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UA Women's Basketball Heads to Washington for Final Regular-Season Road Trip
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 02/05/2002
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Feb. 5, 2002

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WHAT'S HAPPENING: The University of Arizona women's basketball team (11-11 overall, 7-6 Pac-10) will hit the road again this weekend for the third time in the last four weeks, now heading for the Pacific Northwest. The Wildcats will play at Washington on Thursday, Feb. 7, at 7 p.m. PST in Bank of America Arena. Arizona then takes on Washington State on Saturday, Feb. 9, at 1 p.m. PST in Pullman, a game that will be broadcast live nationally on Fox Sports Net. The Wildcats are 4-0 this season when playing on television.

ARIZONA'S PROBABLE STARTERS:
45 - Elizabeth Pickney (F, 6-4, Sr., Houston, TX) - 16.7 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 1.2 bpg
50 - LaKeisha Taylor (C, 6-4, Sr., Houston, TX) - 10.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.3 apg
11 - Dee-Dee Wheeler (G, 5-6, Fr., Chicago, IL) - 11.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 3.3 apg
13 - Aimee Grzyb (G, 5-7, So., San Jose, CA) - 10.4 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 2.9 apg
20 - Julie Brase (G, 5-10, Jr., Tucson, AZ) - 5.0 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.3 apg

OFF THE BENCH:
4 - Candice Allen (G, 5-10, So., Ontario, CA) - 10.1 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 2.4 spg
31 - Robin Roberson (G/F, 6-0, Fr., Berkeley, CA) - 4.7 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 0.8 apg
44 - Danielle Adefeso (F, 6-3, Fr., Los Angeles, CA) - 0.9 ppg, 1.1 rpg
24 - Michelle Tibbetts (G/F, 6-0, Fr., Burnsville, MN) - 0.6 ppg, 0.3 rpg
35 - Krista Warren (INJ) (F/G, 6-2, Jr., Cloverdale, CA) - 8.4 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 1.6 apg

SCOUTING ARIZONA: Without the services of injured junior Krista Warren, the Wildcats split last weekend's games at home against the Oregon schools, moving to 11-11 overall and 7-6 in Pac-10 play. The Cats fell to Oregon State on Thursday in a heartbreaking 88-85 overtime loss, but they rebounded to post a solid 84-68 win over Oregon on Saturday. Arizona has won six of its last nine games overall and three of its last four road games.

Averaging 16.7 points per game, senior forward Elizabeth Pickney leads five Wildcats who have double-digit scoring averages. Freshman guard Dee-Dee Wheeler is second, with 11.9 ppg, followed by sophomore guards Aimee Grzyb (10.4 ppg) and Candice Allen (10.1 ppg). Senior center LaKeisha Taylor is averaging 10.0 ppg.

Pickney is also the team's top rebounder, averaging 8.2 boards per game. Krista Warren is second with an average of 8.1 rpg, while Taylor is third, grabbing 5.5 rpg.

As a team, Arizona leads the Pac-10 in free throw percentage (.752), is second in three-point field goal percentage (.359), second in scoring (73.9 ppg), third in overall field goal percentage (.428) and third in three-pointers made per game (5.91 pg).

Individually, Candice Allen is second in steals (2.40 spg), Krista Warren is fifth in rebounding (8.1 rpg), and Aimee Grzyb is sixth in three-pointers made per game (1.77 pg). Elizabeth Pickney is second in free throw percentage (.855), third in blocks (1.23 bpg), fourth in rebounding (8.2 rpg) and fifth in scoring (16.7 ppg). The Cats have three players among the conference top 10 in overall field goal percentage -- LaKeisha Taylor (.481) is sixth, Krista Warren (.468) is ninth, and Elizabeth Pickney (.467) is 10th.

INJURY REPORT: Krista Warren missed both of last weekend's games with a severe ankle sprain suffered during practice on Jan. 29. She is questionable for this week's contests.

SCOUTING WASHINGTON: The Huskies logged a sweep of the L.A. schools on the road last weekend to improve to 13-8 overall and 8-4 in conference action. Washington defeated USC, 69-63, on Friday and pounded UCLA, 68-48, on Sunday. The Huskies have won three in a row and four of their last five and are currently in sole possession of third place in the Pac-10 standings.

Junior guard Loree Payne is averaging a team-best 13.6 points per game, followed by sophomore forward Andrea Lalum with 12.3 ppg. Sophomore guard Giuliana Mendiola, this week's Pac-10 Player of the Week honoree, is third in scoring, averaging 10.8 ppg. Lalum is the Huskies' top rebounder, with 6.2 per game, and Mendiola is second with 5.6 rpg.

