Dec. 20, 2011
Arizona is 9-1 on the season and 3-0 in the friendly confines of McKale Center. The Cats are paced by sophomore guard Davellyn Whyte's 17.9 points per game. She is backed up by sophomore forward Erica Barnes' 13.6 points and 9.1 rebounds per contest. Senior guard Shanita Arnold hands out 5.4 assists per outing. UA is shooting 43.5 percent from the field, 39.1 percent from behind the arc and 69.5 percent from the free throw line.
New Mexico is 4-7 on the season and 1-2 on the road. The Lobos are paced by 14.8 points and 4.5 boards per game from Caroline Durbin. Porche Jackson is good for 10.7 points and 8.7 rebounds per contest. UNM averages 54.4 points per game while shooting 40.2 percent from the field, 33.3 percent from three-point range and 67.4 percent from the charity stripe.
Arizona and New Mexico will meet for the 21st time on Wednesday. The Wildcats hold an 11-9 win margin over the Lobos. UA has won four of the last six contests between the two teams, including last season's 84-60 victory in Albuquerque.
Arizona ranks in the top three in the Pac-12 in scoring offense (75.8), free throw percentage (69.5), three point field goal percentage (39.1), turnover margin (+3.3), offensive rebound percentage (40.2) and three point field goals made (7.2). Individually, Whyte ranks No. 5 in scoring with 17.9, Barnes ranks No. 6 in rebounds with 9.1 and Arnold ranks No. 2 in assists with 5.4.
With its current 9-1 record and only loss at the hands of BYU, Arizona is off to the best start in program history since the 1999-2000 season. That squad went 12-1 before losing to Stanford, 98-95, in Tucson. Last year, for the first time since the 2003-04 season, the Wildcats were 11-2 to start the season. UA dropped non-conference games to eventual national champion Texas A&M and at Nevada before winning its first two conference contests.
Arizona has played seven of its 10 games away from Tucson this season. The Wildcats are 5-0 on the road and 1-1 at a neutral site with wins at Georgia Southern, Georgia State, New Mexico State, BYU-Hawai'i and Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The last time UA won five-straight road games was Dec. 29, 1999-Feb. 6, 2000, a five-game streak that included wins at Louisville (80-70), Washington State (83-68), Washington (96-85), Oregon (73-66) and Oregon State (65-49). That streak ended with an 80-68 loss at USC on Feb. 17, 2000.
Last time out, Arizona picked up a 67-37 road win at the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Of the 11 members on the team, 10 saw action in the contest with each player scoring at least two points. Whyte led all scorers with 16 points. In just 28 minutes of play, she also had eight rebounds, four assists and four steals. Arizona also got a double-digit effort from Barnes with her 13 points and seven rebounds. Arnold handed out a career best 11 assists while giving up just three turnovers. She also had six rebounds, five steals and four points. Arizona outrebounded Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 50-31, and had 19 assists on 25 field goals. The Wildcats shot 43.9 percent from the field (25-57), 50 percent from behind the arc (8-16) and 52.9 percent from the charity stripe (9-17).
Arizona women's basketball games can be heard live on KTUC AM 1400 in Tucson. All broadcasts will start 15 minutes prior to tip-off for the pregame show. Derrick Palmer (play-by-play) and Molly O'Mara (color) will call the action this season. Visit ArizonaWildcats.com for all of your live stats and video needs.