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Women's Basketball Heads to New Mexico for First Road Trip of Season
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 11/24/2001
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Nov. 24, 2001

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WHAT'S HAPPENING: The University of Arizona women's basketball team (3-0 overall, 0-0 Pac-10) hits the road for its first trip of the 2001-02 season, playing at New Mexico on Tuesday, Nov. 27, at 7 p.m.

ARIZONA'S PROBABLE STARTERS:
35 - Krista Warren (F/G, 6-2, Jr., Cloverdale, CA) - 10.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 2.0 apg
45 - Elizabeth Pickney (F, 6-4, Sr., Houston, TX) - 21.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.3 bpg
50 - LaKeisha Taylor (C, 6-4, Sr., Houston, TX) - 7.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.7 spg
13 - Aimee Grzyb (G, 5-7, So., San Jose, CA) - 6.7 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.3 apg
20 - Julie Brase (G, 5-10, Jr., Tucson, AZ) - 9.0 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 4.7 apg

OFF THE BENCH:
4 - Candice Allen (G, 5-10, So., Ontario, CA) - 12.0 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 4.0 spg
11 - Dee-Dee Wheeler (G, 5-6, Fr., Chicago, IL) - 14.0 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 3.0 apg
31 - Robin Roberson (F, 6-0, Fr., Berkeley, CA) - 0.7 ppg, 0.3 rpg, 0.7 spg
24 - Michelle Tibbetts (G/F, 6-0, Fr., Burnsville, MN) - 0.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg
44 - Danielle Adefeso (F, 6-3, Fr., Los Angeles, CA) - 1.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg

ABOUT ARIZONA: The Wildcats are on a roll, standing at 3-0 on the season after pulling off a 72-70 upset of then-No. 15 Notre Dame last Saturday. Arizona will be seeking to end an eight-game road losing skid on Tuesday's contest.

Four Wildcats are averaging in double digits in scoring, led by senior forward Elizabeth Pickney's 21.0 points per game. Freshman guard Dee-Dee Wheeler is second with 14.0 ppg, followed by sophomore guard Candice Allen with 12.0 ppg.

Junior wing Krista Warren leads the team in rebounding, at 9.0 per game, and is fourth in scoring with an average of 10.0 ppg. Pickney is the team's second-leading rebounder, grabbing 7.0 per game.

ABOUT NEW MEXICO: The Lobos improved to 3-1 on the year with a 98-45 pounding of Texas-El Paso on the road Friday. UNM's only loss this season was to Colorado (78-63) at home on Nov. 9 in the second round of the Preseason WNIT. New Mexico was the runner-up of last year's post-season WNIT.

With 17.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, junior center Jordan Adams leads UNM in both categories. Fellow junior Chelsea Grear is second in both with 14.5 ppg and 6.5 rpg. Freshman guard Mandi Moore is averaging 12.3 points per game, and senior guard Molly McKinnon is putting up 10.8 ppg.

New Mexico head coach Don Flanagan (Ft. Lewis, 1977) holds a 125-64 mark in seven seasons with the Lobos.

THE SERIES vs. NEW MEXICO: Arizona has the narrow 7-6 lead in the series with New Mexico. The Cats had won three in a row until the Lobos took last year's meeting, 75-62, in Albuquerque.

LAST MEETING WITH NEW MEXICO: Losing their eighth straight road game of the year, the Wildcats ended the 2001 season with a 75-62 defeat at New Mexico in the second round of the WNIT on Mar. 17.

The Lobos jumped out to a quick 12-4 lead before a 10-5 spurt by the Cats cut the deficit to three (17-14) midway through the first half. UNM responded by scoring 12 unanswered points, pushing its advantage to 15 (29-14) with 7:26 remaining in the period. Arizona rallied with an 18-9 spurt to trail by only six (38-32) at halftime.

New Mexico led by as many as 10 points several times through the early portion of the second half before a 20-7 Arizona run gave the Cats a three-point (58-55) lead at 8:45. That's the closest Arizona would come to victory, however, as UNM out-scored the Wildcats, 20-4, over the remainder of the game to take the win. The Cats were held to only one field goal in the final eight minutes of the contest.

Elizabeth Pickney had 14 points and four rebounds, while Candice Allen added 10 points and a trio of steals.

ARIZONA'S LAST TIME OUT: Senior forward Elizabeth Pickney nailed a layup at the buzzer to lift Arizona to a 72-70 upset win over then-No. 15 Notre Dame at home on Saturday.

The teams traded buckets early until Arizona used a 15-5 run midway through the first half to gain a 23-16 lead. Notre Dame, the defending national champion, answered with its own 12-5 run to tie the game at 28-all with just over three minutes left in the period. The Cats and Irish were tied, 35-35, at halftime.

