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01-25-2008 Washington Game Notes
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 01/25/2008
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Complete Release as a PDF

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Coming Up:

The Arizona womenˇ?s basketball team (7-12, 1-7 Pac-10 travels to Seattle to take on the Washington Huskies (7-13, 2-6 Pac-10) on Saturday, Jan. 26 at 2 p.m. in Bank of America Arena.? The Wildcats are looking to win back-to-back Pac-10 games for the first time since 2005.? Saturdayˇ?s game at Washington will mark head coach Joan Bonviciniˇ?s 500th game as the leader of the Wildcat program.? She will become just the sixth coach in Arizona history in any sport to coach 500 games.

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Catch the Action:

As always, Arizona women's basketball games can be heard live on KTUC AM 1400, with Derrick Palmer and Shannon Hobson calling the action from courtside.? Please visit www.arizonaathletics.com for all of your live stats and live video needs.

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Joan Bonvicini Coachˇ?s Show:

Hosted by Wildcat radio announcer Derrick Palmer, the Joan Bonvicini Coachˇ?s Show is broadcast live from 6-7 p.m. every Monday on KTUC 1400 AM and is held at the Varsity Clubs of America, located at Speedway and Alvernon. The show features Bonvicini with several special guests, ranging from players to staff members.

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Washington State Recap:

Arizona used a big second half to erase a 12-point deficit and roll to a 73-63 win over Washington State on Thursday night in Friel Court.?

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Arizona shot 51.7 percent (15-29) from the field in the second half, including a 6-of-9 mark from three point range to finish with a 46.7 percent clip (28-60) on the night.? WSU shot only 29 percent (9-31) from the field in the second half and 38.7 percent (24-62) for the game.? Arizona outscored the Cougars 42-24 in the second half, and finished with eight blocks and eight steals.

Individually for Arizona, junior Amina Njonkou led the way with a career-high tying 25 points to go with 10 rebounds for her eighth double-double of the season.? Senior Ashley Whisonant finished with 15 points, 13 in the second half, and sophomore Rheya Neabors posted 13 points, six assists and four blocked shots.? Katie Appleton led Washington State with 23 points.

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Arizona started the game on fire, racing out to an 11-2 scoring run in the first three minutes.? The Wildcats hit 8-of-11 (72.7 percent) from the field to start off, and led 19-12 at the 12:12 mark.? Washington State then responded with 16-4 run over the next five minutes to go up 28-23 with 6:57 left in the first, as Arizona would shoot just 5-of-20 (25 percent) from the field the rest of the half.? The Cougars stretched their lead to 37-29 on a three by Heather Molzen with 1:27 left in the first half, and went into halftime up 39-31.

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WSU shot 48.4 percent (15-31) in the first half and was led by Appletonˇ?s 19 points, while Arizona shot 41.9 percent from the field (13-31) led by Njonkouˇ?s 18 points.

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Washington State opened the second half with two layups by Molzen in the first 37 seconds to take a 43-31 advantage.? Arizona responded with a 12-4 run to cut the deficit to 47-43 at the 14:21 mark after a three by Neabors.? The Wildcats then closed within one point at 53-52 after a free throw by Njonkou at the 8:25 mark.

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UA would then go on a 13-4 scoring run over the next 4:50 to take a 65-57 lead capped by a layup by Njonkou with 3:35 left in the game.? A three by Whisonant with 1:36 left put Arizona up 68-59 and proved to be the dagger, giving Arizona its first Pac-10 win of the season.

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A Quick Look at Arizona:

Arizona averages 64.7 points a game while shooting 41.3 percent from the field, 26.3 percent from three-point range, and 65.5 percent from the free throw line. Senior Ashley Whisonant leads Arizona with 15.7 points a game (4th in the Pac-10) while posting 3.9 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game (3rd in the Pac-10).? Junior Amina Njonkou adds 13.6 points and 7.1 rebounds a game.

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About the Huskies:

The Washington Huskies enter Saturdayˇ?s game with a 7-13 overall record and a 2-6 mark in the Pac-10.? The Huskies have lost three-straight games and four of their last five, but own a 5-4 record at home so far this season.? Individually for UW, Katelan Redmon leads the team with 11.9 points a game, and Sami Whitcomb adds 10.7 points a game.? Head coach Tia Jackson is in her first season at the helm of the Husky program.

