COMING UP: The Arizona women’s basketball team (17-8, 9-5) travels to Corvallis, Ore., for a 7 p.m. (PDT) game at Oregon State (6-18, 1-13) this Thursday, Feb. 17. 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: Arizona made 11-of-16 three-pointers (69 percent) en route to an 87-74 victory over second-place Southern California last Saturday. The Wildcats shot 51 percent from the field and 73 percent from the free throw line on the game, while USC connected on just 34 percent from the field and 60 percent from the line. Arizona also edged the Trojans 45 to 43 on the glass. Senior Dee-Dee Wheeler led a group of five Wildcats in double-digit scoring with a game-high 25 points. She also pulled down a team-high 11 rebounds for her second double-double of the season, and dished out six assists. Junior Shawntinice Polk added 17 points, eight rebounds and two blocks, while junior Natalie Jones finished with 15 points on 100 percent shooting, and six assists. Senior Danielle Adefeso notched her first double-double of the season, finishing with 12 points and 10 boards. Freshman Ashley Whisonant rounded out the group with 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting, including 2-of-2 from downtown.
On the season, the Wildcats are led by Wheeler, who averages 17.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 3.0 steals per game. Polk adds 13.2 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game. As a team, Arizona is out-shooting its opponents 44 percent to 38 percent and out-rebounding them 38.1 to 37.8.SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION: Washington State hit its free throws down the stretch and knocked off Oregon State for the first time in 13 meetings, with a 68-63 victory Saturday. OSU finished with a 43 percent clip from the floor for the game, while WSU shot 44 percent. The Beavers held a 35 to 32 rebounding edge, but the Cougars hit 25-of-32 free throws. Shannon Howell broke the 20-point scoring barrier for the 10th time this season with a game-high 21 points. Karen Vickery posted another good offensive effort with 11 points and six rebounds, while Mandy Close added 10 points.
On the season, Oregon State is led by Howell, who averages 17.9 points per game. Kim Butler adds 10.2 points, while Casey Bunn leads the team with 4.9 rebounds per game. As a team, the Beavers are shooting 39 percent from the field, compared to the 42 percent of their opponents. Oregon State is being outscored 68.5 to 61.4 and out-rebounded 38.2 to 35.7.
SERIES SHORTS: Arizona leads the all-time series with Oregon State 22-19. The last time the two teams met, on Jan. 22, Arizona won 86-65 in Tucson. The Wildcats are 14-6 at home, 6-13 away and 2-0 at a neutral site vs. the Beavers.
UPCOMING PROMOTIONS: Arizona’s last home game of the season, the Feb. 26 match-up with Washington, is National Women in Sport Day. For $4, participates 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 Senior Associate Director of Athletics, Rocky LaRose, 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 Francesca Green at (520) 621-8405.
JONES NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Junior guard Natalie Jones is the reigning Pac-10 Player of the Week. A native of Anchorage, Alaska, she averaged 20.0 points, 4.0 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals in two games last week as Arizona swept UCLA and USC. She shot 75 percent from the field (12-of-16), 78 percent from beyond the arc (7-of-9) and 82 percent (9-of-11) from the foul line. In Arizona’s 76-73 victory over UCLA on Feb. 10, Jones led Arizona with a career-high 25 points on 8-of-12 shooting, including a 4-of-6 mark from three-point range. She also added four rebounds and three steals. In the 87-74 win over USC on Feb. 12, Jones was one of five Wildcats in double-figure scoring, finishing with 15 points on a perfect 4-of-4 from the field and 3-of-3 from beyond the arc. She was also 4-of-5 at the line and dished out six assists. The Player of the Week honor is the first for Jones and is the 34th all-time selection for Arizona.
RANKING IN THE PAC-10: As a team, Arizona leads the Pac-10 in blocks (4.0), ranks third in scoring (72.0), field goal percentage defense (.384) and three-point field goal percentage defense (.302), fourth in scoring margin (6.0), field goal percentage (.440), offensive rebounds (14.6) and defensive rebounds (23.5), and fifth in three-point field goal percentage (.349), rebounding defense (37.8), rebounding margin (0.3) and assists (14.8).
