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Arizona Women Face #12 UCLA, USC at Home
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 06/22/2004
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    WHAT'S HAPPENING: The University of Arizona women's basketball team (No. 16 AP/No. 14 USA Today) opens a brief three-game homestand this weekend with a pair of Pac-10 contests against the L.A. schools. The Wildcats will take on 12th-ranked UCLA on Thursday, Jan. 20, at 7 p.m., then they face USC on Saturday, Jan. 22, at 2 p.m. in a nationally televised game on Fox Sports Net. Both contests will be played in the McKale Center.

    POSSIBLE STARTING LINEUP:

    34	Angela Lackey	F	6-0	Sr.	Louisville, KY		13.3 ppg   5.7 rpg	1.9 spg
    53	Tatum Brown	F	6-4	Sr.	Tacoma, WA		15.5 ppg   8.8 rpg	0.6 bpg
    3	Lisa Griffith	G	5-6	Sr.	Portland, OR		10.6 ppg   2.0 spg	4.0 apg
    20	Julie Brase	G	5-9	So.	Tucson, AZ		8.7 ppg	   3.2 rpg	2.4 apg
    23	Felecity Willis	G	5-7	Sr.	Apple Valley, CA	7.5 ppg	   5.5 apg	1.7 spg
    
    OFF THE BENCH (listed alphabetically)
    	
    33  Tysell Bozeman	G	5-8	So.	Riverside, CA	3.2 ppg	  1.0 rpg	0.5 apg
    10  Reshea Bristol	G	5-10	Jr.	Omaha, NE	6.6 ppg	  3.2 rpg	2.5 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	1.4 ppg	  2.0 rpg
    45  Elizabeth Pickney	F	6-4	So.	Houston, TX	10.4 ppg  3.8 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	2.5 ppg	  3.1 rpg	0.4 bpg
    35  Krista Warren	G	6-2	Fr.	Cloverdale, CA	2.5 ppg	  2.5 rpg	0.7 apg
    

    ABOUT ARIZONA: Winners of five of their last six games, the 16th-ranked Wildcats moved to 14-2 overall and 3-1 in Pac-10 play with a first-ever road sweep of the Washington schools last weekend. The Cats earned an 83-68 win at Washington State on Thursday and a 96-85 win at Washington on Saturday. That was the UA's first win ever over Washington in Seattle. The Cats' 14-2 mark is its best-ever record through the first 16 games of any season.

    With 15.5 points and 8.8 rebounds per game, senior forward Tatum Brown remains the UA leader in both categories. Senior forward Angela Lackey is second in both categories with 13.3 ppg and 5.8 rpg. Senior guard Lisa Griffith (10.6 ppg) and sophomore forward Elizabeth Pickney (10.4 ppg) are the other two Wildcats averaging in double digits in scoring, with Pickney standing as the team's third-leading rebounder with 3.8 per game.

    Guards Julie Brase (8.7 ppg) and Felecity Willis (7.5 ppg) follow on the scoring chart. Willis is the team's assists leader, at 5.5 per game, while junior guard Reshea Bristol is the steals leader, averaging 2.5 per contest.

    As a team, Arizona leads the Pac-10 in five different statistical categories, including scoring offense (83.9 ppg), scoring margin (+15.8 ppg) and field goal percentage (.476). Individually, Tatum Brown is the Pac-10 leader in field goal percentage (.623), and Felecity Willis is tops in assists (5.5 apg).

    LISA GRIFFITH NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK: 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 last weekend. 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.

    INJURY REPORT: Junior guard Reshea Bristol has missed the last four games after hyper-extending her right knee in practice on Jan. 4. She is scheduled to return to play this weekend.

    ABOUT UCLA: On a four-game win streak, 12th-ranked UCLA ran its record to 9-4 overall and 3-0 in Pac-10 play with an 82-62 victory over rival USC at home on Sunday. This weekend's road trip is UCLA's first time away from Pauley since a Dec. 23 game at Connecticut.