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Series Notes:

Saturdayˇ?s game will be the 45th meeting all-time between the Wildcats and the Huskies on the hardwood, with Washington owning a 29-15 all-time series advantage.? Arizona has lost the last four games in the series, winning six-straight before that span.? Under head coach Joan Bonvicini, Arizona is 15-20 against UW, including an 11-8 mark against the Huskies since 1999.? Washington swept the season series last year with two wins winning by 17 points and 15 points over the Wildcats.

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Streaky:

After beating New Mexico on the road in ˇ?The Pitˇ± (Dec. 15), the Wildcats had posted their fourth-straight win and were rolling with a 6-4 record.? Since that game, Arizona had lost eight-straight games before beating Washington State Thursday night, its longest losing streak since dropping nine-straight during the 2005-06 season.

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The Newest Wildcats:

The Arizona womenˇ?s basketball team has added walk-on Ashley Gilpin and Sabreena Berger to its roster, head coach Joan Bonvicini has announced.?

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Gilpin, a senior from Las Cruces, N.M., is a 5-foot-9 guard currently studying psychology at the UA.? She hails from Mayfield HS, the same high school current Wildcat Marie McGee attended, and where the two were teammates.

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Berger, a 5-foot-9 sophomore, is from San Diego, Calif., and played high school ball at Point Loma HS.

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Do It:

Arizona enters Saturday with a chance to end a rather dubious trend.? The Wildcats have not won consecutive Pac-10 games since the 2004-05 season, a span of 47 conference games.? Arizona last won back-to-back Pac-10 games on Feb. 12, 2005 against USC (87-74) followed by a win on Feb. 17, 2005 at Oregon State (78-59).? The last time Arizona swept a Pac-10 series on the road was earlier that season, as the Wildcats beat both the Huskies and the Cougars on the road.

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Hotchacha:

Arizona lit it up from behind the arc on Thursday, making a season-high tying eight three pointers on 16 attempts.? The Wildcatsˇ? 50 percent shooting from three-point land was its second-best clip so far this season.

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On the Road, Again:

After a season-long three game home stand, Arizona is back on the road.? The Wildcats have been racking up those frequent flyer miles so far this season, playing nine of their first 15 games on the road, and will now add to it with its upcoming trip to Washington.? With trips Oregon, Green Bay, Wis., Penn State, NC State, Long Beach, Calif., and New Mexico under their belts, the Wildcats have already racked up a grand total of 16,482 round trip miles (and it is only January).? Counting its trip to Pullman, Wash., then over to Seattle and back, the Wildcats will accumulate 3,340 more travel miles by weekˇ?s end, bringing their grand total up to 19,822 roundtrip miles so far this season.? And yes, it is still only January.? Weˇ?ll keep you posted on when the Wildcats earn their free round trip to anywhere in the United States.

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Arizona Head Coach Joan Bonvicini (17th season):

The winningest coach in Arizona women's basketball history, Joan Bonvicini has taken the Wildcat program from obscurity into the national limelight. In her 17 seasons at the helm, Bonvicini has guided the Wildcats to nine postseason appearances, including seven NCAA Tournament berths and a WNIT Championship.? Under Bonvicini's tutelage, the Wildcats have finished in the upper tier of the Pac-10 in nine of the last 11 years, and in 2003-04 won a share of the conference regular-season title for the first time in school history.

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During this time, Arizona has been nationally ranked multiple times, including a best ever ranking of No. 7 in 1998.? Bonvicini's success is mirrored in her players' accolades. She has produced one All-American, five honorable mention All-America selections, a Pac-10 Player of the Year, three Pac-10 Freshmen of the Year, 22 All-Pac-10 honorees, 17 Pac-10 All-Freshman Team choices and 18 Academic All-Pac-10 selections. Bonvicini holds a 284-215 (.569) mark at Arizona and is 609-286(.679) in 29 years as a head coach. On Feb. 8, 2007, Bonvicini became the 18th coach in NCAA Division I women's basketball history to reach the 600 win milestone with a 65-61 victory over Oregon State in McKale Center. She has a career record of 24-17 in NCAA Tournament play and has lost just two first-round games in 17 tourney appearances.

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500:

Head coach Joan Bonvicini will reach another milestone on Saturday.? Saturdayˇ?s game at Washington will mark head coach Joan Bonviciniˇ?s 500th game as the leader of the Wildcat program.? She will become just the sixth coach in Arizona history in any sport to coach 500 games.

