COMING UP: The Arizona women’s basketball team (14-5, 6-3) plays a 7 p.m. game against instate rival Arizona State (14-5, 6-3) this Wednesday, Jan. 26. Live video, audio and stats of this and every home game are available at www.arizonaathletics.com. The game will also be broadcast live on KJLL 1330 AM in Tucson. The game is "College Night," sponsored by Pepsi. All UA students with a valid CatCard get in free.
ArizonaAthletics.com Coverage: Subscribers to All-Access, Arizona's premium audio/video service, can listen to the radio broadcast live and watch the live McKale Center video webcast with Paul Johnson callling the action. Free, real-time statistics are also available.
Audio only: $6/month
A QUICK LOOK AT THE WILDCATS: Five players reached double figures in the scoring column as the Wildcats cruised to an 86-65 win over Oregon State last Saturday. Arizona shot 52 percent from the field, 36 percent from three-point range and 83 percent from the free throw line on the game, compared to the 32, 31 and 78, respectively, of the Beavers. The Wildcats also edged Oregon State 36 to 34 on the glass and blocked four shots. Freshman Jessica Arnold scored a career-high 21 points on 71 percent shooting, including 75 percent from beyond the arc. Junior Shawntinice Polk added 15 points, while senior Dee-Dee Wheeler finished with 14. Junior Natalie Jones and senior Danielle Adefeso rounded out the group of double-digit scorers with 15 and 10, respectively. Adefeso led the team with six rebounds, followed by Polk, Wheeler, Jones and freshman Ashley Whisonant with five apiece.
On the season, the Wildcats are led by Wheeler, who averages 18.5 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 2.8 steals per game. Polk adds 13.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game. As a team, Arizona is out-shooting its opponents 45 percent to 38 percent and out-rebounding them 38.1 to 36.3.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION: Sophomore Emily Westerberg scored 17 of her career-high 26 points in the second half to lead Arizona State to a 74-65 win over Oregon last Saturday. She finished the game 8-of-15 from the field and made all eight of her free throw attempts to go along with five rebounds, three assists and two steals. Kylan Loney turned in 13 points, including 3-of-5 three-point attempts, and now needs just one to tie ASU’s career record of 134. Aubree Johnson added 10 points off the bench, while Johnson and junior Amy Denson each had seven rebounds to lead the Sun Devils. After shooting 34 percent in the first half, the Sun Devils knocked down 52 percent of their field goals in the second half and finished with a season-high nine blocked shots.
On the season, the Sun Devils are led by Westerberg, who averages 11.7 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. Kristen Kovesdy adds 10.8 points, while Loney averages 9.9 per game. As a team, Arizona State is shooting 43 percent from the field, compared to the 40 percent of its opponents. The Sun Devils are outscoring their opponents 63.5 to 51.8 and are out-rebounding them 36.2 to 31.0.
SERIES SHORTS: Arizona trails the all-time series with Arizona State 29-38. The last time the two teams met, on Jan. 3, Arizona fell 69-47 in Tempe. The Wildcats are 15-16 at home, 12-21 away and 2-1 at a neutral site vs. the Sun Devils.
UPCOMING PROMOTIONS: Wednesday’s game against Arizona State is College Night, sponsored by Pepsi. All UA students with a valid CatCard will receive free admission to the game and the first 400 students will get a free t-shirt.
On Saturday, Jan. 29, when the Wildcats host Maryland, State Farm is sponsoring UA Mentoring Day. Arizona assistant coach Shimmy Gray and players will host a pre-game mentoring session for aspiring female youth. In addition, Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano will serve as guest coach for the Wildcats.
RANKING IN THE PAC-10: As a team, Arizona ranks second in the Pac-10 in field goal percentage (.451), field goal percentage defense (.377), blocked shots (3.8) and defensive rebounds (24.0), third in scoring (72.0), scoring margin (8.4) and three-point field goal percentage defense (.298), fourth in scoring defense (63.6), rebounding margin (1.8), assists (15.2) and assist/turnover ratio (0.9), and fifth in three-point field goal percentage defense (.327) and rebounding defense (36.3).
