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Arizona Women Face Oregon in Battle of Second-Place Teams
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 02/18/2005
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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COMING UP: The Arizona women’s basketball team (18-8, 10-5) travels to Eugene, Ore., for a 2 p.m. (PDT) game at Oregon (17-7, 10-5) this Saturday, Feb. 19. The game will be broadcast live to a national audience on FSN. Live audio of the game is available at www.arizonaathletics.com, as well as on KJLL 1330 AM in Tucson.

A QUICK LOOK AT THE WILDCATS: The Wildcats moved into a three-way tie for second place in the Pac-10 standings with a 78-59 win over Oregon State Thursday night. Arizona shot 53 percent from the field, 43 percent from downtown and 63 percent from the free throw line on the game, compared to the 36, 11 and 75 percent, respectively, of the Beavers. The Wildcats also out-rebounded Oregon State 38 to 31 and forced 18 Beaver turnovers. Senior Dee-Dee Wheeler led a group of four Wildcats in double-figure scoring with 22 points. She also added four rebounds and four assists. Junior Natalie Jones added a well-rounded 12 points, a career-high six steals, four rebounds and three assists on the night. Junior Shawntinice Polk recorded her seventh double-double of the season, finishing with 11 points and 11 rebounds. She also added four blocks. Freshman Ashley Whisonant rounded out the group with 15 points, to go with career highs of six rebounds and six assists.

On the season, the Wildcats are led by Wheeler, who averages 17.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.8 steals per game. Polk adds 13.1 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game. As a team, Arizona is out-shooting its opponents 44 percent to 38 percent and out-rebounding them 38.1 to 37.5.

SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION: The Ducks, also in a tie for second-place in the Pac-10, defeated Arizona State 66-59 Thursday in Eugene. Oregon shot 48 percent from the field, but just 20 percent from three-point range and 64 percent from the free throw line on the game. Arizona State shot 46 percent from the field, 31 percent from downtown and 56 percent at the charity stripe. The Ducks edged the Sun Devils on the glass, 33 to 29, while both teams committed 21 turnovers. Brandi Davis led Oregon with 16 points, while Andrea Bills recorded a double-double -- 14 points and 11 rebounds -- in the win. Cathrine Kraayeveld added 11 points and six rebounds.

On the season, Oregon is led by Kraayeveld, who averages 14.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocks. Bills adds 11.6 points and 7.0 boards, while Mizusawa averages 7.1 assists per game, which ranks second nationally. As a team, Oregon is shooting 44 percent from the field, compared to the 38 percent of its opponents. The Ducks are outscoring opponents 68.5 to 61.1 and out-rebounding them 37.4 to 35.0.

SERIES SHORTS: Arizona trails the all-time series with Oregon 17-22. The last time the two teams met, on Jan. 20, Arizona won 69-60 in Tucson. The Wildcats are 10-10 at home, 7-11 away and 0-1 at a neutral site vs. the Ducks.

UPCOMING PROMOTIONS: Arizona’s last home game of the season, the Feb. 26 match-up with Washington, is National Women in Sport Day. For $4, participates high school age and younger can attend an all-sport clinic, which begins at 2 p.m., conducted by Wildcat coaches and former student-athletes. The cost also includes admission to the game, which begins at 4 p.m. There will also be a special halftime ceremony with Senior Associate Director of Athletics, Rocky LaRose, as well as a post-game autograph session with Wildcat student-athletes from various teams. For more information, or to register a team or group for the clinic, contact Francesca Green at (520) 621-8405.

JONES NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Junior guard Natalie Jones is the reigning Pac-10 Player of the Week after averaging 20.0 points, 4.0 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals in wins last week over UCLA and USC. She shot 75 percent from the field (12-of-16), 78 percent from beyond the arc (7-of-9) and 82 percent (9-of-11) from the foul line. In Arizona’s 76-73 victory over UCLA on Feb. 10, Jones led Arizona with a career-high 25 points on 8-of-12 shooting, including a 4-of-6 mark from three-point range. She also added four rebounds and three steals. In the 87-74 win over USC on Feb. 12, Jones was one of five Wildcats in double-figure scoring, finishing with 15 points on a perfect 4-of-4 from the field and 3-of-3 from beyond the arc. She was also 4-of-5 at the line and dished out six assists. The Player of the Week honor is the first for Jones and is the 34th all-time selection for Arizona.