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Road Warriors:

With a wins against Long Beach State and New Mexico, the Wildcats managed to win two-straight road games for the first time since the 2004-05 season.? Arizona last won two-straight on the road in December of 2004 with wins at Chicago State and Washington.?

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Pit This:

Arizona went into New Mexicoˇ?s Pit and did something most visiting teams canˇ?t do: win.? The Wildcats snapped the Lobosˇ? 13-game home winning streak with their 44-36 win, as New Mexico was 7-0 on the season before Saturdayˇ?s game.

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Slow Starts:

Through 19 games, Arizona is getting outscored 657-537 by opponents in the first half, and is 4-11 when trailing at the half.? When leading at the half, Arizona is 3-1, as the Wildcats relinquished their first halftime lead at Oregon State (Jan. 3) after being up by 12 at halftime and leading by as many as 16 points in the second half.? In its last game, Arizona trailed Washington State 39-31 at halftime, but rallied to for a win in the second half.

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Almost History:

Arizonaˇ?s 44-36 win over New Mexico came very close to some intriguing historical proportions.? Arizonaˇ?s 44 points in the win was the programˇ?s lowest point total in a victory since beating Utah, 46-36, on Jan. 17 1974.? Arizonaˇ?s school low for a point total in a win is 36 in a win (36-30) over Northern Arizona on Feb. 10, 1973.

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Making History:

Arizonaˇ?s shooting against Cal on Jan. 19 made some dubious school history.? In that game, the Wildcats shot a school record low 24.1 percent from the field (13-54) in Pac-10 play.? Arizonaˇ?s 13 field goals in the game are also a school record low in Pac-10 play.

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Toe That Line:

So far, the Wildcats have shown an ability as a team to get to the free throw line.? Arizona has made it to the line 371 times (19.5 free throw attempts per game), but is only shooting 65.5 percent (243-371) from the charity stripe.? Opponents are shooting 70.7 percent (234-331) from the line against the Cats.

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Make Those Free Throws:

Free throw shooting has been a major factor in Arizonaˇ?s ability to win and lose games.? In the Wildcatsˇ? loss against USC (Dec. 28), Arizona shot 17-of-29 from the line (58.6 percent) against the Women of Troy, including a 13-of-23 (56.5 percent) mark in the second half.? Poor shooting from the line kept Arizona from making legitimate comeback attempt at the end of the game, as the Wildcats scored five-straight points in the final 22 seconds of the game to cut the deficit to seven points.? Against UCLA (Jan. 30), Arizona shot 19-of-29 from the line (65.5 percent) against the Bruins, including an 11-of-18 mark (61.1 percent).? Even though the 19 free throws were the second most for the Wildcats on the season, not being able to hit free throws in the second half prevented another comeback attempt, as Arizona cut the deficit to six points with 33 seconds to play in the game.

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Despite playing with six players, and with four players down the stretch, Arizona could have held off an Oregon State comeback (Jan. 3) had it hit its shots at the line.? The Wildcats shot a season-low 47.4 percent (9-of-19) from the free throw line against the Beavers, including a 3-of-7 mark in the first half, and a 3-of-8 mark in overtime.

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Against Oregon (Jan. 5), the Wildcats erased a 16-point second half deficit and trailed 56-53 with 1:10 left to play, but shot 12-of-20 (60 percent) from the charity stripe.

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Itˇ?s an Improvement:

Against WSU, Arizona was just 9-of-15 (60 percent) from the free throw line.? In the three games before that, Arizona has been knocking down its shots at the free throw line, shooting 77 percent (47-61) over that span spearheaded by junior Amina Njonkouˇ?s 16-of-18 foul shooting.? Against Arizona State last Saturday, the Wildcats shot a solid 72.7 percent (16-22) from the free throw line.? Against Stanford on Thursday night, the Wildcats posted a 22-of-27 mark (81.5 percent), its Pac-10 season high.? Those numbers are a vast improvement from Arizonaˇ?s free throw shooting in the previous three games before that, as the Wildcats posted a 58.8 percent mark (57-of-97) from the free throw line over that span.?

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What do you know about Pressure?:

Arizona can put on some pressure defense, and opponents have shown they canˇ?t handle it.? Through 19 games, Arizona has forced 386 turnovers on the opposition, which equates to an average of 20.3 turnovers a game.

