WHAT'S HAPPENING:The University of Arizona women's basketball team (No. 23 AP/No. 19 USA Today) closes out a three-game road swing this weekend with a contest at Arizona State on Saturday, Feb. 26, at 8 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on Fox Sports Net Arizona.
GAME TIME CHANGE:Please note that the game time has changed for the contest at Arizona State this weekend. The game will tip off at 8 p.m., instead of the previously listed 2 p.m.
BUSES HEADED FOR ASU:A caravan of Wildcat "fun buses" will make its way up to Tempe this weekend for the game at Arizona State. For the cost of only $20, fans receive a reserved game ticket and transportation to and from Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe. Four buses are already full, and reservations are being taken for a fifth bus. Space is still available, so fans can obtain information by calling the Arizona women's basketball office at (520) 621-4014.
POSSIBLE STARTING LINEUP: 45 Elizabeth Pickney F 6-4 So. Houston, TX 9.9 ppg 4.4 rpg 0.9 bpg 53 Tatum Brown F 6-4 Sr. Tacoma, WA 13.3 ppg 7.9 rpg 0.7 bpg 3 Lisa Griffith G 5-6 Sr. Portland, OR 8.9 ppg 2.1 spg 3.6 apg 10 Reshea Bristol G 5-10 Jr. Omaha, NE 7.3 ppg 3.5 rpg 2.1 spg 23 Felecity Willis G 5-7 Sr. Apple Valley, CA 7.8 ppg 5.3 apg 1.5 spg OFF THE BENCH (listed alphabetically): 33 Tysell Bozeman G 5-8 So. Riverside, CA 3.0 ppg 1.1 rpg 0.6 spg 20 Julie Brase G 5-9 So. Tucson, AZ 6.8 ppg 2.7 rpg 2.0 apg 22 Monika Crank G 5-7 Sr. Page, AZ 5.2 ppg 2.5 rpg 2.1 apg 34 Angela Lackey F 6-0 Sr. Louisville, KY 12.9 ppg 4.9 rpg 1.7 spg 51 Michelle Mitchell C 6-4 So. Oregon City, OR 1.1 ppg 1.2 rpg 21 Jamie Sturdivant G 5-7 Fr. Simi Valley, CA 0.8 ppg 0.2 rpg 0.4 apg 50 LaKeisha Taylor C 6-4 So. Houston, TX 2.6 ppg 2.7 rpg 0.4 bpg 35 Krista Warren F/G 6-2 Fr. Cloverdale, CA 3.8 ppg 2.9 rpg 0.5 apg
ABOUT ARIZONA:The 23rd-ranked Wildcats stand at 20-5 overall and 9-4 in Pac-10 play after being swept in Los Angeles for the first time since 1994. The Cats fell to USC, 80-68, on Feb. 17, then were defeated by then-24th-ranked UCLA, 80-66, on Feb. 19. This marks the first back-to-back losses for Arizona since falling at Washington State and Washington on Jan. 7 and 9, 1999. The losses also ended the UA's six-game win streak and knocked the Cats back to fourth place in the Pac-10 standings.
With 13.3 points and 7.9 rebounds per game, senior forward Tatum Brown remains the UA leader in both categories. Senior forward Angela Lackey is a close second in scoring, with 12.9 ppg, and is second in rebounding, at 4.9 rpg. Sophomore forward Elizabeth Pickney stands in third in both categories, averaging 9.9 ppg and 4.4 rpg.
Guards Lisa Griffith (8.9 ppg), Felecity Willis (7.8 ppg), Reshea Bristol (7.3 ppg) and Julie Brase (6.8 ppg) follow on the scoring chart. Willis is the team's assists leader, at 5.3 per game, while Bristol has the highest steals average, at 2.14 per game.
Arizona leads the Pac-10 in four different statistical categories, including scoring (79.4 ppg), scoring margin (+12.0 ppg) and assists (18.28 apg). Individually, Tatum Brown is tops in field goal percentage (.610) and second in rebounding (7.9 rpg), while Felecity Willis is second in assists (5.32 apg).
ABOUT ARIZONA STATE:The Sun Devils also suffered a sweep in L.A. last weekend, slipping to 13-10 overall and 6-7 in Pac-10 play. ASU has lost six of its last eight games, however the Sun Devils are 10-1 on their home court this season.
