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Women's Basketball Wraps up First Round of Pac-10 Play in L.A. This Week
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 01/15/2002
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Jan. 15, 2002

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WHAT'S HAPPENING: The University of Arizona women's basketball team (7-9 overall, 3-4 Pac-10) wraps up the first round of Pac-10 play and opens a four-game road swing with a pair of contests in Los Angeles this week. The Wildcats will play Southern California on Thursday, Jan. 17, in the L.A. Sports Arena at 7 p.m., then the Cats take on UCLA on Saturday, Jan. 19, at 4 p.m. in Pauley Pavilion.

ARIZONA'S PROBABLE STARTERS:
35 - Krista Warren (F/G, 6-2, Jr., Cloverdale, CA) - 8.1 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 1.6 apg
45 - Elizabeth Pickney (F, 6-4, Sr., Houston, TX) - 16.5 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 1.4 bpg
11 - Dee-Dee Wheeler (G, 5-6, Fr., Chicago, IL) - 12.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.8 apg
13 - Aimee Grzyb (G, 5-7, So., San Jose, CA) - 9.6 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 3.1 apg
20 - Julie Brase (G, 5-10, Jr., Tucson, AZ) - 5.2 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 2.3 apg

OFF THE BENCH:
4 - Candice Allen (G, 5-10, So., Ontario, CA) - 11.7 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 2.8 spg
50 - LaKeisha Taylor (C, 6-4, Sr., Houston, TX) - 8.9 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.0 spg
31 - Robin Roberson (G/F, 6-0, Fr., Berkeley, CA) - 4.9 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 1.0 spg
44 - Danielle Adefeso (F, 6-3, Fr., Los Angeles, CA) - 0.9 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 0.1 bpg
24 - Michelle Tibbetts (G/F, 6-0, Fr., Burnsville, MN) - 0.7 ppg, 0.3 rpg

SCOUTING ARIZONA: After winning their first back-to-back games in seven weeks by sweeping the Washington schools last weekend, the Wildcats were handed yet another loss, 94-80, by UC Santa Barbara on Monday. Arizona is now 7-9 overall and 3-4 in Pac-10 play.

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.

Although the McKale Center has usually been kind to the Cats, they already have four losses at home this season, their most losses in McKale since dropping seven home games in 1994-95.

Six different Wildcats are averaging eight points or better per game, with senior forward Elizabeth Pickney's 16.5 ppg leading the way. Freshman guard Dee-Dee Wheeler is second in scoring, averaging 12.8 ppg, followed by sophomore guard Candice Allen with 11.7 ppg. Fellow sophomore Aimee Grzyb is fourth with a 9.6 ppg scoring average, with senior center LaKeisha Taylor following at 8.9 ppg.

Junior wing Krista Warren is the team's top rebounder, with an average of 8.4 per game. Pickney is second in rebounding, averaging 8.1 per game, and Taylor is third with 4.8 rpg.

As a team, Arizona leads the Pac-10 in free throw percentage (.774) and is third in both three-point field goal percentage (.344) and three-pointers made per game (6.13 pg). Individually, Dee-Dee Wheeler is second in steals (2.19 spg), and Krista Warren is fourth in rebounding (8.4 rpg). Elizabeth Pickney is second in free throw percentage (.862), third in blocks (1.44 bpg) and fifth in scoring (16.5 ppg).

PUT UP SOME POINTS: The Cats are 5-0 this season when Elizabeth Pickney scores 20 points or more.

SCOUTING SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: After opening the season with a 3-5 mark, the Women of Troy have been on the winning track lately, grabbing six victories in their last eight games. USC stands at 9-7 overall and 5-2 in Pac-10 play after defeating cross-town rival UCLA, 67-57, in Pauley on Sunday.

