COMING UP: The Arizona women’s basketball team (7-13, 3-7) faces Washington State (6-13, 0-10) at 2 p.m. (PST) this Saturday, Jan. 28. 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: The Cats suffered a 91-73 loss to Washington at Bank of America Arena Thursday night. Both teams shot relatively similarly, as Arizona connected on 50 percent from the field, 43 percent from three-point range and 75 percent from the free throw line on the game. Washington, meanwhile, shot 49 percent from the field, 50 percent from beyond the arc and 78 percent from the charity stripe. However, the Huskies absolutely dominated the glass, 39 to 20, and held Arizona to just three offensive rebounds. It was a season low in rebounding and the largest rebounding deficit of the season for the Wildcats. Arizona also committed 19 turnovers to Washington’s 16. Sophomore Ashley Whisonant led Arizona with 14 points, followed by sophomore Jessica Arnold with 13. Junior Joy Hollingsworth and senior Natalie Jones finished with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Hollingsworth leads Arizona this season with 14.5 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. Whisonant adds 13.5 points per game, while Jones averages 13.1 points. As a team, the Wildcats are shooting 40 percent from the field, compared to the 47 percent of their opponents. They are also being out-rebounded 35.1 to 38.8.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION: Despite out-shooting and out-rebounding the Sun Devils, Washington State dropped its 12th straight game, a 75-65 defeat at the hands of Arizona State Thursday night. The Cougars shot 43 percent from the field, 39 percent from downtown and 71 percent from the free throw line on the game, and out-rebounded ASU 37 to 35. But WSU turned the ball over 18 times, compared to the 12 miscues of the Sun Devils. Amanda DuRocher led Washington State with 16 points. Keisha Moore added 14 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots, while Ebonee Coates tallied 10 points.
On the season, the Cougars have five players that average 8.4 points or more - Moore (10.0), Charmaine Jones (9.9), Kate Benz (9.0), Katie Appleton (8.9) and DuRocher (8.4). Benz also averages a team-best 9.3 boards. As a team, WSU is shooting 37 percent from the field on the season, compared to the 40 percent of its opponents. The Cougars are out-rebounding their opponents 39.8 to 36.4.
SERIES SHORTS: Arizona leads the all-time series with the Cougars 22-17. The last time the two teams met, on Dec. 29, 2005, the Wildcats won 61-52 in Tucson. Arizona is 12-8 at home and 10-9 away vs. Washington State.
INJURY UPDATE: Freshman Amina Njonkou re-aggravated her right foot at Stanford last Thursday and is day-to-day. Junior Linda Pace suffered a left knee injury against Washington State on Dec. 29 and is out for the rest of the season.
RANKING IN THE PAC-10: As a team, Arizona ranks in the bottom half of the conference in every statistical category but offensive rebounds (second), free throw percentage (third), three-point field goal average (fifth) and turnover margin (fifth).
Individually, several Wildcats rank in the Top 10 in various categories. Senior Natalie Jones is third in free throw percentage (.830), sixth in minutes per game (34.6), seventh in steals (2.3) and ninth in three-point field goal average (1.5). Junior Joy Hollingsworth is fifth in three-point field goal average (2.1), and 10th in both scoring (14.6) and minutes per game (33.0). Sophomore Ashley Whisonant is fifth in assists (3.7). Sophomore Ch?© Oh and freshman Whitney Fields are tied for fifth in offensive rebounds (2.7).
ROAD WOES: Arizona is 1-7 on the road this season, including a 1-4 record in Pac-10 games away from McKale. In fact, over the past six seasons, the Wildcats have had a winning record in Pac-10 road games only once (5-4 in 2003-04).
SHOOTING SORROWS LEAD TO LOSSES: In 12 of their 13 losses this season, the Wildcats have had a worse shooting percentage than their opponents. In fact, three of the four times Arizona has produced a better field goal percentage than its opponent (Furman, Lehigh, Chicago State), the team has also won the game. The only time the Wildcats shot better than their opponent and lost was at Washington.
SHOOTING THE THREE OFTEN: Arizona has made 109 three-pointers this season, compared to the 102 of its opponents. However, the Wildcats have 76 more attempts than their counterparts, which accounts for the difference in percentage (36 percent compared to 31 percent).
HALFTIME SCORE INDICATIVE OF FINAL RESULT: In Arizona’s 20 games this season, the halftime score has been indicative of the final result 16 times. The Wildcats are 2-11 when trailing at the intermission and 5-2 when leading. The only two games Arizona won after trailing at halftime were against Oregon and at California. Conversely, the two games the Wildcats 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 20 games, Arizona has committed more fouls than its opponent 14 times and the same number once. The Wildcats have fouled less than their opponent only five times, against Chicago State, Arizona State, Washington State, Oregon State and Oregon. Arizona has committed 20 or more fouls in 10 games this season, seven 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 61 percent of the team’s points. Hollingsworth and Whisonant have reached double-digit scoring in 17 of the 20 games, while Jones has 10 or more points in 16 games.
JONES STARTS 85TH STRAIGHT GAME: Senior Natalie Jones started her 85th consecutive game at Washington on Thursday. On her career, the guard has started 89 total games.
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 15 of their 20 games this season. In those 15 games, the Wildcats have managed just 32.7 rebounds to their opponents’ 40.9 (-8.2).
CURRENT CATS ON UA CAREER LISTS: Senior Natalie Jones ranks fifth all-time at Arizona in three-point field goals attempted (347), sixth in free throw percentage (.768) and free throws made (262), seventh in three-point field goals made (102), eighth in games started (89) and minutes played (3,239), and 10th in minutes per game (27.9), free throws attempted (341) and personal fouls (293). She looks to become just the 14th Arizona player ever to score 1,000 or more points as she has 978 on her career.
PAC-10 ACTIVE CAREER LEADERS: Arizona boasts several of the Pac-10’s active career statistical leaders. Senior Natalie Jones ranks second in assists (279), fourth in steals (166), fifth in scoring (967) and three-point field goals made (99), and seventh in rebounds (478). Junior Joy Hollingsworth ranks eighth in scoring (852).
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 was ranked as high as No. 8, while Pac-10 teams USC and Arizona State were ranked in all four polls.
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. Paul Johnson is in his 11th year as the Wildcats’ play-by-play announcer.
UP NEXT: Arizona returns home for a 7 p.m. game against USC next Thursday, Feb. 2, at McKale.