Three Sun Devils are averaging in double digits in scoring, led by sophomore forward Theresa Jantzen's 12.6 points per game. Senior center Rachel Holt is second in scoring, with 11.9 ppg, and is leading the team in rebounding, at 5.3 per game. Senior forward Kristine Sand is averaging 11.1 ppg and 4.8 rpg.
Arizona State is the top team in the Pac-10 in three-point percentage defense, allowing opponents to hit only 25.9 percent from long range. The Sun Devils are also third in scoring defense (64.0 ppg). Individually, Rachel Holt is third in the Pac-10 in field goal percentage (.565), and Theresa Jantzen is second in free throw percentage (.839).
In her fourth year at Arizona State, head coach Charli Turner Thorne (Stanford, 1988) holds a 44-59 mark. She is 84-98 in seven years as a head coach.
THE SERIES vs. ARIZONA STATE:Arizona's series with in-state rival Arizona State ties as the oldest series in UA women's basketball history. ASU was the second team the Cats faced on Feb. 2, 1973, (the UA played New Mexico earlier that day) during Arizona's inaugural season of women's basketball. The contest resulted in a 50-39 win by Arizona over the Sun Devils in Las Cruces, N.M.
Arizona State holds the 31-25 lead in the series with the Wildcats, although the UA has won 13 straight games against ASU. Thirteen of the last 21 meetings between the two teams were settled by spreads of 10 points or less, and Arizona's average margin of victory over the last three games was only 6.7 points.
Earlier this year, the Wildcats scraped out a narrow 60-58 win over Arizona State in Tucson on Jan. 30. The last time these two teams met in Tempe, Arizona needed overtime to pull out a 76-67 victory on Feb. 13, 1999.
LAST MEETING WITH ASU:A 50 percent shooting performance in the second half helped the Wildcats pull out a 60-58 win over rival Arizona State at home on Jan. 30.
Arizona opened the game with an 11-2 run, then ASU proceeded to out-score the Cats, 27-16, over the remainder of the half, taking a 29-27 lead into the break.
Arizona State held onto the lead early in the second half until the UA went on an 11-4 spurt to take a two-point (38-36) lead at the 12:35 mark. From that point, there were seven lead changes and four ties until Arizona managed to push out to a six-point (58-52) lead with 1:12 left.
ASU scratched back to within the final spread of two points by hitting a three-pointer with less than a minute remaining in the contest, but Arizona held on for the victory.
Tatum Brown was the only Wildcat to reach double digits in scoring, racking up 18 points and 13 rebounds.
ARIZONA'S LAST TIME OUT:A 10-0 run midway through the second half gave 24th-ranked UCLA all the momentum it needed to defeat Arizona, 80-66, in Los Angeles on Feb. 19.
The first half featured six ties and six lead changes as the two teams played to a 36-all score at halftime. The teams traded buckets early in the second half, until UCLA put on its 10-0 run, capitalizing on seven straight Wildcat turnovers. Arizona came no closer than five points for the remainder of the game.
Monika Crank led the UA in scoring, with 13 points off the bench. Elizabeth Pickney added 10 points and a game-high six rebounds, and Angela Lackey had 10 points as well.
The Cats committed a season-high 29 turnovers in the game.
LOOKING AHEAD:Arizona will play its final home contests of the year against the Oregon schools next weekend. The Cats will take on Oregon State on Thursday, Mar. 2, at 7 p.m., then the UA faces Oregon on Saturday, Mar. 4, at 2 p.m. in a contest which will be televised live nationally on Fox Sports Net.
TRACKING THE PAC-10:With a 10-3 record in Pac-10 play, Oregon has sole possession of first place in the league standings. Stanford and UCLA are close behind with 9-3 conference records each. Arizona is in fourth place at 9-4.
GAME ADDED TO TELEVISION SCHEDULE:The Wildcats' home game against Oregon on Saturday, Mar. 4, has been selected to be televised live nationally on Fox Sports Net. The contest will tip at 2 p.m. MST. This contest brings Arizona's total up to eight televised games for the 1999-2000 season.
GRIFFITH TO PARTICIPATE IN 3-POINT CHAMPIONSHIP:UA senior guard Lisa Griffith has been selected as a participant in the Annual College Three-Point Basketball Championship on Thursday, Mar. 30, in Indianapolis, Ind. Along with the Slam Dunk Championship, the 3-point contest is one of the activities surrounding the men's Final Four and will be broadcast on ESPN on Mar. 30 from 9-11 p.m. EST.
