Dec. 27, 2011
Arizona is 10-1 to open the season, including a 4-0 record at home, with the only loss coming at the hands of BYU at a neutral site. The Wildcats are paced by junior guard Davellyn Whyte's 18.7 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game. She is backed up by sophomore forward Erica Barnes' 12.8 points and 9.0 rebounds per contest. Senior guard Shanita Arnold hands out 5.4 assists per game to go with her 9.3 points. UA is shooting 43.1 percent from the field, 39.7 percent from three-point range and 68.8 percent from the free throw line.
Arizona ranks in the top three in the Pac-12 in three-point field goal percentage (.397), turnover margin (+2.2), offensive rebound percentage (.398) and three-point field goals made (7.2). Individually, Whyte ranks No. 3 in scoring (18.7), No. 8 in assists (3.8), No. 8 in free throw percentage (.788), No. 5 in steals (2.5) and No. 2 in three-point field goals (2.5). Barnes is No. 13 in scoring (12.8), No. 6 in rebounding (9.0), No. 6 in free throw percentage (.796) and No. 2 in offensive rebounds (4.4). Arnold ranks No. 2 in assists (5.4) and assist/turnover ratio (2.3). Freshman center Aley Rohde ranks No. 5 in blocked shots with 1.8.
UNLV is 10-3 to open the season, including a 2-1 road record, with losses coming vs. Georgetown, at California and vs. Northwestern. The Rebels are paced by junior guard Kelli Thompson's 13.2 points and 3.2 rebounds per game. She is backed up by senior forward/center Lenita Sanford's 10.8 points and 6.7 boards per contest. Senior forward Jamie Smith paces the Rebels at the glass with 8.7 grabs each outing. UNLV is shooting 35.8 percent from the field, 25.0 percent from three-point range and 72.5 percent from the free throw line.
Arizona and UNLV will meet for the seventh time on Wednesday and the series is tied at 3-3. Wednesday will mark the first meeting for the teams since the 2002-03 season. The Wildcats have won the last two meetings and UNLV last won on Jan. 1, 1982 (80-56). The Rebels have never won in Tucson.
With its current 10-1 record and only loss at the hands of BYU, Arizona is off to the best start in program history since the 1999-2000 season. That squad went 12-1 before losing to Stanford, 98-95, in Tucson. Last year, for the first time since the 2003-04 season, the Wildcats were 11-2 to start the season. UA dropped non-conference games to eventual national champion Texas A&M and at Nevada before winning its first two conference contests.
Last time out, the Wildcats moved to 10-1 on the season and 4-0 at home with a 59-50 win against the University of New Mexico. Whyte led all scorers with 27 points. In 33 minutes of play, she also had 12 rebounds for her first collegiate double-double with a combination of points and rebounds. She was 9-of-19 from the field, 3-of-4 from three-point range and 6-of-9 from the free throw line. Arizona also got a double-digit scoring effort from Arnold's 10 points. She also had five assists and two steals. Rohde had a career high eight blocks and also pulled down 10 rebounds. Arizona outrebounded New Mexico, 49-33, and forced just 10 turnovers out of the Lobos. UA gave up 19 turnovers and managed just nine assists. The Wildcats shot 38.2 percent from the field (21-55), 46.7 percent from behind the arc (7-15) and 58.8 percent from the charity stripe (10-17).
Arizona women's basketball games can be heard live on KTUC AM 1400 in Tucson. All broadcasts will start 15 minutes prior to tip-off for the pregame show. Derrick Palmer (play-by-play) and Molly O'Mara (color) will call the action this season. Visit ArizonaWildcats.com for all of your live stats and video needs.
For tickets to the women's basketball games, call 800-452-2287.