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Arizona Women Return to McKale to Face Washington State Thursday
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 02/24/2005
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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COMING UP: The Arizona women’s basketball team (18-9, 10-6) hosts Washington State (6-19, 2-14) for a 7 p.m. game this Thursday, Feb. 24. The game will be broadcast live on KJLL 1330 AM in Tucson. Live video, audio and stats are available at www.arizonaathletics.com.

 ArizonaAthletics.com Coverage: Subscribers to All-Access, Arizona's premium audio/video service, can listen to the radio broadcast live and watch a live video webcast of the McKale Center production with Paul Johnson callling the action. Free, real-time statistics are also available.

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A QUICK LOOK AT THE WILDCATS: The Wildcats fell 69-51 at Oregon last Saturday. Arizona shot just 33 percent from the field and 17 percent from downtown on the game, while Oregon connected on 36 and 42 percent, respectively. The Ducks out-rebounded the Wildcats 44 to 37. Both teams committed 15 turnovers on the game. Senior Dee-Dee Wheeler led Arizona with 20 points, while senior Danielle Adefeso added 10. Junior Shawntinice Polk pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds. Junior Natalie Jones dished out five assists and nabbed three steals, while freshman Jessica Arnold added four assists.

On the season, the Wildcats are led by Wheeler, who averages 17.9 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.8 steals per game. Polk adds 12.9 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game. As a team, Arizona is out-shooting its opponents 44 percent to 38 percent and out-rebounding them 38.0 to 37.8.

SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION: Washington State’s comeback fell short last Saturday, as the Cougars dropped a 76-72 game at Washington. The Cougars shot 46 percent from the field, 48 percent from three-point range and 80 percent from the free throw line on the game, while Washington connected on 48 percent from the field, 25 percent from beyond the arc and 65 percent from the charity stripe. Washington State out-rebounded the Huskies 37 to 30, but committed 19 turnovers to Washington’s 10. Ariana Scales led the Cougars with 22 points, followed by Emma Joneby and Charmaine Jones with 12 and 10 points, respectively. Joneby also pulled down 10 rebounds for a double-double.

On the season, the Cougars are led by Kate Benz, who averages 10.4 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. Adriane Ferguson and Jones add 10.0 and 9.6 points per game, respectively. As a team, Washington State is shooting 36 percent from the field, compared to the 41 percent of its opponents. The Cougars are being outscored 66.0 to 58.3 and out-rebounded 39.6 to 38.4.

SERIES SHORTS: Arizona leads the all-time series with Washington State 20-17 and has won seven in a row. In the last meeting between the two teams, on Dec. 29, 2004, Arizona won 54-51 in Pullman. The Wildcats are 10-8 at home and 10-9 away vs. the Cougars.

UPCOMING PROMOTIONS: Arizona’s last home game of the season, Saturday’s match-up with Washington, is National Women in Sport Day. For $4, participants high school age and younger can attend an all-sport clinic, which begins at 2 p.m., conducted by Wildcat coaches and former student-athletes. The cost also includes admission to the game, which begins at 4 p.m. There will also be a special halftime ceremony with Olympian and former Arizona softball player Jennie Finch, as well as a post-game autograph session with Wildcat student-athletes from various teams. For more information, or to register a team or group for the clinic, contact Ryan Eklund at (520) 621-9399.

RANKING IN THE PAC-10: As a team, Arizona leads the Pac-10 in blocks (4.1), ranks second in field goal percentage (.439), third in scoring (71.4) and field goal percentage defense (.382), fourth in scoring margin (5.6), three-point field goal percentage (.344), scoring defense (65.9), three-point field goal percentage defense (.306), assists (14.9), offensive rebounds (14.5) and defensive rebounds (23.6), and fifth in rebounding (38.0), rebounding defense (37.8), rebounding margin (0.3) and assist/turnover ratio (0.8).

Individually, Dee-Dee Wheeler leads the league in scoring (17.9), ranks third in assists (4.4), steals (2.8) and assist/turnover ratio (1.7), fourth in minutes played (33.1), fifth in three-point field goals made (1.6), 10th in three-point field goal percentage (.355) and 15th in rebounding (5.1). Shawntinice Polk leads the league in blocked shots (2.1), ranks third in field goal percentage (.556), rebounding (8.0) and defensive rebounds (5.8), and eighth in scoring (12.9). Natalie Jones ranks seventh in free throw percentage (.778), 10th in minutes played (30.7) and 18th in rebounding (5.0), while Jessica Arnold ranks fourth in three-point field goal percentage (.403). Senior Danielle Adefeso is fourth in offensive rebounds (2.5).

In Pac-10 games only, Wheeler ranks second in scoring (18.5), third in assists (4.0), steals (2.7) and assist/turnover ratio (1.4), fourth in minutes played (33.6), fifth in three-point field goals made (1.9), ninth in three-point field goal percentage (.390), 10th in offensive rebounds (2.2) and 18th in rebounding (5.3). Polk leads the league in blocks (1.6), ranks fourth rebounding (7.5) and defensive rebounds (5.4), fifth in field goal percentage (.504) and 10th in scoring (11.8). Arnold ranks third in three-point field goal percentage (.429), while Jones is ninth in minutes played (31.1) and 10th in free throw percentage (.758). Adefeso is third in offensive rebounds (2.8) and 13th in rebounding (5.5).

RANKING NATIONALLY: As a team, Arizona ranks 29th nationally in scoring, 38th in field goal percentage, 58th in three-point field goal percentage and 62nd in blocks.