Notre Dame came out firing in the second, opening the period with a 14-6 run to take a eight-point (49-41) lead at 15:42. The Wildcats surged back on a 13-5 spurt, with Pickney scoring all 13 UA points, to knot the game at 54-54 at 8:56. Both squads made small stabs at each other through the remainder of the game, but neither gained more than a three-point advantage, as there were seven lead changes in the final eight-plus minutes of the game.

With the contest was tied at 68-all, the Cats put Notre Dame's Le'Tania Severe at the line. She drained both free throws to give the Irish a two-point (70-68) lead with 50 seconds left. Arizona's Krista Warren dropped a layup with 24 seconds remaining to tie the game again, then freshman Dee-Dee Wheeler picked off a Notre Dame in-bounds pass and sent it to Pickney for her gamewinning layup at the buzzer.

Pickney, who scored 21 of Arizona's 43 second-half points, finished the night with a game-high 27 points, including a perfect 11-for-11 performance from the free throw line. She also had a team-high eight rebounds.

Wheeler came off the bench for 18 points that included a 7-for-7 performance from the stripe. Junior guard Julie Brase added nine points and five assists, while sophomore guard Candice Allen had eight points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals. Warren ended the evening with seven rebounds and six points.

As a team, Arizona set a new school record by hitting a perfect 20-for-20 from the free throw line. The Cats shot only 33.8 percent from the floor, their lowest shooting percentage since hitting only 32.8 percent in a loss at Notre Dame last season. Notre Dame's loss was its first to a Pac-10 team since the 1992 season.

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 11 seasons at the helm of the Arizona program, Bonvicini has guided the Wildcats to six straight postseason appearances, including four NCAA tournament berths and two in the WNIT.

In her 11th season with the Wildcats, Bonvicini holds a 182-117 (.609) mark at Arizona and is 507-188 (.729) 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.

DID YOU KNOW: Since Joan Bonvicini took over the Arizona program in 1991, the Wildcats have gone 94-85 against Pac-10 teams, although they have a 60-29 league mark over the last five seasons combined.

THE REST OF THE STAFF: Awarded the title of associate head coach in 1998, Denise Dove Ianello (Northern Illinois, 1992) is in her 10th year at the UA, functioning as both the team's recruiting coordinator and a perimeter coach. Fourth-year assistant coach Karen Caires (Cal State Northridge, 1990) works with the perimeter players and assists with scouting and recruiting. In his third year at the UA, assistant coach Curtis Loyd (Southern Utah, 1994) is involved with scouting and with coaching the post players and is the director of the Joan Bonvicini Hoop Camp.

NEW WILDCAT ON THE WAY: Associate head coach Denise Dove Ianello and her husband Rob, who is the UA football recruiting coordinator and wide receivers coach, are expecting their first child in April 2002.

SHOOTING THE LIGHTS OUT: The Cats have performed well from the free throw line so far in this young season, shooting 87.9 percent (58-66) from the line over the first three games. The Cats set a new school record for single game free throw shooting when they were 20-for-20 from the stripe during an upset win over Notre Dame on Nov. 24.

Aimee Grzyb is a perfect 6-for-6 from the stripe this season, while Elizabeth Pickney has hit 23 of her 24 free throw attempts (95.8 percent). Dee-Dee Wheeler is shooting 92.3 percent (12-13) from the line as well.

BOMBS AWAY: Arizona is averaging 7.7 three-pointers made per game so far this year, having nailed 23 treys already. They were seven games into the 2001 season before they collected that many three-pointers made last year.

MOVIN' ON UP: With her 24 points against Ohio State on Wednesday, senior forward Elizabeth Pickney moved into sixth place on Arizona's all-time scoring chart. Pickney has 1232 career points, putting her ahead of former teammate Lisa Griffith (1997-2000), who had 1199 points.

CHALLENGING START: Over the first 15 days of the 2002 season, the Wildcats will play six games, facing at least five teams that saw postseason action in 2001. That slate will include last year's WNIT champion Ohio State, the NCAA champion Notre Dame and the WNIT runner-up New Mexico.

COUNTDOWN TO THE BLOCKS RECORD: Senior forward Elizabeth Pickney has 117 career blocked shots. She needs just four more to tie the school record of 121, set by former Wildcat Marte Alexander (1995-98).

LOOKING AHEAD: The Cats return home next weekend to play host to Wisconsin, Pittsburgh and Holy Cross for the 11th annual Arizona Basketball Classic. Wisconsin and Pittsburgh will face-off in the first game on Friday, Nov. 30, at 6 p.m. in the McKale Center, followed by Arizona and Holy Cross at 8 p.m. The consolation game will be played on Sunday, Dec. 2, at 1 p.m., with the championship game following at 3 p.m.

