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Wildcat Women's Basketball Plays Three Games in Five Days This Week
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 01/08/2002
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Jan. 8, 2002

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WHAT'S HAPPENING: The University of Arizona women's basketball team (5-8 overall, 1-4 Pac-10) will play three games in five days this week, including its final non-conference game of the season.

The Wildcats will take on Washington State on Thursday, Jan. 10, at 7 p.m., then the UA faces Washington on Saturday, Jan. 12, at 2 p.m. in a contest that will be broadcast live nationally on Fox Sports Net. On Monday, Jan. 14, Arizona entertains UC Santa Barbara at 7 p.m. for the Cats' final non-conference game of the 2001-02 season. All contests will be played in the McKale Center.

ARIZONA'S PROBABLE STARTERS:
35 - Krista Warren (F/G, 6-2, Jr., Cloverdale, CA) - 8.1 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 1.4 apg
45 - Elizabeth Pickney (F, 6-4, Sr., Houston, TX) - 16.2 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 1.3 bpg
50 - LaKeisha Taylor (C, 6-4, Sr., Houston, TX) - 9.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.1 spg
13 - Aimee Grzyb (G, 5-7, So., San Jose, CA) - 9.2 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 2.9 apg
20 - Julie Brase (G, 5-10, Jr., Tucson, AZ) - 4.3 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.3 apg

OFF THE BENCH:
11 - Dee-Dee Wheeler (G, 5-6, Fr., Chicago, IL) - 12.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.2 apg
4 - Candice Allen (G, 5-10, So., Ontario, CA) - 8.5 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 2.8 spg
31 - Robin Roberson (G/F, 6-0, Fr., Berkeley, CA) - 4.6 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.0 apg
44 - Danielle Adefeso (F, 6-3, Fr., Los Angeles, CA) - 0.8 ppg, 0.7 rpg, 0.1 bpg
24 - Michelle Tibbetts (G/F, 6-0, Fr., Burnsville, MN) - 0.5 ppg, 0.5 rpg

SCOUTING ARIZONA: With eight losses in their last 10 games, the Wildcats are 5-8 overall and 1-4 in Pac-10 play after being swept in Oregon over the weekend. The UA lost at Oregon, 72-53, on Friday night, then dropped a 71-56 decision at Oregon State on Sunday afternoon.

The Wildcats have lost 13 of their last 14 road games, dating back to last season. Arizona's four Pac-10 losses this season have been by an average of 20.3 points per game, and the Cats have not won a Pac-10 road game in over a year.

Senior forward Elizabeth Pickney is leading Arizona in scoring, averaging 16.2 points per game, followed by freshman guard Dee-Dee Wheeler's 12.8 points per game. Junior wing Krista Warren is the squad's top rebounder, with an average of 8.3 per game, followed by Pickney with 7.9 per game.

Senior center LaKeisha Taylor is third in both scoring (9.8 ppg) and rebounding (5.0 rpg). Sophomore guard Aimee Grzyb is fourth on the scoring chart with 9.2 ppg, followed by fellow sophomore Candice Allen with 8.5 ppg.

As a team, Arizona leads the Pac-10 in free throw percentage (.763) and is fifth in three-pointers made per game (5.23 pg). Individually, Dee-Dee Wheeler is third in the conference in steals (2.31 spg), and Krista Warren is fourth in rebounding (8.3 rpg). Elizabeth Pickney is third in blocks (1.31 bpg) and fifth in free throw percentage (.829).

PUT UP SOME POINTS: The Cats are 4-0 this season when Elizabeth Pickney scores 20 points or more.

SCOUTING WASHINGTON STATE: On a 10-game losing skid, the Cougars slipped to 2-13 overall and 0-5 in the Pac-10 after losing at home to USC (87-66) and UCLA (76-64) last weekend. WSU's only two wins of the season so far came in late November over Portland State (55-49) and Gonzaga (80-72) in Pullman.

