POSSIBLE STARTING LINEUP: 45 Elizabeth Pickney F, 6-4, So. Houston, TX 12.8 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.0 bpg 53 Tatum Brown F, 6-4, Sr. Tacoma, WA 17.2 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 0.7 bpg 20 Julie Brase G, 5-9, So. Tucson, AZ 8.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.3 apg 22 Monika Crank G, 5-7, Sr. Page, AZ 5.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.6 apg 23 Felecity Willis G, 5-7, Sr. Apple Valley, CA 6.3 ppg, 5.6 apg, 1.7 spgABOUT ARIZONA: The Wildcats, ranked 14th in both Dec. 20 polls, are looking to get back on track after suffering their first loss of the season, 71-68, at then-23rd-ranked Kansas on Dec. 21. The UA slipped to 9-1 on the year with the loss.
OFF THE BENCH (listed alphabetically): 33 Tysell Bozeman G, 5-8, So. Riverside, CA 1.9 ppg, 0.7 rpg, 0.3 apg 10 Reshea Bristol G, 5-10, Jr. Omaha, NE 6.8 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.5 spg 3 Lisa Griffith G, 5-6, Sr. Portland, OR 8.8 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 3.3 apg 34 Angela Lackey F, 6-0, Sr. Louisville, KY 12.2 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.4 spg 51 Michelle Mitchell C, 6-4, So. Oregon City, OR 1.2 ppg, 1.8 rpg 21 Jamie Sturdivant G, 5-7, Fr. Simi Valley, CA 1.5 ppg, 0.2 rpg, 0.5 apg 50 LaKeisha Taylor C, 6-4, So. Houston, TX 1.8 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 0.4 bpg 35 Krista Warren G, 6-2, Fr. Cloverdale, CA 2.2 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 0.7 apg
With 17.2 points and 8.1 rebounds per game, senior forward Tatum Brown remains the UA leader in both categories. Sophomore forward Elizabeth Pickney is second in scoring at 12.8 ppg and third in rebounding at 4.9 rpg, while senior forward Angela Lackey is second in rebounding (5.2 rpg) and third in scoring (12.2 ppg).
Guards Lisa Griffith (8.8 ppg), Julie Brase (8.5 ppg) and Reshea Bristol (6.8 ppg) follow on the scoring chart. Willis is the team's assists leader, at 5.6 per game, while junior guard Reshea Bristol is the steals leader, averaging 2.5 per contest.
GRIFFITH JOINS 1,000-POINT CLUB: With 3:04 left in the first half at Kansas on Dec. 21, senior guard Lisa Griffith knocked down her third three-pointer of the game to become the eighth Wildcat to reach the 1,000-point plateau in career scoring. The last Wildcat to join the 1,000-point club was Griffith's former teammate, Adia Barnes, who reached that mark during the 1996-97 season.
ABOUT MARSHALL: The Thundering Herd improved to 4-4 on the year with an 80-77 win at Morehead State on Dec. 21. Marshall has yet to win back-to-back games this season.
Two Marshall players are averaging in double digits in scoring, led by junior guard Toni Patillo with 14.1 points per game. Junior forward Yaschico Stevens is second in scoring at 12.1 ppg, and sophomore forward Au'Yana Ferguson is tops in rebounding at 7.4 per game.
Marshall head coach Juliene Simpson (John F. Kennedy, 1974) has a 16-47 record in three years at Marshall and is 288-299 in 22 years as a head coach.
ABOUT WESTERN ILLINOIS: On a modest three-game win streak, Western Illinois stands at 6-3 on the season after a 66-60 win over Eastern Illinois at home on Dec. 21.
Senior forward Rhonda Gondringer is WIU's leading scorer with 18.1 ppg and is second in rebounding at 5.8 rpg. Sophomore center LaKisha Hoffman is the top rebounder at 5.9 rpg and is second scoring at 13.3 ppg.
Second-year head coach Leslie Crane (Arkansas State, 1986) holds a 13-22 mark at Western Illinois.
ABOUT LOUISVILLE: Winners of four of their last five games, the Cardinals moved their record to 6-3 on the year with an 82-50 win at Butler on Dec. 21.
Senior guard Jill Morton is Louisville's top scorer with an average of 16.9 ppg. Senior forward Alison Bass follows with a 13.4 ppg scoring average and is the team's top rebounder with 7.6 per contest. Sophomore guard Kara Kessans is posting 9.6 ppg.
