COMING UP: The University of Arizona women's basketball team (7-11, 1-5 Pac-10) travels to Corvallis, Ore., to take on the Oregon State Beavers (6-8, 1-4 Pac-10) on Saturday, Jan 13 at 7 p.m. (PST) in Gill Coliseum. Arizona will try to get back on track, as a win will put the Wildcats in the middle of the Pac-10 standings.
CATCH THE ACTION: As always, Arizona women's basketball games can be heard live on KTUC AM 1400, with Paul Johnson calling the action from courtside.
OREGON RECAP: On a cold, snowy night, Arizona could not hang with the hot shooting Oregon Ducks, falling 86-73 on Thursday night before a crowd of 2,554 at McArthur Court.
Oregon shot 57.9 percent (33-57) from the field in the game, an Arizona opponent season high, including an 11-of-21 mark from three point range. The Wildcats shot 45.6 percent (26-57) from the field, with a 17-of-26 mark from the free throw line. Arizona also out-rebounded the Ducks 30-28, as the Wildcats tallied 15 offensive rebounds to go with 11 steals.
Individually for Arizona, senior Joy Hollingsworth scored a game-high 22 points on 8-of-15 shooting from the field to go with eight rebounds, five assists, and three steals. Junior Jessica Arnold added 17 points, and sophomore Amina Njonkou posted 13 points and five rebounds.
Senior Eleanor Haring led Oregon with 20 points on 9-of-14 shooting, and senior Cicely Oaks added 17 points for the Ducks.
Arizona started the game off strong, hitting 6-of-10 shots from the field to take a 14-13 lead on a jumper by Arnold at the 14:32 mark. Oregon took a 20-17 lead, but a trey by Ashley Whisonant tied the game at 20-20 with 12:23 left in the first. Oregon then hit back-to-back three pointers to spark a 17-3 scoring run over 4:28 to give the Ducks a 37-23 advantage. Oregon took a 52-37 lead at the 1:36 mark on a layup by Haring, but Arizona finished the half on an 8-2 run in the final 1:26 capped by a trey by Hollingsworth off the backboard glass as time expired, and trailed 54-45 at halftime.
Arizona shot 59.3 percent (16-27) from the field in the first half, including a 4-of-7 mark from three point range, but Oregon shot 62.9 percent (22-35) from the field, with a 6-of-10 mark from behind the arc. Hollingsworth and Haring each had 18 points apiece at halftime, as the first half featured 12 lead changes and three ties.
Arizona got back into the game at the start of the second half, cutting the Oregon lead to 58-53 on a Whisonant lay in with 14:24 left to play. The Ducks responded with a 13-1 run over the next 5:54 to take a 71-54 lead. Arizona was held without a field goal for a span of 7:29 in the second half. Arizona trailed 76-58 on a three by Oregon’s Micaela Cocks with 6:04 to play, but was able to cut the Duck lead to 81-70 at the 2:10 mark on a free throw by Njonkou.
The Wildcats shot 33.3 percent (10-30) from the field, including an 8-of-14 mark from the charity stripe in the second half, as Oregon posted a 50.0 percent (11-22) mark from the field after halftime.
A QUICK LOOK AT ARIZONA: Arizona averages 64.0 points a game while shooting 40.1 percent (439-1095) from the field, 25.9 percent (71-274) from three-point range, and 66.1 percent (203-307) from the free throw line while averaging 64.0 points a game. The Wildcats have also tallied 176 steals (9.8 spg) off of 365 opponent turnovers. Senior Joy Hollingsworth leads Arizona with 15.9 points a game while posting 6.0 rebounds, and 2.4 steals per game.
ABOUT THE BEAVERS: The Oregon State University Beavers enter Saturday’s matchup with a 6-8 overall record and a 1-4 mark in the Pac-10 standings. The Beavers have lost two-straight games, including a 59-43 loss to Arizona State on Thursday, but earned a 56-52 win at UCLA. Oregon State is 4-3 at home so far this season. As a team, Oregon State shoots 43.8 percent (323-738) from the field, 24.3 percent (37-152) from three point range, and 73.6 (167-227) from the free throw line while averaging 60.7 points a game. Senior guard Casey Nash is averaging a Pac-10 leading 19.9 points a game to go with 6.9 rebounds, and freshman forward Judie Lomax adds 11.4 points a 8.9 rebounds (second in the Pac-10) per game. Head coach LaVonda Wagner is in her second season at the helm of the Beaver program.
THE OREGON STATE-ARIZONA SERIES: Saturday’s game will be the 45th meeting all-time between the Wildcats and Beavers on the hardwood, with Arizona owning a 23-21 all-time series advantage. Last season, Oregon State swept the two-game series, breaking a six-game Wildcat winning streak. Since 1998, Arizona is 14-6 against the Beavers.