The leading rebounder in the Pac-10, senior center Brittney Hawks is averaging a double-double, registering 12.7 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. Freshman guard Francine McCurtain is second in both categories, averaging 12.3 ppg and 4.3 rpg. Senior guard Whitney Martindale is third in scoring, at 7.4 ppg.

In her third year at Washington State, head coach Jenny Przekwas (Wyoming, 1986) holds a 17-54 record with the Cougars. She is 150-153 in 11 seasons as a head coach.

THE SERIES vs. WASHINGTON STATE: The Cougars have a 17-13 edge in the series with Arizona, although the Wildcats have won seven of the last 10 meetings with WSU. The two teams split last season's games, with Arizona winning big (97-58) over the Cougars in Tucson on Jan. 11, 2001, and WSU pulling off a 93-86 win on Feb. 10, 2001, in Pullman.

LAST MEETING WITH WASHINGTON STATE: Twenty-nine Wildcat turnovers and a poor defensive effort resulted in Arizona's fifth straight road loss, 93-86, at Washington State on Feb. 10, 2001.

The Cats jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead in the first two minutes of the game, then WSU went on a 19-7 run to take a six-point (19-13) lead at 13:38. Arizona was forced to play come-from-behind for the remainder of the half, coming to within one point twice, but ended up trailing by seven (50-43) at halftime.

The Cougars pushed the lead to 12 points (55-43) early in the second, then Arizona made a 31-18 run to gain a one-point (74-73) edge with just over six minutes remaining in the game. The two teams traded buckets for three more minutes, then Washington State capitalized on two UA turnovers, two missed free throws and four fouls in the waning minutes to win the game. Arizona hit only two field goals in the final 3:47 of the contest.

LaKeisha Taylor tied her career high and led all scorers with 23 points while grabbing seven rebounds. Krista Warren also tied her career high with 19 points, and Candice Allen came off the bench to put up a season-high 18 points. Elizabeth Pickney added 12 points and eight rebounds.

SCOUTING WASHINGTON: On a modest three-game win streak, Washington stands at 9-5 overall and 4-1 in conference action after sweeping UCLA (86-53) and USC (80-79 OT) at home last weekend. The Huskies play at Arizona State on Thursday before traveling to Tucson for Saturday's game.

Four Huskies are averaging in double digits in scoring, headed by junior guard Loree Payne's 14.5 points per game. Sophomore forward Andrea Lalum is second in scoring, with 12.8 ppg, and is the team's top rebounder, averaging 7.0 boards per game. Junior forward Emily Autrey and sophomore guard Giuliana Mendiola are tied for third in scoring, each averaging 10.6 ppg.

Head coach June Daugherty (Ohio State, 1978) has a 90-71 record in six seasons at the helm of the Washington program. She is 213-145 in 13 years as a head coach.

THE SERIES vs. WASHINGTON: The Huskies own a solid 23-8 advantage in the series with Arizona. The Wildcats have won seven of the last 11 meetings with UW and had a four-game win streak in the series until a loss to the Huskies last February. The Wildcats also split last year's games with the Huskies. Arizona won, 88-72, on Jan. 13, 2001, in Tucson, but Washington took the Feb. 8 meeting, 98-88, in Seattle.

LAST MEETING WITH WASHINGTON: The Huskies nailed a Pac-10 record 16 three-pointers as they handed Arizona a 98-88 defeat in Seattle on Feb. 8, 2001.

Washington racked up a six-point (9-3) lead early in the game, then Arizona used a 12-4 spurt to gain a two-point (15-13) edge at 13:17. That would prove to be the Cats' final lead of the game, as UW out-scored Arizona, 42-28, over the remainder of the period to take a 55-43 lead into the lockerroom at the half.

The Wildcats opened the second half with a 22-13 run that cut Washington's lead to only three (68-65) at 12:28. Arizona could come no closer, though, as two Husky runs of 14-6 and 11-5 kept the Cats at bay.

