It is incredible to think that the Pac-10 women's basketball regular season is already over. For those of us who followed the exploits of the Arizona Wildcats, it will be a season to remember, and a season to forget!
First, let's start with the forgettable things that plagued this 2001-02 campaign. Of course, injuries top this list. When promising Australian star Katrina Lindner suffered a season-ending knee injury during the Red & Blue Scrimmage, an ominous omen was issued. Later on, the Cats would lose Candice Allen, Krista Warren, LaKeisha Taylor, and Julie Brase at various times to injuries. Each of these players missed significant time, and their presence could have led to enough wins to make the NCAA Tournament field.
Also high on the forgettable list were home losses to Holy Cross and Pittsburgh. These two teams had no business playing on the same floor as the Wildcats but earned victories at McKale Center. However, the most forgettable afternoon of this season was a loss suffered at Stephen F. Austin. Not only did the Cats lose to a bad mid-major basketball team, but they blew a ten-point lead in doing so. That loss was clearly the low point of this season and that leads us into the parts of this season that are worth remembering.
The series of events that I will remember most took place early, and late, in the campaign. Three early wins over Pepperdine, Notre Dame, and Ohio State were great basketball games. They were as good as any games that we have seen in quite some time. Then, the season finale against ASU was just as good. Those games are worth remembering.
Also worth keeping in one's memory bank is the way that Cats came back from a horrible start in the Pac-10 to earn a winning record and a sixth seed in this week's tournament. Arizona started the season 1-4 and could have thrown in the towel. After an expected win over Washington State, Arizona proved to itself that it could play with the best when it ran Washington off the floor at McKale to help turn things around. Yes, the conference season was an up-and-down battle, but after that slow start, Arizona finished 9-4 down the stretch. A 10-8 conference record is really not bad for a team plagued with injuries and relying on a freshman point guard. When one figures in a 1-4 beginning, it has been quite an accomplishment to finish two games over the .500 mark!
So, this season was not a "normal" Arizona women's basketball season. The Cats did not get their normal 20+ wins and most likely will not gain a post-season tournament berth. But the ever-optimistic Joan Bonvicini has said that records don't matter in this week's conference tournament. Let's watch the Wildcats and see if they can rise above this difficult season and truly leave all of us with something to remember. You see, if they pull an upset or two, the rest may be quickly forgotten.
See you on the radio!
? Saturday, Mar. 2 - Arizona vs. ASU = 2:45 p.m. on KJLL 1330 AM
? Sunday, Mar. 3 (if Arizona wins on Saturday) = 1 p.m. on KJLL 1330 AM
? Monday, Mar. 4 (if Arizona wins on Sunday) - Championship Game = 8 p.m. on KJLL 1330 AM
Also, listen for morning updates from Eugene with Paul Johnson on Thursday and Friday only on KJLL 1330 AM!
Arizona Athletics Women's Basketball
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