Louisville co-head coaches Martin Clapp (Murray State, 1989) and Sara White (Wake Forest, 1991) comprise a husband-and-wife duo which holds a 47-26 in three seasons at the helm of the Cardinal program.
THE SERIES: Arizona has never before played Marshall or Louisville. The Cats faced Western Illinois once before, a 73-71 win by the UA on Dec. 27, 1989, in Tucson.
HISTORY LESSON: Arizona holds a 2-1 all-time record in games played on Dec. 28. The Cats last played on that date in the 1995-96 season, an 83-59 win at Harvard.
The UA is 4-3 all-time when playing on Dec. 29. The Cats' last game on that date was during the 1996-97 season, an 86-73 victory over Baylor at the Louisiana Tech Dial Classic.
ARIZONA'S LAST TIME OUT: Arizona saw its school-record-tying 9-0 start come to an end on Dec. 21 with a narrow 71-68 loss at then-23rd-ranked Kansas.
The Cats came out firing in the first half, running out to a 13-point (19-6) lead by the 11:53 mark. Kansas pushed back to within five, but then the UA exploded on a 12-2 run that spread the lead to 16 (36-20). Then Kansas finished the half on a 6-0 run that set up its momentum for the second period.
Arizona scored the first bucket of the second half but then saw its lead dwindle to nothing as the Jayhawks went on a 21-9 spurt to tie up the game at 47-all at the 11:53 mark. Kansas gained its first lead of the night with just under seven minutes remaining and used a 14-4 run to put the Cats away for good.
The Cats committed 27 turnovers in the game, including 17 costly miscues in the second half alone. The highlight of the game was that senior guard Lisa Griffith became the eighth Wildcat to achieve the 1,000-point plateau in career scoring with 3:04 left in the first half.
Angela Lackey led the Cats with 16 points and pulled down a season-high 10 rebounds. Tatum Brown tallied 15 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, while Reshea Bristol added 15 points off the bench. Griffith ended up with 13 points in the game.
LOOKING AHEAD: The Wildcats will get a seven-day break in action before opening Pac-10 play at home against the Bay Area schools. Arizona will face California on Thursday, Jan. 6, at 7 p.m., then the Cats will take on Stanford on Saturday, Jan. 8, at 1 p.m. in the McKale Center.
FREE THROW WOES: After hitting a hot 81.2 percent (13-16) from the line against UC Santa Barbara on Nov. 30, the Cats have seen their free throw shooting decline steadily to the paltry 53.1 percent (17-32) they shot against Northern Illinois on Dec. 15. The Wildcats have shot better than 70 percent from the line in only four of the season's 10 games so far. The UA ended the 1998-99 season shooting 72.1 percent from the stripe.
LONG RANGE IS LOOKING GOOD, THOUGH: Arizona seems to be on fire from three-point range so far this year. The Cats are hitting 42.1 percent from beyond the arc, with senior guard Lisa Griffith shooting a blazing 47.7 percent (21-44) from long range.
THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME: Arizona is currently riding a 14-game home win streak, dating back to Jan. 4, 1999. This is the longest home win streak ever in the history of UA women's basketball. The previous long streak was a string of 10 games midway through the 1997-98 season.
THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME, PART DEUX: During Joan Bonvicini's tenure at Arizona, the Wildcats have posted an 86-38 mark in McKale Center, including a 55-10 record over the last five seasons combined. Arizona has a record of 152-146 on its home court since the 1976-77 season.
HEAD COACH JOAN BONVICINI: In nearly a decade at the helm of the University of Arizona's women's basketball program, head coach Joan Bonvicini has collected an unparalleled list of accomplishments, both for the university and for her career.
Now in her ninth year at the UA, Bonvicini has posted a 143-99 (.591) mark and has a 468-170 (.734) record in 20 years as a collegiate head coach. She also has a 22-13 mark in NCAA tournament play and has never lost a first-round game in 13 appearances.
Prior to taking over at the UA, Bonvicini led Long Beach State to 10 consecutive NCAA appearances, including two trips to the Final Four. She registered a 325-71 mark in 12 seasons with the 49ers.
RACKING UP THE WINS: Joan Bonvicini needs only 16 more victories at the UA to collect as many wins as the six previous Wildcat coaches combined.
