COMING UP: The Arizona women’s basketball team (5-8, 1-2) travels to Los Angeles to resume Pac-10 play with a 7 p.m. (PST) game at UCLA (7-6, 2-2) this Friday, Jan. 6. Live audio of the game is available at www.arizonaathletics.com, as well as on KJLL 1330 AM in Tucson.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE WILDCATS: Arizona fell to 5-8 on the season with an 82-70 loss to Wisconsin-Green Bay in its final non-conference game of the year at McKale Center Tuesday night. The Wildcats were out-shot 56 to 42 percent from the field on the game. Arizona out-rebounded the Phoenix 39 to 27, but committed 16 turnovers to UW-Green Bay’s 10. It was the first time since Nov. 22 that the Wildcats had grabbed more boards than their opponent, but the third game in a row that the Arizona had more miscues than its opponent. Junior Joy Hollingsworth led Arizona with 19 points, followed by sophomore Ashley Whisonant with 18. Sophomore Ch?© Oh tallied a double-double ?- 12 points and 10 rebounds, while senior Natalie Jones finished with 10 points. Sophomore Jessica Arnold dished out a game-high six assists.
Whisonant leads Arizona this season with 15.4 points per game. Jones adds 13.9 points, while Hollingsworth averages 13.6 points and 5.7 rebounds. Oh leads the team with 6.1 boards per game. As a team, the Wildcats are shooting 40 percent from the field, compared to the 46 percent of their opponents. They are also being out-rebounded 35.5 to 37.8.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION: The Bruins dropped their second straight game, a 91-68 defeat at the hands of No. 14 Stanford Sunday. UCLA shot 40 percent from the field, 21 percent from three-point range and 58 percent from the free throw line on the game, compared to the 48, 36 and 93 percent, respectively, of the Cardinal. Stanford also edged the Bruins on the boards, 44 to 41. Lisa Willis led UCLA with 20 points, followed by Nikki Blue with 13. Lindsey Plumier, Willis and Blue pulled down seven rebounds each to led UCLA. Noelle Quinn was held to a season-low eight points.
On the season, the Bruins are led by Willis, who averages 20.0 points. Quinn adds 15.8 points and 7.9 rebounds per game, while Blue averages 12.5 points and 5.8 assists. As a team, UCLA is shooting 46 percent from the field on the season, compared to the 43 percent of its opponents. The Bruins are also out-rebounding their opponents 39.0 to 37.5.
SERIES SHORTS: Arizona trails the all-time series with UCLA 18-36. The last time the two teams met, on Feb. 10, 2005, Arizona won 76-73 in Tucson. The Wildcats are 11-16 at home and 7-20 away vs. the Bruins.
INJURY UPDATE: Junior Linda Pace suffered a left knee injury against Washington State last Thursday and is out for the rest of the season. Freshman Amina Njonkou has a stress fracture in her right foot and is out another week.
RANKING IN THE PAC-10: As a team, Arizona ranks in the bottom half of the conference in every statistical category but turnover margin (second), offensive rebounds (third), steals (fourth) and free throw percentage (fifth).
Individually, several Wildcats rank in the Top 10 in various categories. Senior Natalie Jones is third in steals (2.7), fourth in minutes per game (35.2), fifth in free throw percentage (.842) and 10th in scoring (14.3). Sophomore Ashley Whisonant is fourth in assists (4.0), seventh in scoring (15.2) and eighth in steals (1.9). Junior Joy Hollingsworth is seventh in three-point field goal average (1.8), while sophomore Ch?© Oh and freshman Whitney Fields are tied for ninth in offensive rebounds (2.6).
LOOKING BACK: The last time Arizona started the season 5-8 was in 2001-02, when the Wildcats finished 14-14 overall and 10-8 in the Pac-10, good for seventh place.
HALFTIME SCORE INDICATIVE OF FINAL RESULT: In Arizona’s 13 games this season, the halftime score has been indicative of the final result 11 times. The Wildcats are 0-6 when trailing at the half and 5-2 when leading. The only two games Arizona lost after leading at halftime were against Central Connecticut State and Utah.
