A QUICK LOOK AT THE WILDCATS: The Arizona women’s basketball team finished the 2005-06 season with an 8-22 overall record and a 3-15 mark in Pac-10 play, good for ninth place. The Wildcats closed out the year at the Pac-10 Tournament, where they defeated Oregon 64-57 in the first round before falling to top-seeded Stanford 77-50 in the quarterfinals.
Junior Joy Hollingsworth led Arizona with 14.4 points and 6.0 rebounds per game. Senior Natalie Jones added 14.4 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game, while sophomore Ashley Whisonant averaged 13.7 points and 3.4 assists.
As a team, the Wildcats shot 39 percent from the field, compared to the 47 percent of their opponents. They were also out-rebounded 34.1 to 40.5.
RANKING IN THE PAC-10: As a team, Arizona ranked in the bottom half of the conference in every statistical category but free throw percentage (third), turnover margin (third), three-point field goal average (fourth) and steals (fifth).
Individually, senior Natalie Jones was third in free throw percentage (.812), fourth in steals (2.2), sixth in minutes per game (34.9), and 10th in both scoring (14.4) and three-point field goal average (1.5). Junior Joy Hollingsworth was third in three-point field goal average (2.2) and eighth in minutes per game (33.9). Sophomore Ashley Whisonant was eighth in assists (3.4) and 10th in assist/turnover ratio (0.9).
SINGLE SEASON RECORDS: Arizona set several single season records, including three-point field goals made (176), three-point field goals attempted (559), highest opponent field goal percentage (.473), most opponent blocks (115) and fewest opponent steals (195).
Additionally, several Wildcats ranked in the Top 10 in the Arizona single season record books. Senior Natalie Jones ranked fourth in both minutes per game (34.9) and free throw percentage (.812), sixth in minutes played (1,046) and tied for sixth in free throws made (121). In her first season as a Wildcat, junior Joy Hollingsworth ranked third in three-point field goals attempted (201) and fourth in three-point field goals made (67).
SINGLE GAME RECORDS: During the season, the Wildcats set several new marks in the single game record books, including most assists (30 vs. Furman, 11/22/05), fewest rebounds (20 at Washington, 1/26/06), fewest opponent steals (0 by Washington State, 12/29/05) and fewest opponent fouls (7 by Maryland, 12/11/05).
JONES NAMED ALL-PAC-10: Senior guard Natalie Jones was named honorable mention All-Pac-10. She was the only Arizona honoree this season and it was the first time during her career that she had received such an honor.
ARNOLD, CHAPPELL, PACE ACADEMIC ALL-PAC-10: Jessica Arnold, Anna Chappell and Linda Pace were selected to the Pac-10 All-Academic Team. All three were honorable mention picks. A sophomore pre-business major, Arnold boasts a 3.23 cumulative grade-point average. Chappell, a senior secondary education major, carries a 3.36 GPA. A junior accounting major, Pace has a 3.31 GPA. She was also one of just four student-athletes admitted to the prestigious Eller College of Management this year.
IN THE ARIZONA RECORDS BOOKS: Senior Natalie Jones closed out her career ranked first all-time at Arizona in games played (126), third in personal fouls (321), fourth in free throw percentage (.771), fifth in three-point field goals attempted (386), minutes played (3,594) and free throws made (310), sixth in three-point field goals made (117) and steals (192), seventh in games started (99) and free throws attempted (402), eighth in rebounds (555), tied for eighth in minutes per game (28.5) and 11th in scoring (1,149).
Sophomore Jessica Arnold ranks ninth all-time in three-point field goal percentage (.343).
HOLLINGSWORTH SCORES 1,000TH CAREER POINT: Junior Joy Hollingsworth, who played two seasons at San Francisco (2002-03, 2003-04), scored her 1,000th career point vs Oregon in the first round of the Pac-10 Tournament. The guard currently has 1,020 points - 589 in her two seasons at USF and 431 this year as a Wildcat.
JONES FINISHES CAREER WITH 95-GAME STREAK: When she started the last game of her career against Stanford on March 4, senior Natalie Jones was making her 95th consecutive start. On her career, the guard started 99 total games.
LOSSES ADDED UP: Though Arizona’s 22 losses this season are the most in the Joan Bonvicini era (1991-present), they are not the most in school history. The worst season in the history of Arizona women’s basketball came in 1990-91 when the Wildcats posted a 6-25 mark. Arizona was also 5-23 in 1987-88.
In addition, in Bonvicini’s first season, though her team had a better overall record (9-19), it matched the record from this year in Pac-10 play at 3-15.
SHOOTING SORROWS LEAD TO LOSSES: In 21 of their 22 losses this season, the Wildcats had a worse shooting percentage than their opponents. In fact, three of the four times Arizona produced a better field goal percentage than its opponent (Furman, Lehigh, Chicago State), the team also won the game. The only time the Wildcats shot better than their opponent and lost was at Washington.
HALFTIME SCORE INDICATIVE OF FINAL RESULT: In Arizona’s 30 games this season, the halftime score was indicative of the final result 26 times. The Wildcats were 2-20 when trailing at the intermission and 6-2 when leading. The only two games Arizona won after trailing at halftime were at home against Oregon and at California. Conversely, the two games the Wildcats lost after leading at halftime were against Central Connecticut State and Utah.
WILDCAT TRIFECTA: Senior Natalie Jones, junior Joy Hollingsworth and sophomore Ashley Whisonant accounted for 64 percent of the team’s points. Whisonant reached double-digit scoring in 26 of the 30 games, while Hollingsworth and Jones hit that mark 25 and 24 times, respectively.
LACK OF SIZE EXPOSED: With the death of 6-5 Shawntinice Polk and the medical redshirt of 6-2 Shannon Hobson, Arizona was left without much size inside. As a result, the Wildcats were out-rebounded in 24 of their 30 games this season. In those 24 games, the Wildcats managed just 32.2 rebounds to their opponents’ 42.3 (-10.1).
JONES JOINS 1,000-POINT, 500-REBOUND CLUB: When she grabbed a board at the 1:41 mark in the first half against USC on Feb. 2, senior Natalie Jones joined a prestigious group. She became just the seventh Wildcat ever to total 1,000 points and 500 rebounds on her career. Jones notched her 1,000 point on a free throw at the 2:02 mark of the second half at Washington State on Jan. 28. She finished her career with 1,149 points and 555 rebounds.
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 played a challenging schedule that included 15 games against eight teams (Arizona State, Maryland, Utah, California, Stanford, UCLA, USC and Washington) that made it to the NCAA Tournament in 2005. Of those teams, seven advanced to the second round, while Utah and Stanford made it to the Elite Eight and Maryland won the national championship.