RANKING IN THE PAC-10: As a team, Arizona leads the Pac-10 in blocks (4.1), ranks second in scoring (72.2) and field goal percentage (.443), third in field goal percentage defense (.383) and three-point field goal percentage defense (.298), fourth in scoring margin (6.5), assists (15.0), offensive rebounds (14.5) and defensive rebounds (23.6), and fifth in three-point field goal percentage (.350), rebounding defense (37.5), rebounding margin (0.5) and assist/turnover ratio (0.8).

Individually, Dee-Dee Wheeler leads the league in scoring (17.8), ranks second in assist/turnover ratio (1.7), third in assists (4.5), fourth in steals (2.9), fifth in three-point field goals made (1.6) and minutes played (33.0), and 14th in rebounding (5.2). Shawntinice Polk leads the league in blocked shots (2.1), ranks third in field goal percentage (.563), rebounding (7.9) and defensive rebounds (5.7), and ninth in scoring (13.1). Natalie Jones ranks seventh in free throw percentage (.772) and 17th in rebounding (5.0), while Jessica Arnold ranks third in three-point field goal percentage (.422). Senior Danielle Adefeso is fourth in offensive rebounds (2.5).

In Pac-10 games only, Wheeler leads the league in scoring (18.4), ranks second in assist/turnover ratio (1.4), third in assists (4.1), steals (2.8) and three-point field goals made (1.9), fourth in minutes played (33.5), sixth in three-point field goal percentage (.400), ninth in offensive rebounds (2.3) and 17th in rebounding (5.4). Polk leads the league in blocks (1.5), ranks fourth rebounding (7.3) and defensive rebounds (5.2), fifth in field goal percentage (.512) and ninth in scoring (12.2). Arnold leads the Pac-10 in three-point field goal percentage (.480) and ranks second in free throw percentage (.885), while Jones is 10th in free throw percentage (.750) and ninth in minutes played (30.9). Adefeso is third in offensive rebounds (2.8), 10th in field goal percentage (.467) and 15th in rebounding (5.5).

RANKING NATIONALLY: As a team, Arizona ranks 26th nationally in scoring, 41st in field goal percentage, 51st in three-point field goal percentage, 67th in blocks, 76th in won-lost percentage and 77th in assists.

Individually, senior Dee-Dee Wheeler ranks 30th in steals per game and 48th in points per game. Junior Shawntinice Polk ranks 18th in field goal percentage and 47th in blocks.

WHEELER TO MAKE HISTORY SATURDAY: When she takes the court against Oregon on Saturday, senior captain Dee-Dee Wheeler will be making her 113th career start, which will put her in sole possession of first place in the Arizona record books. The Chicago native started 24 of 28 games as a freshman, 30 of 31 as a sophomore, all 33 as a junior and 25 of 26 this season.

ADEFESO STEPS IT UP: Over the last 10 games, senior Danielle Adefeso has really picked up her game. Starting nine of the 10 games, she is shooting 43 percent from the field and 78 percent from the free throw line, while averaging 8.4 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. Prior to that, Adefeso was averaging 3.6 points and 2.7 rebounds per game.

MAKING FREE THROWS COUNT: After shooting just 60 percent from the free throw line over the first 17 games of the season, Arizona has shot 70 percent or better in six of its last nine games. During that time, the Wildcats are 142 of 195 (73 percent) from the charity stripe.

WHEELER APPROACHES ALL-TIME MINUTES MARK: Senior Dee-Dee Wheeler has played 3,819 minutes during her four-year career, 37 minutes shy of Aimee Grzyb’s top mark of 3,856 minutes. With a minimum of four games left this season, and considering her current average of 33 minutes per game, Wheeler is sure to break the record.

THE GLASS IS THE ANSWER: It seems the most telling statistic for the Arizona women’s basketball team this season is rebounding. The Wildcats are 13-1 when out-rebounding their opponents. Arizona is 4-6 when being out-rebounded and 1-1 when pulling down the same number of boards as its opponents this season.

WILDCATS BOAST PAC’S ACTIVE SCORING LEADERS: Arizona boasts the Pac-10’s top two active career scoring leaders in All-America candidates Dee-Dee Wheeler and Shawntinice Polk. The point guard Wheeler currently has 1,865 career points, while Polk has scored 1,402 points in her three seasons at Arizona. The duo rank second and fourth all-time at Arizona in career points.

