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No. 21 Wildcat Women Begin Pac-10 Play in Bay Area
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 12/23/2002
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Dec. 23, 2002

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WHAT'S HAPPENING: On a modest two-game win streak, the 21st-ranked University of Arizona women's basketball team (6-2 overall; 0-0 Pac-10) begins Pac-10 play this weekend in the Bay Area.

Head coach Joan Bonvicini will be looking for win number 200 at Arizona when the Wildcats will play at California on Friday, Dec. 27, at 7 p.m. PST. Facing their third top-10 opponent of the season, the Cats take on No. 6 Stanford on Sunday, Dec. 29, at 2 p.m. PST, in a contest that will be broadcast live in the Bay Area on KRON-TV.

POSSIBLE STARTERS:
#35 - Krista Warren (F/G, 6-2, Sr., Cloverdale, Calif.)
#00 - Shawntinice Polk (C, 6-5, Fr., Hanford, Calif.)
#11 - Dee-Dee Wheeler (G, 5-6, So., Chicago, Ill.)
#13 - Aimee Grzyb (G, 5-7, Jr., San Jose, Calif.)
#20 - Julie Brase (G, 5-10, Sr., Tucson, Ariz.)

OFF THE BENCH: (in numerical order)
#4 - Candice Allen (G, 5-10, Jr., Ontario, Calif.) - currently on indefinite hiatus from the team due to personal reasons
#5 - CoCoa Sanford (F, 6-0, Fr., Inglewood, Calif.)
#15 - Anna Chappell (F, 6-1, Fr., Qualicum Beach, B.C.)
#21 - Katrina Lindner (G, 5-6, Fr., Glengowrie, So. Australia)
#23 - Natalie Jones (G, 5-10, Fr., Anchorage, Alaska)
#30 - Jessica Duger (G/F, 5-10, Jr., Lake Havasu City, Ariz.)
#31 - Robin Roberson (G/F, 6-0, So., Berkeley, Calif.)
#32 - Svjetlana Papcevic (F, 6-2, Jr., Sarajevo, Bosnia)
#33 - Phakisha Peterson (G/F, 5-11, Fr., El Paso, Texas)
#44 - Danielle Adefeso (C, 6-2, So., Los Angeles, Calif.)

SCOUTING ARIZONA: The Wildcats are 6-2 overall after handing UNLV a 101-73 drubbing in Las Vegas on Sunday. With that contest, the Cats opened a three-game road swing, and that win was also the Cats' biggest "pre-Christmas" victory since 1995.

The Cats moved up a couple of spots to stand at No. 21 in this week's Associated Press Top 25, and they were No. 24 in last week's ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll. Arizona is tied for No. 22 in this week's WomensCollegeHoops.com Top 50.

With averages of 19.5 points and 13.6 rebounds per game, freshman center Shawntinice Polk continues to lead Arizona and the Pac-10 in both categories. Sophomore guard Dee-Dee Wheeler is second in scoring, with 14.1 ppg, and is third in rebounding, with 4.4 rpg.

Senior forward Krista Warren is second in rebounding, averaging 7.3 boards per game, and is third in scoring (13.3 ppg). Junior guard Aimee Grzyb is fourth on the scoring chart (12.5 ppg), while senior guard Julie Brase leads the team with an average of 4.1 assists per game.

As a team, Arizona leads the Pac-10 in field goal percentage (.487) and rebounding (41.8 rpg) and is second in rebounding margin (+7.8 rpg) and assists (19.00 apg). Individually, Polkey leads the league in scoring (19.5 ppg) and rebounding (13.6 rpg) and is second in blocked shots (2.62 bpg). Krista Warren is second in field goal percentage (.657), and Julie Brase is third in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.20).

COUNTDOWN TO 200: Wildcat head coach Joan Bonvicini needs just one more victory to reach 200 wins at Arizona. She currently has 199 wins in 12 seasons with the Cats.

POLKEY NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK AGAIN: Shawntinice Polk was been named the Pac-10 Women's Basketball Player of the Week for Dec. 16-22, her second such honor in her young collegiate career.

Polk averaged 21.5 points, 14.5 rebounds, 4.0 blocks and 3.0 assists in the Wildcats' two wins over New Mexico and UNLV last week. For the week, Polk shot 65.5 percent (19-of-29) from the field, including a 70.0 percent clip (7-of-10) against the Lady Rebels. In the 101-73 win over UNLV, Polk scored 17 points, 13 of which came in the second half, and notched season-highs in rebounding (18) and blocked shots (6).

