COMING UP: The Arizona women’s basketball team (11-4, 3-2) travels to Los Angeles for a 7 p.m. game at Southern California (10-4, 4-1) this Friday, Jan. 14, at the Lyons Center. Live audio is available at www.arizonaathletics.com, as well as on KJLL 1330 AM in Tucson.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE WILDCATS: Arizona entered Sunday’s game against No. 8 Stanford with the longest home winning streak in the nation at 34 games. The Wildcats saw that streak come to an end, losing 78-66 to the Cardinal in front of 3,035 fans at McKale Center. It was Arizona’s first loss since Nov. 22, 2002, when the team lost its 2002-03 season opener in overtime to Louisiana State, 78-71. Arizona shot 37 percent from the field, 29 percent from three-point range and 53 percent from the line on the game. Meanwhile, Stanford connected on 49 percent of its shots from the field, 44 percent from downtown and an amazing 89 percent from the line. Both teams pulled down 33 boards. Senior point guard Dee-Dee Wheeler led Arizona with 25 points and six rebounds. Junior center Shawntinice Polk added 12 points and seven boards. Seniors Katrina Lindner and Danielle Adefeso added eight points apiece, while junior Natalie Jones dished out a game-high six assists.
On the season, the Wildcats are led by Wheeler, who averages 19.4 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 3.0 steals per game. Polk adds 13.5 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game, while Jones averages 9.3 points and 5.1 rebounds. As a team, Arizona is out-shooting its opponents 45 percent to 37 percent and out-rebounding them 38.5 to 36.5.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION: USC scored the first six points in overtime to secure a 77-75 road victory over Washington State last Sunday. The win completed the Women of Troy’s first conference road sweep since the 2001 season. USC shot 35 percent from the field on the game, compared to the 39 percent of Washington State. However, the Trojans pulled down 51 rebounds on the game, six more than the 45 of the Cougars. USC relied on a team effort as four players finished in double figures. Freshman Camille LeNoir, coming off a 17-point performance against Washington on Friday, led the team with 14 points. Kim Gipson and Eshaya Murphy both accounted for their first career double-doubles. Gipson finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds, while Murphy collected 10 points and 11 rebounds. Jamie Hagiya rounded out the group with 11 points.
On the season, the Trojans are led by Brynn Cameron, who averages 10.2 points per game. LeNoir and Gnekow add 8.9 and 8.3 points per game, respectively. Gnekow leads the team with 5.8 rebounds per game. As a team, USC is shooting 39 percent from the field, compared to the 42 percent of its opponents. The Trojans are outscoring opponents 68.2 to 63.3 and are out-rebounding them 40.5 to 38.6.
SERIES SHORTS: Arizona trails the all-time series with USC 15-37. The last time the two teams met, on Feb. 15, 2004, Arizona fell 68-66 in Los Angeles. The Wildcats are 9-16 at home, 6-20 away and 0-1 at a neutral site vs. the Trojans.
RANKING IN THE PAC-10: The Wildcats currently lead the Pacific-10 in field goal percentage (.452), rank second in blocked shots (4.0), third in scoring (71.7), field goal percentage defense (.372), rebounding margin (1.9) and assists (15.3), fourth in three-point field goal percentage (.291), and fifth in scoring margin (8.7), rebounding (38.5), scoring defense (62.9), rebounding defense (36.5), assist/turnover ratio (0.9) and defensive rebounds (24.3).
Individually, Dee-Dee Wheeler leads the league in scoring, ranks second in assist/turnover ratio, third in assists and steals, fourth in minutes played and three-point field goals made, eighth in three-point field goal percentage and tied for 14th in rebounding. Shawntinice Polk leads the league in blocked shots, ranks second in field goal percentage, third in rebounding and defensive rebounds and seventh in scoring. Natalie Jones ranks tied for 14th in rebounding, while Jessica Arnold is fifth in three-point field goal percentage.
RANKING NATIONALLY: As a team, Arizona ranks 27th nationally in field goal percentage, 35th in scoring and 50th in won-lost percentage.
Individually, senior Dee-Dee Wheeler ranks 19th in points per game and 36th in steals per game. Junior Shawntinice Polk ranks 12th in field goal percentage and 36th in blocked shots per game.
CATS’ NATION-LEADING HOME WIN STREAK ENDS: Arizona’s 34-game winning streak, the longest in the nation, came to an end Sunday when the Wildcats fell 78-66 to Stanford. It was Arizona’s first home loss since Nov. 22, 2002, when they lost the 2002-03 season opener in overtime to Louisiana State, 78-71.
WHEELER’S SCORING STREAK CONTINUES: Point guard Dee-Dee Wheeler has scored 10 or more points in 48 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 95 of her 107 career games. What’s more, she has 27 games with 20 or more points during her career, including six this season.
BONVICINI NEARS 250TH WIN AT ARIZONA: Head Coach Joan Bonvicini currently boasts a 249-152 (.621) 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- AND FOURTH-EVER STARTS: When junior center Shawntinice Polk played in last Friday’s and Sunday’s games without starting, it was just the third and fourth times in her career 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 ONE STEAL AWAY FROM SCHOOL RECORD: Senior guard Dee-Dee Wheeler is currently one steal away from the school record of 260 held by Reshea Bristol, who played from 1998-2001.
INJURY UPDATE: Freshman guard Jessica Arnold suffered a left shoulder injury on Dec. 27 at Washington. She is listed as day-to-day.
CHAPPELL, WHISONANT MAKE CAREER STARTS: Sophomore Anna Chappell and freshman Ashley Whisonant both made their first and second career starts last week against Cal and Stanford.
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.
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 at Washington State on Dec. 29, senior point guard Dee-Dee Wheeler became the second all-time leading scorer at Arizona. She now has 1,693 points on her career, 544 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 (1,693), field goals made (661), field goals attempted (1,429), minutes played average (32.32) and steals (259), fourth in scoring average (15.8), three-point field goals made (160), three-point field goals attempted (444) and three-point field goal percentage (.360), sixth in games started (1021) and total minutes played (3,452), eighth in assists (399) and ninth in free throw percentage (.735).
Junior Shawntinice Polk is first in double-doubles (41), blocks (189), rebounding average (10.1) and field goal percentage (.593), second in total rebounds (781), third in scoring average (16.4), sixth in field goals made (521) and free throws attempted (395), and seventh in scoring (1,262) and minutes played average (28.7).
WILDCATS RANK NATIONALLY IN ATTENDANCE: Arizona currently ranks 49th nationally in attendance with an average attendance of 2,098. Connecticut is the leader with a 13,996 average, while Pac-10 opponents Oregon, Stanford, Washington and Arizona State rank 26th, 29th 32nd and 33rd, respectively, at 3,657, 3,192, 3,072 and 3,071.
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.
BONVICINI COACH’S SHOW: The Joan Bonvicini Coach’s Show began a new season on 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 faces league-leader UCLA for a 2 p.m. game Sunday, Jan. 16.