COMING UP: Arizona (7-15, 3-9) hosts UCLA (12-9, 7-5) for a 4 p.m. game this Saturday, Feb. 4, at McKale. Video, audio and live stats of the game are available at www.arizonaathletics.com. Live audio of the game is also available on KJLL 1330 AM in Tucson.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE WILDCATS: In a thriller at McKale Center, the Wildcats lost a heartbreaker, 73-72, to USC Thursday night. Arizona shot 41 percent from the field, 40 percent from three-point range and 67 percent from the free throw line on the game. USC shot 43 percent from the field, 33 percent from beyond the arc and 57 percent from the charity stripe. The Women of Troy out-rebounded the Wildcats 47 to 32. Senior Natalie Jones recorded her second-consecutive double-double, finishing with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Sophomore Ashley Whisonant added 19 points and seven assists, while junior Joy Hollingsworth tallied 13 points. Freshman Kelsey Burns also finished with a career-high 11 points.
Hollingsworth leads Arizona this season with 14.4 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. Jones adds 14.1 points per game, while Whisonant averages 13.8 points. As a team, the Wildcats are shooting 40 percent from the field, compared to the 47 percent of their opponents. They are also being out-rebounded 34.8 to 39.4.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION: UCLA snapped a two-game winning streak with an 87-70 loss at No. 18 Arizona State Thursday night. Noelle Quinn finished with a season-high 30 points on 75 percent shooting. Nikki Blue added 16 points and seven rebounds, while Lindsey Plumier finished with 11 points and a team-high eight boards. The Bruins, who were called for three technical fouls in the second half, shot 50 percent from the field on the game. ASU led 43-26 at halftime, and increased its lead to as much as 23. UCLA never got closer than 15 in the second half.
On the season, the Bruins are led by Quinn, who averages 17.9 points and 8.0 rebounds. Lisa Willis adds 17.5 per game, while Blue averages 13.5 points and 5.3 assists. As a team, UCLA is shooting 46 percent from the field on the season, compared to the 43 percent of its opponents. The Bruins are being out-rebounded 39.7 to 38.4.
SERIES SHORTS: Arizona trails the all-time series with UCLA 18-37. The last time the two teams met, on Jan. 6, Arizona lost 84-77 in Los Angeles. The Wildcats are 11-16 at home and 7-21 away vs. the Bruins.
INJURY UPDATE: Sophomore Jessica Arnold suffered a concussion in practice on Wednesday and is out indefinitely. Sophomore Ch?© Oh suffered a concussion at Washington State last Saturday and is out indefinitely. Freshman Amina Njonkou re-aggravated her right foot at Stanford on Jan. 19 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.
RANKING IN THE PAC-10: As a team, Arizona ranks in the bottom half of the conference in every statistical category but offensive rebounds (third), free throw percentage (third), turnover margin (fourth), steals (fifth) and three-point field goal average (fifth).
Individually, several Wildcats rank in the Top 10 in various categories. Senior Natalie Jones is third in free throw percentage (.822), fifth in minutes per game (34.7) and steals (2.2), and ninth in three-point field goal average (1.6). Junior Joy Hollingsworth is fourth in three-point field goal average (2.2), and 10th in both scoring (14.4) and minutes per game (33.2). Sophomore Ashley Whisonant is fifth in assists (3.6) and 10th in assist/turnover ratio (1.0). Freshman Whitney Fields is third (2.8) and sophomore Ch?© Oh is eighth in offensive rebounds (2.6).
JONES PULLS DOWN 500TH REBOUND: When she grabbed a board at the 1:41 mark in the first half against USC on Thursday, senior Natalie Jones became just the 12th Wildcat ever to total 500 rebounds on her career. She now has 504 over her four seasons.
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 last Saturday. The guard now has 1,028 points on her career.
SHOOTING SORROWS LEAD TO LOSSES: In 14 of their 15 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.
BURNS BURNING IT UP: Over the last five games, freshman Kelsey Burns has really stepped up her game. During that time, the guard has averaged 6.4 points in 13.4 minutes per game. In the first 17 games, she averaged 1.6 points in 5.6 minutes. Burns finished with a season-high 11 points against USC on Thursday and had 10 points in Arizona’s upset of California on Jan. 22.
SHOOTING THE THREE OFTEN: Arizona has made 125 three-pointers this season, compared to the 115 of its opponents. However, the Wildcats have 82 more attempts than their counterparts, which accounts for the difference in percentage (36 percent compared to 31 percent).
HALFTIME SCORE INDICATIVE OF FINAL RESULT: In Arizona’s 22 games this season, the halftime score has been indicative of the final result 18 times. The Wildcats are 2-13 when trailing at the intermission and 5-2 when leading. The only two games Arizona won after trailing at halftime were against Oregon and at California. Conversely, the two games the Wildcats lost after leading at halftime were against Central Connecticut State and Utah.
HACK AWAY: The Wildcats are fouling quite a bit this season. In its 22 games, Arizona has committed more fouls than its opponent 15 times and the same number once. The Wildcats have fouled less than their opponent only six times, against Chicago State, Arizona State, Washington State, Oregon State, Oregon and USC. Arizona has committed 20 or more fouls in 11 games this season, eight of which have been losses.
WILDCAT TRIFECTA: Senior Natalie Jones, junior Joy Hollingsworth and sophomore Ashley Whisonant lead the Wildcats this season. The trio account for 62 percent of the team’s points. Hollingsworth and Whisonant have reached double-digit scoring in 19 of the 22 games, while Jones has 10 or more points in 18 games.
JONES STARTS 87TH STRAIGHT GAME: Senior Natalie Jones started her 87th consecutive game against USC on Thursday. On her career, the guard has started 91 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 16 of their 22 games this season. In those 16 games, the Wildcats have managed just 32.3 rebounds to their opponents’ 41.8 (-9.4).
CURRENT CATS ON UA CAREER LISTS: Senior Natalie Jones is fourth all-time at Arizona in free throw percentage (.769), fifth in three-point field goals attempted (357) and free throws made (277), sixth in three-point field goals made (107), seventh in free throws attempted (360), eighth in games started (91), minutes played (3,312) and personal fouls (299) and ninth in games played (118) and minutes per game (28.1).
PAC-10 ACTIVE CAREER LEADERS: Arizona boasts several of the Pac-10’s active career statistical leaders. Senior Natalie Jones ranks second in assists (285), fourth in steals (175), fifth in three-point field goals made (103), sixth in scoring (1,006) and seventh in rebounds (492). Junior Joy Hollingsworth ranks fifth in three-point field goals made (113), sixth in assists (139), eighth in scoring (893), and ninth in both rebounds (425) and steals (109).
GOING POLLING: Six of Arizona’s 2005-06 opponents (Stanford, Maryland, UCLA, USC, Utah and Arizona State) were nationally ranked in the various preseason polls. Pac-10 power Stanford was ranked as high as No. 8, while Pac-10 teams USC and Arizona State were ranked in all four polls.
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.
CATS PICKED TO FINISH SIXTH, SEVENTH IN PAC-10: Arizona was picked to finish sixth in the Pacific-10 Conference in the preseason coaches’ poll. The Wildcats garnered 42 points, just one point behind fifth-place Oregon. In the media poll, Arizona was picked to finish seventh in the conference, receiving 59 votes.
WILDCATS ON THE RADIO: All of Arizona’s games this season 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 Eugene, Ore., for a 7 p.m. (PST) game at Oregon next Thursday, Feb. 9.