Against New Mexico, which was ranked 25th in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' poll at the time, Polk scored a game-high 26 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to halt a Wildcat two-game losing skid against the Lobos. Polk was 12-of-19 from the field (.632) and added three assists, two blocks and a steal to secure the 70-61 Arizona win.

The Player of the Week honor is the 26th all-time selection for Arizona.

THE CATS AND PAC-10 OPENERS: Under Joan Bonvicini, Arizona has a 7-4 mark in Pac-10 openers and has won its first conference contest in seven of the last nine years. Last season, the Wildcats began Pac-10 action with an 81-57 loss at home to then-No. 6 Stanford.

SCOUTING CALIFORNIA: The Golden Bears are 3-4 on the season and have lost two in a row, including a close 71-64 loss at Saint Mary's on Dec. 21. Cal hasn't logged a win since an 82-62 victory over Pennsylvania at home on Dec. 7.

With 10.3 points per game, junior center Timea Ivanyi is the only Bear averaging in double digits in scoring, but five other Cal players are scoring more than five points a game. Sophomore guard Kristin Iwanaga is registering 9.9 points per game, and sophomore forward Leigh Gregory is averaging 9.6 ppg along with her team-leading 4.6 rebounds per game.

Head coach Caren Horstmeyer (Santa Clara, 1984) has a 22-41 mark in her third season at the helm of the Cal program. She is 243-165 in 15 seasons as a head coach.

THE SERIES vs. CALIFORNIA: Arizona holds a solid 23-13 lead in the series with California. The Wildcats have won 14 in a row against the Golden Bears and 17 of the last 18. Arizona has not lost to Cal since suffering a 94-66 pounding in Berkeley on Feb. 11, 1995. The Cats are 10-8 all-time in Berkeley.

LAST TIME AGAINST CALIFORNIA: Arizona withstood a pair of late second-half runs by California to beat the Bears, 76-68, in Berkeley on Jan. 26, 2002.

The first 15 minutes of the game featured six ties and seven lead changes, with neither team going up by more than four points. Then the Wildcats scored 10 unanswered points to take a 32-22 lead with 39 seconds left in the first half. Cal nailed a three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Cats only a seven-point (32-25) advantage at halftime.

Arizona opened the lead back up to 13 points (46-33) by starting the second half with a 14-8 spurt. The Bears fought back and cut the lead to nine (55-46) midway through the second half before the Wildcats used a 9-2 spurt to push out to their largest lead of the game at 16 points (64-48).

The Cats then went cold from the floor, and Cal climbed back into the game with eight unanswered points, slicing Arizona's lead down to eight (64-56) with 4:23 remaining in the contest. Just 30 seconds later, Wildcat Candice Allen drained a crucial trey to stop the California run.

Arizona managed a double-digit lead for the next three minutes, until a pair of Cal three-pointers cut the deficit to only seven (75-68) with seven seconds remaining. Elizabeth Pickney connected on one-of-two free throw attempts with five seconds left as the Wildcats hung on for the win.

LaKeisha Taylor came off the bench for a game-high 19 points, including 13 in the second half alone, and grabbed seven rebounds. Pickney finished with 15 points and a game-high 14 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season. Aimee Grzyb drained a trio of three-pointers on her way to 15 points.

SCOUTING STANFORD: Ranked No. 6 in this week's AP Poll, the Cardinal are 6-1 overall after splitting a pair of contests on the road last week. On Dec. 18, Stanford suffered its first loss of the season, 71-56, at then-No. 4 Tennessee. The Cardinal recovered to log a solid 69-55 victory at Boston University on Dec. 21. Stanford will play host to Arizona State this Friday before facing the Wildcats on Sunday.

Three Cardinal players are averaging in double digits in scoring, paced by sophomore guard Kelley Suminski's 13.0 ppg. Fellow sophomore Azella Perryman is second in scoring, at 12.1 ppg, and is the team's top rebounder, averaging 9.6 per game. Sophomore forward Sebnem Kimyacioglu is third in scoring, with 11.4 points per game. The Cardinal are still without the services of the 2002 Pac-10 Player of the Year, Nicole Powell, who has been sidelined by a back injury.

Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer (Indiana, 1975) has a 402-106 record in 17 seasons with the Cardinal. She has a 554-157 mark in 24 years as a head coach.

