Tour of Italy"/> 20070604 Arizona Women's Basketball Tour of Italy Recap(1) - The University of Arizona Official Athletic Site
 
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20070604 Arizona Women's Basketball Tour of Italy Recap(1)
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 06/04/2007
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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><A href="http://www.arizonaathletics.com/PhotoAlbum.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=1600&amp;PALBID=11801">Tour of Italy Photo Gallery</A></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"></SPAN> </P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">The <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:PlaceType w:st="on">University</st1:PlaceType> of <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Arizona</st1:PlaceName> women&rsquo;s basketball team embarked on a two-week excursion to <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Italy</st1:place></st1:country-region> from May 12-26, and gained a world of experience both on and off the basketball court. The two-week tour included five games against FIBA teams and trips to some of <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Italy</st1:place></st1:country-region>&rsquo;s most popular and historic destinations.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><o:p> </o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">One of the Wildcats&rsquo; main objectives of the trip was to improve on the court as a team in preparation for next season through real-game competition.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>Although <st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Arizona</st1:place></st1:State> was limited to a roster of seven players, and often traveled on a bus for more than two hours before each game to reach the gym, the Wildcats posted a perfect 5-0 record against its FIBA competition.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>UA won its five games by an average of 35.6 points.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN><o:p></o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><o:p> </o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Arizona</SPAN></st1:place></st1:State><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"> opened the trip with an 82-46 win over Cantina Sociale Di Broni on May 15.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>The Wildcats overcame a 10-point first quarter deficit to run away to a blowout win.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>The next day, the UA escaped with a thrilling 80-78 win over the Marghera-Venezia Sernavimar Giants on a break-away layup by forward Amina Njonkou as time expired in regulation.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><o:p> </o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">In the final three games of the tour, <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:State w:st="on">Arizona</st1:State></st1:place> rolled to blowout victories, including a 106-25 win over Virtus-Venezia on May 18, and an 87-41 win over S.R.L. Iemmeci Orvieto on May 23.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>In the final game of the tour on May 24, <st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Arizona</st1:place></st1:State> posted a 71-48 victory over Pomezia, using a 51-28 run through the final three quarters to pull away.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><o:p> </o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Individually for the Wildcats, Njonkou led the team by averaging 23.8 points and 10.2 rebounds a game, including tour highs of 32 points and 11 rebounds against Virtus-Venezia.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>Point guard Ashley Whisonant averaged 17.8 points, 4.2 rebounds and 5.2 assists, and forward Rhaya Neabors posted 10.8 points and 6.6 rebounds in five games.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><o:p> </o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Guard Malia O&rsquo;Neal averaged 6.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game, and center Suzy Bofia posted averages of 11.4 points and 11.8 rebounds a contest.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>Guard Marie McGee chipped in with 7.4 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.6 assists, and 4.4 steals a game, and forward Shannon Hobson averaged 5.4 points and 5.8 rebounds over the five-game tour. <o:p></o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><o:p> </o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Off the court, <st1:State w:st="on">Arizona</st1:State> went on a 12-day tour of <st1:country-region w:st="on">Italy</st1:country-region>&rsquo;s sights and scenery which began in <st1:City w:st="on">Milan</st1:City> and ended in <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Rome</st1:place></st1:City>. The trip started on May 12 with an 18-hour flight from <st1:City w:st="on">Phoenix</st1:City> to <st1:City w:st="on">London</st1:City>, and a flight from <st1:City w:st="on">London</st1:City> into <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Milan</st1:place></st1:City>.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><o:p> </o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">The first half of <st1:State w:st="on">Arizona</st1:State>&rsquo;s trip included stops at <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Lake</st1:PlaceType> <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Como</st1:PlaceName>, a walking tour of <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Milan</st1:place></st1:City>, and a trip to Bardolino, a small lake-side town to visit relatives of head coach Joan Bonvicini for lunch.