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012-17-2007 UW-Green Bay Notes
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 12/17/2007
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C oming Up:

The Arizona womenˇ?s basketball team (6-4) takes its season-long four-game winning streak on the road (again) for a game at UW-Green Bay on Thursday, Dec. 20 at 7 p.m. (CST).? It is Arizonaˇ?s first trip to Green Bay, Wis., in school history, and is the Wildcatsˇ? third road game in the last four outings.

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Catch the Action:

As always, Arizona women's basketball games can be heard live on KTUC AM 1400, with Derrick Palmer and Shannon Hobson calling the action from courtside.? Please visit www.arizonaathletics.com for all of your live stats and live video needs.

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New Mexico Recap:

With a squad of eight players, the Arizona womenˇ?s basketball team held New Mexico to 4-of-30 shooting (13.3 percent) in the second half to run away with a 44-36 win over the Lobos on Saturday night in ˇ?The Pitˇ± before 8,813 fans.? Arizonaˇ?s win ended New Mexicoˇ?s 13-game home winning streak.

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As a team, Arizona shot 36 percent (18-50) from the field, and held New Mexico to a dismal 22.8 percent mark (13-57).? The Wildcats outrebounded the Lobos 44-34, and finished with seven steals off of 15 UNM turnovers.? Arizona also outscored New Mexico 30-14 in the paint.

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Individually for the Wildcats, sophomore Amina Njonkou led the team with 14 points and 12 rebounds, and senior Ashley Whisonant finished with eight points and four assists.?

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New Mexico hit a three on its opening possession, but Arizona rallied with five-straight points to take a 5-3 lead on a lay in by Njonkou at the 16:55 mark.? After being tied up at 10-10 at the 11:00 mark, Arizona went on a 7-1 scoring run over the next 5:11 to take a 17-11 lead capped by a jumper by Sarah Hays.? The Wildcats held the Lobos without a field goal for 7:28 until a layup by Brandi Kimble cut the Arizona lead to 17-15 with 4:32 left which helped propel a 13-4 Lobo run to end the half and give New Mexico a 24-21 halftime lead.

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Arizona held New Mexico to a 33.3 percent (9-27) mark from the field, but finished the half going 2-of-10 (20 percent) from the floor for a 36.4 percent (8-22) first half mark.? The Wildcats also outrebounded the Lobos 19-14 in the first half, and were led by Njonkouˇ?s 10 points and seven rebounds.

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Arizona opened the second half on fire, scoring 10-unanswered points to take a 31-24 lead at the 15:10 mark.? The Lobos started the second half shooting 1-of-18 from the field, as Arizona extended its lead to 38-28 on a jumper by Ashley Whisonant at the 9:15 mark.? New Mexico went on to shoot 2-for-23 from the field (9 percent) before scoring four-straight points to cut the Arizona lead to 40-34 with 4:02 left to play.? Tough defense and rebounding kept the Lobos from cutting into the lead anymore down the stretch, as Arizona held the New Mexico to just 4-of-30 shooting (13.3 percent) in the second half.

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About the Phoenix:

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Phoenix enters Thursdayˇ?s game with a 5-3 overall record and a 3-1 mark at home.? UW-Green Bay is fresh off of a 79-27 pounding of Northern Arizona on Saturday at home, a team the Wildcats beat 75-54 to start their current four-game win streak.? As a team, the Phoenix shoot 45.6 percent from the field, 42 percent (99-145) from three-point range and 68.3 percent from the free throw line (99-145).? Junior Rachel Porath leads the Phoenix with 13.8 points and 6.0 rebounds a game, and senior Kayla Groh adds 13.5 points and 3.6 rebounds a game.? Head coach Matt Bollant is in his first season at the helm of the UW-Green Bay program.

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Series Notes:

Thursdayˇ?s game will be the third meeting between the Wildcats and the Phoenix on the hardwood with the series being tied up at 1-1.? The Phoenix beat the Wildcats in the last meeting, 82-70, on Jan. 3, 2006 in McKale Center.

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On the Road Again:

The Wildcats have been racking up those frequent flyer miles so far this season and this week will be another trip added to the list.? After two trips to the East Coast, a trip to California, and a trip to New Mexico, the Wildcats will now head to Wisconsin.? Counting the trip to Green Bay, and with trips to Penn State, NC State, Long Beach, Calif., and Albuquerque under their belts, the Wildcats will have racked up 13,698 round trip travel miles.? Weˇ?ll keep you posted on when the Wildcats earn their free round trip to anywhere in the United States.