Four Trojans are averaging in double digits in scoring, led by sophomore guard Aisha Hollans with 18.3 points per game. Sophomore forward Ebony Hoffman follows at 14.2 ppg and is the team's top rebounder, averaging 8.7 boards per contest. Hollans is the squad's second-leading rebounder, grabbing 7.1 per game. Senior guard Tiffany Elmore (11.7 ppg) and freshman forward Rachel Woodward (10.8 ppg) are the other two players with double-figure scoring averages.

Head coach Chris Gobrecht (USC, 1977) has a 57-71 record in five years at the helm of her alma mater's program. She has a career record of 389-274 in 24 seasons as a head coach.

THE SERIES vs. USC: The Women of Troy have a solid 35-11 lead in the series with Arizona, although the Wildcats have won nine of the last 12 against USC. The two squads split last season's matchups, with USC winning, 81-67, in L.A. and Arizona winning, 77-61, in Tucson. Arizona has not beaten USC in Los Angeles since the 1998-99 season.

LAST MEETING WITH USC: An 18-7 run midway through the second half gave Arizona the momentum it needed to roll to a 77-61 win over USC at home on Feb. 18, 2001.

A wild first half featured five ties and 10 lead changes, with both teams staying close to one another until Arizona finished the period on a 10-3 run that gave the Cats a six-point (38-32) edge at the break. Arizona shot a whopping 61.9 percent from the floor for the period, scoring 16 of its 38 first-half points in the paint.

The Wildcats opened the second half with a 22-10 run that allowed them to open up an 18-point (60-42) spread with 11:26 left. USC then went on an 11-0 tear, cutting the lead to only seven (60-53) before Arizona regained its composure and used a game-ending 17-8 spurt to take the victory.

Krista Warren shot 7-of-9 from the field on her way to 17 points, four rebounds and three steals. Elizabeth Pickney had 11 points and seven rebounds, and Aimee Grzyb added eight points and four assists.

SCOUTING UCLA: The Bruins began the season with a 3-1 record but have compiled only a 2-9 mark since then, now standing at 5-10 overall and 2-5 in Pac-10 play. UCLA fell to crosstown rival USC, 67-57, in the Bruins' last action on Sunday. The Bruins will play host to Arizona State on Thursday before taking on Arizona Saturday.

Junior guard Natalie Nakase is currently leading the team in scoring, with 8.3 points per game, although she is averaging 12.6 ppg in Pac-10 play. Senior center Shalada Allen is registering 7.9 ppg, and fellow senior Malika Leatham has the team's best rebounding average, at 6.5 per game.

UCLA's top two scorers, Michelle Greco (23.6 ppg) and Kristee Porter (13.5 ppg), each played only part of the season before departing the team. Greco is being forced to sit for the remainder of the year because of recurring concussions, while Porter left the program in pursuit of a professional volleyball career.

In her ninth season at UCLA, head coach Kathy Olivier (UNLV, 1982) holds a 126-118 mark with the Bruins.

THE SERIES vs. UCLA: The Bruins have the 34-12 lead in the series with Arizona, including five wins in the last six meetings with the Cats. UCLA had a five-game win streak going until the Wildcats snapped it with a win at home during last season's second matchup. The Bruins won last year's first game, 59-56 in overtime, then Arizona returned the favor by winning, 89-79, in Tucson. Arizona hasn't won in Pauley since Jan. 2, 1998.

LAST MEETING WITH UCLA: Despite committing a season-high-tying 31 turnovers, the Wildcats ended a five-game losing skid to UCLA with an 89-79 victory over the Bruins at home on Feb. 15, 2001.

The first 15 minutes of the contest were extremely close, with five ties, five lead changes and neither team leading by more than four points. Then Arizona ended the first half on an 18-10 spurt to take a narrow five-point (42-37) lead into the break.

UCLA out-scored Arizona, 22-13, over the first nine minutes of the second half to take a four-point (59-55) lead at 11:03. The Wildcats put on a 27-12 run over the next seven minutes to gain a 15-point (82-67) advantage with 4:33 left to play. The Bruins cut the lead to seven (83-76) barely two minutes later, but that was the closest they would come as Arizona hung on for the win.