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Ball Thieves:

The Wildcats have shown they can scratch at opponents, posting 165 steals so far on the season for an 8.6 steals per game average.? Arizona ranks fourth in the Pac-10 in the steals department, and had eight steals against WSU in its last outing.

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Rejectmuch:

Last season, Arizona tallied 51 blocked shots the entire season.? This year, it is a different story.? The Wildcats surpassed last yearˇ?s total in 15 games with 53 blocks, and owns 71 blocks in 19 games.? Arizona currently ranks second in the Pac-10 in the blocks department behind Stanford, averaging 3.7 blocks a game.? A big reason for the complete 180 when it comes to blocks has to do with junior Beatrice Bofia and her 20 blocks shots so far this season.? Freshman Ify Ibekwe is second on the team with 15 blocked shots.? Sophomores Marie McGee and Rheya Neabors have 10 blocks apiece to their credit.? Arizona has posted four blocks or more in eight games so far this season, including five of the last six contests, including eight blocked shots against the Cougars on Thursday night.

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Paint Job:

So far, Arizona has been doing a solid job scoring in the paint.? Through 19 games, the Wildcats have posted 631 points in the paint, which accounts for 51.4 percent of the teamˇ?s point production (1,230), and average 33.2 points per game down low.? Arizona outscored Washington State 36-30 in the paint in its last outing.

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Pac-10ˇ?s Best:

In Pac-10 play, a few Wildcats have been tearing it up.? Through seven Pac-10 contests, senior Ashley Whisonant is averaging a league-best 17.3 points a game in 39.3 minutes of action.? Junior Amina Njonkou is second in scoring and rebounding with 16.9 points and 8.4 rebounds a game in league play, and junior Beatrice Bofia leads with 1.6 blocks a game in Pac-10 play.

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AW Leads the Way:

Senior guard Ashley Whisonant has been counted on to lead at the point this season, and she has flourished in that position.? So far, Whisonant has played at an All-Pac-10 level.? The Bowie, Md., native is averaging a team-high 15.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 4.4 assists a game while snagging 1.8 steals a contest.? She is also averaging a team-high 37.5 minutes per contest.? Whisonant ranks fourth in the Pac-10 in scoring average, third in assists per game, and first in minutes per game.?

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Game of a Lifetime:

Ashley Whisonant showed why she is one of the best players in the Pac-10 last Thursday against the Beavers.? Whisonant led a team of just six players with a career-high 34 points in 48 minutes of action.? Her 34 points is the fourth-best mark in school history, one point shy of the all-time school record (35 points).? She tied a school record with 15 field goal attempts, and set a new school record with 29 field goal attempts.?

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All-Time Scorer:?

Ashley Whisonant scored her 1,000th career point in the final game of the season last year, and look for her to climb up the Arizona all-time point leader list this season.? So far this season, Whisonant has moved up eight spots on the all-time Arizona scorers list, and currently ranks sixth all-time with 1,302 career points in 112 games (11.6 career ppg average).? She 15 points Thursday night moved her past Dana Patterson (1985-88, 1,299 points) for sixth all-time, and needs 13 more points to tie Timi Brown (1987-91, 1,315 points) for a tie for fifth-place all-time in school history.

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On Fire:

So far this season, Whisonant has posted double-figures in points in 16 of 19 games, including the last seven-straight as she has been on an absolute tear as of late.? In her last seven games, Whisonant is averaging 18.6 points a game.? She posted 15 points, 13 in the second half to go with four rebounds, four assists and four steals on Thursday at Washington State.

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Ms. 100:

Senior Ashley Whisonant has been a constant in the Arizona lineup ever since her freshman season, and she is on pace to be one of Arizonaˇ?s all-time leaders in games played.? She played in her 100th career game against NAU (Dec. 6), and is on pace to finish her career with 123 games played, a figure that will rank No. 3 all-time in school history.

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Looking For a Dime:

With each dime Ashley Whisonant dishes out, she is moving to the top of the line on Arizonaˇ?s all-time career assists list.? With 349 career assists, Whisonant is now the No. 9 assists disher in Arizona history.?

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Amina the Bull:

Junior forward Amina Njonkou is a force down low in the paint, and her strength allows her to bull over defenders.? The 6-foot-1 Cameroon native has posted double-figures in points in the last 13-straight games including double-doubles in the last six of the last 10 games.? Over the last 13 contests, Njonkou is averaging 15.5 points and 8.3 rebounds a game over that span.? In the last 10 games, Njonkou is posting 16.7 points and 8.9 rebounds a game.?

