Women's Basketball Faces UC Santa Barbara in Last Non-Conference Action

Jan. 13, 2002

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WHAT'S HAPPENING: After winning its first back-to-back games since November, the University of Arizona women's basketball team (7-8 overall, 3-4 Pac-10) will look for continued success as it plays its final non-conference contest of the season. The Wildcats will wrap up a three-game homestand on Monday, Jan. 14, against traditional powerhouse UC Santa Barbara at 7 p.m. in the McKale Center.

35 - Krista Warren (F/G, 6-2, Jr., Cloverdale, CA) - 8.7 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 1.5 apg
45 - Elizabeth Pickney (F, 6-4, Sr., Houston, TX) - 16.5 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 1.4 bpg
11 - Dee-Dee Wheeler (G, 5-6, Fr., Chicago, IL) - 13.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.6 apg
13 - Aimee Grzyb (G, 5-7, So., San Jose, CA) - 9.1 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 3.1 apg
20 - Julie Brase (G, 5-10, Jr., Tucson, AZ) - 4.4 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 2.4 apg

4 - Candice Allen (G, 5-10, So., Ontario, CA) - 11.6 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 3.0 spg
50 - LaKeisha Taylor (C, 6-4, Sr., Houston, TX) - 8.8 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.0 spg
31 - Robin Roberson (G/F, 6-0, Fr., Berkeley, CA) - 5.0 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 1.1 spg
44 - Danielle Adefeso (F, 6-3, Fr., Los Angeles, CA) - 1.0 ppg, 1.1 rpg, 0.1 bpg
24 - Michelle Tibbetts (G/F, 6-0, Fr., Burnsville, MN) - 0.7 ppg, 0.3 rpg

SCOUTING ARIZONA: Coming off a very important sweep of the Washington schools last weekend, the Wildcats are 7-8 overall and 3-4 in Pac-10 play. In their last action, the Cats downed Washington, 83-69, at home on Sunday.

The Wildcats have lost 13 of their last 14 road games, dating back to last season. Arizona's four Pac-10 losses this season have been by an average of 20.3 points per game, and the Cats have not won a Pac-10 road game in over a year.

Six different Wildcats are averaging eight points or better per game, with senior forward Elizabeth Pickney's 16.5 ppg leading the way. Freshman guard Dee-Dee Wheeler is second in scoring, averaging 13.2 ppg, followed by sophomore guard Candice Allen with 11.6 ppg. Fellow sophomore Aimee Grzyb is fourth with a 9.1 ppg scoring average, with senior center LaKeisha Taylor following at 8.8 ppg.

Junior wing Krista Warren, who registered her sixth double-digit rebounding performance of the season on Saturday, is the team's top rebounder, with an average of 8.7 per game. Pickney is second in rebounding, averaging 8.1 per game, and Taylor is third with 4.9 rpg.

PUT UP SOME POINTS: The Cats are 5-0 this season when Elizabeth Pickney scores 20 points or more.

SCOUTING UC SANTA BARBARA: The Gauchos are 6-5 overall and 2-0 in Big West Conference play after winning three of their last four games. UCSB, which is coming off a big 105-60 victory over Cal State Northridge on Jan. 6, has had an eight-day break in action before taking on the Wildcats.

Averaging 15.7 points and 8.6 rebounds per game, senior forward Kayte Christensen is leading UCSB in both categories. Sophomore center Lindsay Taylor and freshman guard Kristen Mann are tied for second in scoring, each averaging 12.4 ppg, and Taylor is the team's second-leading rebounder, at 7.9 rpg.

Head coach Mark French (UC Santa Barbara, 1973) has a 285-143 record in 16 years at the helm of his alma mater's program. He has a career record of 383-256 in 24 seasons as a head coach.

THE SERIES vs. UCSB: The Wildcats have the 6-3 lead in the series with UC Santa Barbara, including four straight victories and wins in six of the last seven matchups. Arizona won the last meeting with the Gauchos, 71-63, on Nov. 26, 2000, in Santa Barbara.

LAST MEETING WITH UCSB: Arizona wrapped up a brief two-game road swing on Nov. 26, 2000, with a 71-63 win over traditional powerhouse UC Santa Barbara.

In a close first half, there were five ties and 11 lead changes, and neither team led by more than five points at any time. The squads played to a 32-32 tie at the half.

The second half seemed a virtual repeat of the first, with UCSB taking a four-point (43-39) lead at the 12:01 mark, only to see Arizona shoot out to a five-point (51-46) advantage on a 12-3 run over the next five minutes.