Individually, senior Dee-Dee Wheeler ranks 37th in points per game and 41st in steals. Junior Shawntinice Polk ranks 22nd in field goal percentage and 41st in blocks.

WHEELER MAKES HISTORY AT OREGON: Senior captain Dee-Dee Wheeler made her 113th career start at Oregon last Saturday, putting her in sole possession of first place in the Arizona record books. The Chicago native started 24 of 28 games as a freshman, 30 of 31 as a sophomore, all 33 as a junior and 26 of 27 this season. She is four games away from the all-time games played record.

ADEFESO STEPS IT UP: Over the last 11 games, senior Danielle Adefeso has really picked up her game. Starting 10 of the 11 games, she is shooting 43 percent from the field and 78 percent from the free throw line, while averaging 8.5 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. Prior to that, Adefeso was averaging 3.6 points and 2.7 rebounds per game.

HALFTIME SCORE INDICATIVE OF FINAL RESULT: This season, the Wildcats’ halftime score is 93 percent reliable in predicting the final score. Arizona is 17-1 when leading at the half and 1-8 when trailing. The Wildcats lost at USC after leading at halftime and came back to defeat Arizona State at home after trailing 27-23 at the intermission.

MAKING FREE THROWS COUNT: After shooting just 60 percent from the free throw line over the first 17 games of the season, Arizona has shot 70 percent or better in seven of its last 10 games. During that time, the Wildcats are 151 of 207 (73 percent) from the charity stripe.

WHEELER APPROACHES ALL-TIME MINUTES MARK: Senior Dee-Dee Wheeler has played 3,854 minutes during her four-year career, three minutes shy of Aimee Grzyb’s top mark of 3,856. With a minimum of three games left this season, and considering her current average of 33 minutes per game, Wheeler is sure to break the record.

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 14-1 when out-rebounding their opponents. Arizona is 3-7 when being out-rebounded and 1-1 when pulling down the same number of boards as its opponents this season.

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 1,885 career points, while Polk has scored 1,409 points in her three seasons at Arizona. The duo rank second and fourth all-time at Arizona in career points.

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 172-20 (90 percent) all-time when reaching the 80-point plateau. With Joan Bonvicini at the helm, the Wildcats are 124-13 (91 percent) when scoring 80 points or more. This year alone, Arizona is 8-0 in games where it has reached 80 points in the scoring column.

WHEELER AND DOUBLE-DIGIT SCORING: Point guard Dee-Dee Wheeler has scored 10 or more points in 105 of her 119 career games. Her streak of 48 consecutive games in double-figure scoring came to an end Jan. 14 at USC as the senior finished with just five points. She posted double-digit scoring in 19 of 28 games as a freshman, 28 of 31 as a sophomore, all 33 as a junior and 25 of 27 games this season, including 11 games with 20 or more points.

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 on Jan. 16. In 14 years at the helm, she boasts a 256-157 (.620) record and is the winningest coach in Arizona women’s basketball history.

CATS NEARLY UNBEATABLE AT HOME: Over the past three seasons, Arizona has won 39 of 42 (.929) games at McKale Center. The Cats’ 34-game home winning streak, the longest in the nation, came to an end Jan. 9 when the team fell 78-66 to Stanford.

POLK SURPASSES 200-BLOCK MARK: With her third block of the game against Maryland on Jan. 29, junior center Shawntinice Polk notched her 200th career block, becoming the first Wildcat ever to reach that mark. She now has 213 blocked shots on her career.

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 289 steals on her career.

DOUBLE-DOUBLE TROUBLE: During her career, junior Shawntinice Polk has recorded 43 double-doubles (21 as a freshman, 16 as a sophomore and seven 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 33-11 (.750) when Polk notches a double-double.

CURRENT CATS ON UA CAREER LISTS: Senior guard Dee-Dee Wheeler is first in steals (289) and games started (113), second in scoring (1,885), field goals made (732), field goals attempted (1,600), minutes played average (32.4) and total minutes played (3,854), tied for third in scoring average (15.8), fourth in three-point field goals made (178), three-point field goals attempted (497) and three-point field goal percentage (.358), seventh in assists (450), eighth in free throws made (243), games played (119) and turnovers (375), and ninth in personal fouls (290) and free throws attempted (334).

Junior Shawntinice Polk is first in double-doubles (44), blocks (213) and rebounding average (9.8), second in field goal percentage (.582) and total rebounds (873), third in field goals made (581), tied for third in scoring average (15.8), fourth in scoring (1,409), sixth in free throws made (247) and free throws attempted (433), seventh in minutes played average (28.8) and ninth in games started (84).

Junior Natalie Jones is tied for seventh in free throw percentage (.755), ninth in three-point field goals attempted (225) and 10th in three-point field goals made (66).

ARIZONA RANKS NATIONALLY IN ATTENDANCE: Arizona currently ranks 45th nationally in attendance with an average attendance of 2,451. Connecticut is the leader with a 13,843 average, while Pac-10 opponents Oregon, Stanford and Washington rank 26th, 27th and 31st, respectively, at 3,896, 3,741 and 3,304.

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.

JOAN BONVICINI COACH’S SHOW: Hosted by Wildcat radio announcer Paul Johnson, the Joan Bonvicini Coach’s Show is broadcast live from 6-7 p.m. every Monday 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.

UP NEXT: Arizona closes out regular-season play with a 4 p.m. game against Washington this Saturday, Feb. 26. As is custom at the last home game each season, Arizona’s three senior players - Danielle Adefeso, Katrina Lindner and Dee-Dee Wheeler - and four senior managers - Kate Deiters, Courtney Peters, Chenin Roger and Ethan Tussey - will be honored after the game.

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