HEAD COACH JOAN BONVICINI:In nearly a decade at the helm of the University of Arizona's women's basketball program, head coach Joan Bonvicini has collected an unparalleled list of accomplishments, both for the university and for her career.
Now in her ninth year at the UA, Bonvicini has posted a 154-103 (.599) mark and has a 479-174 (.734) record in 20 years as a collegiate head coach. She also has a 22-13 mark in NCAA tournament play and has never lost a first-round game in 13 appearances.
Prior to taking over at the UA, Bonvicini led Long Beach State to 10 consecutive NCAA appearances, including two trips to the Final Four. She registered a 325-71 mark in 12 seasons with the 49ers.
DID YOU KNOW:Since Joan Bonvicini took over the Arizona program in 1991, the Wildcats have gone 81-76 against Pac-10 teams, although they have a 47-20 league mark over the last four seasons combined.
RACKING UP THE WINS:Joan Bonvicini needs only five more victories at the UA to collect as many wins as the six previous Wildcat coaches combined (159).
THE REST OF THE STAFF:Awarded the title of associate head coach during the summer of 1998, Denise Dove Ianello (Northern Illinois, 1991) is in her eighth year at the UA, functioning as both the team's recruiting coordinator and the perimeter coach. Second-year assistant coach Karen Caires (Cal State Northridge, 1990) works with the perimeter players, assists with scouting and recruiting and directs the Joan Bonvicini Hoop Camp. In his first year at the UA, assistant coach Curtis Loyd (Southern Utah, 1994) is involved with scouting and with coaching the post players.
ARIZONA'S PRACTICE SCHEDULE:Here is the upcoming practice schedule for the Wildcats...
Tues. Feb. 22 4:30-7 p.m. McKale Wed. Feb. 23 OFF Thurs. Feb. 24 4:30-7 p.m. McKale Fri. Feb. 25 2-4:30 p.m. McKale depart for Tempe, 5 p.m. Sat. Feb. 26 at Arizona State, 8 p.m. Wells Fargo Arena Sun. Feb. 27 OFF Mon. Feb. 28 2:45-4:45 p.m. McKale lifting after Tues. Feb. 29 4:30-7 p.m. McKale
TO START OR NOT TO START:Seems that Joan Bonvicini's decision to insert Reshea Bristol into the starting lineup six games ago was a good one. In the six contests since the junior guard entered the lineup, she has averaged 10.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game. During that stretch, she has also hit 42.6 percent from the floor, including 33.3 percent from three-point range, and has shot 81.8 percent from the free throw line.
In the 15 games earlier this year which saw Bristol coming off the bench, she averaged only 6.0 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. She shot only 33.3 percent from the floor, 31.3 percent from three-point range, and 75.6 percent from the line.
BY THE NUMBERS:Eighteen of Arizona's wins this year have been by an average of 10 points or more... Each loss has been by an average of 8.6 points per game... The Cats have hit five or more 3-pointers in 16 games this season... Arizona has 20 or more assists in 12 games this year... The Cats have had 10 or more steals in 17 games... Arizona has forced its opponent into 20 or more turnovers in 17 contests, and no opponent has committed less than 14.
GOTTA TAKE CARE OF THE BALL:Arizona has committed an average of 22.6 turnovers per game over the last 10 contests. During that stretch, the Cats have forced opponents into an average of 23.0 turnovers per game.
Arizona had its season high of 29 turnovers at UCLA on Feb. 19, also the UA's highest turnover total since committing 36 at Arizona State on Jan. 17, 1998.
LONG RANGE BOMBING:The Wildcats have hit at least one 3-pointer in 58 consecutive games, dating back to Mar. 5, 1998. Arizona is 10-1 this season when draining six or more three-pointers in a game.
SHAKING THOSE FREE THROW WOES:Arizona was wildly inconsistent from the free throw line during non-conference play this season, hitting only 66.0 percent from the line. During that time-frame, the Cats shot as well as 84 percent (vs. Tennessee Tech) and as poorly as 53.1 percent (vs. Northern Illinois).
Since entering Pac-10 play, the Cats have regained some consistency, and accuracy, from the free throw line. They are shooting 70.5 percent from the stripe against conference opponents.