Aimee Grzyb hit 4-for-5 from three-point range on her way to 14 points, while Elizabeth Pickney added 13 points and nine rebounds. Krista Warren contributed 10 points and five rebounds, and LaKeisha Taylor had eight points and three rebounds.

ARIZONA'S LAST TIME OUT: Head coach Joan Bonvicini's 19-game win streak over UC Santa Barbara came to an end on Monday night as Arizona fell to the Gauchos, 94-80, at home.

Arizona jumped out to a 19-8 lead in the first eight minutes of the game, then couldn't generate much offense as UCSB went on a 12-3 run to cut the lead to two (22-20) at 9:43. The Wildcats responded with 10 unanswered points to regain a 12-point (32-20) advantage at 6:58. The Gauchos finished the half by out-scoring Arizona, 13-9, and took a 43-41 edge into the break.

UC Santa Barbara kept a tenuous hold on its lead through the early part of the second half. The UA had a 6-1 spurt midway through the period that gave it a one-point (57-56) edge, and the two teams traded buckets for eight minutes. Holding only a two-point (75-73) advantage with just under five minutes to go, the Gauchos turned up the heat and scored 10 unanswered points to go ahead by 12 (86-74) at 1:13. They shot 8-for-8 from the free throw line down the stretch, and Arizona came no closer than 12 for the remainder of the game.

Junior guard Julie Brase led the Cats with 17 points, including a 5-for-9 performance from three-point range. Senior forward Elizabeth Pickney had 16 points and a team-high nine rebounds, while sophomore guard Aimee Grzyb also contributed 16 points and five boards. Sophomore guard Candice Allen came off the bench for 12 points, and senior center LaKeisha Taylor shot 8-for-10 from the free throw line on her way to 10 points and four rebounds.

For the game, the Wildcats were 12-for-32 from three-point land, just one 3-pointer made away from the school record of 13. The 32 attempts set a new record, however, erasing the earlier mark of 29 set against Stanford on Jan. 12, 1998.

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 186-126 (.596) mark at Arizona and is 511-197 (.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 97-89 against Pac-10 teams, although they have a 63-34 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.

LOOKING AHEAD: Arizona remains on the road next weekend for two contests in the Bay Area. The Wildcats play at Stanford on Thursday, Jan. 24, then Arizona takes on California on Saturday, Jan. 26, in Berkeley. Both games tip at 7 p.m. PST.

The Wildcats will play five of their final seven contests at home. Arizona faces Oregon State on Jan. 31 and Oregon on Feb. 2 at home before playing its final conference road games on Feb. 7 and 9 at the Washington schools.

NOTING THE PAC-10: This weekend's games will mark the midway point of Pac-10 play for this season. Stanford (16-1 overall) continues to dominate the league and has a perfect 6-0 mark in conference action. Arizona State and USC are tied for second with 5-2 conference marks each, followed by Oregon and Oregon State at 5-3 apiece. Washington is sixth with a 4-3 league record, and Arizona is close behind at 3-4.

WELCOME BACK: After missing seven straight games because of a grade-three concussion suffered against Holy Cross on Nov. 30, sophomore guard Candice Allen returned to action at Oregon State on Jan. 6. Her return has been quite a welcome one, as she has averaged 15.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 2.0 steals per game in the four contests since coming back.

BOMBS AWAY: Against UC Santa Barbara on Jan. 14, the Wildcats were 12-for-32 from three-point land, just one 3-pointer made away from the school record of 13. The 32 attempts set a new record, however, erasing the earlier mark of 29 set against Stanford on Jan. 12, 1998.

CLEANING THE GLASS: Junior wing Krista Warren has had six double-digit rebounding performances already this year, with four coming in her last seven contests. Over the last nine games, she has averaged 9.9 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 eight contests, including a career-high 13 rebounds against Stanford on Dec. 19.