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Against ASU, Njonkou finished with a career-best 25 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field and a 9-of-11 mark from the free throw line to go with five boards.? Against Stanford, she posted 13 points but finished with just two rebounds, and had 10 points and eight rebounds against Cal.

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Against Washington State, Njonkou finished with a career-high tying 25 points on 11-of-15 shooting from the field (both career highs) to go with 10 rebounds.

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On the season, Njonkou is posting 13.6 points and 7.1 rebounds a game while shooting 49.2 percent (89-181) from the field, the seventh-best mark in the Pac-10.? In Pac-10 play, Njonkou is averaging 16.9 points and 8.4 rebounds a game, and is shooting a team-best 73.4 percent (47-64) from the free throw line.

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Double-Double Machine:

Before her 17 point and nine rebound performance against Oregon State (Jan. 3), Amina Njonkou had posted double-doubles four straight games, putting her in some very exclusive company in the Arizona history books.? Njonkou became the first player to record four-straight double-doubles since Shawntinice Polk posted five-straight double-doubles during the 2003-04 season (Feb. 7-19).? Njonkou has eight double-doubles so far on the season after finishing with 24 points and 10 boards against WSU Thursday night, one behind Calˇ?s Ashley Walker for the Pac-10 lead.

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Ms. Wildcat:

Freshman Tasha Dickey, simply put, was born to be a Wildcat.? The daughter of two former Arizona athletes, Dickey has shown her tremendous athletic ability on the court.? On the season, she is averaging 7.5 points and 1.9 rebounds a game in 23.6 minutes of action.? Dickey is also second on the squad with 26 steals.? Against WSU, Dickey finished with nine points and two assists, hitting 3-of-4 three pointers.? In Pac-10 play, Dickey posts 8.6 points a game.

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Big Lift:

Sophomore Rheya Neabors played a major role in Arizonaˇ?s win at Washington State on Thursday.? The 6-foot-1 lefty forward finished with 13 points on 4-of-10 shooting from three point range to go with a career-best six assists and a career-high four blocked shots.? Her threes came at some crucial parts in the game, keeping the Wildcats alive down the stretch.? On the season, Neabors is averaging 7.9 points and 4.1 rebounds a game.

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Cats Picked To Finish Eighth in the Pac-10:

The University of Arizona womenˇ?s basketball team was selected to finish eighth in the Pac-10 Conference in a preseason vote by the conferenceˇ?s head coaches.? The Wildcats garnered 31 points in the poll, as seven-time defending Pac-10 champion Stanford was chosen as the favorite to win this yearˇ?s Pac-10 title.

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The Cardinal received eight of 10 first-place votes and 79 points, as Arizona State received a first-place nod and tallied 71 points to place second. California was tabbed to finish third with a first-place vote and 68 points, followed by fourth-place USC with 56 points and fifth-place UCLA with 44 points. Washington grabbed 41 points to place sixth, followed by Oregon (34), as Arizona (31), Oregon State (16) and Washington State (10) rounded out the poll.

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Tough Schedule:

Year in and year out, Arizona never runs away from a challenge, but rather takes on the best teams in the nation head on during the nonconference schedule before playing in the always daunting Pac-10 Conference.

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The Wildcats will play 29 games during 2007-08, 13 games in McKale Center and 16 on the road, with 14 games scheduled against teams that competed in the NCAA Tournament last year.

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The UA will take on 10 teams that competed in the 2007 NCAA Tournament, with non-conference matchups against Middle Tennessee State, Pittsburgh, Boise State, New Mexico, NC State, and UW-Green Bay, along with Pac-10 series against California, Stanford, Washington and Arizona State.

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Rank This:

Arizonaˇ?s tough schedule is apparent when you take a look at this yearˇ?s preseason rankings.? In the WBCA/USA Today/ESPN and AP Preseason poll, five of the top 25 teams in the nation will play the Wildcats during the regular season.? Arizona will face No. 9 Stanford, No. 12 Arizona State, No. 14 California, No. 21 Pittsburgh and No. 25 NC State.? Additionally, six other Arizona opponents (Middle Tennessee, USC, New Mexico, UCLA, Boise State and Wisconsin-Green Bay) each received votes in the poll.

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Up Next:

Arizona will return home to host Oregon on Thursday, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. in McKale Center.

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