CRASHING THE BOARDS:Rebounding was a major problem for the Wildcats over the last few years, but they are on an upswing in that area. The UA has out-rebounded or been equal to its opponent in 23 of this season's games. That's a great improvement over last season, when the Cats out-rebounded only seven opponents in all 29 games combined.
BENCH CONTRIBUTIONS:The UA bench has been quite productive this season, contributing an average of 29.4 points per game. The highest point total from the bench so far this year came on Dec. 10 against Texas Southern, when 47 of the UA's 96 points came from the subs.
THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME:During Joan Bonvicini's tenure at Arizona, the Wildcats have posted a 91-40 mark in McKale Center, including a 60-12 record over the last five seasons combined. Arizona has a record of 157-148 on its home court since the 1976-77 season.
STRONG SCHEDULE:Several of the UA's opponents this season are ranked in this week's polls.
UC Santa Barbara is 11th in this week's A.P. poll, while Oklahoma is 18th and UCLA is 24th. Stanford, Oregon, Kansas and Colorado State all received votes for ranking.
In this week's USA Today/ESPN Coaches' poll, UC Santa Barbara is No. 13, Oklahoma is No. 20, UCLA is No. 23 and Kansas is No. 24. Stanford, Oregon, Colorado State, Hawai'i and Oregon State all received votes for ranking.
DUALLY SUCCESSFUL:Ten schools had both their men's and women's basketball teams ranked among the A.P. Top 25 this week. They are Arizona, Duke, Tennessee, Auburn, LSU, Iowa State, Oklahoma, Purdue, Connecticut and Kansas.
80 IS THE MAGIC NUMBER:Seems that the 80-point mark almost always means adding another to the "win" column for the Wildcats. In the 28-year history of Arizona women's basketball, the Cats have posted a 121-16 record when scoring 80 points or more in a game. Under Bonvicini, the Wildcats have gone 81-9 when topping that 80-point plateau.
WE CAN HANDLE THE CLOSE ONES...:Under head coach Joan Bonvicini, the Cats have gone 24-18 in games settled by five points or less, including a 8-4 mark in games settled by one or two points.
...BUT WE REALLY PREFER THE BLOWOUTS:Over the last nine seasons, Bonvicini's Arizona teams have won 50 games by spreads of 20 points or more.
KEYS TO THE WIN:This season, Arizona is... 18-4 when out-rebounding its opponent... 17-1 when shooting better than its opponent from the floor... 18-4 when shooting 40% or better from the field... 17-1 when scoring 70 points or more... 15-2 when committing fewer turnovers than the opponent... 15-4 when three or more players reach double digits in scoring.
CAT SCRATCHES:The Cats are forcing opponents to commit an average of 2.72 more turnovers per game than the UA, the highest ratio in the Pac-10... The Arizona women's basketball program has a 313-394 (.443) all-time record, however it is 117-58 (.669) from 1994 to present... Joan Bonvicini has a 171-90 career record against Pac-10 teams.
ON LOCATION:The Wildcats are 11-2 at home this season, 6-3 in road games and 3-0 in neutral contests. Arizona posted an 11-3 mark at home, was 5-8 on the road and notched a 2-0 record in neutral contests last year.
CHECKING THE RECORD BOOK:Lisa Griffith is the Arizona and the Pac-10 career leader in both three-pointers made (268) and attempted (709). She is in the #6 spot on the UA's top-20 all-time leading scorers' list, with 1,138 career points. She needs only six more points to move into the #5 spot.
Griffith is also on the career top-10 list for games started, coming in at #3 with 103 career starts. She is second on the career steals chart, with 211, and is fifth on the career assists list, with 439.
Felecity Willis is sixth in career three-pointers attempted (183) and is seventh in three-pointers made (51). She is holding down third place on the UA all-time assists chart and is ninth all-time in the Pac-10, with 505 career dishes.
Willis also stands in the #15 spot on the UA all-time scoring list, with 915 career points. She needs 10 more points to move into the #14 spot.
Sophomore forward Elizabeth Pickney stands in fifth place on the UA all-time blocked shots list, with 58.
ARIZONA ON THE TUBE:The Wildcats are currently scheduled to make television appearances for at least two more games...