UW head coach June Daugherty (Ohio State, 1978) has a 94-74 record in six seasons with the Huskies. She has a career record of 217-148 in 13 years as a head coach.

THE SERIES vs. WASHINGTON: Washington holds a 23-9 lead in the series with Arizona, although the Wildcats have won five of the last six meetings with the Huskies, including an 83-69 victory over UW in Tucson earlier this season. The bad news is that Arizona has historically struggled against Washington in Seattle, winning there only one time (96-85 on Jan. 15, 2000) in 15 tries. The Cats lost last year's matchup in Seattle, 98-88, on Feb. 8, 2001.

LAST MEETING WITH WASHINGTON: With a career-high 25 points from Candice Allen, Arizona won its first back-to-back games since November, downing Washington, 83-69, at home on Jan. 12.

The game was even through the first five-and-a-half minutes, with both teams tied, 12-12, at the 14:33 mark. Then Washington capitalized on six straight Arizona turnovers and scored six unanswered points to go ahead, 18-12, just over a minute later. The Huskies pushed their lead to seven (24-17) at the 8:29 mark, and that was when Arizona turned up the heat.

The Wildcats forced six Washington turnovers, and the Huskies missed three straight shots, as Arizona put on a 14-2 run to take a five-point (31-26) lead with just under four minutes left in the first. Washington's only points during that stretch came from the free throw line. UW regained control of the game, though, and ended the half on an 8-2 spurt to hold a one-point lead at halftime, 34-33.

Both teams were tied at 39-39 three minutes into the second half, then Arizona went on an 11-2 run to gain a nine-point (50-41) advantage at 11:37. Washington cut the Cats' lead down to three (55-52) barely three minutes later, which Arizona answered with a 9-2 spurt to gain a 10-point (64-54) spread with just under six minutes left in the game. The Huskies got to within seven points twice after that but were never able to get back into the game as the Wildcats finished the contest by out-scoring UW, 19-15.

In addition to Allen's 25 points, the Wildcats got 24 points and nine rebounds from Elizabeth Pickney and 18 points from Dee-Dee Wheeler. Krista Warren grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds, her sixth double-digit rebounding performance of the season.

SCOUTING WASHINGTON STATE: On a 17-game losing skid, Washington State slipped to 2-20 overall and 0-12 in Pac-10 play after being swept on the road by UCLA (79-55) and USC (79-38) last weekend. The Cougars, who haven't won a game since November, will play host to Arizona State on Thursday before taking on the Wildcats on Saturday.

With 13.1 points and 9.5 rebounds per game, senior center Brittney Hawks is leading Washington State in both categories. Freshman guard Francine McCurtain is second in both, averaging 11.0 ppg and 4.5 rpg. Senior guard Whitney Martindale is third in scoring, with an average of 7.8 ppg.

Third-year head coach Jenny Przekwas (Wyoming, 1986) is 17-61 with the Cougars. She is 150-160 in 11 years as a head coach.

THE SERIES vs. WASHINGTON STATE: The Cougars have a narrow 17-14 edge in the series with the Wildcats. Arizona has won eight of the last 11 meetings with WSU, including a massive 107-57 victory over the Cougars in Tucson during this season's first matchup on Jan. 10. The Wildcats have a 6-9 all-time mark when playing in Pullman, last posting a win (83-68) there on Jan. 13, 2000.

LAST MEETING WITH WASHINGTON STATE: Racking up its highest point total in four years, the Arizona women's basketball team pounded Washington State, 107-57, at home on Jan. 10. The win ended a three-game losing skid for the Wildcats.

Arizona got off to a slow start, holding only a 12-4 lead in the first four minutes of the game. Five minutes later, the Cats pushed the lead to 12 (27-15), which Washington State answered with a 7-4 spurt that cut the advantage to nine (31-22) at 7:10. That would be the closest the Cougars would come for the remainder of the game, as Arizona finished the first half on a 15-8 run that gave it a 46-30 lead at the break.

The Cougars scored only eight points in the first seven minutes of the second half, as Arizona stretched the lead to 31 (69-38) at the 12:55 mark. With 4:52 left in the game, Krista Warren connected on a layup, just two of her career- and game-high 21 points, to give the Wildcats their largest lead of the game at 52 points (96-44).

Every player scored for the UA as the Cats cruised to their biggest victory over a Division I opponent since drilling Cal State Fullerton, 87-33, on Dec. 8, 1995. The 107 points was Arizona's highest offensive output since scoring 107 in a victory over UC Santa Barbara (107-74) on Nov. 23, 1997.