Individually, Dee-Dee Wheeler ranks second in scoring (18.5) and assist/turnover ratio (1.9), third in assists (4.9) and steals (2.8), sixth in three-point field goals made (1.7) and minutes played (32.7), and 17th in rebounding (5.1). Shawntinice Polk leads the league in blocked shots (1.9), ranks third in field goal percentage (.602), rebounding (8.3) and defensive rebounds (6.1) and seventh in scoring (13.4). Natalie Jones ranks seventh in free throw percentage (.786), 10th in offensive rebounds (2.3) and tied for 12th in rebounding (5.3). Jessica Arnold ranks fifth in three-point field goal percentage (.400), while Ashley Whisonant is tied for 10th in steals (1.5).
In Pac-10 games only, Wheeler leads the league in scoring (19.1), ranks third in assists (4.8), three-point field goals made (2.1) and assist/turnover ratio (1.5), fourth in steals (2.6) and minutes played (33.8), tied for fifth in three-point field goal percentage (.422), and 16th in rebounding (5.3). Polk ranks third in field goal percentage (.580), rebounding (7.9) and defensive rebounds (5.7), and 10th in scoring (12.7). Jones is seventh in offensive rebounds (2.3), eighth minutes played (31.7) and 12th in rebounding (5.7). Danielle Adefeso is fourth in field goal percentage (.533), while Whisonant is tied for 10th in steals (1.8).
RANKING NATIONALLY: As a team, Arizona ranks 28th nationally in field goal percentage, 29th in scoring, 40th in won-lost percentage 59th in scoring margin and 67th in assists.
Individually, senior Dee-Dee Wheeler ranks 34th in points per game and 44th in steals per game. Junior Shawntinice Polk ranks 12th in field goal percentage.
THE GLASS IS THE ANSWER: It seems the most telling statistic for the Arizona women’s basketball team this season is rebounding. The Wildcats are 11-0 when out-rebounding their opponents. Arizona is just 2-4 when being out-rebounded and 1-1 when pulling down the same number of boards as its opponents this season.
POLK ONE POINT AWAY FROM FOURTH PLACE: With her first basket of the game last Saturday against Oregon State, junior center Shawntinice Polk moved into sole possession of fifth-place all-time in scoring at Arizona. She now has 1,314 career points, just one away from fourth place.
WHISONANT PICK-POCKETING THE PAC-10: Freshman Ashley Whisonant is averaging 1.8 steals per game in Pac-10 play, good for 10th in the conference. The guard has two or more steals in seven games this season, including a career high of five at USC and four against Oregon.
ARNOLD MAKES STARTS COUNT: In Arizona’s two games last week, freshman guard Jessica Arnold made her first two starts since suffering a shoulder injury on Dec. 27 at Washington. Wearing a shoulder brace, Arnold scored 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting against Oregon on Thursday. She followed that up with her best game ever as a Wildcat on Saturday, when was 5-of-7 from the field, 3-of-4 from downtown and a career-high 8-of-8 from the charity stripe for a career-high 21 points. She also added two rebounds, two assists and a career-high three steals on the game. For the week, the freshman averaged 15.5 points (nearly double her season average of 8.4) on 69 percent shooting, including 75 percent from three-point range and 100 percent from the free throw line.
WILDCATS BOAST PAC’S ACTIVE SCORING LEADERS: Arizona boasts the Pac-10’s top two active career scoring leaders in All-America candidates Dee-Dee Wheeler and Shawntinice Polk. The point guard Wheeler currently has 1,754 career points, while Polk has scored 1,314 points in her three seasons at Arizona.
POLK NEARS SEVERAL RECORDS/MILESTONES: All-America candidate Shawntinice Polk is currently seven blocks away from 200 on her career. In the Arizona career record books, the junior is one field goal away from third place and one point away from fourth place. Polk is already Arizona’s all-time blocks leader and ranks second in rebounding, 106 behind Adia Barnes’ 921 career rebounds.
TALE OF THREES: Arizona is 9-2 (.818) this season when making four or more three-pointers. The team’s two losses both came on nights when it made seven baskets from downtown - at Georgia on Nov. 17 and vs. Stanford on Jan. 9. On the contrary, the Wildcats are 5-3 (.625) when they make three or less treys.
80 IS THE MAGIC NUMBER: In the program’s 33-year history, the Wildcats are almost guaranteed a win when they reach 80 points. Arizona is 171-20 (90 percent) all-time when reaching the 80-point plateau. With Joan Bonvicini at the helm, the Wildcats are 123-13 (90 percent) when scoring 80 points or more. This year alone, Arizona is 7-0 in games where it has reached 80 points in the scoring column.