THE SERIES vs. STANFORD: The Cardinal lead the series with Arizona, 33-10, and they have won three in a row against the Cats. Arizona's last win over Stanford was a close 68-65 victory on Jan. 6, 2001, in Maples. The Wildcats have a 3-18 record all-time when playing at Stanford. Two of those three wins in Palo Alto came in 2000 and 2001.

LAST TIME AGAINST STANFORD: A 14-point lead at halftime gave then-No. 3 Stanford all the cushion it needed to roll to a 76-62 win over Arizona at Maples Pavilion on Jan. 24, 2002.

Arizona leapt out to a 10-4 lead just four minutes into the game, which Stanford quickly squashed with a 10-4 spurt of its own, tying the game at 14-all at 11:01. The Wildcats were within one point (17-16) at 9:23 in the first half, then the Cardinal went on a 12-2 run to gain an 11-point (29-18) lead with 5:31 left in the period. The Cats cut it to five (29-24) two minutes later, but Stanford ended the half on an 11-2 spurt to take a 40-26 lead at the break.

The Cardinal went up by 19 (48-29) early in the second half, but Arizona used an 11-2 spurt to get back to within 10 (50-40) at 11:59. Stanford scored 10 unanswered points to regain a 20-point (60-40) advantage, then stretched that lead to 23 (66-43), its largest of the game, at 5:08. The Wildcats came no closer than the final spread of 14 for the remainder of the game, as Stanford handed them their 10th loss of the season.

Elizabeth Pickney led all scorers with 24 points and nine rebounds, while Krista Warren shot 4-for-5 from the floor on her way to 10 points and eight rebounds. Robin Roberson added nine points and four rebounds.

RECAPPING THE UNLV GAME: Three different players registered double-doubles as Arizona pounded UNLV, 101-73, in Las Vegas on Dec. 22.

The Wildcats opened the game with a 16-1 run over the first three-and-a-half minutes and never looked back. The Rebels used a 7-4 spurt to cut the lead to 12 points (20-8) at 12:21, but that was the closest they would come for the remainder of the game. Five minutes later, Arizona had pushed the lead back out to 18 points (30-12) and cruised to a 46-29 advantage at halftime.

By the 9:11 mark in the second half, the Cats had extended their lead to 26 points (75-49). They reached their biggest lead of the game, 28 points, for the first time at 1:10 off a layup by junior forward Svjetlana Papcevic. It was also Papcevic who, just a minute later, used another layup to send the Cats over the century mark for the first time this season.

All 13 active players saw time and scored in the game, led by Dee-Dee Wheeler's 19 points. Shawntinice Polk extended her school-record double-double streak to eight with 17 points and a season-high 18 rebounds. Krista Warren got her second double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds, while guard Aimee Grzyb had 13 points and 10 assists for her first career double-double.

Julie Brase rounded out the top scorers with her 16 points. Three UA newcomers -- Anna Chappell, Katrina Lindner and Svjetlana Papcevic -- scored their first points as Wildcats as well.

ARIZONA HEAD COACH JOAN BONVICINI: The winningest coach in Arizona women's basketball history, Joan Bonvicini has nurtured the Wildcat program into an upward-rising powerhouse. In her previous 11 seasons at the helm of the Arizona program, Bonvicini guided the Wildcats to six post-season appearances, including four NCAA tournament berths and two in the WNIT.

Now in her 12th season with the Wildcats, Bonvicini holds a 199-133 (.599) mark at Arizona and is 524-204 (.720) in 23 years as a head coach. She is 23-14 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.

LOOKING AHEAD: Arizona will play its first home conference games of the season next weekend. The Wildcats will take on Oregon on Thursday, Jan. 2, at 7 p.m., then they will face Oregon State on Saturday, Jan. 4, at 1 p.m. in a contest that will be broadcast live nationally on Fox Sports Net.

The following weekend, the Cats hit the road once again to play at Washington State on Jan. 9 and at Washington on Jan. 11.

ALLEN OUT INDEFINITELY: Junior guard Candice Allen is taking some time away from the team to deal with some personal issues. Her return has yet to be determined.

EARLY TRENDS: The Wildcats are 6-0 this season when rebounding equal to or more than their opponents... They are 0-2 when being out-rebounded... The Cats are 6-0 when holding their opponents to 73 points or less... They gave up 78 points or more in both of the season's losses... Arizona is 6-1 when scoring 70 or more points.