In addition to her career-high 21 points, Warren pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds, her second double-double of the season and second in as many games. Five other Arizona players reached double digits in scoring. Playing in only her second game since returning from a month of being sidelined by a concussion, Candice Allen was only one point off her career high, scoring 17 points in 19 minutes off the bench and grabbing a season-high seven rebounds.

Robin Roberson added 15 points and a pair of rebounds in just 20 minutes off the bench, and Dee-Dee Wheeler had 15 points to go with a season-high eight assists. Elizabeth Pickney contributed 14 points and nine rebounds, and Aimee Grzyb collected 11 points and four assists.

ARIZONA'S LAST TIME OUT: Scoring its final 17 points all from the free throw line, Arizona defeated Oregon, 84-68, at home on Feb. 2.

Arizona jumped out to a six-point (8-2) lead in the first four minutes of the game, which Oregon promptly answered with a 7-2 spurt that cut the lead to one (10-9) at 14:05. The Ducks tied it up less than two minutes later at 12-12, but the Cats put on a 13-2 surge to gain an 11-point (25-14) edge with 8:28 to go in the half. The Ducks got back to within seven twice, but found themselves trailing, 34-25, at halftime.

The Wildcats stretched their lead to 13 (38-25) in the first 1:30 of the second half, then Oregon scored back-to-back baskets to cut the deficit to nine (38-29) at 17:51. Arizona then took over the game with a 20-7 run that included four of its seven treys for the contest, going up by 22 points (58-36) with just over 12 minutes remaining.

The Ducks showed they weren't out of the game yet, though, as they proceeded to out-score Arizona, 21-7, over the next eight minutes. During that stretch, the Cats hit only 2-of-11 from the floor, missed four free throw attempts and committed four turnovers.

Wildcat LaKeisha Taylor stopped the Duck run with her layup at 4:11, and that was the Cats' final field goal of the game. Shooting 17-for-22 from the charity stripe down the stretch, the Wildcats held on for the win.

Scoring 15 of her points in the second half, Elizabeth Pickney led the Wildcats with a team-high 19 points, including a 15-of-16 performance from the free throw line. Her 15 free throws made ties the school record of 15 set by Angela Lackey in 2000.

Dee-Dee Wheeler shot 4-for-5 from three-point range en route to 18 points and four steals. LaKeisha Taylor racked up 16 points and six rebounds before fouling out, and Aimee Grzyb tallied 13 points and a career-high eight rebounds.

HEAD COACH JOAN BONVICINI: The winningest coach in Arizona women's basketball history, Joan Bonvicini has nurtured the Wildcat program into an upward-rising powerhouse. In 11 seasons at the helm of the Arizona program, Bonvicini has guided the Wildcats to six straight postseason appearances, including four NCAA tournament berths and two in the WNIT.

In her 11th season with the Wildcats, Bonvicini holds a 190-128 (.597) mark at Arizona and is 515-199 (.721) in 23 years as a head coach. She is 23-14 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 100-91 against Pac-10 teams, although they have a 66-36 league mark over the last six seasons combined.

LOOKING AHEAD: The Wildcats return home next weekend to play their final three regular-season games in the McKale Center. The Cats take on UCLA on Thursday, Feb. 14, at 7 p.m., then they face USC on Saturday, Feb. 16, at 2 p.m. Arizona will face rival Arizona State in the final regular-season game for both teams on Saturday, Feb. 23, at 2 p.m. in McKale.

All 10 Pac-10 women's teams will head up to Eugene, Ore., for the inaugural Pac-10 Conference Tournament on Mar. 1-4.

RETURN OF THE TWIN TOWERS: After a couple of weeks of less-than-stellar performances from the senior post players, the Wildcats' "Twin Towers" -- Elizabeth Pickney and LaKeisha Taylor -- have been putting up some big numbers over the last few games.

During the last four contests, Pickney has averaged 20.5 points and 9.0 rebounds per game. She has hit 48 percent (24-50) of her shots from the floor, including 2-for-4 from three-point range, and has shot 86.5 percent (32-37) from the free throw line.

In the Cats' last three games, Taylor shot 59 percent (23-39) from the floor and 88.9 percent (8-9) from the line while averaging 18.0 points, 8.7 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game. She pulled down a career-high 13 rebounds against Oregon State on Jan. 31.

KNOCKING 'EM DOWN: Elizabeth Pickney drained 15 of her 16 free throw attempts against Oregon on Feb. 2, tying a school record for most free throws made in a game. The record was previously set by former Wildcat Angela Lackey at home against Stanford on Jan. 8, 2000.