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN><o:p></o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><o:p> </o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Some of the notable sites the Wildcats saw included the small towns and multi-million dollar homes on <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Lake</st1:PlaceType> <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Como</st1:PlaceName>, with a visit to the town of <st1:City w:st="on">Bellagio</st1:City>, a name better known in the <st1:country-region w:st="on">United States</st1:country-region> as a casino in <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Las Vegas</st1:place></st1:City>.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>In <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Milan</st1:place></st1:City>, the Wildcats visited <SPAN style="COLOR: black">Castello Sforzesco</SPAN>, a castle built in the 19<SUP>th</SUP> century, the <SPAN style="COLOR: black">Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II</SPAN>, and the Duomo of Milan.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><o:p> </o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">From <st1:City w:st="on">Milan</st1:City>, the Wildcats traveled to Jesolo, a beach-front resort community on the <st1:place w:st="on">Adriatic Sea</st1:place>.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>From <st1:City w:st="on">Jesolo</st1:City>, <st1:State w:st="on">Arizona</st1:State> traveled to the world-famous city of <st1:City w:st="on">Venice</st1:City> and the <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceType w:st="on">island</st1:PlaceType> of <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Murano</st1:PlaceName></st1:place>.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>In <st1:City w:st="on">Venice</st1:City>, the Wildcats toured the island city, making stops in Saint Marco&rsquo;s Square, the <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Rialto</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Bridge</st1:PlaceType>, and of course making time for a gondola ride on the <st1:place w:st="on">Grand Canal</st1:place>.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>In Murano, the Cats found out firsthand why the island is famous for glass making.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><o:p> </o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><st1:State w:st="on"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Arizona</SPAN></st1:State><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">&rsquo;s next stop was in <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Verona</st1:place></st1:City>, where the Wildcats paid visits to Juliet&rsquo;s balcony at Villa Capelletti, the Arena of Verona, and the Piazza delle Erbe.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><o:p> </o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">From <st1:City w:st="on">Verona</st1:City>, <st1:State w:st="on">Arizona</st1:State> took a five-hour bus ride to the tranquil town of <st1:City w:st="on">Montecatini</st1:City>, a small countryside hideaway in <st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Tuscany</st1:place></st1:State>.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>From Montecatini, the Wildcats traveled to <st1:City w:st="on">Pisa</st1:City> to view the famous <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Leaning</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Tower</st1:PlaceType></st1:place> as well as the other monuments of town.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><o:p> </o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Next up for Arizona was a visit to Florence, the capital city of Tuscany and one of the most historic and important cities in Italy.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>In <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Florence</st1:place></st1:City>, the Wildcats shopped till they dropped, and made stops at the Duomo of Florence, the Academia to see Michelangelo&rsquo;s famous sculpture of David, the Palazzo Vecchio, and the River Arno.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><o:p> </o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><st1:State w:st="on"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Arizona</SPAN></st1:State><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">&rsquo;s last stop was in the city of <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Rome</st1:place></st1:City>.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>When in <st1:City w:st="on">Rome</st1:City>, the Wildcats visited the <st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Vatican City</st1:place></st1:State>, viewing the Sistine Chapel, Saint Peter&rsquo;s Basilica and Saint Peter&rsquo;s Square.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>The Wildcats final day in <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Rome</st1:place></st1:City> included a tour of the ancient Roman Forum and the famous Roman Coliseum, with stops at the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain, and the Spanish Steps.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><o:p> </o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">From <st1:City w:st="on">Rome</st1:City>, <st1:State w:st="on">Arizona</st1:State> departed back home via <st1:City w:st="on">London</st1:City> and <st1:City w:st="on">Phoenix</st1:City> and arrived in <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Tucson</st1:place></st1:City> after a 19-hour day of travel late night on May 26.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><o:p> </o:p></SPAN></P><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA">With success on the court and an unforgettable visit to some of <st1:country-region w:st="on">Italy</st1:country-region>&rsquo;s most famous places and attractions, the <st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Arizona</st1:place></st1:State> women&rsquo;s basketball bonded as a group and is ready to use its experience into making the 2007-08 season a memorable one.</SPAN>
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