March 10, 2011
LOS ANGELES - The No. 4 seed Arizona Wildcats and the No. 5 seed USC Trojans will play the second game of the second round of the Pacific Life Pac-10 Basketball Tournament on Thurs., March 10. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:15 p.m. PT/6:15 p.m. MT at the Galen Center.
The Arizona Wildcats and the USC Trojans will meet for the 67th time on Thursday in Los Angeles. The Trojans lead the series with UA, 48-19. USC has won five of the last eight meetings between the two teams, including an 81-72 win in LA earlier this season. The Wildcats came back to beat the Trojans, 84-74, on Feb. 26, 2011, at McKale Center.
The Arizona Wildcats are 20-10 overall on the season. Arizona has three players averaging in double figures: senior forward Ify Ibekwe (16.2), sophomore guard Davellyn Whyte (15.4) and senior forward Soana Lucet (11.7). Ibekwe leads Arizona and the Pac-10 at the glass with 10.2 rebounds per game and is the only Pac-10 player to average a double-double on the season.
Ibekwe also leads the conference in scoring (16.2) and defensive rebounds (7.3) while junior guard Shanita Arnold dishes out 5.0 assists per game to lead the Pac-10 and ranks No. 3 in assist/turnover ratio (1.5). The Wildcats rank in the top three in the Pac-10 in the following statistical categories: scoring offense (73.2), scoring margin (+4.4), field goal percentage (810-1874-.432) and assists (15.1).
The Wildcats have won four-straight games, including three-straight Pac-10 road wins, and seven of their last eight contests. Under third-year head coach Niya Butts, the Wildcats have improved from 12 overall wins and four Pac-10 victories in 2008-09, to 14 overall wins and six Pac-10 wins in 2009-10, to sitting at 20-10 overall currently.
The Wildcats' 10-8 conference record is their best since the 2004-05 campaign and their 20 wins overall are the most since that same season. The 2010-11 season marks the highest finish in the Pac-10 for Arizona since tying for the Pac-10 regular-season crown in 2004.
The USC Trojans are 19-11 overall on the season and they defeated Washington State, 78-66, in the opening round of the tournament on Wednesday. Briana Gilbreath paces the Women of Troy with 14.9 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. USC has four players averaging double-digit scoring. In the Pac-10 ranks, USC is No. 3 in free throw percentage (445-633-.703), No. 3 in three-point field goal percentage (168-494-.340), No. 3 in blocked shots (3.7), No. 2 in assist/turnover ratio (0.9) and No. 3 in defensive rebounds (26.6).
All Wildcat games can be heard live in Tucson on KTUC AM 1400 and broadcasts will start 15 minutes prior to tip-off for the pre-game show. In their third season calling Arizona Wildcat women's basketball games are Derrick Palmer (play-by-play) and Alysiah Bond (color). For complete details, a live video stream and live stats from the Pacific Life Pac-10 Tournament, visit pac-10.org.
The winner of the UA/USC contest will move on to face the No. 1 seed Stanford Cardinal on Fri., March 11, at 12 p.m. PT/1 p.m. MT, at the Staples Center. Tickets for the event are still available for purchase by visiting www.pac-10.org/hoopstix.