POLKEY CONTINUES RECORD DOUBLE-DOUBLES STREAK: Shawntinice Polk has registered a double-double in each of the season's eight games so far, becoming the first player in UA history to have eight double-doubles in a row. The previous high was four in a row by Adia Barnes midway through the 1996-97 season.

Polk has also become the first player since Reshea Bristol in 2001 to register eight double-doubles in one season.

DUALLY SUCCESSFUL: Nine schools have both their men's and women's basketball teams ranked in this week's Associated Press Top 25. Arizona, Duke, Oklahoma, Connecticut, Notre Dame, Texas, Mississippi State, North Carolina and LSU all have both their men and women nationally ranked.

FREE THROW WOES: The Wildcats have really struggled from the free throw line this season. They are shooting a paltry 60.5 percent (78-129) from the stripe and have shot better than 59 percent in only two games so far.

This is unusual for a Bonvicini-coached team at Arizona. No UA team has ever shot below 65 percent since Bonvicini's arrival in 1991-92, and the Cats hit 70 percent or better from the line in three of the last four seasons. Last year's team drained a sizzling 74.0 percent of its charity shots.

DOUBLING UP: As a team, the Cats have tallied 11 double-doubles already this season. Last year's team had just 12 double-doubles for the entire season.

80 IS THE MAGIC NUMBER: It seems that the 80-point mark almost always means adding another to the "win" column for the Wildcats. In the 31-year history of UA women's basketball, the Cats have posted a 143-21 record when scoring 80 points or more in a game. Under Bonvicini, the Wildcats have gone 103-14 when topping that 80-point plateau.

CHECKING THE RPIs: In the Dec. 23 WBCA/Summerville RPI listings, Arizona's RPI rank is No. 10, and its strength of schedule rank is No. 19. Six of the Cats' opponents this season are currently in the top 50 in the RPI rankings -- USC (No. 16), Illinois (No. 17), Stanford (No. 20), Georgia (No. 33), Ohio State (No. 36) and Washington (No. 40).

GOING POLLING: Nine of the 18 opponents on the Cats' 2002-03 schedule were either ranked or received votes for ranking in recent polls.

In this week's Associated Press Top 25, LSU is ranked No. 2, Stanford is No. 6 and Georgia is No. 24. Washington, Arizona State, Ohio State, New Mexico and Illinois were all among teams that received votes for ranking.

In last week's USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll, LSU was No. 3, Stanford was No. 5, Georgia was No. 20, and New Mexico was No. 25. Washington, Ohio State, Arizona State and Pepperdine all received votes for ranking.

LOVE THOSE TV GAMES: Dating back to last season, Arizona has won seven of its last eight televised contests. The Wildcats were 6-0 in televised games last season alone. Over the last four seasons, the Cats have a 10-8 record in games that are broadcast on TV.

CURRENT CATS ON THE UA CAREER LISTS: Wildcat senior Julie Brase is fourth in on the UA career list in three-point percentage (.371), fifth in career three-pointers made (95) and is sixth in three-pointers attempted (256).

Senior forward Krista Warren is tied for fifth in career rebounding average (5.3 rpg), is ninth in field goal percentage (.494) and is tied for ninth in double-doubles (8).

Junior guard Aimee Grzyb is third in career three-pointers attempted (314), third in three-pointers made (114), fourth in minutes-played average (30.5 mpg) and fifth in career three-point percentage (.363).

Sophomore guard Dee-Dee Wheeler is currently the career leader in three-point percentage (.407) and is sixth in career minutes-played average (29.3 mpg). She recently broke into the career top 10 in three-point field goals made, standing at No. 10 with 55.

THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME: The Wildcats have won 33 of their last 43 home games and are 55-15 on their home court over the last five seasons combined. During Joan Bonvicini's 12 seasons at Arizona, the Wildcats have posted a 120-50 mark in McKale Center. Arizona has an all-time record of 186-158 on its home court since the 1976-77 season.

CAT SCRATCHES: The Arizona women's basketball program has a 358-421 (.460) all-time record, however it is 162-85 (.656) from 1994 to present... Joan Bonvicini has a 194-107 career record against Pac-10 teams.

ON LOCATION: The Wildcats are 4-1 in home games, 2-1 on the road and 0-0 in neutral contests this season. Last year, Arizona was 9-6 at home, 5-7 on the road and 0-1 in neutral games.

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