Jan. 17, 2012
TUCSON -Arizona (13-4, 2-3 Pac-12) and Utah (8-8, 1-4 Pac-12) will meet for the first time as members of the same conference for a women's basketball contest on Thurs., Jan. 19. Set to start at 7 p.m. MT, the Wildcats and the Utes will play at McKale Center in Tucson.
Arizona and Utah will meet for the 13th time on Thursday and the first time as members of the new Pac-12 Conference. The Utes hold a 10-2 advantage over the Wildcats with the last meeting between the two teams coming on Dec. 9, 2006. Arizona last won against Utah on Dec. 10, 1985 (83-63) in Tucson.
Arizona is 13-4 overall and 2-3 in Pac-12 play on the season, including a 6-1 home record. The Cats are paced by junior guard Davellyn Whyte's 18.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.5 steals per game. She is backed up by sophomore forward Erica Barnes' 13.0 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. Senior guard Shanita Arnoldhands out 5.4 assists per game. The Wildcats are shooting 40.8 percent from the field, 37.7 percent from three-point range and 71.9 percent from the free throw line.
Utah is 8-8 overall and 1-4 in Pac-12 play on the season, including a 1-4 road record. The Utes are paced by sophomore forward Michelle Plouffe's 14.8 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. She is backed up by 12.1 points from sophomore forward Taryn Wicijowski and 11.2 points from junior guard Iwalani Rodrigues. Senior guard Janita Badon hands out 5.4 assists per contest. Utah is shooting 41.9 percent from the field, 33.3 percent from three-point range and 72.5 percent from the free throw line.
Among the Pac-12 teams, Arizona ranks in the top three in free throw percentage (.719), three-point field goal percentage (.377) and three-point field goals made (7.1). Individually, Whyte ranks No. 2 in scoring (18.9), No. 8 in assists (3.8), No. 3 in free throw percentage (.802), No. 2 in steals (2.5) and No. 5 in three-point field goal percentage (.395). Barnes is No. 10 in scoring (13.0) and No. 4 in rebounds (9.3). Arnold is No. 1 in assists (5.4) and No. 2 in assist/turnover ratio (1.9). Freshman center Aley Rohde is No. 5 in blocked shots (1.8).
Nationally, Arizona ranks No. 13 in three-point field goal percentage with .377 and No. 22 in three-point field goals per game with 7.1. Individually on the national scene, Whyte ranks No. 30 in points with 18.9, No. 39 in three-point field goal percentage with .394 and No. 36 in three-point field goals per game (2.5). Arnold is No. 32 in assists per game with 5.4.
Among the Pac-12 teams, Utah ranks in the top three in scoring defense (52.8), free throw percentage (.726), field goal percentage defense (.344) and assist/turnover ratio (0.9). Individually, Plouffe ranks No. 7 in points (14.8) and No. 5 in rebounds (8.3). Badon ranks No. 1 is assists (5.4) and No. 5 in assist/turnover ratio (1.5).
Last time out, a made jumper with 14 seconds to play by Barnes and outstanding defensive pressure by freshman guard Layana Whyte gave the Wildcats a 58-56 win at Oregon State. Barnes led all scorers with 18 points on 7-of-15 from the field and 4-of-5 from the free throw line. She collected her seventh double-double of the season with 11 rebounds. She rounded out her stat line with two blocks, one assist and one steal in 40 minutes of play. On the defensive end, she held Oregon State's leading scorer, Earlysia Marchbanks, to zero points and forced two turnovers. Arizona also had double-digit scoring efforts from Arnold and Whyte, who each had 15 points. Whyte also grabbed seven rebounds, handed out six assists and took away three steals in 40 minutes of play. Arnold had three assists, one rebound and one steal in 36 minutes of play.
Arizona women's basketball games can be heard live on KTUC AM 1400 in Tucson. All broadcasts will start 15 minutes prior to tip-off for the pregame show. Derrick Palmer (play-by-play) and Molly O'Mara (color) will call the action this season. Visit ArizonaWildcats.com for all of your live stats and video needs.
For tickets, visit the McKale Center Ticket Office or call 800-452-2287.