GOOD AT GILL: Last season, three Wildcats found a hot hand at Gill Coliseum, despite the 91-83 loss. On Feb. 11, 2006, then-junior Joy Hollingsworth torched the Beavers for a team-high 24 points on 10-of-16 shooting from the field, including a 4-of-8 mark from three point range. Then-freshman Kelsey Burns scored a career-high 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field with a 3-of-4 mark from three point range to go with nine rebounds, and then-sophomore Ashley Whisonant finished with 16 points, four rebounds and four assists.
ARIZONA HEAD COACH JOAN BONVICINI: The winningest coach in Arizona women's basketball history, Joan Bonvicini has taken the Wildcat program from obscurity into the national limelight. In her 15 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 10 years, and in 2003-04 won a share of the conference regular-season title for the first time in school history. 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, 21 All-Pac-10 honorees, 16 Pac-10 All-Freshman Team choices and 11 Academic All-Pac-10 selections. Bonvicini holds a 273-193 (.586) mark at Arizona and is 598-264 (.694) in 27 years as a head coach, needing just three wins to become the 18th coach in NCAA history to reach 600 career wins. She has a career record of 24-17 in NCAA Tournament play and has lost just two first-round games in 17 tourney appearances.
WIN #600: As mentioned above, head coach Joan Bonvicini stands just two wins shy of 600 in her career. If the Cats win at Oregon State, she will have the chance to become the 18th coach in NCAA history to accomplish the 600 win plateau next week at home against USC on Thursday.
TOUGH BEATS: Arizona has lost 11 games on the season, but their beats have come against some of the top teams in the nation. Entering Saturday's game against Washington, Arizona's 11 losses have been against teams with a combined record of 134-44 (.753), with seven of those losses being to ranked teams.
According to collegerpi.com, Arizona’s schedule is ranked as the sixth-toughest in the nation.
GET AHEAD, STAY AHEAD: Arizona is 6-3 this season when leading at halftime. However, the Wildcats are 1-2 in the last three games when leading at the half.
CARDIAC CATS: So far this season, the Wildcats have succeeded in the close ball games. Arizona is 4-1 in games decided by five points or less. The Wildcats have notched two overtime wins decided by three points or less, a road win by four points, and a thrilling 59-57 win over Washington State.
MAGIC NUMBER: So far this season, Arizona is a perfect 4-1 when scoring 70 points or more in a game, including a season-high 83 points scored in its season-opening win against Nicholls State. All-time, Arizona is 176-21 (.893) when scoring 80 points or more, as the Wildcats are 129-14 (.902) under head coach Joan Bonvicini when reaching the 80 point plateau. Arizona is 1-7 this season when posting 60-69 points in a game.
On Thursday against Oregon, Arizona scored more that 70 points for the first time since its 77-39 win against Long Beach State on Dec. 12, a span of seven games. It was the first time this season Arizona lost when scoring 70 points or more in a contest.
RUN IT, RUN IT: So far this season, Arizona has shown the ability to put together some large scoring runs. Here is a breakdown of some of the Wildcats' major scoring-streaks:
25 points: 30-5 scoring run over 12:50 in the first half vs. Nicholls State
21 points: 30-9 run over the final 6:53 of the first half at UTEP
18 points: 23-5 run over the first 12:38 of the second half vs. Long Beach State
16 points: 16-0 run over 3:13 in the first half vs. Louisiana Tech
16 points: 20-4 run over the final 8:11 of the game at Maryland
15 points: 15-0 run over 4:40 in the first half vs. GW
14 points: 15-1 run over 3:57 in the second half vs. Long Beach State
12 points: 12-0 run over 5:55 in first half vs. NC State
12 points: 18-6 run over the final 7:50 of the game vs. Nicholls State
11 points: 14-3 run over 9:20 to start the second half vs. Washington State
10 points: 17-7 run over 6:24 in the first half vs. New Mexico
10 points: 13-3 run over 4:24 in the second half vs. Washington
10 points: 10-0 run over 1:47 in the second half vs. GW
THE BIG, BAD RUN: Although Arizona can score points in bunches, the Wildcats have a tendency to give up large scoring runs to the opposition. Here is a look at some of the scoring runs Arizona has given up to opponents:
26 points: 31-5 scoring run to Maryland over 9:59 to start the first half
21 points: 26-5 run to Texas A&M in the final 7:31 of the first half
20 points: 26-6 run at Arizona State over 9:26 to start the first half
16 points: 16-0 run to California over 7:45 in the first half
16 points: 21-5 run to UTEP in the final 3:37 of the game
14 points: 17-3 run at Oregon over 4:28 in the first half
13 points: 13-0 run to Fresno State in the final 4:33 of the game
13 points: 16-3 run to Louisiana Tech over 5:29 in the first half
12 points: 13-1 run at Oregon over 5:54 in the second half.