The Cats take to the road again on Saturday, Dec. 8, playing at Rice in a 7 p.m. CST contest.

STRONG SCHEDULE: Eight of the 19 opponents on the Cats' 2001-02 schedule were either ranked or receiving votes for ranking in the most recent polls.

In last week's Associated Press Poll, Stanford was No. 7, Notre Dame was No. 15, Arizona State was No. 21, Wisconsin was No. 23 and Washington was No. 25. Ohio State, USC and UC Santa Barbara all received votes for ranking.

In last week's USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll, Stanford was No. 8, Notre Dame was No. 15, Washington was No. 21 and Arizona State was No. 25. Wisconsin, UC Santa Barbara, Ohio State and USC were all among the teams receiving votes for ranking.

CHECKING THE RECORD BOOK: Wildcat senior Elizabeth Pickney is among the Arizona career leaders in 12 different statistical categories. She is second on the career blocked shots list, with 117, and is only four blocks from tying current career leader Marte Alexander (1995-98), who had 121. Pickney is also third in free throws attempted (463), fourth in career rebounding average (5.6 rpg), fourth in scoring average (12.8 ppg), fourth in free throws made (349), fifth in games started (87) and sixth in field goals made (440).

Pickney is sixth on Arizona's career scoring chart, with 1232 points. She needs only 28 points to move into the fifth-place spot, which is currently occupied by her former teammate Reshea Bristol (1998-2001), who had 1260 career points.

Junior guard Julie Brase is tied for second in career three-point percentage (.382) and is eighth in career three-pointers made (58). Only a sophomore, guard Aimee Grzyb is already fourth in three-point percentage (.359), ninth in three-pointers made (55) and 10th in three-pointers attempted (152).

THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME: The Wildcats have won 23 of their last 26 home games and are 45-8 on their home court over the last four seasons combined. During Joan Bonvicini's 11 seasons at Arizona, the Wildcats have posted a 110-43 mark in McKale Center. Arizona has a record of 176-151 on its home court since the 1976-77 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 30-year history of UA women's basketball, the Cats have posted a 136-18 record when scoring 80 points or more in a game. Under Bonvicini, the Wildcats have gone 96-11 when topping that 80-point plateau.

CAT SCRATCHES: The Wildcats ended last season's road play with eight straight losses away from McKale... The Cats haven't won a road game since a 68-65 victory at Stanford on Jan. 6, 2001... The Arizona women's basketball program has a 341-405 (.457) all-time record, however it is 145-69 (.678) from 1994 to present... Joan Bonvicini has a 184-98 career record against Pac-10 teams.

ON LOCATION: This year, Arizona is 3-0 at home, 0-0 on the road and 0-0 in neutral games. Last season, the Wildcats were 15-2 at home, 4-9 in road games and 1-1 in neutral contests.

THE CATS AND PAC-10 OPENERS: Under Joan Bonvicini, Arizona has a 7-3 mark in Pac-10 openers and has won its first conference contest in seven of the last eight years.

CATS INK THREE DURING FALL SIGNING PERIOD: The Wildcats signed three players during the fall signing period last week. Shawntinice Polk (Hanford, Calif./Hanford HS), Svjetlana Papcevic (Sarajevo, Bosnia/Pratt Kans. CC) and Natalie Jones (Anchorage, Alaska/East Anchorage HS) all signed National Letters of Intent.

Polk originally signed with Arizona last year, but her NLI was rendered void when she failed to meet academic requirements for this school year. She signed a new letter during the early signing period this fall.

GOOD BEGINNINGS: With Joan Bonvicini at the program's helm, the Wildcats have won seven straight season openers and nine in the 11 years she has been at the UA.

CATS DEALT ANOTHER BLOW: After already losing one guard to an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury before the season ever started, the Wildcats lost yet another guard to an ACL tear during the last week of October. Freshman Katrina Lindner, who is from Glengowrie, South Australia, tore her right knee ACL late in the first half of the Red & Blue Game on Oct. 30. She will have surgery some time late in November and will be redshirted for the season.

The Wildcats lost sophomore guard Jenn Chesney to an ACL tear during preseason workouts in September. She had surgery to repair the injury and will also be redshirting this season.

This was the third ACL injury the Wildcats had in only seven months. The first was when then-sophomore Krista Warren suffered the same injury at Oregon in early March.

CLARK WITHDRAWS FROM SCHOOL: Guard Mandakova Clark, who would have sat out this year after transferring from Rutgers, withdrew from the University of Arizona at the end of October and will not be returning to the school.

