COMING UP: The Arizona women’s basketball team (6-11, 2-5) travels to Palo Alto, Calif., for a 7 p.m. (PST) game at Stanford (11-4, 6-1) this Thursday, Jan. 19. Live audio of the game is available at www.arizonaathletics.com, as well as on KJLL 1330 AM in Tucson.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE WILDCATS: The Wildcats snapped a five-game losing streak in exciting fashion, defeating Oregon 81-72 in overtime at McKale Center Saturday afternoon. Arizona shot 38 percent from the field, 44 percent from three-point range and 87 percent from the free throw line on the game, compared to the 44, 33 and 67 percent, respectively, of Oregon. The Wildcats also out-rebounded the Ducks 44 to 35 and forced 12 Oregon turnovers, while committing 12. Junior Joy Hollingsworth led all players with a season-high 22 points. Sophomore Ch?© Oh added a career-high 20 points, while senior Natalie Jones finished with 16 points and eight rebounds. Freshman Whitney Fields also scored a career-high 12 points to go with a game-high nine rebounds.
Hollingsworth leads Arizona this season with 14.6 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. Jones adds 13.9 points per game, while sophomore Ashley Whisonant averages 13.5 points. As a team, the Wildcats are shooting 40 percent from the field, compared to the 47 percent of their opponents. They are also being out-rebounded 35.8 to 37.7.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION: Candice Wiggins made a career-high seven three-pointers and Krista Rappahahn hit six from long range to match her career best, leading No. 14 Stanford to an 87-75 victory over its archrival California on Saturday. Wiggins finished with 33 points for her third 30-point game of the season and second in a row. She also had eight assists and six steals, while Rappahahn finished with 18 points off the bench. Brooke Smith had 22 points, seven rebounds, two blocks and two steals for the Cardinal, who beat California for the 27th time in the last 28 meetings of the Bay Area rivalry. The Bears out-shot Stanford 53 percent to 48 percent and won the rebounding battle 34 to 29. The difference in the game was three-pointers, as the Cardinal made 14 compared to Cal’s five.
On the season, the Cardinal is led by Wiggins, who averages 21.1 points per game. Smith adds 17.4 points, while Kristen Newlin averages 11.4 points and a team-high 9.6 rebounds. As a team, Stanford is shooting 47 percent from the field on the season, compared to the 38 percent of its opponents. The Cardinal is also out-rebounding its opponents 41.7 to 37.5.
SERIES SHORTS: Arizona trails the all-time series with Stanford 12-39. The last time the two teams met, on Feb. 3, 2005, Arizona fell 91-74 in Palo Alto. The Wildcats are 8-16 at home, 3-21 away and 1-2 at a neutral site vs. the Cardinal.
INJURY UPDATE: Junior Linda Pace suffered a left knee injury against Washington State on Dec. 29 and is out for the rest of the season.
RANKING IN THE PAC-10: As a team, Arizona ranks in the bottom half of the conference in every statistical category but offensive rebounds (second), turnover margin (fourth), free throw percentage (fifth) and three-point field goal average (5.2).
Individually, several Wildcats rank in the Top 10 in various categories. Senior Natalie Jones is in free throw percentage (.825), fourth in minutes per game (35.0), sixth in steals (2.2) and 10th in three-point field goal average (1.5). Junior Joy Hollingsworth is fifth in three-point field goal average (2.1) and ninth in scoring (14.6), while sophomore Ashley Whisonant is eighth in assists (3.6). Sophomore Ch?© Oh is second in offensive rebounds (2.8) and ninth in minutes per game (33.3), while freshman Whitney Fields is second in offensive rebounds (2.8).
ROAD WOES: Arizona has yet to win a game on the road this season. In fact, over the past six seasons, the Wildcats have had a winning record in Pac-10 road games only once (5-4 in 2003-04).
SHOOTING SORROWS LEAD TO LOSSES: In each of their 11 losses this season, the Wildcats have had a worse shooting percentage than their opponents. In fact, the three times Arizona has produced a better field goal percentage than its opponent (Furman, Lehigh, Chicago State), the team has also won the game. Three times (Loyola Marymount, Washington State, Oregon) the Wildcats have shot worse than the other team and still managed to win the game.
SHOOTING THE THREE OFTEN: Arizona has made 88 three-pointers this season, edging its opponents, which have made 85. However, the Wildcats have 61 more attempts than their counterparts, which accounts for the difference in percentage (36 percent compared to 30 percent).
HALFTIME SCORE INDICATIVE OF FINAL RESULT: In Arizona’s 17 games this season, the halftime score has been indicative of the final result 14 times. The Wildcats are 1-9 when trailing at the intermission and 5-2 when leading. The only two games Arizona lost after leading at halftime were against Central Connecticut State and Utah.
HACK AWAY: The Wildcats are fouling quite a bit this season. In its 17 games, Arizona has committed more fouls than its opponent 11 times and the same number once. The Wildcats have fouled less than their opponent only four times, against Chicago State, Arizona State, Washington State, Oregon State and Oregon. Arizona has committed 20 or more fouls in eight games this season, six of which have been losses.
WILDCAT TRIFECTA: Senior Natalie Jones, junior Joy Hollingsworth and sophomore Ashley Whisonant lead the Wildcats this season. The trio account for 62 percent of the team’s points. Hollingsworth has reached double-digit scoring in 15 of the 17 games, while Whisonant and Jones have 10 or more points in 14 games.
JONES STARTS 80TH STRAIGHT GAME: Senior Natalie Jones started her 80th consecutive game at USC last Sunday. On her career, the guard has started 86 total games.
LACK OF SIZE EXPOSED: With the death of 6-5 Shawntinice Polk and the medical redshirt of 6-2 Shannon Hobson, Arizona is left without much size inside. As a result, the Wildcats have been out-rebounded in 12 of their 17 games this season. In those 12 games, the Wildcats have managed just 33.2 rebounds to their opponents’ 39.8 (-6.6).
CURRENT CATS ON UA CAREER LISTS: Senior Natalie Jones ranks sixth all-time at Arizona in both free throw percentage (.766) and three-point field goals attempted (339), and seventh in three-point field goals made (98). She looks to become just the 14th Arizona player ever to score 1,000 or more points as she has 953 on her career.
PAC-10 ACTIVE CAREER LEADERS: Arizona boasts several of the Pac-10’s active career statistical leaders. Senior Natalie Jones ranks second in assists (279), fourth in steals (165), fifth in scoring (953) and three-point field goals made (98), and seventh in rebounds (472). Junior Joy Hollingsworth ranks eighth in scoring (823).
GOING POLLING: Six of Arizona’s 2005-06 opponents (Stanford, Maryland, UCLA, USC, Utah and Arizona State) were nationally ranked in the various preseason polls. Pac-10 power Stanford was ranked as high as No. 8, while Pac-10 teams USC and Arizona State were ranked in all four 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.
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.
WILDCATS ON THE RADIO: All of Arizona’s games this season are broadcast on Tucson’s Jolt, KJLL 1330 AM. Paul Johnson is in his 11th year as the Wildcats’ play-by-play announcer.
WILDCATS ON TELEVISION: The Wildcats have one more game this season that will be broadcast on 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 plays at California next Sunday, Jan. 22, in a nationally-televised game on FSN that tips off at 1 p.m. (PST).