COMING UP: The Arizona women’s basketball team (2-1) hosts No. 20 Utah (1-1) for a 7:30 p.m. game this Saturday, Nov. 26. Live stats of the game are available at www.arizonaathletics.com.
The game will be televised live on FSN Arizona and the broadcast will be used as a special tribute to the memory of Shawntinice Polk, the Arizona women’s basketball player who tragically passed away at the age of 22 on Sept. 26. The telecast will also serve as a platform to inform viewers on what they can do to contribute to the Shawntinice S. Polk Endowment Fund, which was set up in her memory.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE WILDCATS: Arizona lost in overtime, 69-65, to Central Connecticut State in the championship game of the Great Alaska Shootout Wednesday. The Wildcats shot just 32 percent from the field, 19 percent from three-point range and 63 percent from the free throw line on the game. CCSU, meanwhile, connected on 47, 22 and 74 percent, respectively, on the game. Arizona was also out-rebounded 44 to 37 on the game. Sophomore Ashley Whisonant led Arizona with 18 points. She also added four assists. Junior Joy Hollingsworth added 14 points and eight rebounds. Senior Natalie Jones tallied 11 points, while sophomore Ch?© Oh finished with 10. Whisonant, Hollingsworth and Jones were all named to the all-tournament team.
Hollingsworth leads the Wildcats this season, averaging 18.7 points and 6.0 rebounds. Whisonant adds 16.3 points and 6.7 assists, while Jones averages 14.7 points. Oh rounds out the group of double-figure scoring with 11.3 per game, while freshman Whitney Fields boasts a team-high 8.3 rebounds per game average. As a team, Arizona is shooting 41 percent from the field and out-rebounding its opponents 41.3 to 38.0.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION: Utah shot just 33 percent from the field in a 63-56 loss at Washington Wednesday. The Huskies out-rebounded the Utes 54 to 38 and had 25 offensive boards to Utah’s 17. Senior All-America candidate Kim Smith led Utah with 21 points and eight rebounds in the loss.
Utah is led by Smith, who averages 21.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. Carlsen adds 9.5 points per game, while Thorburn averages 8.5 points and 8.0 assists per game. As a team, the Utes are shooting 40 percent from the field and being out-rebounded 46 to 40.5.
SERIES SHORTS: Arizona is 2-8 all-time vs. the Utes. In the two teams’ last meeting on Nov. 24, 1990, Utah won 91-74 in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Wildcats are 2-2 at home, 0-3 away and 0-3 at a neutral site vs. the Utes.
INJURY UPDATE: Freshman Amina Njonkou has a stress fracture in her right foot and is out another 1-4 weeks.
HOLLINGSWORTH A JOY IN GAMES AS A WILDCAT: After sitting out last season due to NCAA transfer rules, junior Joy Hollingsworth finally made her debut as a Wildcat in last Friday’s win over Loyola Marymount. In her three games at Arizona, the guard is averaging a team-best 18.7 points per game on 52 percent shooting.
FIELDS CRASHING THE BOARDS: Freshman Whitney Fields is making her presence known immediately as a Wildcat as she is leading the team in rebounding. In three games, the forward is averaging 8.3 boards in just 18.5 minutes per game.
THE DISH ABOUT WHISONANT: Sophomore point guard Ashley Whisonant, playing in a new position this season, is averaging 16.3 points, 6.7 assists and 2.7 steals per game. The Bowie, Md., native dished out a career-high 11 assists in Arizona’s win over Furman Tuesday. She has a 1.4 assist-to-turnover ratio.
JONES SCORES 750TH CAREER POINT: Senior Natalie Jones scored her 750th career point in Arizona’s win over Furman Tuesday in her hometown of Anchorage. The senior is averaging 14.7 points per game for the Wildcats this season.
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.
GOING POLLING: Six of Arizona’s 2005-06 opponents (Stanford, Maryland, UCLA, USC, Utah and Arizona State) are nationally ranked in the various preseason polls. Pac-10 power Stanford is ranked as high as No. 8, while Pac-10 teams USC and Arizona State are ranked in all four polls. Arizona received votes in both the Associated Press and ESPN/Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) 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.
CURRENT CATS ON UA CAREER LISTS: Senior Natalie Jones ranks sixth all-time at Arizona in free throw percentage (.760), eighth in three-point field goals attempted (263), and ninth in three-point field goals made (76).
WILDCATS ON THE RADIO: All of Arizona’s games this season will be broadcast on Tucson’s Jolt, KJLL 1330 AM, the radio home of Arizona women’s basketball. With Paul Johnson returning for his 11th year as the Wildcats’ play-by-play announcer, the Jolt will broadcast every game, home and away.
WILDCATS ON TELEVISION: The Wildcats have five games this season that will be broadcast on FSN:
Saturday, Nov. 26 - 7:30 p.m. vs. Utah (FSN Arizona)
Saturday, Dec. 31 - 4 p.m. vs. Washington (FSN Northwest)
Sunday, Jan. 8 - noon vs. USC (FSN)
Saturday, Jan. 14 - noon vs. Oregon (FSN)
Sunday, Jan. 22 - 1 p.m. (PST) at California (FSN)
In addition, the Wildcats’ games at home against Stanford (Feb. 18) and at Arizona State (Feb. 25) are "wild card" games that could get picked up in the Pac-10 television package.
UP NEXT: Arizona returns home to host the 15th annual Mission Management & Trust Fiesta Bowl Classic next Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 3-4. The Wildcats face Lehigh at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. The other first-round game, which begins at 1 p.m., is Chicago State vs. Tulane.