COMING UP: The Arizona women’s basketball team (11-5, 3-3) plays a 2 p.m. game at No. 19 UCLA (11-4, 6-1) tomorrow, Jan. 16. Live audio is available at www.arizonaathletics.com, as well as on KJLL 1330 AM in Tucson.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE WILDCATS: The Wildcats shot just nine percent (1-of-11) from downtown and 45 percent (9-of-20) from the free throw line, and senior guard Dee-Dee Wheeler failed to score 10 points for the first time since March 23, 2003, as Arizona lost its second-straight game, a 67-54 defeat at the hands of USC Friday night. Wheeler, who finished with five points, played just 21 minutes due to foul trouble. She was held under 10 points for the first time in 48 games. However, Wheeler grabbed two steals on the night, giving her 261 on her career and making her Arizona’s all-time leader. The Wildcats shot just 34 percent from the field on the game, compared to the 41 percent of the Trojans. USC also made 46 percent of its three-pointers and 75 percent of its free throws. The Women of Troy out-rebounded Arizona 44 to 34. Junior Shawntinice Polk led Arizona with 18 points and nine rebounds. Freshman Ashley Whisonant was the only other Wildcat to reach double-digits scoring, finishing with 10 points. Senior Danielle Adefeso tallied nine points.
On the season, the Wildcats are led by Wheeler, who averages 18.5 points, 4.9 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.9 steals per game. Polk adds 13.8 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game. As a team, Arizona is out-shooting its opponents 45 percent to 37 percent and out-rebounding them 38.2 to 37.0.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION: Nikki Blue’s last-second shot did not fall as Arizona State snapped the Bruins’ 10-game home winning streak and handed UCLA its first Pac-10 loss with a 44-42 win in Pauley Pavilion Friday night. The 42 points tied the school record for fewest points in a game at Pauley Pavilion set against Utah in 2000 and also matched against Georgia in 1985. The Bruin total of 13 points in the first half was a record low for a UCLA team in Pauley Pavilion. Blue led UCLA with 12 points, four assists and seven rebounds. Noelle Quinn scored eight points, snapping her streak of double-figure scoring at 35 games. Amanda Livingston led UCLA with a career-high 10 rebounds. The Bruins shot a season-low 23 percent for the contest.
On the season, UCLA is led by Quinn, who averages 17.3 points and 7.1 rebounds. Lisa Willis adds 14.0 points and 6.1 boards, while Blue averages 11.4 points and 4.7 assists. Rounding out the group of double-figure scorers is Lindsey Pluimer, who has a 10.4 points per game average. As a team, UCLA is shooting 41 percent from the field, compared to the 40 percent of its opponents. The Bruins are outscoring opponents 70.9 to 61.5, but are being edged on the glass, 40.5 to 40.1.
SERIES SHORTS: Arizona trails the all-time series with UCLA 16-36. The last time the two teams met, on Feb. 12, 2004, Arizona fell 87-68 in Los Angeles. The Wildcats are 10-16 at home and 6-20 away vs. the Bruins.
RANKING IN THE PAC-10: In the most recent Pac-10 statistics, generated prior to Arizona’s loss at USC on Friday, the Wildcats lead the league in field goal percentage (.452), rank second in blocked shots (4.0), third in scoring (71.7), field goal percentage defense (.372), rebounding margin (1.9) and defensive rebounds (24.3), fourth in assists (15.3), rebounding (38.5), and three-point field goal percentage defense (.291), fifth in scoring margin (8.7), three-point field goal percentage (.327), scoring defense (62.9), rebounding defense (36.5) and assist/turnover ratio (0.9).
Individually, Dee-Dee Wheeler leads the league in scoring, ranks second in assist/turnover ratio, third in assists, fourth in steals and minutes played, tied for fourth in three-point field goals made, ninth in three-point field goal percentage, 10th in field goal percentage and tied for 14th in rebounding. Shawntinice Polk leads the league in blocked shots, ranks second in field goal percentage, third in rebounding and defensive rebounds and seventh in scoring. Natalie Jones ranks tied for 14th in rebounding, while Jessica Arnold is sixth in three-point field goal percentage.
RANKING NATIONALLY: As a team, Arizona ranks 27th nationally in field goal percentage, 35th in scoring and 50th in won-lost percentage.
Individually, senior Dee-Dee Wheeler ranks 19th in points per game and 36th in steals per game. Junior Shawntinice Polk ranks 12th in field goal percentage and 36th in blocked shots per game.
