Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Women's basketball Defends Home Win Streak Before National Audience
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: January 09, 2005
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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COMING UP: The Arizona women’s basketball team (11-3, 3-1) faces No. 8 Stanford (12-2, 4-1) at 2:30 p.m. this Sunday, Jan. 9, in a rematch of last year’s Pac-10 Championship game. The game will be broadcast live on FSN to a national audience. It can also be heard live on KJLL 1330 AM in Tucson. Live audio and stats of this and every home game are available at Video of the game will be available on the website on a delayed basis. Coverage: Subscribers to All-Access, Arizona's premium audio/video service, can listen to the radio broadcast live and watch the delayed McKale Center video webcast with Paul Johnson callling the action. Free, real-time statistics are also available. The video webcast is delayed due to the television broadcast, and will be posted two hours after the conclusion of the game.

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Audio/Video: $9/month
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A QUICK LOOK AT THE WILDCATS: Arizona extended its nation’s-best home winning streak to 34 with an 80-69 win over California Friday night. Arizona shot 52 percent from the field, 13 percent from three-point range and 76 percent from the free throw line on the game. Meanwhile, Cal, one of the nation’s top three-point shooting teams, was limited to just 3-of-11 (27 percent) from downtown. The Bears made 46 percent of their shots from the field and 64 percent from the charity stripe. The Wildcats also out-rebounded Cal 33 to 31 and forced 23 Bear turnovers. Senior Dee-Dee Wheeler led Arizona with 19 points, eight assists, six steals and five rebounds. Sophomore Shannon Hobson added 11 points on 4-for-4 from the field. Junior All-America candidate Shawntinice Polk, playing for the first time since suffering a knee injury Dec. 27 at Washington, finished with 10 points on 5-of-6 from the field in just 11 minutes. Freshman Ashley Whisonant and senior Katrina Lindner tallied nine points apiece, while senior Danielle Adefeso finished with eight points. Junior Natalie Jones led the Wildcats with seven rebounds.

On the season, the Wildcats are led by Wheeler, who averages 19.0 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 3.1 steals per game. Polk adds 13.6 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game, while Jones averages 9.6 points and 5.3 rebounds. As a team, Arizona is out-shooting its opponents 46 percent to 37 percent and out-rebounding them 38.9 to 36.8.

SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION: Freshman Candice Wiggins had a season-high 31 points, leading the Cardinal to a 68-57 victory over Arizona State on Friday night. Brooke Smith added 10 points, while T’Nae Thiel had nine points and nine rebounds. Stanford shot 51 percent from the field on the game, compared to the 40 percent of the Sun Devils. The Cardinal also out-rebounded ASU 34 to 32.

On the season, the Cardinal is led by Wiggins, who averages 16.4 points per game. Smith and Kelley Suminski add 12.6 and 11.2 points per game, respectively. Thiel leads the team with 5.8 rebounds per game. As a team, Stanford is shooting 44 percent from the field, compared to the 34 of its opponents. The Cardinal is outscoring opponents 73.0 to 51.9 and are out-rebounding them 42.6 to 33.6.

SERIES SHORTS: Arizona trails the all-time series with Stanford 12-37. The last time the two teams met, on March 8, 2004, in the championship game of the Pac-10 Tournament, Arizona fell 51-46. The Wildcats are 8-15 at home, 3-20 away and 1-2 at a neutral site vs. the Cardinal.

RANKING IN THE PAC-10: The Wildcats currently lead the Pacific-10 in field goal percentage (.454) and blocked shots (4.5), rank second in field goal percentage defense (.358) and defensive rebounds (25.1), third in scoring (71.5), rebounding (39.3) and rebounding margin (2.1), fourth in scoring margin (10.2), three-point field goal percentage (.341) and three-point field goal percentage defense (.281), and fifth in scoring defense (61.3) and rebounding defense (37.2).

Individually, Dee-Dee Wheeler leads the league in scoring, ranks second in assist/turnover ratio, fourth in assists, steals and minutes played, seventh in three-point field goals made and 16th in rebounding. Shawntinice Polk leads the league in blocked shots, ranks second in defensive rebounds and field goal percentage, third in rebounding, seventh in scoring and tied for eighth in offensive rebounds. Natalie Jones ranks 15th and Shannon Hobson ranks 19th in rebounding, while Jessica Arnold is sixth in three-point field goal percentage.

RANKING NATIONALLY: As a team, Arizona ranks 26th nationally in field goal percentage, 41st in won-lost percentage, 44th in field goal percentage defense and 46th in scoring.

Individually, junior Shawntinice Polk ranks 12th in field goal percentage and 21st in blocked shots per game. Senior Dee-Dee Wheeler ranks 25th in points per game and 42 in steals per game.

