 4 in rebounding. In the Pac-10 ranks, Oregon sits in the top three in scoring offense (75.9), three-point field goal defense (.296), rebounding offense (42.9), blocked shots (4.0), steals (11.2), turnover margin (+3.7), offensive rebounds (16.4), defensive rebounds (26.5) and three-point field goals made (8.5).

The winner of the UA/UO contest will move on to face the winner of the No. 5 seed USC and the No. 8 seed Washington State game on Thurs., March 10, at 5:15 p.m. PT/6:15 p.m. MT, also at the Galen Center.

All Wildcat games can be heard live in Tucson on KTUC AM 1400 and broadcasts will start 15 minutes prior to tip-off for the pre-game show. In their third season calling Arizona Wildcat women's basketball games are Derrick Palmer (play-by-play) and Alysiah Bond (color).

Tickets for the four-day event are still available for purchase by visiting www.pac-10.org/hoopstix. For complete details, a live video stream and live stats from the Pacific Life Pac-10 Tournament, visit pac-10.org.

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