The Gauchos responded with their own 9-5 spurt that gave them a one-point (57-56) edge with just over four minutes remaining. That was the last time UCSB led, as a pair of Wildcat layups gave the UA a permanent lead. Arizona hit 9-for-10 from the line down the stretch to ice the victory.

Elizabeth Pickney led all scorers with her 20 points, while pulling down eight rebounds. Krista Warren added nine points and five rebounds, and Aimee Grzyb had four points and two boards.

ARIZONA'S LAST TIME OUT: With a career-high 25 points from sophomore guard Candice Allen, Arizona won its first back-to-back games since November, downing Washington, 83-69, at home on Sunday. The Wildcats upped their record to 7-8 overall and 3-4 in Pac-10 play, while the Huskies, who were swept this weekend, slipped to 9-7 overall and 4-3 in conference action.

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, fueled by six points from senior forward Elizabeth Pickney, 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 Pickney and 18 points from freshman guard Dee-Dee Wheeler. Junior wing Krista Warren grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds, her sixth double-digit rebounding performance of the season. Sophomore guard Aimee Grzyb contributed seven points and a game-high six assists.

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 186-125 (.598) mark at Arizona and is 511-196 (.723) 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 97-89 against Pac-10 teams, although they have a 63-34 league mark over the last six seasons combined.

THE REST OF THE STAFF: Awarded the title of associate head coach in 1998, Denise Dove Ianello (Northern Illinois, 1992) is in her 10th year at the UA, functioning as both the team's recruiting coordinator and a perimeter coach. In his third year at the UA, assistant coach Curtis Loyd (Southern Utah, 1994) is involved with scouting and with coaching the post players and is the director of the Joan Bonvicini Hoop Camp. The Cats are currently in the process of searching for a new assistant coach to replace Karen Caires, who resigned on Dec. 21.

NEW WILDCAT ON THE WAY: Associate head coach Denise Dove Ianello and her husband Rob, who is the UA football recruiting coordinator and wide receivers coach, are expecting their first child in April 2002.

LOOKING AHEAD: Arizona hits the road again next weekend to begin a four-game road swing. The Wildcats play at USC on Thursday, Jan. 17, at 7 p.m. PST in the L.A. Sports Arena, then the Cats take on UCLA on Saturday, Jan. 19, at 4 p.m. PST in Westwood.

The weekend after that, Arizona begins the second round of Pac-10 play in the Bay Area on Jan. 24 at Stanford and Jan. 26 at California.

HOME GAME TIME CHANGED: The game time for the Wildcats' home contest against Oregon on Saturday, Feb. 2, has been moved to 4 p.m. to accomodate television broadcast. The game, which had originally been slated for a 2 p.m. tip, will be aired live in Tucson on KWBA channel 58 and in Prescott and Phoenix on KUSK at 4 p.m. MST.

NOTING THE PAC-10: Next weekend's games will mark the midway point of Pac-10 play for this season. Stanford (16-1 overall) continues to dominate the league and has a perfect 6-0 mark in conference action. Arizona State and USC are tied for second with 5-2 conference marks each, followed by Oregon and Oregon State at 5-3 apiece. Washington is sixth with a 4-3 league record, and Arizona is close behind at 3-4.

CANDICE THE CATALYST: After missing seven straight games because of a grade-three concussion suffered against Holy Cross on Nov. 30, sophomore guard Candice Allen returned to action at Oregon State on Jan. 6. Her return has been quite a welcome one, as she has averaged 16.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.3 steals per game in the three contests since coming back.

The Wildcats have also suddenly begun to win again, with large contributions from Allen over the last two games in particular. During last weekend's sweep of the Washington schools, she racked up a combined 42 points in 50 minutes of play and recorded averages of 21.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.5 apg, 3.5 spg and 2.5 bpg. Allen exploded for a career-high 25 points on Jan. 12 while leading the Cats to a win over Washington.

WHAT A GAME!: After six straight games of averaging barely 60 points a contest, the Wildcats went off for a 107-57 win over Washington State on Jan. 10. It was Arizona's 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.

The Cats scored 61 points in the second half against WSU, the highest point total for any half since the team collected 62 points in the second half at Providence on Dec. 30, 1995. The Wildcats also shot 53.9 percent from the floor against the Cougars, the UA's best shooting percentage in 20 games and its first time over 50 percent for this season.

