COMING UP: The University of Arizona women's basketball team (7-15, 1-9 Pac-10) closes out its four-game home stand against No. 20 California (15-5, 6-4 Pac-10) on Saturday, Jan. 27 at 4 p.m. in McKale Center. Arizona will play its second-consecutive game against a ranked opponent, its ninth game against a ranked team this season, and looks to end its five-game skid.
CATCH THE ACTION: Saturday’s game will be televised live by Fox Sports Net with Cathy Nelson and Tracy Warren calling the action from courtside.
As always, Arizona women's basketball games can be heard live on KTUC AM 1400, with Paul Johnson calling the action from courtside.
Live statistics and live video feeds are available at Arizona athletics department official website: arizonaathletics.com.
STANFORD RECAP: Brooke Smith had 20 points and 10 rebounds to lead No. 9 Stanford to its 15th straight victory, 86-76 over Arizona on Thursday night.
The Cardinal (17-3, 10-0) scored the first eight points of the game, built a 22-point first-half lead and then held off an Arizona rally that brought the Wildcats within seven.
Jayne Appel made 9-of-10 from the field for 18 points for Stanford. Candice Wiggins added 18 points, Cissy Pierce had 15, and Kristen Newlin had 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Joy Hollingsworth led Arizona (7-15, 1-9) with 13 points and Jessica Arnold added 11.
Hollingsworth's 3-pointer with 6:44 left got the Wildcats to 71-64.
But Wiggins hit a 3-pointer and a layup after getting a loose ball under the bucket to put Stanford ahead by 12.
The Wildcats came within 80-72 with 2 minutes remaining, but Appel put the game away with a mini-hook to put Stanford back ahead by 10 with 1:06 left.
Arizona used full-court pressure to rattle the Cardinal at the start of the second half, outscoring Stanford 22-10 to close to 54-47 on Jessica Arnold's driving layup with 11:32 remaining.
Stanford built its big first-half lead by turning it up a notch midway through the half, making 11-of-15 field goal attempts to go ahead 42-22 with 2:30 left following a layup from Smith. Arizona had cut the lead to 13-12 on a jump shot by Burns, but a 3-pointer from Michelle Harrison and six straight inside points from Appel gave Stanford a nine-point burst that started the Cardinal's hot streak.
A QUICK LOOK AT ARIZONA: Arizona averages 65.0 points a game while shooting 40.1 percent (543-1353) from the field, 27.3 percent (93-359) from three-point range, and 67.7 percent (247-365) from the free throw line. The Wildcats have also tallied 200 steals (9.1 spg), third-best in the Pac-10, off of 432 opponent turnovers. Senior Joy Hollingsworth leads Arizona with 16.4 points a game (6th in the Pac-10) while posting 5.9 rebounds, and 2.36 steals per game (one of top marks in the Pac-10).
ABOUT THE GOLDEN BEARS: The University of California-Berkeley Golden Bears enter Saturday’s game with a 15-5 overall record and a 6-4 mark in the Pac-10. Cal is also ranked No. 20 in the nation in the AP poll, and No. 22 in the nation in the coaches’ poll. The Golden Bears had their four-game winning streak snapped on Thursday in a 66-54 loss at Arizona State. Cal is 5-3 overall on the road so far this season. Individually for Cal, sophomore forward Ashley Walker leads the team averaging 17.9 points and 8.6 rebounds a game, numbers that are in the top three in the Pac-10 Conference rankings. Head coach Joanne Boyle is in her second season at the helm of the Golden Bear program.
THE CALIFORNIA-ARIZONA SERIES: Saturday’s game will be the 46th meeting all-time between the Wildcats and the Golden Bears on the hardwood, with Arizona owning a 29-16 all-time series advantage. Cal beat the Wildcats, 74-58, on Dec. 30 in Haas Pavilion earlier this season. The two teams also split last year’s series, with each team winning on the road. Under head coach Joan Bonvicini, Arizona is 24-9 against Cal, including a 24-5 mark against the Golden Bears since the 1993 season. Arizona had a 19-game winning streak against Cal from 1994-2005, but Cal has won three of the last four meetings.
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 273-197 (.582) mark at Arizona and is 598-268 (.691) in 27 years as a head coach, needing just two 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. With two more wins, she will become the 18th coach in NCAA history to accomplish the 600 win plateau.
DO WE PLAY HERE?: Arizona finally got to enjoy the comforts of playing at home in McKale Center, as the Wildcats finish out a season-long four-game home stand this week. Arizona played 11 of its first 19 games away from McKale Center, including five of its first seven Pac-10 games on the road.
TOUGH BEATS: Arizona has lost 15 games on the season, but its beats have come against some of the top teams in the nation. Entering Saturday’s game against Cal, Arizona's 15 losses have been against teams with a combined record of 190-83 (.696), with eight of those losses being to ranked teams.
According to collegerpi.com, Arizona's schedule is ranked as the 14th-toughest in the nation.
