COMING UP: The Arizona women’s basketball team (16-8, 8-5) hosts Southern California (16-7, 10-4) for a 4 p.m. game this Saturday, Feb. 12. The game will be broadcast live on FSN to a national audience. It can also be heard live on KJLL 1330 AM in Tucson. Live audio and stats of this and every home game are available at www.arizonaathletics.com. Video of the game will be available on the website on a delayed basis.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE WILDCATS: The Wildcats overcame several deficits to complete the season sweep of UCLA Thursday night, defeating the Bruins 76-73 in front of 2010 fans at McKale Center. Arizona shot 41 percent from the field, 44 percent from three-point range and 64 percent from the free throw line on the game. Meanwhile, UCLA connected on 45, 31 and 78 percent, respectively, on the game. The Bruins out-rebounded Arizona 41 to 36, but turned the ball over 25 times. Junior Natalie Jones led Arizona with a career-high 25 points on 8-of-12 (67 percent) from the field, including 4-of-6 from downtown. She also added three steals. Senior Dee-Dee Wheeler and freshman Ashley Whisonant tallied 14 points and two steals apiece. Senior Danielle Adefeso pulled down a team-high nine rebounds. She also scored eight points and blocked two shots.
On the season, the Wildcats are led by Wheeler, who averages 17.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 3.0 steals per game. Junior Shawntinice Polk adds 13.0 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game. As a team, Arizona is out-shooting its opponents 44 percent to 39 percent and out-rebounding them 37.8 to 37.6.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION: Sophomores Jamie Funn and Eshaya Murphy led a USC comeback that saw the Women of Troy erase a 16-point second-half deficit, but the Trojans didn’t have quite enough to finish off the game, falling 49-45 at Arizona State Thursday night. Funn tied her career high of 13 points and added a season-high 10 rebounds, while Murphy scored all eight of her points in the second half, including a three-pointer with 3:38 to play that tied the game at 43-43. The Trojans held ASU to only 16 points and 24 percent shooting in the second half, both opponent season lows. USC shot a season-low 29 percent from the field, but made up for it with 50 rebounds, including 20 on the offensive side. USC also forced 22 turnovers.
On the season, the Trojans are led by Brynn Cameron, who averages 10.0 points per game. Meghan Gnekow and Murphy add 8.5 and 8.0 points per game, respectively. Gnekow leads the team with 5.6 rebounds per game. As a team, USC is shooting 38 percent from the field, compared to the 42 percent of its opponents. The Trojans are outscoring opponents 66.8 to 63.9 and are out-rebounding them 40.1 to 38.4.
SERIES SHORTS: Arizona trails the all-time series with USC 15-38. The last time the two teams met, on Jan. 14, Arizona fell 67-54 in Los Angeles. The Wildcats are 9-16 at home, 6-21 away and 0-1 at a neutral site vs. the Trojans.
UPCOMING PROMOTIONS: In cooperation with the University of Arizona Office of Community Relations, the Arizona Athletics Department will be collecting band-aids, bandages and other first aid supplies for the earthquake victims of southeast Asia during Tsunami Relief Day this Saturday, Feb. 12. Fans can drop off first aid supplies in front of the McKale Ticket Office beginning at 2:30 p.m. The game against Southern California begins at 4 p.m.
RANKING IN THE PAC-10: As a team, Arizona leads the Pac-10 in blocks (4.1), ranks third in scoring (71.3) and field goal percentage defense (.386), fourth in field goal percentage (.438) and three-point field goal percentage defense (.308), and fifth in scoring margin (5.7), three-point field goal percentage (.331), rebounding (37.8), scoring defense (65.7), rebounding defense (37.6), rebounding margin (0.2) and assists (14.6).
Individually, Dee-Dee Wheeler ranks second in scoring (17.3) and assist/turnover ratio (1.7), third in assists (4.4), fourth in steals (3.0), sixth in minutes played (33.0), tied for eighth in three-point field goals made (1.5) and 18th in rebounding (5.0). Shawntinice Polk leads the league in blocked shots (2.1), ranks third in field goal percentage (.580), rebounding (7.7) and defensive rebounds (5.6), and ninth in scoring (13.0). Natalie Jones ranks sixth in free throw percentage (.794) and 17th in rebounding (5.0), while Jessica Arnold ranks fourth in three-point field goal percentage (.417). Senior Danielle Adefeso is fourth in offensive rebounds (2.5).
In Pac-10 games only, Wheeler ranks second in scoring (17.6), third in assists (4.0), steals (3.1) and assist/turnover ratio (1.4), fourth in minutes played (33.5), fifth in three-point field goals made (1.7) and 18th in rebounding (5.1). Polk ranks fourth in field goal percentage (.535), blocks (1.3) and defensive rebounds (4.9), fifth in rebounding (6.9) and 10th in scoring (11.8). Arnold leads the Pac-10 in three-point field goal percentage (.476) and ranks third in free throw percentage (.875), while Jones is ninth in free throw percentage (.776), 10th in minutes played (30.6) and 18th in rebounding (5.1). Adefeso is third in offensive rebounds (2.8), ninth in field goal percentage (.494) and 15th in rebounding (5.3).
