COMING UP: Arizona (7-16, 3-10) travels to Eugene, Ore., for a 7 p.m. (PST) game at Oregon (13-9, 4-8) this Thursday, Feb. 9, at McArthur Court. 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: Arizona dropped its fourth-straight game, a 90-64 defeat at the hands of UCLA at McKale Center Saturday afternoon. The Wildcats shot 42 percent from the field, 35 percent from beyond the arc and 78 percent from the charity stripe on the game. UCLA, meanwhile, connected on 55 percent from the field, 35 percent from downtown and 85 percent from the free throw line on the game. The Bruins out-rebounded Arizona 37 to 27 and forced 26 Wildcat turnovers. Senior Natalie Jones led Arizona with 22 points on 8-of-10 shooting. Freshman Kelsey Burns finished with a career-high 15 points, while sophomore Ashley Whisonant was just shy of a double-double, tallying 12 points and nine assists. She also had four steals. Senior Anna Chappell finished with a career-high eight points, while junior Joy Hollingsworth paced the team with six rebounds.
Jones leads Arizona this season with 14.5 points per game. Hollingsworth adds 14.1 points and 5.9 rebounds per game, while Whisonant averages 13.7 points. As a team, the Wildcats are shooting 40 percent from the field, compared to the 47 percent of their opponents. They are also being out-rebounded 34.5 to 39.3.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION: Oregon held California to less than 50 points for the second time this season, but the Ducks failed to muster enough offense of their own, falling 49-39 at Haas Pavilion Saturday. Neither team cracked 30 percent from the field. Cal shot 29 percent and the Ducks hit 25 percent for the game. The battle of the boards went to Oregon, 41-38, with eight Ducks grabbing three or more. Chelsea Wagner led Oregon with 11 points and six rebounds. The senior guard hit a pair of three-pointers in the second half to lead Oregon’s late charge.
On the season, the Ducks are led by Gabrielle Richards, who averages 11.0 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. Wagner adds 9.3 points. As a team, Oregon is shooting 42 percent from the field on the season, compared to the 35 percent of its opponents. The Ducks are also out-rebounding their opponents 37.8 to 36.4.
SERIES SHORTS: Arizona trails the all-time series with Oregon 18-23. The last time the two teams met, on Jan. 14, Arizona won 81-72 in Tucson. The Wildcats are 11-10 at home, 7-12 away and 0-1 at a neutral site vs. the Ducks.
INJURY UPDATE: Freshman Malia O'Neal suffered a concussion against UCLA last Saturday and is day-to-day. Sophomore Jessica Arnold suffered a concussion in practice last Wednesday and is day-to-day. Sophomore Ch?© Oh suffered a concussion at Washington State on Jan. 28 and is out indefinitely. Freshman Amina Njonkou re-aggravated her right foot at Stanford on Jan. 19 and is out indefinitely. 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 free throw percentage (third), offensive rebounds (fourth), turnover margin (fifth), steals (fifth) and three-point field goal average (fifth).
Individually, several Wildcats rank in the Top 10 in various categories. Senior Natalie Jones is third in free throw percentage (.830), sixth in minutes per game (34.7) and steals (2.2), and ninth in both scoring (14.5) and three-point field goal average (1.6). Junior Joy Hollingsworth is fourth in three-point field goal average (2.1) and 10th in minutes per game (33.3). Sophomore Ashley Whisonant is third in assists (3.9) and 10th in assist/turnover ratio (1.0). Freshman Whitney Fields is fifth (2.6) and sophomore Ch?© Oh is eighth in offensive rebounds (2.6).
JONES PULLS DOWN 500TH REBOUND: When she grabbed a board at the 1:41 mark in the first half against USC last Thursday, senior Natalie Jones became just the 12th Wildcat ever to total 500 rebounds on her career. She now has 507 over her four seasons.
SHOOTING SORROWS LEAD TO LOSSES: In 15 of their 16 losses this season, the Wildcats have had a worse shooting percentage than their opponents. In fact, three of the four times Arizona has produced a better field goal percentage than its opponent (Furman, Lehigh, Chicago State), the team has also won the game. The only time the Wildcats shot better than their opponent and lost was at Washington.
JONES FIRING ON ALL CYLINDERS: Over the last three games, senior Natalie Jones has taken matters into her own hands. The guard has posted three-consecutive 20+ point games, finishing with double-doubles in two of the three games. Over that span, she is averaging 24.0 points and 8.3 boards in 35.7 minutes per game.
BURNS BURNING IT UP: Over the last six games, freshman Kelsey Burns has really stepped up her game. During that time, the guard has averaged 7.8 points in 16.3 minutes per game. In the first 17 games, she had averaged 1.6 points in 5.6 minutes. Burns finished with a career-high 15 points against UCLA last Saturday, had 11 points against USC last Thursday and had 10 points in Arizona’s upset of California on Jan. 22.
JONES JOINS 1,000-POINT CLUB: Senior Natalie Jones became just the 14th Arizona player ever to reach 1,000 points on her career on a free throw at the 2:02 mark of the second half at Washington State on Jan. 28. The guard now has 1,050 points on her career.
SHOOTING THE THREE OFTEN: Arizona has made 131 three-pointers this season, compared to the 122 of its opponents. However, the Wildcats have 79 more attempts than their counterparts, which accounts for the difference in percentage (36 percent compared to 31 percent).
HALFTIME SCORE INDICATIVE OF FINAL RESULT: In Arizona’s 23 games this season, the halftime score has been indicative of the final result 19 times. The Wildcats are 2-14 when trailing at the intermission and 5-2 when leading. The only two games Arizona won after trailing at halftime were against Oregon and at California. Conversely, the two games the Wildcats lost after leading at halftime were against Central Connecticut State and Utah.
WILDCAT TRIFECTA: Senior Natalie Jones, junior Joy Hollingsworth and sophomore Ashley Whisonant lead the Wildcats this season. The trio account for 62 percent of the team’s points. Whisonant has reached double-digit scoring in 20 of the 23 games, while Jones and Hollingsworth have 10 or more points in 19 games.
JONES STARTS 88TH STRAIGHT GAME: Senior Natalie Jones started her 88th consecutive game against UCLA last Saturday. On her career, the guard has started 92 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 17 of their 23 games this season. In those 17 games, the Wildcats have managed just 32.0 rebounds to their opponents’ 41.5 (-9.5).
CURRENT CATS ON UA CAREER LISTS: Senior Natalie Jones is tied for second all-time at Arizona in free throw percentage (.773), fifth in three-point field goals attempted (359) and free throws made (282), sixth in three-point field goals made (108), seventh in free throws attempted (365) and minutes played (3,346), eighth in games started (92) and personal fouls (302), and ninth in games played (119) and minutes per game (28.1).
PAC-10 ACTIVE CAREER LEADERS: Arizona boasts several of the Pac-10’s active career statistical leaders. Senior Natalie Jones ranks second in assists (291), fourth in steals (177), sixth in three-point field goals made (108), sixth in scoring (1,050) and seventh in rebounds (507). Junior Joy Hollingsworth ranks fifth in three-point field goals made (117), seventh in steals (114), eighth in scoring (913), ninth in rebounds (435) and 12th in assists (145).
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.
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 travels to Corvallis, Ore., for a 7 p.m. (PST) game at Oregon State on Saturday, Feb. 11.