12 points: 16-4 run to New Mexico over 5:21 to start the first half
12 points: 15-3 run to Washington State over 4:51 in the first half
11 points: 15-4 run to New Mexico over 4:51 midway through the second half
10 points: 10-0 run to Utah over 3:16 in the first half
WATCH YOUR POCKETS: The Wildcats have excelled at picking the pockets of opponents this season. Arizona has tallied 176 steals (9.8 spg) on the season, which is third best in the Pac-10. UA has forced 365 opponent turnovers, converting 306 points (17.0 ppg) off of turnovers. The Wildcats have recorded double-figures in steals in 10 games this season, including 11 steals against Oregon on Thursday. Senior Joy Hollingsworth leads Arizona with a mark of 2.4 spg, the second-best mark in the Pac-10.
SPLINTERS OUT: Arizona's depth is certainly displayed in the team's bench play, as reserves have totaled 311 bench points in 18 games (17.3 ppg). Arizona has posted double-figures in bench points 14 of its 18 games this season, as the bench has accounted for 27.0 percent of the team's 1152 points. Against Oregon, however, Arizona’s bench was outscored 35-9 by the Ducks’ bench in the game.
OFFENSIVE BOARDS: So far this season, the Wildcats have done a solid job on the offensive glass. On the year, the Wildcats have grabbed 246 offensive rebounds, leading to 230 second-chance points. Arizona is averaging 13.7 offensive rebounds and 12.8 second-chance points a game, and has posted double-figures in offensive rebounds in 14 of 18 games. Arizona has posted double-figures in offensive rebounds in six of its last seven games, including 15 against Oregon on Thursday.
BIG POINTS: Arizona went the first 12 games of the season without giving up 80 points to an opponent. In the last six games, the Wildcats have given up 80 or more points four times, including 86 points to the Ducks on Thursday. Arizona is 0-4 when giving up 80 points or more, and 0-6 when allowing 70 points or more in a game to the opposition.
GETTING TO THE LINE: In the last three games, Arizona has excelled at getting to the free throw line. The Wildcats have toed the line 80 times in the last three games, converting 54 free throws for a 67.5 average. On the other side of the court, Arizona’s opponents have gotten to the line just 40 times, making 27 of their attempts (72.5 percent). In the last three games, Arizona has drawn 72 personal fouls while committing 53. Arizona has attempted 26 or more free throws in the last three consecutive games, a first this season.
HOT DUCKS: Arizona could not stop hot shooting Oregon on Thursday, allowing the Ducks to shoot 57.9 percent (33-57) from the floor in the game, an opponent season high. Oregon shot 62.9 percent (22-35) from the field in the first half, and finished the game shooting 11-of-21 (52.4 percent) from three point range, and 81.8 percent (9-11) from the free throw line. Entering the game, Oregon shot 41.7 percent from the field as a team and 37.7 percent from three point range.
MUCH BETTER: The Wildcats shooting was much improved at Oregon, as Arizona shot 59.3 percent (16-27) from the field in the first half, the second highest mark in a half this season for the team. The Wildcats shot 33.3 percent (10-30) from the floor in the second half to finish at 45.6 percent (26-57) for the game, its highest shooting percentage in five games.
SCORELESS: Arizona played the Ducks close and tough for much of the game on Thursday, but was ultimately done in by a scoreless stretch in the second half. The Wildcats cut the Oregon lead to 58-53 with 14:24 left to play in the second half. Oregon, however, responded with a 13-1 run over the next 5:54, while holding Arizona without a field goal for a span of 7:29 in the second half.
Last week it was Arizona holding the opposition scoreless, as the Wildcats held Washington State without a basket for the opening 7:45 of the second half.
REBOUNDS: Arizona out-rebounded Oregon 30-28 in the game, losing its third-straight game when out-rebounding the opposition. Arizona is 4-3 on the season when owning the rebounding edge. The Wildcats also out-rebounded Arizona State and Washington in losses.
GIVE HER THE ROCK: Joy Hollingsworth has been on a tear offensively as of late, posting 18 or more points in each of her last three games. Against Oregon on Thursday, Hollingsworth scored a game-high 22 points on 8-of-15 shooting from the field, to go with eight rebounds, five assists and three steals.
