COMING UP: The Arizona women’s basketball team (7-12, 3-6) faces Washington (13-5, 6-3) at 7 p.m. (PST) this Thursday, Jan. 26. 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: For the first time all season, the Wildcats had five players in double-digit scoring en route to their first road win, handing California its first loss at Haas Pavilion, an 80-76 defeat of the Bears Sunday. Arizona shot 44 percent from the field, 50 percent from three-point range and 76 percent from the free throw line on the game. California shot 49 percent from the field, but just 14 percent from beyond the arc and an alarming 35 percent from the charity stripe on the game. The Bears dominated the boards 48 to 34. Junior Joy Hollingsworth led all players with a season-high 23 points. She also added a team-high eight rebounds to go with six assists and four steals. Sophomore Ashley Whisonant added 15 points, while sophomore Jessica Arnold finished with a season-high 14 points. Senior Natalie Jones and freshman Kelsey Burns totaled 10 points apiece. Burns’ total was a career high. Whisonant dished out a team-high seven assists.
Hollingsworth leads Arizona this season with 14.6 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. Whisonant adds 13.5 points per game, while Jones averages 13.2 points. As a team, the Wildcats are shooting 39 percent from the field, compared to the 47 percent of their opponents. They are also being out-rebounded 35.9 to 38.8.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION: Oregon point guard Kaela Chapdelaine scored a career-high 18 points to lift the Ducks to an 81-73 victory over Washington last Saturday at McArthur Court. Oregon shot 56 percent from the field, including 12-of-20 from downtown. Cameo Hicks led the Huskies with 16 points, while Andrea Plouffe and Jill Bell each had 13 points. Hicks hit a trey just before the buzzer to give Washington a 46-40 halftime lead. But the Huskies missed 12 of their first 13 shots in the second half and went on to shoot just 29 percent in the period as Oregon went on to the win.
On the season, the Huskies are led by Hicks, who averages 15.0 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. As a team, Washington is shooting 40 percent from the field on the season, compared to the 43 percent of its opponents. The Huskies are out-rebounding their opponents 39.8 to 36.6.
SERIES SHORTS: Arizona trails the all-time series with Washington 15-27. In the last meeting between the two teams, on Dec. 31, 2005, Arizona fell 66-54 in Tucson. The Wildcats are 10-11 at home, 3-16 away and 2-0 at a neutral site vs. the Huskies.
INJURY UPDATE: Sophomore Ch?© Oh suffered a concussion at Stanford last Thursday and is day-to-day. Freshman Amina Njonkou re-aggravated her right foot at Stanford last Thursday and is day-to-day. Junior Linda Pace suffered a left knee injury against Washington State on Dec. 29 and is out for the rest of the season.
RANKING IN THE PAC-10: As a team, Arizona ranks in the bottom half of the conference in every statistical category but offensive rebounds (second), free throw percentage (fourth) and turnover margin (fifth).
Individually, several Wildcats rank in the Top 10 in various categories. Senior Natalie Jones is third in free throw percentage (.826), sixth in minutes per game (34.6) and seventh in steals (2.2). Junior Joy Hollingsworth is fifth in three-point field goal average (2.1), ninth in offensive rebounds (2.6), and 10th in scoring (14.6), rebounding (6.4) and minutes per game (33.0). Sophomore Ashley Whisonant is fifth in assists (3.7). Sophomore Ch?© Oh and freshman Whitney Fields are tied for second in offensive rebounds (2.8).
ROAD WOES: Arizona is 1-6 on the road this season. In fact, over the past six seasons, the Wildcats have had a winning record in Pac-10 road games only once (5-4 in 2003-04).
SHOOTING SORROWS LEAD TO LOSSES: In each of their 12 losses this season, the Wildcats have had a worse shooting percentage than their opponents. In fact, the three times Arizona has produced a better field goal percentage than its opponent (Furman, Lehigh, Chicago State), the team has also won the game. Three times (Loyola Marymount, Washington State, Oregon) the Wildcats have shot worse than the other team and still managed to win the game.