Elizabeth Pickney went off for a then-career-high 29 points to go with eight rebounds. LaKeisha Taylor had 18 points and six rebounds off the bench, while Aimee Grzyb added 13 points. Krista Warren had eight rebounds and seven points, and Candice Allen contributed four points and three rebounds.

SCOUTING UC SANTA BARBARA: The Gauchos are 6-5 overall and 2-0 in Big West Conference play after winning three of their last four games. UCSB, which is coming off a big 105-60 victory over Cal State Northridge on Jan. 6, will have an eight-day break in action before taking on the Wildcats.

Averaging 15.7 points and 8.6 rebounds per game, senior forward Kayte Christensen is leading UCSB in both categories. Sophomore center Lindsay Taylor and freshman guard Kristen Mann are tied for second in scoring, each averaging 12.4 ppg, and Taylor is the team's second-leading rebounder, at 7.9 rpg.

Head coach Mark French (UC Santa Barbara, 1973) has a 285-143 record in 16 years at the helm of his alma mater's program. He has a career record of 383-256 in 24 seasons as a head coach.

THE SERIES vs. UCSB: The Wildcats have the 6-3 lead in the series with UC Santa Barbara, including four straight victories and wins in six of the last seven matchups. Arizona won the last meeting with the Gauchos, 71-63, on Nov. 26, 2000, in Santa Barbara.

LAST MEETING WITH UCSB: Arizona wrapped up a brief two-game road swing on Nov. 26, 2000, with a 71-63 win over traditional powerhouse UC Santa Barbara.

In a close first half, there were five ties and 11 lead changes, and neither team led by more than five points at any time. The squads played to a 32-32 tie at the half.

The second half seemed a virtual repeat of the first, with UCSB taking a four-point (43-39) lead at the 12:01 mark, only to see Arizona shoot out to a five-point (51-46) advantage on a 12-3 run over the next five minutes.

The Gauchos responded with their own 9-5 spurt that gave them a one-point (57-56) edge with just over four minutes remaining. That was the last time UCSB led, as a pair of Wildcat layups gave the UA a permanent lead. Arizona hit 9-for-10 from the line down the stretch to ice the victory.

Elizabeth Pickney led all scorers with her 20 points, while pulling down eight rebounds. Krista Warren added nine points and five rebounds, and Aimee Grzyb had four points and two boards.

ARIZONA'S LAST TIME OUT: A 14-0 run early in the second half gave Oregon State all the momentum it needed to pull out a 71-56 win over Arizona on Jan. 6 in Corvallis.

The Beavers jumped out to a quick nine-point (12-3) lead in the first four minutes of the game and pushed it to 10 (17-7) just two minutes later. The Cats used an 18-9 run to slice the lead to one (26-25) with 4:23 remaining in the first half, then tied the game barely two minutes later. OSU held on for a five-point (35-30) lead at the break.

Things looked good for the Wildcats when they opened the second half with seven unanswered points and took a two-point (37-35) lead at 16:19. That was when Oregon State rattled off 14 straight points, gaining a 12-point (49-37) lead just three minutes later. Durng that stretch, Arizona had three turnovers and four missed shots.

The Cats again scored seven unanswered points to get back to within five (49-44) at 9:45, but they came no closer as OSU out-scored them, 22-12, down the stretch.

Junior wing Krista Warren logged her first double-double of the season, scoring 12 points and grabbing a game-high 11 rebounds. Sophomore guard Aimee Grzyb had a team-high 15 points to go with five rebounds and four assists.

Freshman guard Dee-Dee Wheeler added nine points and three rebounds, while sophomore guard Candice Allen notched six points in her first action in more than a month.

HEAD COACH JOAN BONVICINI: The winningest coach in Arizona women's basketball history, Joan Bonvicini has nurtured the Wildcat program into an upward-rising powerhouse. In 11 seasons at the helm of the Arizona program, Bonvicini has guided the Wildcats to six straight postseason appearances, including four NCAA tournament berths and two in the WNIT.