Last week, Hollingsworth scored a career-high 31 against Washington and 18 against Washington State to average 24.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 2.0 steals in the two games, a big improvement from the week before in which she averaged just 3.5 points per game, while shooting 2-of-22 (0.09 percent) from the field, with a 0-of-9 mark from three point range.
In her last three games, Hollingsworth is averaging 23. 7 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 2.3 steals a game.
The Seattle native is averaging a team-best 15.9 points a game (7th in the Pac-10), as she has scored 22 points or more on six different occasions. She is also averaging 6.0 rebounds and 2.4 steals a game (second in the Pac-10), and has posted double-figure point totals in 15 out of 18 games this season. Hollingsworth is shooting 39.2 percent from the field (102-260), and averages 14 shots from the field a game.
PLAYING TOUGH: Despite a knee injury that held her out against Washington last Thursday, junior point guard Ashley Whisonant play has been solid at the point for the Wildcats. The Bowie, Md., native is averaging 10.0 points and 5.5 rebounds a game in her last two contests. On the season, Whisonant is averaging 11.6 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 3.6 assists a game, including an 11.6 ppg average in Pac-10 play.
MS. CONSISTENCY: Sophomore Amina Njonkou has been a monster with her play in the paint this season, as she has become one of Arizona's most consistent players. The 6-foot-1 forward is averaging 9.6 points and a team-best 6.8 rebounds a game. She leads the team with 57 offensive rebounds (second in the Pac-10), and is shooting 47.4 percent (65-137) from the field. Against Fresno State, Njonkou finished with 15 points and a career-best 13 rebounds for her second double-double of the season. Njonkou recorded the first double-double of her career with a career-high 17 points and 11 rebounds against Nicholls State. So far this season, she has recorded five rebounds or more in 16 of her 18 games, as she finished with 13 points and five rebounds against Oregon. In her last three games, Njonkou is posting 11.0 points and 7.0 rebounds a game.
In Pac-10 play, Njonkou is averaging 9.8 points and 7.2 rebounds a game.
STEPPING UP: Junior Jessica Arnold has provided Arizona with another scoring option, as she is averaging 10.7 points a game in her last three outings, up from her 7.5 ppg season average. Against Oregon on Thursday, Arnold poured in 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting, while taking just one shot from three point range. Arnold drove to the basket more than usual on the Ducks, getting to the line a season-high seven times to hit a season-best five free throws, to go with two rebounds, three assists and a season-high two steals.
BRING IT: Like every season, Arizona competes against some of the toughest competition in the nation. This year will be no different. The Wildcats will face a strong non-conference slate to go along with the always-difficult Pac-10 Conference season. Arizona will play 20 games this season against 12 teams that participated in the 2006 NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats will face defending national champion Maryland and NCAA Tournament teams George Washington and TCU in the first week of the season. Arizona also hosts NC State, Louisiana Tech and New Mexico, and travels to Texas A&M and Utah. After the brutal non-conference slate, Arizona must throw blows with its Pac-10 Conference foes, including Arizona State, California, Stanford, Washington, USC, and UCLA, all tournament teams from a year ago.
RANK THIS: Arizona's tough schedule is apparent when you take a look at this year's preseason rankings. In the WBCA/USA Today/ESPN Preseason Top-25 Poll, nine of the top 25 teams in the nation will play the Wildcats during the season. Defending champs Maryland tops the list at No. 1 in the nation, followed by No. 4 Stanford, No. 12 Arizona State, No. 14 Texas A&M, No. 20 New Mexico, No. 21 California, No. 22 USC, No. 23 UCLA, and No. 25 Washington. Additionally, five other Arizona opponents (George Washington, Utah, TCU, Louisiana Tech, and NC State) received double-digit votes in the poll.
This week, seven of Arizona's 2006-07 opponents are ranked in the top-25. So far this season, Arizona is 0-7 against ranked opposition.
CATS PICKED TO FINISH SEVENTH IN PAC-10: The University of Arizona women's basketball team was selected to finish seventh in the Pac-10 Conference in a preseason vote by the conference's head coaches on Oct., 16. The Wildcats garnered 32 points in the poll, as defending Pac-10 champion Stanford was chosen as the favorite to win this year's Pac-10 title.
The Cardinal received nine of 10 first-place votes and 81 points, as Arizona State received the remaining first-place nod and tallied 70 points to place second. USC was tabbed to finish third with 63 points, followed by California and Washington with 53 points for a tie for the fourth-place slot. UCLA grabbed 46 points to place sixth, followed by Arizona (32), as Oregon (22), Washington State (16) and Oregon State (14) rounded out the poll.
Arizona was also selected to finish seventh in the Pac-10 Media Poll released Nov. 7.
UP NEXT: Arizona will host USC on Thursday, Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. (MST) in McKale Center.