INAUGURAL PAC-10 CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT: The first-ever Pac-10 Conference Women's Basketball Tournament will be held on Mar. 1-4, 2002, at McArthur Court in Eugene, Ore. The winner of the tournament will receive the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA tourney.

ITALY TOUR 2001: On May 18 through June 2, the Wildcats went to Italy for the program's third foreign tour. The tour began in Venice then advanced to Verona, Como, Milan, Lucca, Pisa, Florence and concluded in Rome. The Cats went 5-1 against club teams in many of these cities and visited a multitude of historical sites along the way.

Elizabeth Pickney was the team's second-leading scorer (21.7 ppg) and third-leading rebounder (6.2 rpg). LaKeisha Taylor was the second-leading rebounder (7.5 rpg), and Candice Allen finished the tour as the third-leading scorer, with 11.7 ppg.

Seeing her first action since March 2000, Julie Brase averaged 10.5 ppg and 5.5 apg. Aimee Grzyb posted 9.2 ppg and 4.0 apg, while Jenn Chesney averaged 4.7 ppg and 3.8 rpg. Krista Warren went with the team on the trip, but was unable to play because she was still rehabilitating from an ACL injury suffered last March.

BY THE NUMBERS: Sixteen of Arizona's 20 wins last year were by a total of 10 points or more... Five of those wins were by spreads of 30 points or more... Nine of the UA's 12 losses were by spreads of 10 points or less... The Cats hit four or more 3-pointers in 22 games... Arizona had 15 or more assists in 18 games... The Cats had 10 or more steals in 13 games... Arizona forced its opponent into 20 or more turnovers in 14 contests... The UA scored 80 points or better in 15 games.

KEYS TO THE WIN: Last season, Arizona was... 13-4 when out-rebounding its opponent... 18-6 when shooting better than its opponent from the floor... 11-2 when shooting 50% or better from the field... 16-3 when four or more players reached double digits in scoring... 15-2 when leading at halftime... 13-4 when forcing more turnovers than it committed... 19-3 when scoring 70 points or more... 14-5 when opponents scored 71 points or less.

DOUBLING UP: The Wildcats collected a total of 21 double-doubles last season, the program's highest double-double total since the 1995-96 team tallied 21. Of Arizona's 21 double-doubles during the year, eight belonged to guard Reshea Bristol, and all of hers were points-assists double-doubles. Six different Wildcats logged double-doubles during the season.

2000-01 IN REVIEW: Arizona certainly saw its share of ups and downs during the 2000-01 season. The Cats started the year with a short squad of 12 players, only two of whom were starters at the end of the 2000 season. Through a variety of injuries, player departures and academic issues, the Wildcat roster was decimated, and the team was down to only eight active players by season's end.

Despite all the distractions and the prevailing inexperience of last year's squad, the Wildcats finished the year with a 20-12 overall record, their fifth 20-win season in the last six years. They were 9-9 in Pac-10 play and finished in fifth place, their lowest finish since 1995.

For the first time since 1996, Arizona failed to earn an NCAA tournament berth, but it did receive a Women's National Invitation Tournament slot. The Wildcats downed Pepperdine, 85-65, in the first round of the WNIT but fell, 75-62, at New Mexico in the second round to end their season. The WNIT berth gave the Wildcats their sixth straight postseason appearance, the third-longest active postseason streak in the Pac-10.

The team set or tied 39 school records last year, including most home victories (15), most points scored in a season (2,521) and highest single season scoring average (78.8 ppg).

Arizona finished the year as the Pac-10 leader in scoring offense (78.8 ppg), scoring margin (+9.1 ppg), field goal percentage (.470) and assists (16.59 apg). The Cats were second in both free throw percentage (.700) and rebounding (39.8 rpg) and were third in field goal percentage defense (.400) and assist-to-turnover ratio (0.86).

2000-01 ON THE INDIVIDUAL FRONT: Junior forward Elizabeth Pickney ended the season as the Cats' leading scorer, with 16.4 ppg, and second-leading rebounder (6.3 rpg). Senior guard Reshea Bristol was second in scoring, with 15.6 ppg, and ended the year as the Pac-10 leader in assists (7.56 apg).

Junior center LaKeisha Taylor (9.5 ppg) and sophomore wing Krista Warren (9.3 ppg) were fourth and fifth, respectively, in scoring. Warren was the team's third-leading rebounder, averaging 5.4 rpg.

In addition to leading the Pac-10 in assists, Bristol was second in steals (3.0 spg), fifth in scoring and fifth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.34). Pickney was third in the league in scoring, fourth in blocked shots (1.47 bpg), sixth in field goal percentage (.505) and ninth in rebounding. Taylor was second in field goal percentage (.587).

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