BONVICINI VS. THE TOURNAMENT TEAMS: Head coach Joan Bonvicini has never before coached against Marshall, Western Illinois or Louisville.
THE REST OF THE STAFF: Awarded the title of associate head coach during the summer of 1998, Denise Dove Ianello (Northern Illinois, 1991) begins her eighth year at the UA, functioning as both the team's recruiting coordinator and the perimeter coach. Second-year assistant coach Karen Caires (Cal State Northridge, 1990) works with the perimeter players, assists with scouting and recruiting and directs the Joan Bonvicini Hoop Camp. In his first year at the UA, assistant coach Curtis Loyd (Southern Utah, 1994) is involved primarily with scouting and with coaching the post players.
DOVE IANELLO AMONG TOP ASSISTANTS: In a survey of women's basketball head coaches conducted by the Women's Basketball Journal last fall, Arizona associate head coach Denise Dove Ianello received votes for consideration as one of the top assistant coaches in the country.
DID YOU KNOW: Since Joan Bonvicini took over the Arizona program in 1991, the Wildcats have gone 72-72 against Pac-10 teams, although they have a 38-16 league mark over the last three seasons combined.
BENCH CONTRIBUTIONS: The UA bench has been quite productive this season, contributing an average of 31.6 points per game. The highest point total from the bench so far this year came on Dec. 10 against Texas Southern -- a whopping 47 of the Cats' 96 points came from the subs.
ARIZONA'S PRACTICE SCHEDULE:
Here is the upcoming practice schedule for the Wildcats... Sun. Dec. 26 Team meets in Louisville, Ky. practice 6:30-8 p.m. EST in Louisville Mon. Dec. 27 2-4 p.m. EST in Louisville Tues. Dec. 28 vs. Marshall, 5 p.m. EST Wed. Dec. 29 at Seelbach Cardinal Classic, 5 or 7:30 p.m. EST Thurs. Dec. 30 return to Tucson, no practice Fri. Dec. 31 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. McKale lifting after Sat. Jan. 1 2-4:30 p.m. McKale Sun. Jan. 2 OFF Mon. Jan. 3 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. McKale lifting after Tues. Jan. 4 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. McKale Wed. Jan. 5 1-3:30 p.m. McKale lifting afterGOIN' DEEP: The best evidence that the UA is a deep squad this season? Lots of people playing lots of minutes. Currently, seven different Wildcat regulars are averaging more than 20 minutes a game.
STRONG SCHEDULE: Four of the UA's opponents this season were ranked in the Dec. 20 polls. The Dec. 27 polls were unavailable at press time.
Pac-10 foe UCLA was ranked sixth in last week's A.P. poll, while Oregon was 19th, UC Santa Barbara was 22nd and Kansas was 23rd. Stanford, Hawai'i and Colorado State all received votes for ranking.
In last week's USA Today/ESPN Coaches' poll, UCLA was No. 9, Oregon was No. 18, UC Santa Barbara was No. 21 and Kansas was No. 22. Stanford, Colorado State, Hawai'i and Oklahoma all received votes for ranking.
DUALLY SUCCESSFUL: Eleven schools had both their men's and women's basketball teams ranked among the Dec. 20 A.P. Top 25. They are Arizona, Connecticut, North Carolina, Auburn, Duke, Tennessee, Kansas, Texas, Illinois, UCLA and North Carolina State.
WE CAN HANDLE THE CLOSE ONES...: Under head coach Joan Bonvicini, the Cats have gone 23-17 in games settled by five points or less, including a 7-4 mark in games settled by one or two points.
...BUT WE REALLY PREFER THE BLOWOUTS: Over the last nine seasons, Bonvicini's Arizona teams have won 48 games by spreads of 20 points or more.
80 IS THE MAGIC NUMBER: Seems that the 80-point mark almost always means adding another to the "win" column for the Wildcats. In the 28-year history of Arizona women's basketball, the Cats have posted a 115-15 record when scoring 80 points or more in a game. Under Joan Bonvicini, the Wildcats have gone 75-8 when topping that 80-point plateau.
CAT SCRATCHES: Dating back to last season, Arizona has won 18 of its last 22 games... The Cats are forcing opponents to commit an average of 4.1 more turnovers per game than the UA... The Arizona women's basketball program has a 302-390 (.436) all-time record, however it is 106-54 (.663) from 1994 to present... Joan Bonvicini has a 162-86 career record against Pac-10 teams.