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 31.7 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 84.1 percent (122-145) from the line in the season's seven victories. In the Cats' nine losses, they hit only 71.9 percent (128-178) from the stripe. Arizona is also making an average of 3.2 more free throws 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 20.0 turnovers per game, but in their losses, they committed an average of 22.4 turnovers per game.

CLOSE BUT...: Eight of Arizona's 16 games this season have been decided by nine points or less, with five of those being decided by five points or less.

STRONG SCHEDULE: Six 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 stands at No. 4 and Arizona State is No. 23. Notre Dame and New Mexico both received votes for ranking.

In the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll, Stanford is the only opponent ranked, standing at No. 4. Arizona State, USC, Notre Dame, Pepperdine 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 136. Pickney is second in career scoring (1433), second in free throws made (407), second in free throws attempted (533), third in career rebounding average (5.9 rpg), fourth in scoring average (13.1 ppg), fourth in field goals made (510), fourth in total rebounds (643) and fourth in games started (100).

Junior guard Julie Brase is third in career three-point percentage (.372), seventh in career three-pointers made (70) and eighth in three-pointers attempted (188). Sophomore guard Aimee Grzyb is sixth in three-pointers made (75), sixth in three-pointers attempted (220) and seventh in three-point percentage (.341).

THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME: The Wildcats have won 26 of their last 33 home games and are 48-12 on their home court over the last four seasons combined. During Joan Bonvicini's 11 seasons at Arizona, the Wildcats have posted a 113-47 mark in McKale Center. Arizona has a record of 179-155 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 138-20 record when scoring 80 points or more in a game. Under Bonvicini, the Wildcats have gone 98-13 when topping that 80-point plateau.

BY THE NUMBERS: The Cats have hit five or more 3-pointers in 11 of this season's 16 games... Arizona has had 15 or more assists in eight games... The Cats have had 10 or more steals in seven games... Arizona has forced its opponent into 20 or more turnovers in sevencontests... The UA has scored 80 points or better in five games.

KEYS TO THE WIN: This season, Arizona is... 5-0 when shooting 80% or better from the line... 4-2 when forcing more turnovers than it commits... 4-1 when leading at halftime... 6-3 when scoring 70 points or more... 6-3 when shooting better than its opponent from the free throw line... 7-4 when holding its opponent to 77 points or less.

BUT ON THE LOSING END...: The Cats are... 0-5 when giving up 80 points or more... 1-6 when shooting worse from the free throw line than the opponent... 2-7 when trailing at halftime... 3-6 when committing more turnovers than the opponent... 1-6 when making fewer three-pointers than the opponent... 2-9 when shooting less than 80% from the line... 1-6 when scoring 69 points or less... 3-6 when three or fewer players reach double digits in scoring... 2-6 when shooting under 40% from the floor.

CAT SCRATCHES: The Arizona women's basketball program has a 345-414 (.455) all-time record, however it is 149-78 (.656) from 1994 to present... Joan Bonvicini has a 187-102 career record against Pac-10 teams.

ON LOCATION: This year, Arizona is 6-4 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.

WHAT A GAME!: After six straight games of averaging barely 60 points a contest, the Wildcats went off for a 107-57 win over Washington State on Jan. 10. It was Arizona's biggest victory over a Division I opponent since drilling Cal State Fullerton, 87-33, on Dec. 8, 1995. The 107 points was Arizona's highest offensive output since scoring 107 in a victory over UC Santa Barbara (107-74) on Nov. 23, 1997.

The Cats scored 61 points in the second half against WSU, the highest point total for any half since the team collected 62 points in the second half at Providence on Dec. 30, 1995. The Wildcats also shot 53.9 percent from the floor against the Cougars, the UA's best shooting percentage in 20 games and its first time over 50 percent for this season.

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