Sat. Feb. 26 at Arizona St. Fox Sports Net Ariz. 8 p.m. Sat. Mar. 4 Oregon Fox Sports Net 2 p.m.
CATS REGISTER BEST PAC-10 START EVER:Arizona's 9-2 mark through the first 11 games of Pac-10 play was its best start ever in league action. Previously, the UA had never made it through the first 11 conference games with less than three losses.
ACHIEVING 20 WINS:With its defeat of Washington State on Feb. 12, this UA squad became the fastest ever to reach the 20-win mark. No other Wildcat team has ever been able to reach 20 wins in only 23 games.
It was also the earliest in the season that any team has reached 20 wins. The earliest mark previously was set by the 1996-97 squad, which reached the 20-win plateau on Feb. 22.
FELECITY WILLIS NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK (Feb. 7):Senior guard Felecity Willis was named the Pacific-10 Conference Women's Basketball Player of the Week for Jan. 31-Feb. 6.
Willis, from Apple Valley, Calif., averaged 11.0 points, 7.5 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game while leading the Cats to their first road sweep of the Oregon schools in 10 years. She shot .455 (5-for-11) from the floor and .833 (10-for-12) from the free throw line over the two games.
In the victory at Oregon, which snapped the Ducks' 19-game home winning streak, Willis scored a season- and game-high 19 points, including 17 in the second half. She dished out a game-high eight assists, leading the Wildcats to their first win in Eugene since 1997. Willis went 7-of-8 from the free throw line over the final 1:20 to seal the 73-66 win. In the victory at Oregon State, she tallied a game-high seven assists to go with three points and three rebounds.
The Player of the Week honor is the first of Willis' career, and the 19th all-time selection for the Wildcats. It is also the first time that Arizona has had four recipients in the same year.
GRIFFITH BECOMES PAC-10 LEADER:On Jan. 30, senior guard Lisa Griffith became the Pac-10 career leader in three-pointers attempted, surpassing former Washington player Jamie Redd's total of 675. Griffith became the Pac-10 career leader in 3-pointers made during the 1998-99 season.
BONVICINI REACHES MILESTONES:With the win over Arizona State on Jan. 30, Arizona head coach Joan Bonvicini earned her 150th win at the UA and 475th win as a head coach.
PICKNEY TOPS 500:Against UCLA on Jan. 20, sophomore forward Elizabeth Pickney became the latest Wildcat to top the 500-point plateau in career scoring.
LISA GRIFFITH NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK (Jan. 17):Senior guard Lisa Griffith was named the Pacific-10 Conference Women's Basketball Player of the Week for Jan. 10-16.
Griffith averaged 20.0 points, 4.0 assists, 2.5 steals and 2.0 rebounds per game while leading the Wildcats to their first-ever road sweep of the Washington schools on Jan. 13 and 15. She shot 59.1 percent (13-of-22) from the floor, including a blazing 61.1 percent (11-of-18) from three-point range.
In the win at Washington, Arizona's first victory ever in Seattle, Griffith drained a school-record-tying seven treys en route to a career-high 26 points. She shot 7-of-10 from beyond the arc, marking the first time any Wildcat has hit seven treys in one game since Griffith herself did it twice during the 1996-97 season. In the win over Washington State, she tallied 14 points, four steals and seven assists.
The Player of the Week honor is the second of Griffith's career, and was the 18th all-time selection for Arizona.
CATS EARN FIRST ROAD SWEEP IN WASHINGTON:With wins at Washington State (83-68) on Jan. 13 and at Washington (96-85) on Jan. 15, Arizona completed its first-ever road sweep of the Washington schools. While the Cats had previously been able to defeat Washington State in Pullman, this season's win at Washington was the UA's first in 14 attempts.
A GREAT START:With their victory over California on Jan. 6, the Wildcats tied the 1995-96 team for the best start ever at 12-1.
CATS SET RECORD WITH HOME WIN STREAK:Arizona set a new school record this season with a 15-game home win streak, dating from Jan. 4, 1999, to Jan. 8, 2000. They saw their streak end with a 98-95 loss to Stanford on Jan. 8. The previous long streak was a string of 10 games midway through the 1997-98 season.
NON-CONFERENCE SUCCESS:The Cats went 11-1 in regular season non-conference play this year, their best non-conference mark since the 1995-96 team went 9-0. The 11 victories are the most regular season non-conference wins ever under Joan Bonvicini.