KEYS TO THE WIN: This season, Arizona is... 8-1 when out-rebounding its opponent... 9-1 when shooting better than 40% from the field... 9-0 when scoring 70 points or more... 8-1 when three or more players reach double digits in scoring.
RECORD WATCH: Lisa Griffith is Arizona's career leader in both three-pointers made (233) and attempted (617). She recently moved up to the #7 spot on the UA's top-20 all-time leading scorers' list, with 1,003 career points.
Griffith is also on the career top-10 list for games started, coming in at #4 with 88 career starts. She stands at sixth on the career assists list, with 382, and seventh on the career steals chart, with 173.
Felecity Willis is seventh in career three-pointers attempted (152) and eighth in three-pointers made (41). She is holding down fourth place on the all-time assists chart, with 428 career dishes.
Willis is also the latest addition to Arizona's all-time top 20 scoring list. She has 782 career points, which puts her in the #20 spot.
Sophomore forward Elizabeth Pickney has already entered the UA's top 10 list for career blocked shots. She stands in seventh place with 45 career blocks.
ON LOCATION: The Wildcats are 6-0 at home this season, 1-1 in road games and 2-0 in neutral contests. Arizona posted an 11-3 mark at home, was 5-8 on the road and notched a 2-0 record in neutral contests last year.
ARIZONA ON THE TUBE: The Wildcats are currently scheduled to make television appearances for three more games...
Sat. Jan. 22 USC Fox Sports Net 2 p.m. Sun. Jan. 30 Arizona State Fox Sports net 2 p.m. Sat. Feb. 19 at UCLA Fox Sports Net 1 p.m. PSTA GREAT START: Arizona's perfect 9-0 start this year tied the 1995-96 team for the best start in school history.
WILDCATS CLAIM TITLE OF INSIGHT.COM BOWL BASKETBALL CLASSIC: After falling in the championship game of the 1998 tournament, Arizona re-claimed the title of its ninth annual Insight.com Bowl Basketball Classic with victories over Texas Southern (96-46) and Indiana (87-70) on Dec. 10-12.
The UA's Tatum Brown was unanimously voted the Tournament Most Valuable Player after averaging 20.5 points, 11.5 rebounds and 2.5 steals over the two games. Angela Lackey was named to the All-Tournament Team, as well.
Arizona has made it to the championship in each of the nine tournaments and has claimed the title in four of the last five tourneys.
RECORDS FALLING ALREADY: Tatum Brown's 11-of-12 shooting performance against Colorado State on Dec. 6 tied the UA single-game record for field goal percentage (.917). It is also a new McKale Center record, breaking the previous mark of 84.6 percent (11-13) set by former UCLA player Denise Curry on Jan. 17, 1981.
Arizona also set a new school record by hitting a sizzling 75.9 (22-29) percent in the first half against UC Santa Barbara on Nov. 30.
BROWN NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK (Dec. 6): Senior forward Tatum Brown was named the Pacific-10 Conference Women's Basketball Player of the Week for Nov. 29-Dec. 5. Brown scored a career-high 21 points and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds to lead No. 21 Arizona to an 86-76 upset over No. 15 UC Santa Barbara on Nov. 30. In just 26 minutes of action, she shot 9-for-12 (.750) from the field and 3-for-4 (.750) from the line.
The Player of the Week honor is the first of Brown's career, and the 17th all-time selection. Brown's honor followed Elizabeth Pickney's Player of the Week laurels the previous week, marking the first time in school history that the Wildcats have had back-to-back Pac-10 Players of the Week.
SHOOTING THE LIGHTS OUT: The Cats shot a school-record 75.9 percent (22-29) from the floor in the first half of the UCSB contest on Nov. 30. For the game, they shot 63 percent (34-54), the highest field goal percentage for any team since the school record was set at 64.3 percent (36-56) against Drake on Nov. 25, 1990.
PICKNEY NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK (Nov. 29): Elizabeth Pickney was named Pac-10 Player of the Week for Nov. 15-28. Pickney averaged 16.0 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.3 blocked shots per game in the UA's four straight victories to open the season. She shot a team-high .575 (23-40) from the field and .720 (18-25) from the line during that stretch.
Pickney was named the Tournament MVP at the Hawaiian Regent Wahine Classic, leading Arizona to the team title with three wins. In the tourney, she averaged 18.0 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. The Player of the Week honor was the first of Pickney's career and the 16th all-time selection for Arizona.