Individually, Dee-Dee Wheeler ranks second in scoring (17.6) and assist/turnover ratio (1.7), third in assists (4.5), fourth in steals (2.9), fifth in three-point field goals made (1.6), sixth in minutes played (33.0) and 14th in rebounding (5.2). Shawntinice Polk leads the league in blocked shots (2.0), ranks third in field goal percentage (.573), rebounding (7.7) and defensive rebounds (5.5), and ninth in scoring (13.2). Natalie Jones ranks fifth in free throw percentage (.795) and 18th in rebounding (5.0), while Jessica Arnold ranks third in three-point field goal percentage (.422). Senior Danielle Adefeso is fourth in offensive rebounds (2.6).
In Pac-10 games only, Wheeler leads the league in scoring (18.1), ranks third in assists (4.1), steals (2.9), three-point field goals made (1.9) and assist/turnover ratio (1.4), fourth in minutes played (33.6) and three-point field goal percentage (.394), 10th in offensive rebounds (2.2) and 17th in rebounding (5.5). Polk ranks fourth rebounding (7.0), blocks (1.3) and defensive rebounds (4.9), fifth in field goal percentage (.526) and ninth in scoring (12.3). Arnold leads the Pac-10 in three-point field goal percentage (.480) and ranks second in free throw percentage (.875), while Jones is ninth in free throw percentage (.778), 10th in minutes played (30.8) and 20th in rebounding (5.0). Adefeso is third in offensive rebounds (2.9) and ninth in rebounding (5.7).
RANKING NATIONALLY: As a team, Arizona ranks 26th nationally in scoring, 41st in field goal percentage, 51st in three-point field goal percentage, 67th in blocks, 76th in won-lost percentage and 77th in assists.
Individually, senior Dee-Dee Wheeler ranks 30th in steals per game and 48th in points per game. Junior Shawntinice Polk ranks 18th in field goal percentage and 47th in blocks.
ADEFESO STEPS IT UP: Over the last nine games, Danielle Adefeso has really picked up her game. Starting eight of the nine games, the senior is shooting 43 percent from the field and 76 percent from the free throw line, while averaging 8.9 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. Prior to that, Adefeso was averaging 3.6 points and 2.7 rebounds per game.
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 six of its last eight games. During that time, the Wildcats are 127 of 171 (74 percent) from the charity stripe.
WHEELER APPROACHES ALL-TIME MINUTES MARK: Senior Dee-Dee Wheeler has played 3,786 minutes during her four-year career, 70 minutes shy of Aimee Grzyb’s top mark of 3,856 minutes. With a minimum of five 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 12-1 when out-rebounding their opponents. Arizona is 4-6 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 1,843 career points, while Polk has scored 1,391 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 103 of her 117 career games. Her streak of 48 consecutive games in double-figure scoring came to an end 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 23 of 25 games this season.
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 255-156 (.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 207 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 287 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 six 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 32-11 (.744) when Polk notches a double-double.
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.
CURRENT CATS ON UA CAREER LISTS: Senior guard Dee-Dee Wheeler is first in steals (287), second in scoring (1,843), games started (111), field goals made (716), field goals attempted (1,569), minutes played average (32.4) and total minutes played (3,786), fourth in scoring average (15.8), three-point field goals made (174), three-point field goals attempted (486) and three-point field goal percentage (.358), seventh in assists (444), 10th in personal fouls (284) and turnovers (371), and tied for 10th in free throws made (237) and free throws attempted (328).
Junior Shawntinice Polk is first in double-doubles (43), blocks (207), rebounding average (9.8) and field goal percentage (.586), second in total rebounds (852), third in scoring average (16.0) and field goals made (573), fourth in scoring (1,391), sixth in free throws made (245) and free throws attempted (430), seventh in minutes played average (28.7) and ninth in games started (82).
Junior Natalie Jones ranks sixth in free throw percentage (.760), ninth in three-point field goals attempted (221) and 10th in three-point field goals made (65).
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 13,668 average, while Pac-10 opponents Oregon, Stanford, Washington and Arizona State rank 25th, 27th, 33rd and 44th, respectively, at 3,852, 3,741, 3,267 and 2,463.
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.
CAT TELEVISION APPEARANCES: The Wildcats have one more game this season that will be broadcast on FSN:
Saturday, Feb. 19 - 2 p.m. at Oregon
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. Fans are invited to join the audience of the show at the Varsity Clubs each week during Pac-10 play.
UP NEXT: Arizona travels to Eugene, Ore., for a 2 p.m. (PST) game at third-place Oregon this Saturday, Feb. 19. The game will be broadcast live nationally on FSN.