WHEELER BECOMES ARIZONA’S STEAL LEADER: Senior guard Dee-Dee Wheeler tied the school record for career steals at the 10:41 mark in the first half of the game at Southern California Friday night and took sole possession of the record with 11:08 left in the game. She now has 261 steals on her career.
BONVICINI NEARS 250TH WIN AT ARIZONA: Head Coach Joan Bonvicini currently boasts a 249-153 (.619) record in 14 years at the helm at Arizona. The winningest coach in Arizona women’s basketball history, she needs just one more win to reach the 250 mark.
POLK IS 10 AWAY FROM TWO MAJOR MILESTONES:Junior All-America candidate Shawntinice Polk currently has 790 rebounds and 190 blocks on her career. The center needs just 10 more of each to reach the milestones of 800 rebounds and 200 blocks. Polk is Arizona’s all-time blocks leader and ranks second in rebounding, 131 behind Adia Barnes’ 921 career rebounds.
ALL GOOD THINGS MUST COME TO AN END: Point guard Dee-Dee Wheeler’s streak of 48 consecutive games with 10 or more points came to an end Friday night at USC as the senior finished with just five points. The last time she failed to reach double-digit scoring was March 23, 2003, when she had seven points in a loss to Notre Dame. Wheeler has scored 10 or more points in 95 of her 108 career games.
TALE OF THREES: Arizona is 7-2 (.778) this season when making four or more three-pointers. The team’s two losses both came on nights when it made seven baskets from downtown: at Georgia on Nov. 17 and vs. Stanford on Jan. 9. On the contrary, the Wildcats are 4-3 (.571) when they make three or less treys.
CATS’ NATION-LEADING HOME WIN STREAK ENDS: Arizona’s 34-game winning streak, the longest in the nation, came to an end last Sunday when the Wildcats fell 78-66 to Stanford. It was Arizona’s first home loss since Nov. 22, 2002, when it dropped the 2002-03 season opener in overtime to Louisiana State, 78-71.
WHEELER STARTS 100TH GAME: When she took the court against Arizona State on Jan. 3, senior Dee-Dee Wheeler was making the 100th start of her career. In doing so, she became just the sixth Wildcat ever to start 100 or more games.
80 IS THE MAGIC NUMBER: In the program’s 33-year history, the Wildcats are almost guaranteed a win when they reach 80 points. Arizona is 169-20 (89 percent) all-time when reaching the 80-point plateau. With Joan Bonvicini at the helm, the Wildcats are 121-13 (90 percent) when scoring 80 points or more. This year alone, Arizona is 5-0 in games where it has reached 80 points in the scoring column.
DOUBLE-DOUBLE TROUBLE: During her career, junior Shawntinice Polk has recorded 41 double-doubles (21 as a freshman, 16 as a sophomore and four as a junior). The longest streak came at the start of her career, when she opened the 2002-03 season with eight consecutive double-doubles. During her three seasons, the Wildcats are 31-10 when Polk notches a double-double.
CURRENT CATS ON UA CAREER LISTS: Senior guard Dee-Dee Wheeler is first in steals (261), second in scoring (1,698), field goals made (663), field goals attempted (1,442) and minutes played average (32.2), fourth in scoring average (15.7), three-point field goals made (161), three-point field goals attempted (448) and three-point field goal percentage (.359), fifth in total minutes played (3,473), sixth in games started (103), eighth in assists (402) and ninth in free throw percentage (.733).
Junior Shawntinice Polk is first in double-doubles (41), blocks (190), rebounding average (10.1) and field goal percentage (.592), second in total rebounds (790), third in scoring average (16.4), sixth in scoring (1,280), field goals made (530) and free throws attempted (395), and seventh in minutes played average (28.8).
WILDCATS RANK NATIONALLY IN ATTENDANCE: Arizona currently ranks 49th nationally in attendance with an average attendance of 2,098. Connecticut is the leader with a 13,996 average, while Pac-10 opponents Oregon, Stanford, Washington and Arizona State rank 26th, 29th 32nd and 33rd, respectively, at 3,657, 3,192, 3,072 and 3,071.
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 10th year as the Wildcats’ play-by-play announcer, the Jolt will broadcast every game, home and away.
WILDCATS ON TELEVISION: The Wildcats have two more games this season that will be broadcast on FSN:
Saturday, Jan. 29 - 4 p.m. vs. Maryland
Saturday, Feb. 19 - 2 p.m. at Oregon
In addition, the Wildcats’ home games against Southern California (Feb. 12) and Washington (Feb. 26) are "wild card" games that could get picked up in the Pac-10 television package with FSN.
UP NEXT: Arizona hosts Oregon for a 7 p.m. game next Thursday, Jan. 20, at McKale.