UA Women's Basketball Begins Second Round of Pac-10 Play in Bay Area

Jan. 22, 2002

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WHAT'S HAPPENING: The University of Arizona women's basketball team (9-9 overall, 5-4 Pac-10) begins the second round of Pac-10 play this weekend in the Bay Area. The Wildcats play at No. 3 Stanford on Thursday, Jan. 24, in Maples Pavilion, then the Cats take on California on Saturday, Jan. 26, in Haas Pavilion. Game time both nights is 7 p.m. PST.

35 - Krista Warren (F/G, 6-2, Jr., Cloverdale, CA) - 8.6 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 1.6 apg
45 - Elizabeth Pickney (F, 6-4, Sr., Houston, TX) - 15.8 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 1.3 bpg
11 - Dee-Dee Wheeler (G, 5-6, Fr., Chicago, IL) - 12.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.7 apg
13 - Aimee Grzyb (G, 5-7, So., San Jose, CA) - 10.4 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 2.9 apg
20 - Julie Brase (G, 5-10, Jr., Tucson, AZ) - 4.9 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 2.2 apg

4 - Candice Allen (G, 5-10, So., Ontario, CA) - 11.3 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.8 spg
50 - LaKeisha Taylor (C, 6-4, Sr., Houston, TX) - 9.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.0 spg
31 - Robin Roberson (G/F, 6-0, Fr., Berkeley, CA) - 4.9 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 0.9 spg
44 - Danielle Adefeso (F, 6-3, Fr., Los Angeles, CA) - 0.8 ppg, 0.9 rpg
24 - Michelle Tibbetts (G/F, 6-0, Fr., Burnsville, MN) - 0.6 ppg, 0.3 rpg

SCOUTING ARIZONA: Standing at .500 for the first time since Dec. 21, the Wildcats are 9-9 overall and 5-4 in Pac-10 play after a sweep in Los Angeles last weekend. Winners of four of their last five games, the Cats took down USC (78-74) last Thursday and UCLA (71-60) on Saturday.

The win over USC was Arizona's first Pac-10 road victory since Jan. 6, 2001, and it ended a 10-game road losing streak in conference play for the Cats. Arizona's sweep was its first in L.A. since 1998, and the Cats have won four conference games in a row for the first time since beginning last year's league action with a 4-0 mark.

With 15.8 points per game, senior forward Elizabeth Pickney leads four Wildcats averaging in double digits in scoring. Freshman guard Dee-Dee Wheeler is second with 12.2 ppg, followed by sophomore guards Candice Allen (11.3 ppg) and Aimee Grzyb (10.4 ppg).

Junior wing Krista Warren is the team's top rebounder, grabbing an average of 8.4 pergame. Pickney is a close second, averaging 8.1 rpg. Senior center LaKeisha Taylor is third with 5.1 rpg.

As a team, Arizona leads the Pac-10 in free throw percentage (.765) and is third in both three-point field goal percentage (.354) and three-pointers made per game (6.00 pg). Individually, Dee-Dee Wheeler is fourth in steals (2.06 spg), and Krista Warren is fourth in rebounding (8.4 rpg). Elizabeth Pickney is third in free throw percentage (.851), fourth in blocks (1.28 bpg) and sixth in scoring (15.8 ppg).

SCOUTING STANFORD: Still unbeaten in Pac-10 play, the Cardinal moved up to No. 3 in the national rankings after sweeping Washington State (104-57) and Washington (75-67) on the road last weekend. Stanford is on a 10-game win streak and stands at 18-1 overall and 8-0 in the Pac-10.

Averaging 16.0 ppg, senior guard Lindsey Yamasaki leads Stanford in scoring. Sophomore forward Nicole Powell follows at 15.4 ppg and is the team- and Pac-10-leading rebounder with 10.1 rpg. Freshman guard Kelley Suminski is third in scoring, with an average of 9.4 ppg.

In her 16th season at Stanford, head coach Tara VanDerveer (Indiana, 1975) holds a 382-103 mark with the Cardinal. She is 534-154 in 23 years as a head coach.

THE SERIES vs. STANFORD: The Cardinal have a solid 32-11 lead in the series with Arizona, with wins over the Cats in five of the last nine meetings. Then-No. 6 Stanford handed Arizona an 81-57 loss in Tucson earlier this season, the Cats' worst conference loss in four years. Last year, the two teams split the series, with each winning on the other's home court. The Cats are 3-17 all-time in Maples.

LAST MEETING WITH STANFORD: Senior forward Elizabeth Pickney registered her second double-double of the season, but it wasn't enough to keep Arizona from suffering its worst conference loss in four years, 81-57, to then-sixth-ranked Stanford at home on Dec. 19.

The Wildcats managed to open the game on a 7-2 spurt that was quickly squashed by Stanford, as the Cardinal then went on a 22-4 run to gain a 13-point (24-11) lead at 9:25. Arizona got back to within eight three times but was unable to come closer as Stanford took a 10-point lead (34-24) into halftime.