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vs. the Horizon League:

Arizona is 2-2 all-time against teams that currently make up the Horizon League.? The Wildcatsˇ? last matchup against a team from that conference was against UW-Green Bay in 2006.

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Arizona Head Coach Joan Bonvicini (17th season):

The winningest coach in Arizona women's basketball history, Joan Bonvicini has taken the Wildcat program from obscurity into the national limelight. In her 17 seasons at the helm, Bonvicini has guided the Wildcats to nine postseason appearances, including seven NCAA Tournament berths and a WNIT Championship.? Under Bonvicini's tutelage, the Wildcats have finished in the upper tier of the Pac-10 in nine of the last 11 years, and in 2003-04 won a share of the conference regular-season title for the first time in school history.

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During this time, Arizona has been nationally ranked multiple times, including a best ever ranking of No. 7 in 1998.? Bonvicini's success is mirrored in her players' accolades. She has produced one All-American, five honorable mention All-America selections, a Pac-10 Player of the Year, three Pac-10 Freshmen of the Year, 22 All-Pac-10 honorees, 17 Pac-10 All-Freshman Team choices and 18 Academic All-Pac-10 selections. Bonvicini holds a 283-207 (.578) mark at Arizona and is 608-278 (.686) in 29 years as a head coach. On Feb. 8, 2007, Bonvicini became the 18th coach in NCAA Division I women's basketball history to reach the 600 win milestone with a 65-61 victory over Oregon State in McKale Center. She has a career record of 24-17 in NCAA Tournament play and has lost just two first-round games in 17 tourney appearances.

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Just Win, Baby:

Arizona is currently riding a four-game win streak, a season-long stretch topping a two-game streak earlier this year.? Last season, the Wildcats had only one winning streak in the form of a three-game stretch.

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Got 4 On It:

With Saturdayˇ?s win, Arizona won its fourth-straight games for the first time since the 2004-05 season.? Since going on a four-game streak from Jan. 16-26 in 2005, Arizona has managed to win consecutive games three times, and has won three-straight games three times.

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Go For Five:

With a win Thursday, Arizona has a chance to win five-straight games for the first time in a while.? The Wildcats have not won five-consecutive games since the 2003-04 season.? That year, Arizona owned a 10-game winning streak and a six-game winning streak which ran from Feb. 19-March 7 of 2004, the last time the Wildcats have been on a similar streak.

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Road Warriors:

With a wins against Long Beach State and New Mexico, the Wildcats managed to win two-straight road games for the first time since the 2004-05 season.? Arizona last won two-straight on the road in December of 2004 with wins at Chicago State and Washington.? The Wildcats followed those two wins up with a win at Washington State for three-straight, which is the last time Arizona has accomplished that feat (in case you were wondering).

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Home Wreckers:

Arizona went into New Mexicoˇ?s Pit and did something most visiting teams canˇ?t do: win.? The Wildcats snapped the Lobosˇ? 13-game home winning streak with their 44-36 win, as New Mexico was 7-0 on the season before Saturdayˇ?s game.

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Slow Startsˇ? No More:

Through 10 games, Arizona is getting outscored 330-290 by opponents in the first half.? However, the Wildcats have posted halftime leads in the last two of the last four games, while trailing Boise State 33-27 at the half, and New Mexico 24-21 (both Arizona wins).? When leading at the half, Arizona is 3-0, as the Wildcats earned its third win of the season, and second-straight, when trailing at halftime by beating the Lobos Saturday night.

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The Streak:

Arizonaˇ?s four-game winning streak is a result of solid play by the Wildcats on the floor.? Over the last four games, Arizona is shooting 42.7 percent from the field (99-232), outrebounding opponents 161-139, and averaging 9.5 steals and 4.8 blocks a game.? The Wildcats are also holding opponents to 32.5 percent shooting (74-228) over the last four games, as teams are averaging just 51 points a game over that span.

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The Streak Part II:

Arizonaˇ?s defense has held opponents to point totals of 54, 53, 61 and 36 in the last four games.? Those marks which equate to 204 points is the lowest opponent total over a four-game stretch since the 1996-97 season when Arizona held opponents to 202 points over a four-game span (57, 57, 46, 42), all Wildcat wins.

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Shut Them Down:

Arizonaˇ?s defense completely shut down the Lobos offense in Saturdayˇ?s game, the main reason why the Wildcats escaped ˇ?The Pitˇ± with a win.? Arizona held New Mexico to 22.8 percent shooting (13-57) in the game, including an 8.7 percent mark (2-23) from three point range, and a 13.3 percent mark (4-30) in the second half.? UA also held New Mexico to just 12 points in the second half, an opponent low for a half since holding Long Beach State to 14 points in the second half last season.