WHEELER BECOMES ARIZONA’S STEAL LEADER: Senior guard Dee-Dee Wheeler tied the school record for career steals at the 10:41 mark in the first half of the game at Southern California on Jan. 14 and took sole possession of the record with 11:08 left in the game. She now has 268 steals on her career.
BONVICINI WINS 250TH GAME AT ARIZONA: Joan Bonvicini notched her 250th win as the head coach at Arizona when the Wildcats defeated then-No. 19 UCLA on the road last Sunday. In 14 years at the helm, she boasts a 251-153 (.620) record and is the winningest coach in Arizona women’s basketball history.
DOUBLE-DOUBLE TROUBLE: During her career, junior Shawntinice Polk has recorded 42 double-doubles (21 as a freshman, 16 as a sophomore and five as a junior). The longest streak came at the start of her career, when she opened the 2002-03 season with eight consecutive double-doubles. During her three seasons, the Wildcats are 32-10 when Polk notches a double-double.
ALL GOOD THINGS MUST COME TO AN END: Point guard Dee-Dee Wheeler’s streak of 48 consecutive games with 10 or more points came to an end last Friday at USC as the senior finished with just five points. The last time she failed to reach double-digit scoring was March 23, 2003, when she had seven points in a loss to Notre Dame. Wheeler has scored 10 or more points in 97 of her 110 career games.
CATS’ NATION-LEADING HOME WIN STREAK ENDS: Arizona’s 34-game winning streak, the longest in the nation, came to an end Jan. 9 when the Wildcats fell 78-66 to Stanford. The Cats have won 36 of their last 37 games at McKale.
WHEELER STARTS 100TH GAME: When she took the court against Arizona State on Jan. 3, senior Dee-Dee Wheeler was making the 100th start of her career. In doing so, she became just the sixth Wildcat ever to start 100 or more games.
CURRENT CATS ON UA CAREER LISTS: Senior guard Dee-Dee Wheeler is first in steals (268), second in scoring (1,754), field goals made (684), field goals attempted (1,485) and minutes played average (32.3), fourth in scoring average (15.8), three-point field goals made (166), three-point field goals attempted (461), three-point field goal percentage (.360), total minutes played (3,582) and games started (106), and seventh in assists (425).
Junior Shawntinice Polk is first in double-doubles (42), blocks (193), rebounding average (10.1) and field goal percentage (.592), second in total rebounds (815), third in scoring average (16.2), fourth in field goals made (545), fifth in scoring (1,314), sixth in free throws attempted (400), and seventh in minutes played average (28.6).
WILDCATS RANK NATIONALLY IN ATTENDANCE: Arizona currently ranks 49th nationally in attendance with an average attendance of 2,190. Connecticut is the leader with a 14,066 average, while Pac-10 opponents Oregon, Stanford, Washington and Arizona State rank 25th, 27th 33rd and 35th, respectively, at 3,701, 3,688, 3,072 and 2,633.
WILDCATS ON THE RADIO: All of Arizona’s games this season are broadcast on Tucson’s Jolt, KJLL 1330 AM, the radio home of Arizona women’s basketball. With Paul Johnson in his 10th year as the Wildcats’ play-by-play announcer, the Jolt will broadcast every game, home and away.
WILDCATS ON TELEVISION: The Wildcats have two more games this season that will be broadcast on FSN:
Saturday, Jan. 29 - 4 p.m. vs. Maryland
Saturday, Feb. 19 - 2 p.m. at Oregon
In addition, the Wildcats’ home games against Southern California (Feb. 12) and Washington (Feb. 26) are "wild card" games that could get picked up in the Pac-10 television package with FSN.
JOAN BONVICINI COACH’S SHOW: The Joan Bonvicini Coach’s Show began a new season last Monday. Hosted by Wildcat radio announcer Paul Johnson, the show is broadcast live from 6-7 p.m. on KJLL 1330 AM and is held at the Varsity Clubs of America, located at Speedway and Alvernon. The show features Bonvicini with several special guests, ranging from players to staff members. Fans are invited to join the audience of the show at the Varsity Clubs each week during Pac-10 play.
UP NEXT: Arizona hosts Maryland for a 2 p.m. game Saturday, Jan. 29. The game will be broadcast live on FSN to a national audience. Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano will serve as guest coach for the Wildcats.