THAT WAS THEN, THIS IS NOW: Over the first 13 games of the season, the Wildcats averaged only 69.2 points per game and shot only 40.2 percent from the floor, including 32.9 percent from three-point range, while garnering a paltry 5-8 record. However, over their last nine games, the Cats have averaged 80.7 ppg and have been shooting 46.4 percent from the floor and 40 percent from beyond the arc while collecting a 6-3 mark.

PUT UP SOME POINTS: The Cats are 5-2 this season when Elizabeth Pickney scores 20 points or more.

WELCOME BACK: After missing seven straight games because of a grade-three concussion suffered against Holy Cross on Nov. 30, Candice Allen returned to action at Oregon State on Jan. 6. Her return has been quite a welcome one, as she has averaged 10.7 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.9 steals per game in the 10 contests since coming back. She has been shooting 43.9 percent (36-82) from the floor, 40.9 percent (9-22) from three-point range and 70.3 percent (26-37) from the line.

Before her injury, Allen was averaging only 9.0 points, 2.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game over the first five contests of the season. During that stretch, she shot just 37 percent (17-46) from the floor, 31.3 percent (5-16) from beyond the arc and 66.7 percent (6-9) at the stripe.

The Wildcats have had a 6-4 mark with Allen back in action, versus the 2-5 record they compiled with her out.

NOTING THE PAC-10: Stanford (22-1 overall) continues to dominate the league and has a perfect 12-0 mark in conference action. Arizona State stands alone in second place with a 9-4 mark, closely followed by Washington at 8-4. USC and Oregon State are tied for fourth with 8-5 conference records each, followed by Arizona and Oregon, each at 7-6 in conference play. UCLA (3-10 Pac-10), California (1-11) and Washington State (0-12) round out the conference standings.

SEEING PLENTY OF ACTION: Seven different Wildcats are averaging 23 or more minutes played per game. Elizabeth Pickney has the team's top average, playing 32.4 mpg, followed by Aimee Grzyb's 30.8 mpg and Krista Warren's 30.2 mpg.

CLEANING THE GLASS: Krista Warren has had seven double-digit rebounding performances already this year, with five coming in her last 11 contests. In Pac-10 play, she is averaging 8.5 rpg.

Elizabeth Pickney has been hitting the boards lately too. She is averaging a team-best 8.8 boards per game in conference play, including a career-high 14 rebounds at California on Jan. 26.

GOING POLLING: Five of the 18 opponents on the Cats' 2001-02 schedule were either ranked or receiving votes for ranking in the most recent polls.

In this week's Associated Press Poll, Stanford has moved up to No.2. Arizona State, Notre Dame and New Mexico all received votes for ranking.

In the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll, Stanford is the only opponent ranked, also moving up to No. 2. Notre Dame, Arizona State, New Mexico and Pepperdine were among the teams receiving votes for ranking.

CLOSE BUT...: Eleven of Arizona's 22 games this season have been decided by nine points or less, with seven of those being decided by five points or less.

THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME: The Wildcats have won 27 of their last 35 home games and are 49-13 on their home court over the last four seasons combined. During Joan Bonvicini's 11 seasons at Arizona, the Wildcats have posted a 114-48 mark in McKale Center. Arizona has a record of 180-156 on its home court since the 1976-77 season.

80 IS THE MAGIC NUMBER: It seems that the 80-point mark almost always means adding another to the "win" column for the Wildcats. In the 30-year history of UA women's basketball, the Cats have posted a 139-21 record when scoring 80 points or more in a game. Under Bonvicini, the Wildcats have gone 99-14 when topping that 80-point plateau.

BY THE NUMBERS: The Cats have hit five or more 3-pointers in 15 of this season's 22 games... Arizona has had 15 or more assists in 12 games... The Cats have had 10 or more steals in nine games... Arizona has forced its opponent into 20 or more turnovers in 10 contests... The UA has scored 80 points or better in seven games.

KEYS TO THE WIN: This season, Arizona is... 5-0 when shooting 80% or better from the line... 5-3 when forcing more turnovers than it commits... 8-2 when leading at halftime... 10-4 when scoring 70 points or more... 9-3 when shooting better than its opponent from the free throw line... 11-5 when holding its opponent to 77 points or less.

BUT ON THE LOSING END...: The Cats are... 0-6 when giving up 80 points or more... 2-8 when shooting worse from the free throw line than the opponent... 2-8 when trailing at halftime... 3-8 when making fewer three-pointers than the opponent... 6-11 when shooting less than 80% from the line... 1-7 when scoring 69 points or less... 4-7 when three or fewer players reach double digits in scoring... 3-7 when shooting under 40% from the floor.

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