CLEANING THE GLASS: Junior wing Krista Warren has had six double-digit rebounding performances already this year, with four coming in her last six contests. Over the last eight games, she has averaged 10.6 rebounds per contest, including a career-best performance of 18 boards at Stephen F. Austin on Dec. 16.

Teammate Elizabeth Pickney has been hitting the boards lately too. She has averaged 9.0 boards per game over the last seven contests, including a career-high 13 rebounds against Stanford on Dec. 19.

GOTTA REBOUND: After being out-rebounded by an average of 7.7 boards per game over the first six contests of the year, the Wildcats have out-rebounded their last nine opponents by an average of 4.7 per game.

SEEING PLENTY OF ACTION: Seven different Wildcats are averaging 21 or more minutes played per game. Elizabeth Pickney has the team's top average, playing 31.6 mpg, followed by Dee-Dee Wheeler's 30.1 mpg.

FREE THROWS AND TURNOVERS TELL THE TALE: The Cats have been getting to the free throw line often enough during this season's games, but it's only when they shoot well, really well, from the stripe that they win. Arizona has shot 84.1 percent (122-145) from the line in the season's seven victories. In the Cats' eight losses, they hit only 71.3 percent (112-157) from the stripe. Arizona is also making an average of 3.4 more free throws per game in its wins than its losses.

Arizona needs to take care of the ball to win too. In their wins, the Cats have averaged only 20.0 turnovers per game, but in their losses, they committed an average of 23.1 turnovers per game.

CLOSE BUT...: Eight of Arizona's 15 games this season have been decided by nine points or less, with five of those being decided by five points or less.

STRONG SCHEDULE: 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 is the only opponent ranked, standing at No. 4. Arizona State, Notre Dame and New Mexico all received votes for ranking.

In the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll, Stanford is ranked at No. 4. Arizona State, Notre Dame, USC and New Mexico were among the teams receiving votes for ranking.

CHECKING THE RECORD BOOK: Wildcat senior Elizabeth Pickney is among the Arizona career leaders in 15 different statistical categories. She recently became Arizona's career leader in blocked shots, now with 134. Pickney is second in career scoring (1417), second in free throws made (401), second in free throws attempted (527), tied for third in career rebounding average (5.8 rpg), fourth in scoring average (13.1 ppg), fourth in field goals made (505), fourth in total rebounds (634) and fourth in games started (99).

Junior guard Julie Brase is third in career three-point percentage (.363), eighth in career three-pointers made (65) and ninth in three-pointers attempted (179). Only a sophomore, guard Aimee Grzyb is already sixth in three-pointers made (70), sixth in three-pointers attempted (201) and seventh in three-point percentage (.343).

THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME: The Wildcats have won 26 of their last 32 home games and are 48-11 on their home court over the last four seasons combined. During Joan Bonvicini's 11 seasons at Arizona, the Wildcats have posted a 113-46 mark in McKale Center. Arizona has a record of 179-154 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 138-19 record when scoring 80 points or more in a game. Under Bonvicini, the Wildcats have gone 98-12 when topping that 80-point plateau.

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

KEYS TO THE WIN: This season, Arizona is... 5-0 when shooting 80% or better from the line... 4-1 when forcing more turnovers than it commits... 4-1 when leading at halftime... 6-2 when scoring 70 points or more... 6-3 when shooting better than its opponent from the free throw line... 7-4 when holding its opponent to 77 points or less.

BUT ON THE LOSING END...: The Cats are... 0-4 when giving up 80 points or more... 1-5 when shooting worse from the free throw line than the opponent... 2-6 when trailing at halftime... 3-6 when committing more turnovers than the opponent... 1-6 when making fewer three-pointers than the opponent... 2-8 when shooting less than 80% from the line... 1-6 when scoring 69 points or less... 3-6 when three or fewer players reach double digits in scoring... 2-5 when shooting under 40% from the floor.

PICKNEY BECOMES UA CAREER BLOCKS LEADER: With a career-high-tying five blocks at New Mexico on Nov. 27, senior forward Elizabeth Pickney has taken over as Arizona's career blocked shots leader. She has 134 career blocks, placing her ahead of former career leader Marte Alexander (1995-98), who had 121.

CAT SCRATCHES: The Arizona women's basketball program has a 345-413 (.455) all-time record, however it is 149-77 (.659) from 1994 to present... Joan Bonvicini has a 187-102 career record against Pac-10 teams.

ON LOCATION: This year, Arizona is 6-3 at home, 1-5 on the road and 0-0 in neutral games. Last season, the Wildcats were 15-2 at home, 4-9 in road games and 1-1 in neutral contests.

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