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Almost History:

Arizonaˇ?s 44-36 win over New Mexico came very close to some intriguing historical proportions.? Arizonaˇ?s 44 points in the win was the programˇ?s lowest point total in a victory since beating Utah, 46-36, on Jan. 17 1974.? Arizonaˇ?s school low for a point total in a win is 36 in a win (36-30) over Northern Arizona on Feb. 10, 1973.

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Good Defense:

The Wildcatsˇ? defense has been clamping down the past four games, which have been a big part of the Ws in the victory column.? Against NAU, the Wildcats held the Lumberjacks to opponent season low marks in shooting percentage (37.0), field goals (20), and points scored (54).? The Wildcats repeated the effort against Long Beach State, holding the 49ers to a new opponent season low mark of 33.9 percent shooting from the field, an opponent season-low tying field goals and a new opponent season-low 53 points scored.? Against Boise State, Arizona held the Broncos to 36.2 percent shooting from the field (21-58, including a 32.1 percent mark in the second half (9-28).? Against New Mexico, as mentioned above, the Wildcats put the smack down on the Lobos by holding them to 22.8 percent shooting (13-57), including a 4-of-30 mark (13.3 percent) in the second half.

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Just How Low?:

New Mexicoˇ?s 22.8 percent shooting (13-57) from the field on Saturday came anemically close to an Arizona opponent school record low mark for shooting percentage in a game.? The lowest opponent shooting percentage against Arizona in school history is 19.4 (12-62) percent by Rice on Nov. 14, 2005.

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Toe That Line:

So far, the Wildcats have shown an ability as a team to get to the free throw line.? Arizona has made it to the line 180 times (18 free throw attempts per game), but is only shooting 65 percent (117-180) from the charity stripe. ?Opponents are shooting 69.7 percent (124-178) from the line against the Cats.? Against Boise State, Arizona made a season-low five free throws on a season-low seven attempts, and had seven free throws on 11 attempts against New Mexico.

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What do you know about Pressure?:

The Wildcats can put on some pressure defense, and opponents have shown they canˇ?t handle it.? Through 10 games, Arizona has forced 215 turnovers on the opposition, which equates to an average of 21.5 turnovers a game.? The Wildcats, on the other hand, have turned the ball over 200 times, and own a +1.5 turnover margin, the fifth-best mark in the Pac-10.? Arizona forced 21 turnovers on Boise State, 23 turnovers on Long Beach State on Sunday, and an opponent season-high 25 turnovers on the Lumberjacks last week.

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Ball Thieves:

The Wildcats have shown they can scratch at opponents, posting 99 steals so far on the season for a 9.9 steals per game average.? Arizona has racked up 85 steals in its last eight games (10.6 spg), including a season-high 14 against Portland, NC State and NAU.? Arizona ranks third in the Pac-10 in the steals department.

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Paint Job:

So far, Arizona has been doing a solid job scoring in the paint.? Through 10 games, the Wildcats have posted 368 points in the paint, which accounts for 56.2 percent of the teamˇ?s point production (654).? Arizona is averaging 36.8 points per game in the paint, and outscored Boise State 42-12 in that department last week, and New Mexico 30-14 inside the key. ?In its last three games, Arizona has outscored the opposition 116-38 in the paint.

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Lotta Action:

So far, a lot of Wildcats are getting a lot of action.? Through nine games, 10 Wildcats are averaging double figures in playing time, led by senior Ashley Whisonantˇ?s 36.0 minutes per game average.

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Splinters Out:

Arizonaˇ?s bench has given the Wildcats a major boost on the court.? The UA bench has scored in double figures in nine of 10 games so far, including a season-best 42 points against Portland.? Arizonaˇ?s reserves have accounted for 204 points for a 20.4 ppg average, which is also 31.1 percent of the teamˇ?s total output.? Arizona finished a season-low nine points off the bench against New Mexico on Saturday.

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AW Leads the Way:

Senior guard Ashley Whisonant will be counted on to lead at the point this season, and she has already flourished in that position.? So far this season, Whisonant has played at an All-American level.? The Bowie, Md., native is averaging a team-high 14.6 points, 3.5 rebounds and 5.3 assists a game while snagging 1.9 steals a contest.? She is also averaging a team-high 36.0 minutes per contest.? Whisonant ranks sixth in the Pac-10 in scoring average, first in assists per game, eighth in steals per game, and first in minutes per game.? Against New Mexico, Whisonant battled back from foul trouble to finish with eight points and four assists.