During the 12 non-conference games, the Cats averaged 83.1 points per game and out-scored their opponents by an average of 18 points per game. They shot 48.8 percent from the field, including a blazing 42.3 percent from three-point range. The UA out-rebounded its opponents by an average of 6.2 boards per contest. The Cats also averaged 20.0 assists and 11.0 steals per game, while forcing opponents to commit an average of 22.8 turnovers per game.
CATS TAKE SEELBACH CLASSIC TITLE:Arizona won its third regular-season tournament when it swept through the Seelbach Cardinal Classic in Louisville, Ky., on Dec. 28-29. The Cats had a solid showing in the first round with a 91-61 pounding of Marshall on Dec. 28. Although host team Louisville managed to hang with the UA most of the contest, the Cats pulled out an 80-70 victory in the championship game to take the tournament title.
After averaging 14.0 points and 13.0 rebounds per game over the two contests, Wildcat Tatum Brown was selected the Tournament MVP, her second such honor of the year. Louisville native Angela Lackey was selected to the All-Tournament Team as well, also her second such honor of the season.
GRIFFITH JOINS 1,000-POINT CLUB:With 3:04 left in the first half at Kansas on Dec. 21, senior guard Lisa Griffith knocked down her third three-pointer of the game to become the eighth Wildcat to reach the 1,000-point plateau in career scoring. The last Wildcat to join the 1,000-point club was Griffith's former teammate, Adia Barnes, who reached that mark during the 1996-97 season.
WILDCATS CLAIM TITLE OF INSIGHT.COM BOWL BASKETBALL CLASSIC:After falling in the championship game of the 1998 tournament, Arizona reclaimed the title of its ninth annual Insight.com Bowl Basketball Classic with victories over Texas Southern (96-46) and Indiana (87-70) on Dec. 10-12.
The UA's Tatum Brown was unanimously voted the Tournament Most Valuable Player after averaging 20.5 points, 11.5 rebounds and 2.5 steals over the two games. Angela Lackey was named to the All-Tournament Team, as well.
RECORDS FALLING:Tatum Brown's 11-of-12 shooting performance against Colorado State on Dec. 6 tied the UA single-game record for field goal percentage (.917). It is also a new McKale Center record, breaking the previous mark of 84.6 percent (11-13) set by former UCLA player Denise Curry on Jan. 17, 1981.
Arizona also set a new school record by hitting a sizzling 75.9 (22-29) percent in the first half against UC Santa Barbara on Nov. 30.
BROWN NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK (Dec. 6):Senior forward Tatum Brown was named the Pacific-10 Conference Women's Basketball Player of the Week for Nov. 29-Dec. 5. Brown scored a career-high 21 points and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds to lead No. 21 Arizona to an 86-76 upset over No. 15 UC Santa Barbara on Nov. 30. In just 26 minutes of action, she shot 9-for-12 (.750) from the field and 3-for-4 (.750) from the line.
The Player of the Week honor is the first of Brown's career, and the 17th all-time selection. Brown's honor followed Elizabeth Pickney's Player of the Week laurels the previous week, marking the first time in school history that the Wildcats have had back-to-back Pac-10 Players of the Week.
SHOOTING THE LIGHTS OUT:The Cats shot a school-record 75.9 percent (22-29) from the floor in the first half of the UCSB contest on Nov. 30. For the game, they shot 63 percent (34-54), the highest field goal percentage for any team since the school record was set at 64.3 percent (36-56) against Drake on Nov. 25, 1990.
PICKNEY NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK (Nov. 29):Elizabeth Pickney was named Pac-10 Player of the Week for Nov. 15-28. Pickney averaged 16.0 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.3 blocked shots per game in the UA's four straight victories to open the season. She shot a team-high .575 (23-40) from the field and .720 (18-25) from the line during that stretch.
Pickney was named the Tournament MVP at the Hawaiian Regent Wahine Classic, leading Arizona to the team title with three wins. In the tourney, she averaged 18.0 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. The Player of the Week honor was the first of Pickney's career and the 16th all-time selection for Arizona.
SULTANS OF SWAT:The Wildcats racked up nine blocked shots in the contest against Tennessee Tech on Nov. 20. That is the highest single-game block total since the 1985 squad collected 10 at Tennessee-Chattanooga on Jan. 5, 1985. Elizabeth Pickney had five of the UA's blocked shots against Tennessee Tech, a career high for her.