HACK AWAY: The Wildcats are fouling quite a bit this season. In its 13 games, Arizona has committed more fouls than its opponent nine times and the same number once. The Wildcats have fouled less than their opponent only three times, against Chicago State, Arizona State and Washington State. Arizona has committed 20 or more fouls in six games this season, four of which have been losses.
WILDCAT TRIFECTA: Senior Natalie Jones, junior Joy Hollingsworth and sophomore Ashley Whisonant lead the Wildcats this season. The trio account for 63 percent of the team’s points. Whisonant has reached double-digit scoring in each of the 13 games, while Hollingsworth has 10 or more points in 11 games and Jones in 10.
LACK OF SIZE EXPOSED: With the death of 6-5 Shawntinice Polk and the medical redshirt of 6-2 Shannon Hobson, Arizona is left without much size inside. As a result, the Wildcats have been out-rebounded in 10 of their 13 games this season. The only two games in which Arizona pulled down more boards than its opponent were its first two games of the season against Loyola Marymount (42 to 36) and Furman (45 to 32) and Tuesday’s game against UW-Green Bay. In the other 10 games, the Wildcats have managed just 33.5 rebounds to their opponents’ 39.5 (-6.0).
NO SOPHOMORE SLUMP FOR WHISONANT: Sophomore guard Ashley Whisonant is leading the team with 15.4 points per game. The Bowie, Md., native dished out a career-high 11 assists in Arizona’s win over Furman on Nov. 22 and tied her career high of 21 points against Lehigh on Dec. 4. She has also been named to both all-tournament teams in which Arizona has participated.
CURRENT CATS ON UA CAREER LISTS: Senior Natalie Jones ranks sixth all-time at Arizona in both free throw percentage (.765) and three-point field goals attempted (322), and tied for seventh in three-point field goals made (91).
GOING POLLING: Six of Arizona’s 2005-06 opponents (Stanford, Maryland, UCLA, USC, Utah and Arizona State) were nationally ranked in the various preseason polls. Pac-10 power Stanford is ranked as high as No. 8, while Pac-10 teams USC and Arizona State were ranked in all four polls. Arizona received votes in both the Associated Press and ESPN/Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) polls.
WILDCATS RANK NATIONALLY IN ATTENDANCE: Arizona currently ranks No. 39 nationally in attendance with an average of 1,943. Only Stanford (3,760), Oregon (3,382) and Washington (2,704) and from the Pac-10 rank higher.
STACKED PAC: As a conference, the Pac-10 finished last season ranked as the third toughest conference in the nation after sending five teams to the NCAA Tournament. Finishing ahead of the Pac-10 were the Southeastern Conference and the Atlantic Coast Conference.
TOUGH SCHEDULE: The Wildcats have a challenging schedule that includes 12 games against eight teams (Arizona State, Maryland, Oregon, Stanford, UC Santa Barbara, USC, Utah and Wisconsin-Green Bay) that made it to the NCAA Tournament last year. Of those teams, six advanced to the second round, while Arizona State made it to the Sweet 16 and Stanford to the Elite Eight.
CATS PICKED TO FINISH SIXTH, SEVENTH IN PAC-10: Arizona was picked to finish sixth in the Pacific-10 Conference in the preseason coaches’ poll. The Wildcats garnered 42 points, just one point behind fifth-place Oregon. In the media poll, Arizona was picked to finish seventh in the conference, receiving 59 votes.
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 11th year as the Wildcats’ play-by-play announcer, the Jolt will broadcast every game, home and away.
WILDCATS ON TELEVISION: The Wildcats have three more games this season that will be broadcast on FSN:
Sunday, Jan. 8 - noon vs. USC (FSN)
Saturday, Jan. 14 - noon vs. Oregon (FSN)
Sunday, Jan. 22 - 1 p.m. (PST) at California (FSN)
In addition, the Wildcats’ games at home against Stanford (Feb. 18) and at Arizona State (Feb. 25) are "wild card" games that could get picked up in the Pac-10 television package.
UP NEXT: Arizona faces USC at noon (PST) this Sunday, Jan. 8. The game will be televised live to a national audience on FSN.