In her 11th season with the Wildcats, Bonvicini holds a 184-125 (.595) mark at Arizona and is 509-196 (.722) in 23 years as a head coach. She is 23-14 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.

DID YOU KNOW: Since Joan Bonvicini took over the Arizona program in 1991, the Wildcats have gone 95-89 against Pac-10 teams, although they have a 61-34 league mark over the last six seasons combined.

THE REST OF THE STAFF: Awarded the title of associate head coach in 1998, Denise Dove Ianello (Northern Illinois, 1992) is in her 10th year at the UA, functioning as both the team's recruiting coordinator and a perimeter coach. In his third year at the UA, assistant coach Curtis Loyd (Southern Utah, 1994) is involved with scouting and with coaching the post players and is the director of the Joan Bonvicini Hoop Camp. The Cats are currently in the process of searching for a new assistant coach to replace Karen Caires, who resigned on Dec. 21.

NEW WILDCAT ON THE WAY: Associate head coach Denise Dove Ianello and her husband Rob, who is the UA football recruiting coordinator and wide receivers coach, are expecting their first child in April 2002.

HOME GAME TIME CHANGED: The game time for the Wildcats' home contest against Oregon on Saturday, Feb. 2, has been moved to 4 p.m. to accomodate television broadcast. The game, which had originally been slated for a 2 p.m. tip, will be aired live in Tucson on KWBA channel 58 and in Prescott and Phoenix on KUSK at 4 p.m. MST.

CLEANING THE GLASS: Junior wing Krista Warren has had four double-digit rebounding performances already this year. Over the last six games, she has averaged 10.3 rebounds per contest, including a career-best performance of 18 boards at Stephen F. Austin on Dec. 16.

Teammate Elizabeth Pickney has been hitting the boards lately too. She has averaged 9.0 boards per game over the last five contests, including a career-high 13 rebounds against Stanford on Dec. 19.

WELCOME BACK: At Oregon State on Jan. 6, sophomore guard Candice Allen returned to action for the first time in more than a month. She contributed six points and an assist in 21 minutes of play. Allen had missed seven straight games after suffering a grade-three concussion against Holy Cross on Nov. 30.

GOTTA REBOUND: After being out-rebounded by an average of 7.7 boards per game over the first six contests of the year, the Wildcats have out-rebounded their last seven opponents by an average of 4.4 per game.

SEEING PLENTY OF ACTION: Seven different Wildcats are averaging 22 or more minutes played per game. Elizabeth Pickney has the team's top average, playing 32.1 mpg, followed by Dee-Dee Wheeler's 30.6 mpg.

FREE THROWS AND TURNOVERS TELL THE TALE: The Cats have been getting to the free throw line often enough during this season's games, but it's only when they shoot well, really well, from the stripe that they win. Arizona has shot 83.2 percent (94-113) from the line in the season's five victories. In the Cats' eight losses, they hit only 71.3 percent (112-157) from the stripe. Arizona is also averaging 4.8 more free throws made per game in its wins than its losses.

Arizona needs to take care of the ball to win too. In their wins, the Cats have averaged only 19.6 turnovers per game, but in their losses, they committed an average of 23.1 turnovers per game.

CLOSE BUT...: Eight of Arizona's 13 games this season have been decided by nine points or less, with five of those being decided by five points or less.

LOOKING AHEAD: Arizona hits the road again next weekend to begin a four-game road swing. The Wildcats play at USC on Thursday, Jan. 17, at 7 p.m. PST in the L.A. Sports Arena, then the Cats take on UCLA on Saturday, Jan. 19, at 4 p.m. PST in Westwood.

The weekend after that, Arizona begins the second round of Pac-10 play in the Bay Area on Jan. 24 at Stanford and Jan. 26 at California.