Arizona fought through the early part of the second half, but still was down 16 points (54-38) halfway through the period. The Cats then scored eight unanswered points to slash the lead to eight (54-46) with 7:34 to play. That was the last time Arizona was within single digits, as the Cardinal ended the game by out-scoring the Cats, 27-11, over the final seven minutes.

Elizabeth Pickney logged her second double-double of the year, eighth of her career, with 13 points and a career- and game-high 13 rebounds. Fellow senior LaKeisha Taylor registered 12 points and seven rebounds, while sophomore guard Aimee Grzyb turned in 10 points and five assists.

Freshman guard Robin Roberson came off the bench to add eight points and five rebounds, and fellow freshman Dee-Dee Wheeler had eight rebounds and a game-high five steals.

RANKED OPPONENTS: Standing at No. 3 this week, Stanford will be the highest-ranked opponent Arizona has faced since playing then-No. 2 Tennessee on Mar. 20, 2000, in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Stanford will be the highest-ranked regular season opponent the Cats have faced since then-No. 2 Louisiana Tech on Dec. 6, 1998.

SCOUTING CALIFORNIA: The Golden Bears are 6-11 overall and 1-7 in conference action after a split with the Washington schools last weekend. Cal lost at Washington, 85-46, last Thursday, then got its first Pac-10 win of the season, 62-50, at Washington State last Saturday. The Bears will entertain Arizona State on Thursday before facing the Wildcats on Saturday.

With 12.9 points and 6.3 rebounds per game, senior forward Ami Forney leads California in both categories. Sophomore guard LaTasha O'Keith is second in scoring, at 9.4 ppg, followed by freshman forward Leigh Gregory with 8.9 ppg. Junior forward Amber White the the squad's second-leading rebounder, averaging 3.6 rpg.

Head coach Caren Horstmeyer (Santa Clara, 1984) is in her second year with the Bears, holding an 18-27 record. She has a career record of 239-151 in 14 years as a head coach.

THE SERIES vs. CALIFORNIA: Arizona has a 22-13 advantage in the series with California, the only Pac-10 series in which the Wildcats have a lead. The Cats have won 13 in a row over the Golden Bears and 17 of the last 19. Arizona logged a 66-61 win over Cal earlier this season in Tucson. The Wildcats are 9-8 all-time when playing in Berkeley.

LAST MEETING WITH CALIFORNIA: Senior forward Elizabeth Pickney collected her third double-double of the season, and second in as many games, while leading Arizona to a 66-61 win over California at home on Dec. 21.

Arizona opened the game with a 10-5 run, which California answered with an 11-4 run to gain a two-point (14-12) edge at 13:14. The two squads traded buckets, and neither team led by more than four points, over the next six minutes. The Wildcats closed the half with a 14-4 run that gave them the 36-27 lead at halftime.

Cal began the second half with 13-5 run over the first five minutes that cut Arizona's lead to only one (41-40). Through the next 12 minutes, there were four ties but only two lead changes as the Wildcats barely retained control of the game.

The score was tied at 59-59 with 2:52 left. Arizona connected on back-to-back layups and a free throw to go up by five (64-59) with 1:45 remaining. Cal senior Ami Forney registered a layup, two of her 16 second-half points, and brought the Bears to within three (64-61) at 1:32.

The Cats committed back-to-back turnovers, but Cal was unable to capitalize on the miscues. Junior wing Krista Warren drained a pair of free throws with only nine seconds remaining to give the Cats their final spread of five.

Pickney shot 9-for-14 from the floor on her way to a team-high 21 points and 11 rebounds, recording the ninth double-double of her career. Warren grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds and added nine points, while freshman guard Dee-Dee Wheeler had 12 points and four assists. Fellow freshman Robin Roberson, who hails from Berkeley, came off the bench for 11 points and six rebounds.

ARIZONA'S LAST TIME OUT: With a career-high 19 points from sophomore guard Aimee Grzyb, Arizona topped UCLA, 71-60, in Pauley last Sunday, taking its first sweep in L.A. since 1998. That was also Arizona's first win in Pauley since '98.

The first half was a low-scoring one for both teams, with UCLA holding only a 13-9 lead eight minutes into the period. On fire from three-point range, Grzyb scored all of Arizona's first nine points in the game.

Then the Wildcats scored seven unanswered points to go ahead by three (16-13) at 11:16. The teams traded buckets for four more minutes until Arizona had another seven-point run that gave it a six-point (26-20) edge with 4:53 left in the period. UCLA got back to within one (26-25) three minutes later, but the Cats used an 8-2 spurt to gain a narrow five-point (33-28) lead at halftime.