As a team, Arizona collected 20 blocks over the first four game of the year, the highest block total ever over that stretch in any season.
CATS TAKE CHAMPIONSHIP AT HAWAIIAN REGENT WAHINE CLASSIC:The Wildcats swept through three games in Honolulu on Nov. 19-21 to take the title at the Hawaiian Regent Wahine Classic, hosted by the University of Hawai'i.
Arizona garnered victories over Oklahoma (75-59), Tennessee Tech (87-71) and host team Hawai'i (86-73) to open the 1999-2000 season with a perfect 3-0 mark.
Elizabeth Pickney averaged 18.0 points and 7.3 rebounds per game for the Cats and was the overwhelming favorite for tournament Most Valuable Player laurels. Felecity Willis and Tatum Brown were named to the All-Tournament Team, as well.
DOVE IANELLO AMONG TOP ASSISTANTS:In a survey of head women's coaches conducted by the Women's Basketball Journal last fall, UA associate head coach Denise Dove Ianello received votes for consideration as one of the top assistant coaches in the country.
FUTURE WILDCATS:On the first day of the early signing period (Nov. 10), Arizona inked a trio of high school recruits from the state of California. The signees were 5-10 guard Candice Allen (Ontario, CA/Ayala HS), 5-7 guard Aimee Grzyb (San Jose, CA/Archbishop Mitty HS) and 6-3 forward Veranda James (Pomona, CA/Ganesha HS).
WHAT THE COACHES THINK:Here is the predicted order of finish for the Pac-10 this season, according to the league's coaches...
1. UCLA 6. Washington 2. Oregon 7. USC 3. Stanford 8. Oregon State 4. ARIZONA 9. California 5. Arizona State 10. Washington State The Pac-10 media also picked Arizona to finish fourth in the league standings this year.
GREAT EXPECTATIONS:For the third year in a row, the Wildcats earned a preseason national ranking. The Cats were ranked 25th in the Associated Press Preseason Top 25, and they were 24th in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Preseason Top 25.
The Wildcats were ranked among the top 25 teams in five different "unofficial" preseason polls this fall. The UA's highest ranking in these polls was 13th by Women's Basketball magazine and the lowest was 22nd by both Street & Smith's and the Basketball News Report.
Angela Lackey earned preseason third team All-America honors from Lindy's College Basketball and honorable mention All-America laurels from Street & Smith's College Basketball.
1998-99 IN REVIEW:Despite losing the squad's only two seniors before the season ever started, the very young 1998-99 Wildcats held their own and came up with an 18-11 overall record and went 12-6 in the Pac-10 to finish in fourth place.
The Cats faced a rough non-conference schedule that featured three teams which spent most of the season among the top four in the national rankings. Arizona went 5-4 against those non-conference opponents, with quality losses to Purdue, Louisiana Tech and Colorado State and a big road win over UC Santa Barbara.
That tough early slate prepared the Cats for a season of Pac-10 play which showed more parity than it has in years. After getting off to a rocky 1-3 start in league play, the Cats rebounded to finish the season 11-3, with wins over Pac-10 co-champion Oregon and over perennial power Stanford.
The Wildcats then received their third consecutive berth in the NCAA Tournament, earning a #6 seed in the Midwest Region. In Piscataway, N.J., Arizona faced NCAA tourney veteran Florida in the first round of play and defeated the Gators, 87-84, in overtime to move on to the second round for the third straight year. The Cats then took on host Rutgers, only to end the season on a sour note, falling to the Scarlet Knights, 90-47.
For the season, Arizona had its most balanced offense in five years, with four players averaging in double digits in scoring, and ended its season by winning 12 of its final 16 contests. The Cats broke or tied 13 school records on the year, including setting new marks in single season free throws made (520) and blocked shots (88).
With 14.4 points per game, Angela Lackey led four Wildcats averaging in double digits in scoring. Felecity Willis came in second with her 12.1 ppg scoring average, followed closely by Elizabeth Pickney at 11.4 ppg. Pickney was the team's top rebounder, with 5.8 per game, while Willis was the team's assists leader, averaging 5.5 apg. Lackey was second in rebounding with 5.4 rpg, and Reshea Bristol posted 11.4 points and 4.4 rebounds per game.