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All-Time Scorer:?

Ashley Whisonant scored her 1,000th career point in the final game of the season last year, and look for her to climb up the Arizona all-time point leader list this season.? With 76 points in the first three games, Whisonant moved past Kim Conway (1,060 points, 1990-94) for the No. 13 spot on the all-time scoring list.? Now standing at 1,149 career points (103 games), Whisonantˇ?s eight points against New Mexico allowed her to pass Yolanda Turner (1984-87) in the No. 12 position, as she is now tied with former teammate Natalie Jones (1,149 points, 2003-06) for the No. 11 spot.? With 50 more points, Whisonant will tie Lisa Griffith (1,199 points, 1997-2000) for the No. 10 spot in school history.

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Ms. 100:

Senior Ashley Whisonant has been a constant in the Arizona lineup ever since her freshman season, and she is one pace to be one of Arizonaˇ?s all-time leaders in games played.? She played in her 100th career game against NAU (Dec. 6), and is on pace to finish her career with 123 games played, a figure that will rank No. 3 all-time in school history.

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Looking For a Dime:

With each dime Ashley Whisonant dishes out, she is moving to the top of the line on Arizonaˇ?s all-time career assists list.? With 318 career assists, Whisonant needs 16 more to claim the No. 10 spot in school history.? With a 5.3 assists per game average, Whisonant is on pace to finish with 153 assists this season, the eighth-best mark in school history.

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Ms. Wildcat:

Freshman Tasha Dickey, simply put, was born to be a Wildcat.? The daughter of two former Arizona athletes, Dickey has shown her tremendous athletic ability on the court.? In the first nine games, Dickey is averaging 7.3 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.7 steals a game.? Dickey always seems to be doing the little things right on the court.? Against Long Beach State, Dickey finished with seven points, two rebounds and two steals in 21 minutes off the bench.? With the Arizona down 10-8 to Long Beach State, Dickey came in the game and gave the Wildcats an immediate spark, putting in a layup and hitting a three on consecutive possessions to put Arizona up 13-10.? Against Boise State, she came off the bench to tally eight points and two steals in 19 minutes of action.

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Narbonne ˇ?s Finest:

Freshman Ify Ibekwe comes from a family of distinguished athletes and she is trying to prove that she is the best yet.? Before getting hit in the eye during last Fridayˇ?s practice, the 6-foot-1 Carson, Calif., native from Narbonne HS had been a spark on the court in the first nine games, averaging 11.6 points on 61.6 percent shooting (45-73), the second-best mark in the Pac-10, and a team-high 7.8 rebounds a game in just 20.3 minutes a game.? In her last six games, Ibekwe is averaging a team-high 13.8 points and 10.0 rebounds a game, numbers highlighted by performances against Portland and Middle Tennessee at home, and a homecoming game at Long Beach State.? Against Portland, Ibekwe straight went off against the Pilots.? She finished with a team-high 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting to go with 13 rebounds for her first career double-double.? Against the Middle Tennessee, Ibekwe finished with a team-high 22 points on 10-of-11 shooting from the field to go with seven rebounds in 23 minutes off the bench.? In her first career start against NAU, Ibekwe finished with seven points, 13 rebounds, three assists and three steals in 22 minutes of action.? Against the 49ers, Ibekwe finished with a game-high 15 points, 11 rebounds, and a career-high four blocked shots before a hometown crowd.?

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In the Books:

Ify Ibekweˇ?s performance against Middle Tennessee was one for the history books, as her 22 points came off of a scorching 10-of-11 shooting mark from the field.? Her .909 shooting percentage is the second-best single game performance in school history, matching Shawn Coderˇ?s 10-of-11 mark against Cal State Northridge on Dec. 13, 1991.

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Wonˇ?t you be my Neabor?:

Sophomore Rheya Neabors has been stepping up for the Wildcats on the outside perimeter.? Against NAU, the 6-foot-1 Pomona, Calif., native had a career-high 15 points to go with eight rebounds, two assists, and a block and a steal in 35 minutes of action.? She put up a career-best 10 three pointers, hitting a career-high five three point field goals.? Against Long Beach State, Neabors had nine points and five rebounds in a career-high 37 minutes of actions.? She finished with seven points in 36 minutes of action against Boise State, and five points and five rebounds in 37 minutes against New Mexico.? On the season, she is averaging 7.9 points and 4.4 rebounds a game.