RANKING NATIONALLY: As a team, Arizona ranks 38th nationally in scoring, 39th in field goal percentage, 59th in blocks, 83rd in won-lost percentage and 86th in assists.
Individually, senior Dee-Dee Wheeler ranks 26th in steals per game and 48th in points per game. Junior Shawntinice Polk ranks 11th in field goal percentage and 42nd in blocks per game.
JONES ANSWERS THE CHALLENGE: Junior Natalie Jones’ career-high 25 points in Arizona’s win over UCLA on Thursday was a breath of fresh air. The guard had a strong of six consecutive games with 10 or more points scoring from Nov. 27 to Dec. 16, but had since only reached the 10-point mark in four of 14 games. The single game lifted her season average from 8.7 to 9.6 points per game.
ADEFESO STEPS IT UP: Over the last eight games, Danielle Adefeso has really picked up her game. Starting seven of the eight games, the senior is shooting 46 percent from the field and 71 percent from the free throw line, while averaging 8.5 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. Prior to that, Adefeso was averaging 3.6 points and 2.7 rebounds per game.
TOUGH AS NAILS ARNOLD MAKING HUGE IMPACT: Since returning to the starting lineup against Oregon on Jan. 20, freshman Jessica Arnold, who will require shoulder surgery in the off-season, is averaging 12.9 points. During the seven-game stretch, the guard is shooting 45 percent from the field, 50 percent from three-point range and 83 percent from the free throw line. She has reached double-figure scoring in five of seven games.
WHEELER MISSES FIRST START IN TWO-PLUS YEARS: When she was held out of last week’s game at Stanford for the entire first half, it was the first time senior Dee-Dee Wheeler didn’t start a game since Nov. 25, 2002 at Pepperdine, ending a string of 83 consecutive starts.
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 205 blocked shots on her career.
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 just 3-6 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 1,818 career points, while Polk has scored 1,374 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 171-20 (90 percent) all-time when reaching the 80-point plateau. With Joan Bonvicini at the helm, the Wildcats are 123-13 (90 percent) when scoring 80 points or more. This year alone, Arizona is 7-0 in games where it has reached 80 points in the scoring column.
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 286 steals on her career.
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 254-156 (.620) record and is the winningest coach in Arizona women’s basketball history.
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 when Polk notches a double-double.
WHEELER AND DOUBLE-DIGIT SCORING: Point guard Dee-Dee Wheeler has scored 10 or more points in 102 of her 116 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 22 of 24 games this season.
CATS NEARLY UNBEATABLE AT HOME: Over the past three seasons, Arizona has won 38 of 40 (.950) games at McKale Center. The Cats’ 34-game home winning streak, the longest in the nation, came to an end Jan. 9 when the Wildcats fell 78-66 to Stanford.
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 (286), second in scoring (1,818), field goals made (707), field goals attempted (1,556), minutes played average (32.3) and total minutes played (3,751), tied for second in games started (110), fourth in scoring average (15.7), three-point field goals made (170), three-point field goals attempted (480) and three-point field goal percentage (.354), seventh in assists (438), and 10th in free throws attempted (322) and personal fouls (283).
Junior Shawntinice Polk is first in double-doubles (43), blocks (205), rebounding average (9.8) and field goal percentage (.588), second in total rebounds (844), third in scoring average (16.0), fourth in scoring (1,374) and field goals made (567), sixth in free throws attempted (424), seventh in minutes played average (28.7), tied for seventh in free throws made (240) and tied for ninth in games started (81).
ARIZONA RANKS NATIONALLY IN ATTENDANCE: Arizona currently ranks 44th nationally in attendance with an average attendance of 2,494. Connecticut is the leader with a 13,937 average, while Pac-10 opponents Oregon, Stanford, Washington and Arizona State rank 28th, 29th, 33rd and 41st, respectively, at 3,713, 3,677, 3,148 and 2,542.
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 two more games this season that will be broadcast on FSN:
Saturday, Feb. 12 - 4 p.m. vs. USC
Saturday, Feb. 19 - 2 p.m. at Oregon
In addition, the Wildcats’ home game against Washington (Feb. 26) is a "wild card" game that could get picked up in the Pac-10 television package with FSN.
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 makes its final regular-season road swing at the Oregon schools next week. The Wildcats face Oregon State at 7 p.m. (PST) next Thursday, Feb. 17, followed by a 2 p.m. (PST) game at third-place Oregon next Saturday, Feb. 19. The game against the Ducks will be broadcast live nationally on FSN.