March 22, 2011
TUCSON - The University of Arizona Wildcat women's basketball team wrapped up the 2010-11 campaign with a 21-12 overall record and a 10-8 record in Pacific-10 Conference action. The Wildcats made their first postseason appearance since the 2004-05 season and their first appearance in the Women's National Invitation Tournament since the 2000-01 season.
Under third year head coach Niya Butts, the Wildcats won eight of their last 11 contests since Feb. 13. Overall, Arizona improved from 12 wins in 2008-09, to 14 wins in 2009-10, to 21 wins in 2010-11. In Pac-10 play, Arizona improved from four wins in 2008-09, to six wins in 2009-10, to 10 wins in 2010-11.
The 2010-11 season marks the highest finish in the Pac-10 for Arizona - fourth - since tying for the Pac-10 regular-season crown in 2004. The Wildcats' 10-8 conference record this season is their best since the 2004-05 campaign and their 21 wins overall is the most since the 2003-04 season.
For the first time since the 2003-04 season, the Wildcats were 11-2 to start the season. For the first time since the 2004-05 season, Arizona opened the 2010-11 conference slate with two-straight victories.
With wins at Washington State and Washington, Arizona won its first Pac-10 road sweep since 2004-05. With wins at Oregon State and Oregon, Arizona picked up two conference road sweeps in a season for the first time since the 2003-04 campaign.
The 2010-11 Pac-10 opening win over Oregon marked the first for Arizona in a Pac-10 opener since the 2004-05 slate. Against the Ducks on Dec. 31, 2010, Arizona made a school record 46 field goals, replacing the previous record of 45 against Western New Mexico on Dec. 19, 1986. More history making in the Oregon game included the highest shooting percentage for a Pac-10 game in Arizona history, 64.8 percent (46-71). It replaces the previous mark of 64.3 percent (36-56) against California on Dec. 27, 2002.
For the first time since Jan. 26, 2005, the Wildcats got a women's basketball win against Arizona State. UA defeated the Sun Devils, 73-61, in Tucson on a nationally televised game on FSN.
Senior forward Ify Ibekwe and sophomore guard Davellyn Whyte both earned All-Pac-10 accolades. Ibekwe was named the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year and earned a spot on the Pac-10 All-Defensive Team. Freshman forward Erica Barnes was named honorable mention All-Pac-10 Freshman Team.
In the awards given out by the Pac-10 media, Ibekwe was named All-Pac-10 and a member of the All-Pac-10 Defensive Team. Senior forward Soana Lucet was also named to the Pac-10 All-Tournament Team by members of the media. Ibekwe also earned two Pac-10 Player of the Week awards during the regular season.
Arizona had three players finish the season in double-digit scoring: Ibekwe (16.1), Whyte (15.8) and Lucet (12.9). Ibekwe paced the Wildcats at the glass with 9.8 rebounds per game and junior guard Shanita Arnold dished out 4.9 assists per game. Whyte and Arnold started all 33 games and averaged 31.7 and 31.6 minutes per game, respectively.