SHOOTING THE THREE OFTEN: Arizona has made 100 three-pointers this season, compared to the 93 of its opponents. However, the Wildcats have 73 more attempts than their counterparts, which accounts for the difference in percentage (36 percent compared to 30 percent).
HALFTIME SCORE INDICATIVE OF FINAL RESULT: In Arizona’s 19 games this season, the halftime score has been indicative of the final result 15 times. The Wildcats are 2-10 when trailing at the intermission and 5-2 when leading. The only two games Arizona lost after leading at halftime were against Central Connecticut State and Utah.
HACK AWAY: The Wildcats are fouling quite a bit this season. In its 19 games, Arizona has committed more fouls than its opponent 13 times and the same number once. The Wildcats have fouled less than their opponent only five times, against Chicago State, Arizona State, Washington State, Oregon State and Oregon. Arizona has committed 20 or more fouls in nine games this season, six of which have been losses.
WILDCAT TRIFECTA: Senior Natalie Jones, junior Joy Hollingsworth and sophomore Ashley Whisonant lead the Wildcats this season. The trio account for 61 percent of the team’s points. Hollingsworth and Whisonant have reached double-digit scoring in 16 of the 19 games, while Jones has 10 or more points in 15 games.
JONES STARTS 80TH STRAIGHT GAME: Senior Natalie Jones started her 80th consecutive game at USC on Jan. 8. On her career, the guard has started 88 total games.
LACK OF SIZE EXPOSED: With the death of 6-5 Shawntinice Polk and the medical redshirt of 6-2 Shannon Hobson, Arizona is left without much size inside. As a result, the Wildcats have been out-rebounded in 14 of their 19 games this season. In those 14 games, the Wildcats have managed just 33.3 rebounds to their opponents’ 41.5 (-8.2).
CURRENT CATS ON UA CAREER LISTS: Senior Natalie Jones ranks sixth all-time at Arizona in free throw percentage (.767), three-point field goals attempted (342) and free throws made (26), seventh in three-point field goals made (99), ninth in games started (88) and minutes played (3,205), and 10th in minutes per game (27.9), free throws attempted (339) and personal fouls (290). She looks to become just the 14th Arizona player ever to score 1,000 or more points as she has 967 on her career.
PAC-10 ACTIVE CAREER LEADERS: Arizona boasts several of the Pac-10’s active career statistical leaders. Senior Natalie Jones ranks second in assists (279), fourth in steals (166), fifth in scoring (967) and three-point field goals made (99), and seventh in rebounds (478). Junior Joy Hollingsworth ranks eighth in scoring (852).
GOING POLLING: Six of Arizona’s 2005-06 opponents (Stanford, Maryland, UCLA, USC, Utah and Arizona State) were nationally ranked in the various preseason polls. Pac-10 power Stanford was ranked as high as No. 8, while Pac-10 teams USC and Arizona State were ranked in all four polls.
STACKED PAC: As a conference, the Pac-10 finished last season ranked as the third toughest conference in the nation after sending five teams to the NCAA Tournament. Finishing ahead of the Pac-10 were the Southeastern Conference and the Atlantic Coast Conference.
TOUGH SCHEDULE: The Wildcats have a challenging schedule that includes 12 games against eight teams (Arizona State, Maryland, Oregon, Stanford, UC Santa Barbara, USC, Utah and Wisconsin-Green Bay) that made it to the NCAA Tournament last year. Of those teams, six advanced to the second round, while Arizona State made it to the Sweet 16 and Stanford to the Elite Eight.
CATS PICKED TO FINISH SIXTH, SEVENTH IN PAC-10: Arizona was picked to finish sixth in the Pacific-10 Conference in the preseason coaches’ poll. The Wildcats garnered 42 points, just one point behind fifth-place Oregon. In the media poll, Arizona was picked to finish seventh in the conference, receiving 59 votes.
WILDCATS ON THE RADIO: All of Arizona’s games this season are broadcast on Tucson’s Jolt, KJLL 1330 AM. Paul Johnson is in his 11th year as the Wildcats’ play-by-play announcer.
UP NEXT: Arizona wraps up its four-game road swing with a 2 p.m. (PST) game at Washington State on Saturday, Jan. 28.