80 IS THE MAGIC NUMBER: In the program’s 33-year history, the Wildcats are almost guaranteed a win when they reach 80 points. Arizona is 172-20 (90 percent) all-time when reaching the 80-point plateau. With Joan Bonvicini at the helm, the Wildcats are 124-13 (91 percent) when scoring 80 points or more. This year alone, Arizona is 8-0 in games where it has reached 80 points in the scoring column.

WHEELER AND DOUBLE-DIGIT SCORING: Point guard Dee-Dee Wheeler has scored 10 or more points in 104 of her 118 career games. Her streak of 48 consecutive games in double-figure scoring came to an end Jan. 14 at USC as the senior finished with just five points. She posted double-digit scoring in 19 of 28 games as a freshman, 28 of 31 as a sophomore, all 33 as a junior and 24 of 26 games this season, including 10 games with 20 or more points.

BONVICINI WINS 250TH GAME AT ARIZONA: Joan Bonvicini notched her 250th win as the head coach at Arizona when the Wildcats defeated then-No. 19 UCLA on the road on Jan. 16. In 14 years at the helm, she boasts a 256-156 (.621) record and is the winningest coach in Arizona women’s basketball history.

CATS NEARLY UNBEATABLE AT HOME: Over the past three seasons, Arizona has won 39 of 42 (.929) games at McKale Center. The Cats’ 34-game home winning streak, the longest in the nation, came to an end Jan. 9 when the team fell 78-66 to Stanford.

POLK SURPASSES 200-BLOCK MARK: With her third block of the game against Maryland on Jan. 29, junior center Shawntinice Polk notched her 200th career block, becoming the first Wildcat ever to reach that mark. She now has 211 blocked shots on her career.

WHEELER BECOMES ARIZONA’S STEAL LEADER: Senior guard Dee-Dee Wheeler tied the school record for career steals at the 10:41 mark in the first half of the game at Southern California on Jan. 14 and took sole possession of the record with 11:08 left in the game. She now has 288 steals on her career.

DOUBLE-DOUBLE TROUBLE: During her career, junior Shawntinice Polk has recorded 43 double-doubles (21 as a freshman, 16 as a sophomore and seven 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 33-11 (.750) when Polk notches a double-double.

CURRENT CATS ON UA CAREER LISTS: Senior guard Dee-Dee Wheeler is first in steals (288), tied for first in games started (112), second in scoring (1,865), field goals made (725), field goals attempted (1,585), minutes played average (32.4) and total minutes played (3,819), fourth in scoring average (15.8), three-point field goals made (176), three-point field goals attempted (490) and three-point field goal percentage (.359), seventh in assists (448), ninth in personal fouls (286), tied for ninth in turnovers (373), and 10th in free throws made (239) and free throws attempted (330).

Junior Shawntinice Polk is first in double-doubles (44), blocks (211) and rebounding average (9.8), tied for first in field goal percentage (.584), second in total rebounds (863), third in scoring average (15.9) and field goals made (578), fourth in scoring (1,402), sixth in free throws made (246) and free throws attempted (431), seventh in minutes played average (28.7) and ninth in games started (83).

Junior Natalie Jones ranks eighth in free throw percentage (.753), ninth in three-point field goals attempted (224) and 10th in three-point field goals made (66).

ARIZONA RANKS NATIONALLY IN ATTENDANCE: Arizona currently ranks 45th nationally in attendance with an average attendance of 2,451. Connecticut is the leader with a 13,668 average, while Pac-10 opponents Oregon, Stanford, Washington and Arizona State rank 25th, 27th, 33rd and 44th, respectively, at 3,852, 3,741, 3,267 and 2,463.

WILDCATS ON THE RADIO: All of Arizona’s games this season are broadcast on Tucson’s Jolt, KJLL 1330 AM, the radio home of Arizona women’s basketball. With Paul Johnson in his 10th year as the Wildcats’ play-by-play announcer, the Jolt will broadcast every game, home and away.

JOAN BONVICINI COACH’S SHOW: Hosted by Wildcat radio announcer Paul Johnson, the Joan Bonvicini Coach’s Show is broadcast live from 6-7 p.m. every Monday on KJLL 1330 AM and is held at the Varsity Clubs of America, located at Speedway and Alvernon. The show features Bonvicini with several special guests, ranging from players to staff members.

UP NEXT: Arizona closes out regular-season play with a pair of home games against the Washington schools next Thursday and Saturday. The Wildcats host the Cougars at 7 p.m. on Feb. 24, and the Huskies at 4 p.m. on Feb. 26.

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