Nov. 17, 2002
Tucson, Ariz. (Nov. 17) - Leading the Cats with 22 points for the second straight game, sophomore guard Dee-Dee Wheeler propelled the University of Arizona women's basketball team to a 100-72 win over Team Concept in an exhibition game at home on Sunday.
Getting off to a slow start, the Cats found themselves down by three (6-3) after more than three minutes of action. They responded with a 15-2 run that sent them ahead by 10 points (20-10) at 12:36. Team Concept scrapped back to within seven points midway through the period, then Arizona exploded with a 27-8 run to gain a 26-point (49-23) lead with 2:43 to go in the half. The Wildcats took a 51-30 advantage into halftime.
Arizona opened the second half with a 14-5 spurt, going ahead by 30 points, but then entered a lull where Team Concept cut the lead to 20 points at 12:17 and again at 10:55. The Wildcats turned up the pressure and out-scored Team Concept, 27-15, over the next nine minutes to gain a 32-point (99-67) lead with 1:45 to play. Freshman forward CoCoa Sanford hit a free throw with five seconds left in the game to send the Cats over the century mark.
Wheeler finished with her game-high 22 points and added four steals and a trio of assists. Freshman center Shawntinice Polk had a double-double by halftime and spent much of the second half on the bench in foul trouble, but she still finished with 16 points and a game-high 15 rebounds. Senior forward Krista Warren logged a double-double as well, with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Junior guard Aimee Grzyb added 14 points and three rebounds, while freshman forward Phakisha Peterson had nine points and grabbed seven rebounds. Sanford finished the game with seven points and four rebounds, and junior forward Svjetlana Papcevic contributed eight points.
"This win was good for our team confidence. It was nice playing Team Concept, because it gave us the chance to work different combinations," said associate head coach Denise Dove Ianello, who directed the Cats during the game because head coach Joan Bonvicini was out of town due to family illness. "The team came out today ready to play. We wanted to focus our attention on Arizona and wanted to improve as a team for Friday (against LSU).
"We have improved so much from the last exhibition (on Nov. 11) to now. We have improved defensively. We stressed rebounding in practice, so it was nice to see that we out-rebounded Team Concept by 30. The team made a conscious effort to improve on that."
Arizona will officially tip off the 2002-03 season on Friday, Nov. 22, against No. 3 Louisiana State at 7 p.m. in the McKale Center.