Vs. RANKED OPPONENTS: On Saturday against Cal, Arizona will play its ninth game of the season against a ranked opponent, including its second straight. So far this season, the Wildcats are 0-8 against ranked opposition.
HOME AGAINST THE PAC: Arizona has been very successful at home in McKale Center, especially during Pac-10 Conference play. Since the 1995-96 season, Arizona is 75-29 (.721) against Pac-10 teams at home, including a 65-23 mark (.739) since the 1997-98 season. The Wildcats once owned a 20-game winning streak against the Pac-10 at home, which included two undefeated (9-0) seasons in 2003 and 2004. The Wildcats went 2-7 at home against Pac-10 teams last season, and are 1-4 at home so far this season.
GET AHEAD, STAY AHEAD: Arizona is 6-4 this season when leading at halftime. However, the Wildcats are 1-3 in the last four games when leading at the half. Against USC last Thursday, the Wildcats owned a 34-26 halftime lead, but were outscored 51-34 in the second half to hand the Women of Troy a 77-68 win. Arizona is 1-11 when trailing at the half.
CARDIAC CATS: So far this season, the Wildcats have succeeded in the close ball games. Arizona is 4-2 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.
Arizona dropped three-point decision to UCLA last Saturday, 76-73, breaking a four-game win streak in games decided by five points or less.
MAGIC NUMBER: So far this season, Arizona is 4-3 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 1-9 this season when posting 60-69 points in a game.
Arizona, however, has lost its last three games when scoring 70 points or more, including Thursday’s 86-76 loss to Stanford.
PUTTING UP POINTS: In the last two games, Arizona has scored 73 and 76 points, respectively, marking the first time this season the team has scored more than 70 points in back-to-back games.
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: 16-4 run over 5:16 in the second half vs. Stanford
12 points: 17-5 run over 3:30 in the second half vs. UCLA
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
10 points: 10-0 run over 3:54 in the first half vs. USC
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
19 points: 27-8 run to Stanford over 7:41 in 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: 14-2 run to USC over 7:14 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: 16-5 run to USC over 4:04 in the second half
11 points: 15-4 run to USC in the final 4:23 of the game
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
10 points: 10-0 run to UCLA over the final 2:34 of the first half
WATCH YOUR POCKETS: The Wildcats have excelled at picking the pockets of opponents this season. Arizona has tallied 200 steals (9.1 spg) on the year, which is third best in the Pac-10. UA has forced 432 opponent turnovers, converting 390 points (17.7 ppg) off of turnovers. The Wildcats have recorded double-figures in steals in 11 games this season, including 10 steals against UCLA last Saturday. Senior Joy Hollingsworth leads Arizona with a mark of 2.4 spg, one of the top marks in the Pac-10.
A RARITY: Against Stanford on Thursday night, the Wildcats recorded a season-low one steal in the entire game. Junior Suzy Bofia tallied the team’s lone take away.
OFFENSIVE BOARDS: So far this season, the Wildcats have done a solid job on the offensive glass. On the year, the Wildcats have grabbed 294 offensive rebounds, leading to 274 second-chance points. Arizona is averaging 13.4 offensive rebounds and 12.5 second-chance points a game, and has posted double-figures in offensive rebounds in 17 of 22 games. Arizona has posted double-figures in offensive rebounds in six of the last seven games, and nine of the last 11 games. The Wildcats had posted double-figures in offensive rebounds in six-straight games before finishing with seven against Stanford on Thursday.
BIG POINTS: Arizona went the first 12 games of the season without giving up 80 points to an opponent. In the last 10 games, the Wildcats have given up 80 or more points five times. Arizona is 0-5 when giving up 80 points or more, and 0-9 when allowing 70 points or more in a game to the opposition. Arizona allowed 86 points to Stanford on Thursday, and has given up 73 points or more in three-straight games, and four of the last five.
LOOKING FOR DIMES: The Wildcats have been moving the ball around on offense, and it shows in the stat column. Arizona posted a season-high 21 assists against Oregon State on Jan. 13, and followed that performance up with 15 assists against USC last Thursday. The Wildcats also posted 16 assists against UCLA last Saturday. With 10 assists against Stanford on Thursday, the Wildcats have posted 62 assists (15.5 apg), a season-best over a four-game span. Arizona has tallied double-figures in assists in 21 of 22 games this season.
PAC-10 PRODUCTIVITY: Through 10 Pac-10 games, Arizona has four players averaging double-figures in scoring during conference play. Senior Joy Hollingsworth leads the way at 16.5 points a game, followed by junior Ashley Whisonant with 10.4 ppg, junior Jessica Arnold at 10.1 ppg, and sophomore Amina Njonkou with 10.0 ppg.
BALANCED SCORING: Arizona had four players score in double-figures on Thursday against Stanford, the fourth time this season that Wildcats have accomplished that feat. It was the second time in three games the Wildcats have had four players score in double-figures, as Arizona had four players in double-figures against USC last Thursday. Before the game against USC, Arizona went 11 games without having four players post double-figures in points.