    Four Bruins are averaging in double digits in scoring, led by senior forward Maylana Martin's 17.1 points and 9.0 rebounds per game. Senior center Janae Hubbard is second in both categories with 11.8 ppg and 6.5 rpg. Freshman guard Nicole Kaczmarski is averaging 11.4 ppg, and senior forward Marie Philman is recording 10.2 ppg.

    UCLA's offense (78.5 ppg) is second in the Pac-10, following Arizona. The Bruins are leading the league in rebounding (44.0 rpg) and steals (11.77 spg). Martin is the top rebounder in the Pac-10.

    Sixth-year head coach Kathy Olivier (UNLV, 1982) holds a 106-78 record at the helm of the UCLA program.

    THE SERIES vs. UCLA: UCLA holds the 31-11 lead in the series with Arizona, although the Cats have won nine of the last 14 meetings with the Bruins. UCLA swept Arizona last year for the first time since the 1992 season. On Jan. 2, 1999, UCLA edged the Cats, 84-77, in Tucson and on Mar. 6, the Bruins used an 85-77 win over the UA in Los Angeles to claim a portion of the 1999 Pac-10 title.

    LAST TIME AT HOME vs. UCLA: It was a case of "too little, too late" for the Wildcats as they were defeated, 84-77, by then-ninth-ranked UCLA in their Pac-10 opener in Tucson on Jan. 2, 1999.

    The two teams traded buckets for the first seven minutes of the game, then UCLA outscored Arizona, 35-17, over the remainder of the first period to build an 18-point (47-29) halftime lead. The Wildcats made several runs at the Bruins throughout the second half but just couldn't get over that 10-point hump until too late in the game.

    The UA put on a 13-7 run through the last two minutes of the contest, but UCLA hung on for the win.

    Four Wildcats scored in double digits, led by Reshea Bristol's 17 points. Felecity Willis followed with 14 points and a season-high nine assists. Tatum Brown and Elizabeth Pickney contributed 13 and 12 points, respectively.

    ABOUT USC: After the 82-62 loss at UCLA on Sunday, USC slipped to 7-6 overall and 2-1 in Pac-10 play. The Women of Troy have lost four of their last six games and hold a 2-5 mark on the road. USC will play at Arizona State on Thursday night before heading to Tucson.

    Senior transfer Danielle Golay is the only USC player averaging in double digits in scoring, with 13.5 points per game. She is also USC's leading rebounder, at 6.0 per contest. Tashara Carter (8.7 ppg), Erica Mashia (8.5 ppg), Tiffany Elmore (8.3 ppg) and Denise Woods (8.2 ppg) are all averaging better than eight points per game. Carter is the team's second-leading rebounder, with 4.9 rpg.

    USC is third in the Pac-10 in scoring defense, allowing only 63.2 ppg, and is third in steals (9.85 spg). Woods is third in blocked shots (1.92 bpg), and Elmore is fourth in free throw percentage (.857).

    Head coach Chris Gobrecht (USC, 1977) holds a 26-41 record in three seasons at the helm of her alma mater's program and is 358-244 in 21 years as a head coach.

    CONNECTIONS: USC assistant coach Traci Nemechek is a former member of Arizona's staff. She was coordinator of basketball operations at the UA in 1996 and 1997.

    THE SERIES vs. USC: The Women of Troy hold the solid 33-9 lead in the series with Arizona, however the Wildcats are on a five-game win streak against USC and have won seven of the last eight meetings. On Jan. 4, 1999, the Cats downed USC, 73-63, in Tucson and went on to scrape out a 68-62 win over the Women of Troy on Mar. 4 in L.A.

    LAST TIME AT HOME vs. USC: Four Wildcats reached double digits in scoring, led by Reshea Bristol's game-high 18 points, as the Wildcats defeated USC, 73-63, in Tucson on Jan. 4, 1999.

