COMING UP: The University of Arizona women's basketball team (7-16, 1-10 Pac-10) travels to Pullman, Wash., to take on the Washington State Cougars (5-16, 1-10 Pac-10) on Thursday, Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. (PST) at Beasley Coliseum. The Wildcats look to end their six-game skid and try to extend the Cougars’ 10-game losing streak.
CATCH THE ACTION: As always, Arizona women's basketball games can be heard live on KTUC AM 1400, with Paul Johnson calling the action from courtside.
CALIFORNIA RECAP: Devanei Hampton scored 15 of her 24 points in the second half to lead No. 20 California to an 84-64 victory over Arizona on Saturday.
The Bears (16-5, 7-4) controlled the paint with Hampton getting open inside, and with Ashley Walker taking advantage of the Wildcats with short jumpers. Walker finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Keanna Levy added 17 points.
Hampton, who also had nine rebounds, was a force in the second half by shooting 7-for-8 from the field, including a short jumper with 5:52 remaining to give the Bears a 70-54 lead.
Jessica Arnold scored 19 points and Ashley Whisonant added 11 for Arizona (7-16, 1-10).
California, which had a 41-29 edge on the boards, methodically took over in the second half with Hampton getting open for putbacks and short jumpers or the Bears converting from the free-throw line.
Arizona trailed 56-46 with 11:09 left before Hampton countered with a lay-in, and California made four free throws to go ahead by 16 with 9:20 remaining.
Walker and Rama Ndiaye hit back-to-back buckets during a 10-3 run to give the Bears a 54-41 lead with 14:31 left.
California had a 40-32 halftime lead thanks to a 3-pointer from Lauren Greif with 6 seconds left.
The Bears took control early in the half when Levy capped an 11-0 run with a 3 to go ahead 15-8 after the opening 6 minutes.
A QUICK LOOK AT ARIZONA: Arizona averages 65.0 points a game while shooting 40.0 percent (565-1414) from the field, 26.5 percent (101-381) from three-point range, and 68.4 percent (264-386) from the free throw line. The Wildcats have also tallied 209 steals (9.1 spg), third-best in the Pac-10, off of 450 opponent turnovers. Senior Joy Hollingsworth leads Arizona with 16.0 points a game (7th in the Pac-10) while posting 6.0 rebounds, and 2.30 steals per game (third in the Pac-10).
ABOUT THE COUGARS: The Washington State University Cougars enter Thursday’s game with a 5-16 overall record and a 1-10 mark in the Pac-10. WSU is currently riding a season-long 10-game losing streak, with its last win coming on Dec. 21 at Oregon State. The Cougars are 3-6 at home so far this season. The Cougs dropped their last game at UCLA, by a slim margin of 73-70. As a team, WSU shoots 37.1 percent (467-1259) from the field, 29.7 percent (90-303) from three point range, and 60.5 percent (240-397) from the free throw line while averaging 60.2 points a game. Freshman forward Marisa Stotler leads the team with 10.9 points a game. Head coach Sherri Murrell is in her fifth year at the helm of the Cougar program.
THE WASHINGTON STATE-ARIZONA SERIES: Saturday’s game will be the 42nd meeting all-time between the Wildcats and the Cougars on the hardwood, with Arizona owning a 23-18 all-time series advantage. Arizona defeated Washington State for its only Pac-10 win so far this season, a 59-57 victory over the Cougars on Jan. 6. Last season, Washington State broke a nine-game losing streak to Arizona with an 84-77 win over the Wildcats in Pullman, Wash. Arizona has won 14 of the last 16 games in the series. Under head coach Joan Bonvicini, Arizona is 21-10 against WSU.
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 273-198 (.579) mark at Arizona and is 598-269 (.690) 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.
TOUGH BEATS: Arizona has lost 16 games on the season, but its beats have come against some of the top teams in the nation. Entering Thursday’s game at Washington State, Arizona's 16 losses have been against teams with a combined record of 202-89 (.694), with nine of those losses being to ranked teams.
According to collegerpi.com, Arizona's schedule is ranked as the 10th-toughest in the nation.
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 on Jan. 18 at home, 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 1-12 when trailing at the half, with its only come-from-behind win coming against Washington State at home.
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, 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 1-10 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 last Thursday’s 86-76 loss to Stanford.
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: 11-0 run to California over 3:06 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 208 steals (9.1 spg) on the year, which is third best in the Pac-10. UA has forced 450 opponent turnovers, converting 408 points (17.7 ppg) off of turnovers. The Wildcats have recorded double-figures in steals in 11 games this season, and finished with nine steals on Saturday against Cal. Senior Joy Hollingsworth leads Arizona with a mark of 2.3 spg, the third-best mark in the Pac-10.
