COMING UP: The No. 24 Arizona women’s basketball team (2-0) travels to Columbus, Ohio, for a 7 p.m. (EDT) game at No. 10 Ohio State (2-0) this Wednesday, Nov. 17, in the semifinals of the Sportsview.tv Preseason WNIT.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE WILDCATS: Arizona notched its 29th-straight home victory Sunday afternoon, defeating Rice 68-43 in the second round of the Preseason WNIT. The Wildcats shot 39 percent (25-of-65) from the field on the game, while Rice managed just 19 percent (12-of-62). Arizona also out-rebounded the Owls 61 to 41. The 61 rebounds in a game ranks tied for eighth place all-time at Arizona. Junior Shawntinice Polk recorded her second double-double in as many games and the 39th of her career. She finished with 18 points and 16 rebounds. Senior point guard Dee-Dee Wheeler added 12 points, eight rebounds and three assists. Junior Natalie Jones was just shy of a double-double, finishing with nine points and 10 rebounds.
On the season, the Wildcats are led by Polk, who averages 17.5 points and 14.0 rebounds per game. Sophomore Shannon Hobson adds 13.5 points and 6.5 rebounds. Freshman guard Jessica Arnold and Wheeler add 12.5 and 11.0 points per game, respectively. Wheeler also dishes out 5.0 assists per game. As a team, Arizona is shooting 47 percent from the field and out-rebounding opponents 50-38.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION: Five players reached double-figure scoring as Ohio State pounded Saint Joseph’s 76-29 in the second round of the Preseason WNIT Sunday. The Buckeyes shot 49 percent from the field, 43 percent from downtown and 88 percent from the free throw line on the game. Meanwhile, Saint Joseph’s connected on just 23 percent from the field, 14 percent from beyond the arc and 43 percent from the charity stripe. Jessica Davenport led the way 16 points and eight rebounds. Caity Matter added 12 points, followed by Brandie Hoskins and Stephanie Blanton with 11 apiece, and Tamarah Riley with 10 points.
The Buckeyes are led this season by Davenport, who averages 16.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. Matter and Ashley Allen add 12.0 and 11.0 points per game, respectively. As a team, Ohio State is shooting 53 percent from the field, 56 percent from three-point range and 91 percent from the free throw line this season. The Buckeyes are outscoring opponents 165 to 70 and out-rebounding them 38 to 26.
SERIES SHORTS: Arizona is 1-1 all-time against Ohio State. The two teams last met on Dec. 15, 2002, in Columbus, Ohio, with the Buckeyes winning 84-65. Arizona won the first-ever meeting, 90-76, on Nov. 21, 2001 in Tucson.
PRESEASON WNIT TIDBITS:
¨The four remaining teams in this year’s Preseason WNIT (Duke, Ohio State, Notre
Dame and Arizona) are all ranked in the preseason AP or USA Today/ESPN polls.
¨In last year’s Preseason WNIT, Texas Tech defeated Rutgers 73-45 to win the title.
ARIZONA AND THE PRESEASON WNIT: The Wildcats are 3-1 all-time in the Preseason WNIT, now in its 11th year. This is Arizona’s second appearance and the Preseason WNIT. In 1996, the Wildcats defeated San Francisco 85-79 in overtime on the road in the first round. In the second round, Arizona fell at No. 11 and eventual champion Louisiana Tech, 73-60.
TALE OF TWO HALVES: Arizona has been markedly stronger in the first half than in the second half this season. The Wildcats are averaging 46.5 points in the first half and just 31 points in the second half. In addition, Arizona is outscoring opponents 93-50 in the first half, but being outscored 65-62 in the second period.
WILDCAT FRESHMEN MAKING IMMEDIATE IMPACT: Arizona’s four freshmen - Jessica Arnold, Ch?© Oh, Chari Smith and Ashley Whisonant - are making their presence felt. In Arizona’s two wins this season, the foursome have accounted for 34 percent of the Wildcats’ points (53 of 155) and 33 percent of the minutes (131 of 400). The freshmen are also shooting 47 percent from the field (21 of 45).