SULTANS OF SWAT: The Wildcats racked up nine blocked shots in the contest against Tennessee Tech on Nov. 20. That is the highest single-game block total since the 1985 squad collected 10 at Tennessee-Chattanooga on Jan. 5, 1985. Elizabeth Pickney had five of the UA's blocked shots against Tennessee Tech, a career high for her.
As a team, Arizona collected 20 blocks over the first four game of the year, the highest block total ever over that stretch in any season.
CATS TAKE CHAMPIONSHIP AT HAWAIIAN REGENT WAHINE CLASSIC: The Wildcats swept through three games in Honolulu on Nov. 19-21 to take the title at the Hawaiian Regent Wahine Classic, hosted by the University of Hawai'i.
Arizona garnered victories over Oklahoma (75-59), Tennessee Tech (87-71) and host team Hawai'i (86-73) to open the 1999-2000 season with a perfect 3-0 mark.
Elizabeth Pickney averaged 18.0 points and 7.3 rebounds per game for the Cats and was the overwhelming favorite for tournament Most Valuable Player laurels. Felecity Willis and Tatum Brown were named to the All-Tournament Team, as well.
GOOD BEGINNINGS: With Joan Bonvicini at the program's helm, the Wildcats have won five straight season openers and a total of seven in the nine years she has been at the UA.
In the 28 years of Arizona women's basketball, the Wildcats have won 15 season openers. The UA went on to post winning records in eight of those first 14 seasons.
FUTURE WILDCATS: On the first day of the early signing period (Nov. 10), Arizona inked a trio of high school recruits from the state of California. The signees were 5-10 guard Candice Allen (Ontario, CA/Ayala HS), 5-7 guard Aimee Grzyb (San Jose, CA/Archbishop Mitty HS) and 6-3 forward Veranda James (Pomona, CA/Ganesha HS). Arizona still has three more scholarships to give for the 2000-2001 season.
GREAT EXPECTATIONS: For the third year in a row, the Wildcats earned a preseason national ranking. The Cats were ranked 25th in the Associated Press Preseason Top 25, and they were 24th in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Preseason Top 25.
The Wildcats were ranked among the top 25 teams in five different "unofficial" preseason polls this fall. The UA's highest ranking in these polls was 13th by Women's Basketball magazine and the lowest was 22nd by both Street & Smith's and the Basketball News Report.
Angela Lackey earned preseason third team All-America honors from Lindy's College Basketball and honorable mention All-America laurels from Street & Smith's College Basketball.
1998-99 IN REVIEW: Despite losing the squad's only two seniors before the season ever started, the very young 1998-99 Wildcats held their own and came up with an 18-11 overall record and went 12-6 in the Pac-10 to finish in fourth place.
The Cats faced a rough non-conference schedule that featured three teams which spent most of the season among the top four in the national rankings. Arizona went 5-4 against those non-conference opponents, with quality losses to Purdue, Louisiana Tech and Colorado State and a big road win over UC Santa Barbara.
That tough early slate prepared the Cats for a season of Pac-10 play which showed more parity than it has in years. After getting off to a rocky 1-3 start in league play, the Cats rebounded to finish the season 11-3, with wins over Pac-10 co-champion Oregon and over perennial power Stanford.
The Wildcats then received their third consecutive berth in the NCAA Tournament, earning a #6 seed in the Midwest Region. In Piscataway, N.J., Arizona faced NCAA tourney veteran Florida in the first round of play and defeated the Gators, 87-84, in overtime to move on to the second round for the third straight year. The Cats then took on host Rutgers, only to end the season on a sour note, falling to the Scarlet Knights, 90-47.
For the season, Arizona had its most balanced offense in five years, with four players averaging in double digits in scoring, and ended its season by winning 12 of its final 16 contests. The Cats broke or tied 13 school records on the year, including setting new marks in single season free throws made (520) and blocked shots (88).
With 14.4 points per game, Angela Lackey led four Wildcats averaging in double digits in scoring. Felecity Willis came in second with her 12.1 ppg scoring average, followed closely by Elizabeth Pickney at 11.4 ppg. Pickney was the team's top rebounder, with 5.8 per game, while Willis was the team's assists leader, averaging 5.5 apg. Lackey was second in rebounding with 5.4 rpg, and Reshea Bristol posted 11.4 points and 4.4 rebounds per game.