OFFENSIVE BOARDS: So far this season, the Wildcats have done a solid job on the offensive glass. On the year, the Wildcats have grabbed 307 offensive rebounds, leading to 278 second-chance points. Arizona is averaging 13.3 offensive rebounds and 12.1 second-chance points a game, and has posted double-figures in offensive rebounds in 18 of 23 games. Arizona has posted double-figures in offensive rebounds in seven of the last eight games, and 10 of the last 12 games. The Wildcats had posted double-figures in offensive rebounds in six-straight games before finishing with seven against Stanford last Thursday. Arizona got back on track with 13 offensive rebounds against the Golden Bears on Saturday.
BIG POINTS: Arizona went the first 12 games of the season without giving up 80 points to an opponent. In the last 11 games, the Wildcats have given up 80 or more points six times. Arizona is 0-6 when giving up 80 points or more, and 0-10 when allowing 70 points or more in a game to the opposition. Arizona allowed 86 points to Stanford last Thursday, and 84 points to Cal on Saturday, while giving up 73 points or more in four-straight games, and five of the last six. In Pac-10 play, opponents are scoring an average of 78.0 points a game against the Wildcats.
PAC-10 PRODUCTIVITY: Through 11 Pac-10 games, Arizona has three players averaging double-figures in scoring during conference play. Senior Joy Hollingsworth leads the way at 15.7 points a game, followed by junior Ashley Whisonant with 10.9 ppg, and junior Jessica Arnold at 10.5 ppg. Sophomore Amina Njonkou adds 9.8 points and 7.7 rebounds a game in conference play.
LOST DIME: Arizona’s streak of 14-straight games with double-figure assists came to an end on Saturday against Cal, as the Wildcats registered nine assists in the game. On the season, UA has totaled double-figures in assists in 21 of 23 games.
GETTING TO THE LINE: The Wildcats have improved on their free throw shooting in the second half of the season, as Arizona is shooting 77.2 percent (61-79) from the charity stripe in the last five games. In the last two games, the Wildcats have made 30-of-37 free throws, good for 81.1 percent. On the season, Arizona is shooting 68.4 percent (264-386) from the line, including a 70.9 percent (139-176) mark in Pac-10 play.
OUT-REBOUNDED: Arizona has been out-rebounded in the last five-consecutive games, and eight of the last 10 games. On the season, Arizona is 3-13 when out-rebounded by the opposition.
STREAK OVER: Senior Joy Hollingsworth had her streak of leading the team in scoring snapped on Saturday against California. Hollingsworth led the Wildcats in scoring in seven-straight games before junior Jessica Arnold led the team with 19 points against the Golden Bears. On the season, Hollingsworth has led the team in scoring a team-best 14 times. Sophomore Amina Njonkou has led the team in rebounding a team-high 14 times.
GIVE HER THE ROCK: Senior guard Joy Hollingsworth has led the Wildcats all season on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. The Seattle native is averaging a team-best 16.0 points a game (7th in the Pac-10), as she has scored 22 points or more on seven different occasions. She is also averaging 6.0 rebounds and 2.3 steals a game (third in the Pac-10), and has posted double-figure point totals in 20 out of 23 games this season. Hollingsworth is shooting 38.2 percent from the field (130-340), and averages 14 shots a game.
LOOK FOR A BIG GAME: In her last game against Cal, Hollingsworth scored eight points on 2-of-18 shooting (11.1 percent) including a 0-of-8 mark from three point range. The last time she had an “off” performance was at California on Dec. 30 when she finished with five points on 2-of-14 shooting including a 0-of-6 mark from behind the arc. She responded in the next game by scoring a career-high 31 points against Washington on 10-of-24 shooting from the field.
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 75 offensive rebounds (tops in the Pac-10), and is shooting 47.1 percent (82-174) 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 four 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.
Against USC, Njonkou posted her third double-double of the season with 16 points, 10 rebounds, and a career-high four assists. Against Stanford last Thursday, Njonkou finished with 10 points, 12 rebounds, and four assists. So far this season, she has recorded five rebounds or more in 21 of her 23 games. She finished with eight points and seven rebounds, including five offensive boards against Cal.
HEATING UP: Junior Jessica Arnold is starting to provide quite the offensive threat on the perimeter for the Wildcats. In her last six games, Arnold is averaging 13.5 points a game, while shooting 20-of-24 from the free throw line (83.3 percent). She has scored in double-figures in five of her last six games, including a team-high 19 point performance against Cal on Saturday, on 7-of-14 shooting from the field to go with a career-high four steals.
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 0-9 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 next travel to Seattle to take on the Washington Huskies on Saturday, Feb. 3 at 1 p.m. (PST).