POLKEY NAMED ONE OF TOP FIVE CENTERS: For the second year in a row, junior center Shawntinice Polk has been named one of the Top 5 centers in the nation by ESPN.com. Joining Polkey on the list are Katie Feenstra of Liberty, Sandora Irvin of TCU, Janel McCarville of Minnesota and Jessica Moore or Connecticut. Ohio State’s Jessica Davenport was an honorable mention pick. Polkey is the only repeat selection.-
HOME WIN STREAK STANDS AT 28: The Cats have won 29 games in a row at home, good for the second longest streak in the nation behind Texas (36). The last time the Wildcats were defeated at home was Nov. 22, 2002, when they lost the 2002-03 season opener in overtime to Louisiana State, 78-71. Arizona went on to win its final 13 homes games during the 2002-03 season, and won all 14 games at McKale last year.
WHEELER’S SCORING STREAK CONTINUES: Point guard Dee-Dee Wheeler has scored 10 or more points in 35 consecutive games. The last time the Chicago native failed to reach double digits in the scoring column was March 23, 2003, when she had seven points in a loss to Notre Dame. The senior has scored 10 or more points in 82 of her 94 career games.
DOUBLE-DOUBLE TROUBLE: During her career, junior Shawntinice Polk has recorded 39 double-doubles (21 as a freshman, 16 as a sophomore and two as a junior). The longest streak came at the start of her career, when she opened the 2002-03 season with eight consecutive double-doubles. During her three seasons, the Wildcats are 29-10 when Polk notches a double-double.
ARIZONA TABBED NO. 24 IN PRESEASON POLLS: The Arizona women’s basketball team is ranked No. 24 in both the Associated Press and the USA Today/ESPN/Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) preseason polls. This marks the second year in a row that the Wildcats have been preseason ranked in each of the polls.
GOING POLLING: Three of Arizona’s 2004-05 opponents (Georgia, Stanford and Maryland) are nationally ranked in the USA Today/ESPN Preseason Coaches Poll. In addition, Duke, Ohio State and Notre Dame, all potential opponents in the Preseason WNIT, are ranked in the Top 25. UCLA, UC Santa Barbara and Oregon are all receiving votes in the polls.
CURRENT CATS ON UA CAREER LISTS: Senior guard Dee-Dee Wheeler is second in minutes played average (32.2) and field goals attempted (1,213), third in scoring (1,424) and field goals made (555), fourth in scoring average (15.1), steals (217), three-point field goals made (134) and three-point field goals attempted (381), fifth in three-point field goal percentage (.355), seventh in games started (89), ninth in total minutes played (3,024) and assists (342), and 10th in free throw percentage (.732).
Junior Shawntinice Polk is first in double-doubles (39), blocks (163), rebounding average (10.6) and field goal percentage (.594), fourth in total rebounds (702), sixth in field goals made (462), seventh in free throws attempted (351) and 11th in scoring (1,122).
WILDCATS ON THE RADIO: All of Arizona’s games this season will be broadcast on Tucson’s Jolt, KJLL 1330 AM, the radio home of Arizona women’s basketball. With Paul Johnson returning for his 10th year as the Wildcats’ play-by-play announcer, the Jolt will broadcast every game, home and away.
WILDCATS ON TELEVISION: The Wildcats have three games this season that will be broadcast on FSN:
Sunday, Jan. 9 - 2:30 p.m. vs. Stanford
Saturday, Jan. 29 - 4 p.m. vs. Maryland (FSN)
Saturday, Feb. 19 - 2 p.m. at Oregon (FSN)
In addition, the Wildcats’ home games against Southern California (Feb. 12) and Washington (Feb. 26) are "wild card" games that could get picked up in the Pac-10 television package with FSN.
UP NEXT: Should the Wildcats win on Wednesday, they will face the winner of the Notre Dame-Duke game in the WNIT championship on Saturday or Sunday, Nov. 20 or 21.