CATS BOAST NATION’S LONGEST HOME WIN STREAK: The Cats have won 34 games in a row at home, the longest streak in the nation. The last time the Wildcats were defeated at the McKale Center was Nov. 22, 2002, when they lost the 2002-03 season opener in overtime to Louisiana State, 78-71. Arizona then won its final 13 home games during the 2002-03 season, and won all 14 games at McKale last year.

WHEELER’S SCORING STREAK CONTINUES: Point guard Dee-Dee Wheeler has scored 10 or more points in 47 consecutive games. 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. The senior has scored 10 or more points in 94 of her 106 career games. What’s more, she has 26 games with 20 or more points during her career, including five this season.

BONVICINI NEARS 250TH WIN AT ARIZONA: Head Coach Joan Bonvicini currently boasts a 249-151 (.623) record in 14 years at the helm at Arizona. The winningest coach in Arizona women’s basketball history, she needs just one more win to reach the 250 mark.

POLK MISSES JUST THIRD-EVER START: When junior center Shawntinice Polk played in Friday’s game without starting, it was just the third time in her career and the first time in nearly two years that she did so. The last time the All-America candidate didn’t start a game in which she played was Jan. 16, 2003, against Southern California. The only other time was Dec. 15, 2002, at Ohio State. Polkey is on track to make more starts than any player in Arizona history.

WHEELER TWO STEALS AWAY FROM SCHOOL RECORD: Senior guard Dee-Dee Wheeler nabbed a career-high-tying six steals against Cal on Friday, she positioned herself just two away from the school record of 260 held by Reshea Bristol, who played from 1998-2001.

INJURY UPDATE: Arizona’s Dec. 27 game at Washington took its toll on the team. Junior All-America candidate Shawntinice Polk went down with a left knee injury just before the game’s conclusion. She made her return in the Wildcats’ win over Cal on Friday, but played just 10 minutes. Freshman guard Jessica Arnold exited in the first half of the Washington game with a left shoulder injury and is out indefinitely.

CHAPPELL, WHISONANT MAKE FIRST CAREER STARTS: Sophomore Anna Chappell and freshman Ashley Whisonant both made their first career starts Friday night against Cal. Chappell pulled down three boards in 16 minutes, while Whisonant finished with nine points, all from free throws, and dished out four assists.

WHEELER STARTS 100TH GAME: When she took the court against Arizona State in Tempe on Monday night, 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.

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 169-20 (89 percent) all-time when reaching the 80-point plateau. With Joan Bonvicini at the helm, the Wildcats are 121-13 (90 percent) when scoring 80 points or more. This year alone, Arizona is 5-0 in games where it has reached 80 points in the scoring column.

WHEELER BECOMES SECOND ALL-TIME SCORER: When she sank a free throw at the 3:47 mark of the second half last week at Washington State, senior point guard Dee-Dee Wheeler became the second all-time leading scorer at Arizona with her 1,621st point, moving ahead of Elizabeth Pickney. She now has 1,668 points on her career, 569 behind Adia Barnes’ 2,237 career points.

DOUBLE-DOUBLE TROUBLE: During her career, junior Shawntinice Polk has recorded 41 double-doubles (21 as a freshman, 16 as a sophomore and four 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 31-10 when Polk notches a double-double.

CURRENT CATS ON UA CAREER LISTS: Senior guard Dee-Dee Wheeler is second in scoring (1,668), field goals made (651), field goals attempted (1,409), minutes played average (32.2) and steals (258), fourth in scoring average (15.7), three-point field goals made (155) and three-point field goals attempted (435), tied for fourth in three-point field goal percentage (.356), sixth in games started (101) and total minutes played (3,414), and eighth in assists (398) and ninth in free throw percentage (.735).

Junior Shawntinice Polk is first in double-doubles (41), blocks (189), rebounding average (10.2) and field goal percentage (.594), second in total rebounds (774), third in scoring average (16.4), sixth in field goals made (517) and free throws attempted (389), seventh in minutes played average (28.7) and eighth in scoring (1,250).

WILDCATS RANK NATIONALLY IN ATTENDANCE: Arizona currently ranks 44th nationally in attendance with an average attendance of 1,915. Connecticut is the leader with a 14,252 average, while Pac-10 opponents Oregon, Washington and Stanford rank 24th, 28th and 30th, respectively, at 3,657, 3,029 and 2,916.

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 three games this season that will be broadcast on FSN:

Sunday, Jan. 9 - 2:30 p.m. vs. Stanford

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.

COACH’S SHOW BEGINS NEXT WEEK: The Joan Bonvicini Coach’s Show will begin a new season next Monday, Jan. 10. Hosted by Wildcat radio announcer Paul Johnson, the show will be broadcast live from 6-7 p.m. on KJLL 1330 AM and will be 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 travels to Los Angeles for a pair of games at Southern California and UCLA next Friday and Sunday, Jan. 14 and 16. The Wildcats face the Trojans at 7 p.m. on Friday and the Bruins at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

WB Welcome Coach Barnes