PERIMETER DEFENSE?: After allowing opponents to hit only 26 three-pointers over the first five games of the season (an average of 5.2 per game), the Cats have struggled with their perimeter defense lately, giving up 57 treys over the last eight games, an average of 7.1 per game.

STRONG SCHEDULE: Five of the 18 opponents on the Cats' 2001-02 schedule were either ranked or receiving votes for ranking in the most recent polls.

In this week's Associated Press Poll, Stanford is the only opponent ranked, standing at No. 4. Arizona State, Notre Dame and New Mexico all received votes for ranking.

In the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll, Stanford is ranked at No. 4. Arizona State, Notre Dame, USC and New Mexico were among the teams receiving votes for ranking.

CHECKING THE RECORD BOOK: Wildcat senior Elizabeth Pickney is among the Arizona career leaders in 15 different statistical categories. She recently became Arizona's career leader in blocked shots, now with 130. Pickney is second in career scoring (1379), second in free throws made (389), second in free throws attempted (515), tied for third in career rebounding average (5.8 rpg), fourth in scoring average (13.0 ppg), fourth in field goals made (492), fourth in total rebounds (616) and fourth in games started (97).

Junior guard Julie Brase is third in career three-point percentage (.360), eighth in career three-pointers made (62) and is 10th in three-pointers attempted (172). Only a sophomore, guard Aimee Grzyb is already fourth in three-point percentage (.354), sixth in three-pointers made (70) and sixth in three-pointers attempted (198).

THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME: The Wildcats have won 24 of their last 30 home games and are 46-11 on their home court over the last four seasons combined. During Joan Bonvicini's 11 seasons at Arizona, the Wildcats have posted a 111-46 mark in McKale Center. Arizona has a record of 177-154 on its home court since the 1976-77 season.

80 IS THE MAGIC NUMBER: It seems that the 80-point mark almost always means adding another to the "win" column for the Wildcats. In the 30-year history of UA women's basketball, the Cats have posted a 136-19 record when scoring 80 points or more in a game. Under Bonvicini, the Wildcats have gone 96-12 when topping that 80-point plateau.

BY THE NUMBERS: The Cats have hit four or more 3-pointers in nine of this season's 13 games... Arizona has had 15 or more assists in five games... The Cats have had 10 or more steals in five games... Arizona has forced its opponent into 20 or more turnovers in five contests... The UA has scored 80 points or better in two games.

KEYS TO THE WIN: This season, Arizona is... 3-0 when shooting 80% or better from the line... 3-1 when forcing more turnovers than it commits... 3-1 when leading at halftime... 4-2 when scoring 70 points or more... 4-3 when shooting better than its opponent from the free throw line... 5-4 when holding its opponent to 77 points or less.

BUT ON THE LOSING END...: The Cats are... 0-4 when giving up 80 points or more... 1-5 when shooting worse from the free throw line than the opponent... 1-6 when trailing at halftime... 2-6 when committing more turnovers than the opponent... 1-6 when making fewer three-pointers than the opponent... 2-8 when shooting less than 80% from the line... 1-6 when scoring 69 points or less... 2-6 when three or fewer players reach double digits in scoring... 2-5 when shooting under 40% from the floor.

PICKNEY BECOMES UA CAREER BLOCKS LEADER: With a career-high-tying five blocks at New Mexico on Nov. 27, senior forward Elizabeth Pickney has taken over as Arizona's career blocked shots leader. She has 130 career blocks, placing her ahead of former career leader Marte Alexander (1995-98), who had 121.

CAT SCRATCHES: The Arizona women's basketball program has a 343-413 (.454) all-time record, however it is 147-77 (.656) from 1994 to present... Joan Bonvicini has a 185-102 career record against Pac-10 teams.

ON LOCATION: This year, Arizona is 4-3 at home, 1-5 on the road and 0-0 in neutral games. Last season, the Wildcats were 15-2 at home, 4-9 in road games and 1-1 in neutral contests.

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