    USC controlled much of the first half, using a 10-1 run to gain an 11-point (22-11) lead midway through the period, and took a 36-29 lead into the lockerroom at the break. Arizona fought back through the early portion of the second half and finally gained its own 11-point lead (53-42) with a 13-1 spurt.

    The Women of Troy scrapped back to within one point (57-56) at the 6:29 mark but would come no closer as the Cats used a 10-for-13 performance from the free throw line in the final five minutes to pull out the win.

    Arizona forced 30 USC turnovers and held the Women of Troy to only 38.5 percent shooting in the second half, after USC posted a 58 percent first half.

    In addition to Bristol's 18 points, Angela Lackey added her first double-double as a Wildcat, with 16 points and a game-high-tying 10 rebounds. Felecity Willis and Elizabeth Pickney contributed 13 and 12 points, respectively. HISTORY LESSON: Arizona holds a 1-4 all-time record when playing on Jan. 20. The Cats last played on that date during the 1995-96 season, an 85-69 loss at UCLA.

    The UA is 2-2 when playing on Jan. 22. Their last contest on that date resulted in a 68-66 buzzer-beater loss at Oregon in 1998.

    ARIZONA'S LAST TIME OUT: Lisa Griffith drained seven 3-pointers en route to a career-high 26 points as she led Arizona to its first win ever at Washington, 96-85, on Jan. 15.

    Neither team led by more than five points through the first 13 minutes of the contest, then Arizona finished out the first half on a 23-12 run that gave it a 10-point (50-40) lead at the break. The UA opened the second half on a 26-17 spurt that pushed its lead to 19 points (76-57) at the 10:47 mark. Washington rallied for its own 20-10 run, but came no closer than eight points for the remainder of the contest.

    Angela Lackey contributed a season-high 24 points for the Cats, including an 8-for-8 performance from the line. Felecity Willis added 15 points and a career-high-tying 10 assists. Lackey and Tatum Brown grabbed nine rebounds each.

    LOOKING AHEAD: Arizona remains at home to take on rival Arizona State on Sunday, Jan. 30, at 2 p.m. in a contest which will be broadcast nationally on Fox Sports Net.

    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 148-100 (.597) mark and has a 473-171 (.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) begins 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.	Jan.	18	4:30-7 p.m.	McKale
    	Wed.	Jan.	19	3:15-5:30 p.m.	McKale	lifting before
    	Thurs.	Jan.	20	vs. UCLA, 7 p.m.McKale
    	Fri.	Jan.	21	2-4:30 p.m.	McKale
    	Sat.	Jan.	22	vs. USC, 2 p.m.	McKale
    	Sun.	Jan.	23	OFF
    	Mon.	Jan.	24	2-4:30 p.m.	McKale	lifting after
    	Tues.	Jan.	25	4:30-7 p.m.	McKale
    	Wed.	Jan.	26	OFF
    	Thurs.	Jan.	27	4:30-7 p.m.	McKale	lifting before
    

    DID YOU KNOW: Since Joan Bonvicini took over the Arizona program in 1991, the Wildcats have gone 75-73 against Pac-10 teams, although they have a 41-17 league mark over the last four seasons combined.

    RACKING UP THE WINS: Joan Bonvicini needs only 10 more victories at the UA to collect as many wins as the six previous Wildcat coaches combined.

    MAKING HER MARK: Wildcat senior guard Lisa Griffith is only 14 three-point field goals attempted from becoming the Pac-10 career leader in that category. Former Washington player Jamie Redd currently holds the mark with 675 attempts.

    Griffith is already the Pac-10 career leader in three-pointers made, with 253, far ahead of the No. 2 spot, held by former Stanford player Vanessa Nygaard (210).

    LONG RANGE BOMBING: The Wildcats have hit at least one 3-pointer in 49 consecutive games, dating back to Mar. 5, 1998. Lisa Griffith is on a string of 17 straight games with at least one three-pointer made.