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Stepping Up her Game:

Sophomore Marie McGee is playing a more vital role in the Arizona lineup this season, as the Las Cruces, N.M., native earned her first career start against NAU.? She responded by finishing with six points and two steals, hitting a career-best two three pointers.? In her second-career start against Long Beach State, McGee had six points, three rebounds and a career-high three steals in a career-high 24 minutes of action.? Against New Mexico, she posted four points and a career-best five rebounds in her home state.? On the season, McGee is averaging 4.4 points and 2.5 rebounds a game in 18.9 minutes of action per contest.? As a starter, she is averaging 4.5 points and 2.8 rebounds a game.

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Lucky Charm?:

Arizona is 4-0 with Marie McGee in the starting lineup.

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Amina the Bull:

Junior forward Amina Njonkou is a force down low in the paint, and her strength allows her to bull over defenders.? The 6-foot-1 Cameroon native has posted double-figures in points in the last four-straight games.? Against NAU, she finished with 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field to go with six rebounds and a career-best five steals.? Against Long Beach State, she had her second double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds.? Versus Boise State, Njonkou finished with 10 points and three rebounds, and had 14 points and a season-high 12 rebounds in a career-high 34 minutes of action against New Mexico.? On the season, Njonkou is posting 10.6 points and 5.8 rebounds a game while shooting 49.4 percent (40-81).

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Queen B:

Junior Beatrice Bofiaˇ?s presence in Saturdayˇ?s game was a big reason for Arizonaˇ?s win over the Lobos.? The 6-foot-7 center finished with six points, a career-best seven rebounds, and a season-high two blocks in 13 minutes off the bench.? Her length in the paint altered many of the Lobosˇ? shoots in the game, helping to hold New Mexico to its dismal shooting percentage.? On the season, Bofia is averaging 3.8 points and 3.2 rebounds a game.

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Big Contributions:

Junior Sarah Hays found herself back in the starting lineup with Ify Ibekwe out, and the Oracle native stepped up and contributed big for the Wildcats.? In a season-high 24 minutes, Hays had four points, two rebounds, and a season-high three steals.? She had a late layup after a Whisonant missed jumper that helped seal the win for the Wildcats on Saturday.? On the season, she is averaging 3.4 points and 2.9 rebounds in 14.4 minutes a game.

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Cats Picked To Finish Eighth in the Pac-10:

The University of Arizona womenˇ?s basketball team was selected to finish eighth in the Pac-10 Conference in a preseason vote by the conferenceˇ?s head coaches.? The Wildcats garnered 31 points in the poll, as seven-time defending Pac-10 champion Stanford was chosen as the favorite to win this yearˇ?s Pac-10 title.

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The Cardinal received eight of 10 first-place votes and 79 points, as Arizona State received a first-place nod and tallied 71 points to place second. California was tabbed to finish third with a first-place vote and 68 points, followed by fourth-place USC with 56 points and fifth-place UCLA with 44 points. Washington grabbed 41 points to place sixth, followed by Oregon (34), as Arizona (31), Oregon State (16) and Washington State (10) rounded out the poll.

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Tough Schedule:

Year in and year out, Arizona never runs away from a challenge, but rather takes on the best teams in the nation head on during the nonconference schedule before playing in the always daunting Pac-10 Conference.

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The Wildcats will play 29 games during 2007-08, 13 games in McKale Center and 16 on the road, with 14 games scheduled against teams that competed in the NCAA Tournament last year.

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The UA will take on 10 teams that competed in the 2007 NCAA Tournament, with non-conference matchups against Middle Tennessee State, Pittsburgh, Boise State, New Mexico, NC State, and UW-Green Bay, along with Pac-10 series against California, Stanford, Washington and Arizona State.

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Rank This:

Arizonaˇ?s tough schedule is apparent when you take a look at this yearˇ?s preseason rankings.? In the WBCA/USA Today/ESPN and AP Preseason poll, five of the top 25 teams in the nation will play the Wildcats during the regular season.? Arizona will face No. 9 Stanford, No. 12 Arizona State, No. 14 California, No. 21 Pittsburgh and No. 25 NC State.? Additionally, six other Arizona opponents (Middle Tennessee, USC, New Mexico, UCLA, Boise State and Wisconsin-Green Bay) each received votes in the poll.

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Up Next:

Arizona will have a break for Christmas before returning to action on Friday, Dec. 28 to host USC in McKale Center (7 p.m.).

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