PLAYING CLOSE: In Arizona's last six losses, the Wildcats have played tough in the second half only to see the game go into the hands of the opposition. Against Stanford on Thursday, the Wildcats used a 16-4 run over 5:16 in the second half to trail 54-47 with 11:36 left to play. Stanford regained control after that for a 86-76 win.
Against last Thursday UCLA, Arizona used a 17-5 run to cut the Bruin lead to 69-68 1:20 left to play in the game, but could not close in any more down the stretch. Against USC last Thursday, the Wildcats owned a 42-31 lead in the second half with 16:26 left in the game, only to give up a 16-5 run and a 15-4 run to the Women of Troy for the USC win.
Against Washington on Jan. 4, the Wildcats used a 13-3 run to cut the Husky lead to 60-54 with 8:12 left in the game, only to be outscored 23-12 the rest of the way. At Oregon on Jan. 11, Arizona cut the Oregon lead to 58-53 14:24 left to play, but gave up a 13-1 run to the Ducks over the next 5:54 that put the game out of reach. At Oregon State on Saturday, Arizona trimmed the OSU lead to 39-35 at the 14:54 mark in the second half, but gave up six-straight points to give the Beavers a 45-35 lead, enough of a cushion to last down the stretch for the OSU win.
BAD/GOOD: On Thursday, the Wildcats played the game like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: one bad half of basketball transformed into one good half of basketball. In the first half against the Cardinal, Arizona shot 35.7 percent (10-28) from the floor, and trailed 44-25 at halftime, after getting out-rebounded 26-11. In the second half, Arizona was on fire connecting on 17-32 shots for 53.1 percent shooting, including a 6-of-11 mark (54.5 percent) mark from three point range. Arizona outscored Stanford in the second half 51-42, and out-rebounded the Cardinal 20-14.
ON FIRE: Arizona’s second half against Stanford on Thursday was the Wildcats’ best offensive half of basketball so far this season, as the Wildcats scored a season-high 51 points in a half.
SWISH: The Wildcats seemed to have found their mark from three point range on Thursday, as Arizona made a season-high nine three pointers, on a season-best 47.4 percent shooting (9-of-19) from behind the arc. It was only the second time this season Arizona has shot 40 percent or better from three point range, as the Wildcats shot 26.5 percent (44-166) from three point range in the 10 games before that. On the season, Arizona shoots 27.3 percent (98-359) from three point range.
BURNS IS BACK: Sophomore Kelsey Burns made the most of her playing time against Stanford, posting a season-high 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting from the field, including a 2-of-5 mark from three point range. She also finished with a season-high two rebounds and a season-best 15 minutes of playing time. Burns scored a total of five points in seven games before Thursday.
STAYING ON POINT: Sophomore Malia O’Neal played solid for the Wildcats in reserve on Thursday, registering nine points on three-of-four shooting from three point range. Her three treys and four three point attempts were both career highs. On the season, the Seattle native is averaging 2.5 points and 1.5 assists a game.
GIVE HER THE ROCK: Joy Hollingsworth has been on a tear offensively as of late, averaging 20.6 points, 5.9 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 2.1 steals in her last seven games.
The Seattle native is averaging a team-best 16.4 points a game (6th in the Pac-10), as she has scored 22 points or more on seven different occasions. She is also averaging 5.9 rebounds and 2.4 steals a game (on of the top marks in the Pac-10), and has posted double-figure point totals in 18 out of 21 games this season. Hollingsworth is shooting 39.8 percent from the field (128-322), and averages 14 shots a game.
She posted 13 points and four rebounds against Stanford on Thursday.
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 9.7 points and a team-best 7.2 rebounds a game. She leads the team with 70 offensive rebounds (second in the Pac-10), and is shooting 47.0 percent (79-168) from the field. She is the only Wildcat this season to post a double-double, as she leads the team with four, including two in her last three games. 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.
Last Thursday against USC, Njonkou posted her third double-double of the season with 16 points, 10 rebounds, and a career-high four assists. Against Stanford on Thursday, Njonkou finished with 10 points, 12 rebounds, and four assists. So far this season, she has recorded five rebounds or more in 20 of her 22 games. In her last three games, Njonkou is averaging 11.7 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 3.0 assists a game.
SOLID PLAY: Junior Suzy Bofia has put together back-to-back solid performances. On Thursday against Stanford, Bofia finished with eight points on 4-of-8 shooting, with a rebound, a block and a steal in 20 minutes of action. Against UCLA last Saturday, she posted eight points and six rebounds in 19 minutes of play. The Cameroon native, shot 4-of-7 from the field, and tallied three offensive rebounds, a block, and a steal. On the season, Bofia is averaging 5.3 points and 3.9 rebounds a game. Her mother is currently visiting from Africa, as she saw Suzy play for the first time on Thursday against Stanford.
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, six 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 travel to Pullman, Wash., to take on the Washington State Cougars on Thursday, Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. (PST).