    BY THE NUMBERS: Every Arizona win this year has been by an average of 10 points or more... Each loss was by only three points... The Cats have hit five or more 3-pointers in 12 games this season, including nine of the last 10 contests... Arizona has 20 or more assists in 10 games this year, including five of the last seven... The Cats have had 10 or more steals in 12 games... Arizona has forced its opponent into 20 or more turnovers in 11 contests, and no opponent has committed less than 14.

    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 seven of the 16 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 15 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 30.3 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 87-39 mark in McKale Center, including a 56-11 record over the last five seasons combined. Arizona has a record of 153-147 on its home court since the 1976-77 season.

    GOIN' DEEP: The best evidence that the UA is a deep squad this season? Lots of people playing lots of minutes. Currently, eight different Wildcat regulars are averaging more than 15 minutes a game.

    STRONG SCHEDULE: Four of the UA's opponents this season are ranked in this week's polls.

    Pac-10 foe UCLA is ranked 12th in this week's A.P. poll, while UC Santa Barbara is 17th, Kansas is 23rd and Oklahoma is 25th. Stanford, Oregon, Colorado State and Louisville all received votes for ranking.

    In this week's USA Today

    /ESPN Coaches' poll, UCLA is No. 16, UC Santa Barbara is No. 17, Kansas is No. 24 and Stanford is No. 25. Oregon, Oklahoma and Colorado State all received votes for ranking.

    DUALLY SUCCESSFUL: Eight schools had both their men's and women's basketball teams ranked among the A.P. Top 25 this week. They are Arizona, Auburn, Duke, Kansas, Connecticut, Tennessee, Oklahoma and UCLA.

    WE CAN HANDLE THE CLOSE ONES...: Under head coach Joan Bonvicini, the Cats have gone 23-18 in games settled by five points or less, including a 7-4 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.

    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.

    KEYS TO THE WIN: This season, Arizona is... 13-2 when out-rebounding its opponent... 12-0 when shooting better than its opponent from the floor... 13-2 when shooting 40% or better from the field... 14-1 when scoring 70 points or more... 12-1 when committing fewer turnovers than the opponent... 13-2 when three or more players reach double digits in scoring.

    CAT SCRATCHES: Dating back to last season, Arizona has won 23 of its last 28 games... The Cats are forcing opponents to commit an average of 4.1 more turnovers per game than the UA... The Arizona women's basketball program has a 307-391 (.440) all-time record, however it is 111-55 (.669) from 1994 to present... Joan Bonvicini has a 165-87 career record against Pac-10 teams.

    ON LOCATION: The Wildcats are 7-1 at home this season, 5-1 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 three more games...

    	Sat.	Jan.	22	USC	Fox Sports Net	2 p.m.
    	Sun.	Jan.	30	Arizona State	Fox Sports net	2 p.m.
    	Sat.	Feb.	19	at UCLA	Fox Sports Net	1 p.m. PST
    

    RECORD WATCH: Lisa Griffith is Arizona's career leader in both three-pointers made (253) and attempted (662). She is in the #6 spot on the UA's top-20 all-time leading scorers' list, with 1,084career points. She needs 60 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 94 career starts. She stands at sixth on the career assists list, with 413, and fourth on the career steals chart, with 190.

    Felecity Willis is seventh in both career three-pointers made (47) and attempted (165). She is holding down fourth place on the all-time assists chart, with 460 career dishes.

    Willis is also the latest addition to Arizona's all-time top 20 scoring list. She has 839 career points, which puts her in the #18 spot. She needs 30 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 seventh place with 47 career blocks.

    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.

    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 women's basketball head coaches conducted by the Women's Basketball Journal last fall, Arizona 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 State

    WHAT THE MEDIA THINK: Here is the predicted order of finish for the Pac-10 this season, according to the league's women's basketball media members...

    	1.	UCLA		6.	Arizona State
    	2.	Oregon		7.	USC
    	3.	Stanford	8.	Oregon State
    	4.	ARIZONA		9.	California
    	5.	Washington	10.	Washington State

    GREAT 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.

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