The Cats pushed their lead to 11 (43-32) at 15:22 by opening the second half with a 10-4 run. The Bruins fought back to within six points three different times over the next six minutes on the clock and were down by only eight (55-47) with 5:49 left in the game. That's when the UA ripped off seven straight points to go up by 15 (62-47), its largest lead of the game, with four minutes remaining. UCLA never got closer than the final spread of 11 points after that.

Aimee Grzyb was 5-for-7 from three-point range on her way to a career- and game-high 19 points. Junior wing Krista Warren was the only other Wildcat to reach double digits in scoring, racking up 15 points and a game-high 10 rebounds for her third double-double of the season. Senior forward Elizabeth Pickney, sophomore guard Candice Allen and freshman guard Robin Roberson added seven points each, and senior center LaKeisha Taylor grabbed seven rebounds.

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 188-126 (.599) mark at Arizona and is 513-197 (.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 98-89 against Pac-10 teams, although they have a 64-34 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: The Wildcats will play five of their final seven contests at home. Arizona will face Oregon State at home on Thursday, Jan. 31, at 7 p.m., then the Cats take on Oregon on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 4 p.m.

Arizona plays its final regular season road games on Feb. 7 and 9 at Washington and Washington State, respectively.

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.

STEPPING UP: Sophomore guard Aimee Grzyb has averaged 16.7 points per game over the last three contests, including a career-high 19 points at UCLA on Jan. 19. She shot 50 percent (16-32) from the floor over the last three games, including 47.8 percent (11-23) from three-point range. She also averaged nearly four 3-pointers made per game during that stretch.

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

WELCOME BACK: 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 13.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.3 steals and 2.2 assists per game in the six contests since coming back.

NOTING THE PAC-10: After the first round of Pac-10 play, Stanford (18-1 overall) continues to dominate the league and has a perfect 8-0 mark in conference action. There is a three-way tie for second place, with Arizona State, USC and Oregon State each owning a 6-3 conference mark. Arizona is part of a three-way tie for fifth, owning a 5-4 mark, along with Oregon and Washington. UCLA (2-7), California (1-7) and Washington State (0-9) round out the standings.

SEEING PLENTY OF ACTION: Seven different Wildcats are averaging 22 or more minutes played per game. Elizabeth Pickney has the team's top average, playing 31.3 mpg, followed by Krista Warren's 30.3 mpg.

CLEANING THE GLASS: Junior wing Krista Warren has had seven double-digit rebounding performances already this year, with five coming in her last nine contests. In Pac-10 play, she has a team-best average of 9.2 rpg.

Teammate Elizabeth Pickney has been hitting the boards lately too. She is averaging 8.7 boards per game in conference play, including a career-high 13 rebounds against Stanford on Dec. 19.

CLOSE BUT...: Nine of Arizona's 18 games this season have been decided by nine points or less, with six of those being decided by five points or less.

STRONG SCHEDULE: Six 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 has moved up to No. 3. Arizona State, New Mexico and Notre Dame all received votes for ranking.

In the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll, Stanford is the only opponent ranked, standing at No. 3. Arizona State, New Mexico, Notre Dame, Pepperdine and USC 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 136. Pickney is second in career scoring (1454), second in free throws made (412), second in free throws attempted (540), third in total rebounds (658), third in career rebounding average (5.9 rpg), fourth in scoring average (13.1 ppg), fourth in field goals made (518), fourth in games started (102), tied for fourth in double-doubles (10), fifth in free throw percentage (.763) and fifth in field goals attempted (1045).

Junior guard Julie Brase is third in career three-point percentage (.370), seventh in career three-pointers made (71) and eighth in three-pointers attempted (192). Sophomore guard Aimee Grzyb is fourth in three-point percentage (.357), sixth in three-pointers made (82) and sixth in three-pointers attempted (230).

THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME: The Wildcats have won 26 of their last 33 home games and are 48-12 on their home court over the last four seasons combined. During Joan Bonvicini's 11 seasons at Arizona, the Wildcats have posted a 113-47 mark in McKale Center. Arizona has a record of 179-155 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 138-20 record when scoring 80 points or more in a game. Under Bonvicini, the Wildcats have gone 98-13 when topping that 80-point plateau.

BY THE NUMBERS: The Cats have hit five or more 3-pointers in 12 of this season's 18 games... Arizona has had 15 or more assists in nine games... The Cats have had 10 or more steals in eight games... Arizona has forced its opponent into 20 or more turnovers in eight contests... The UA has scored 80 points or better in five games.

KEYS TO THE WIN: This season, Arizona is... 5-0 when shooting 80% or better from the line... 4-2 when forcing more turnovers than it commits... 6-1 when leading at halftime... 8-3 when scoring 70 points or more... 7-3 when shooting better than its opponent from the free throw line... 9-4 when holding its opponent to 77 points or less.

BUT ON THE LOSING END...: The Cats are... 0-5 when giving up 80 points or more... 2-6 when shooting worse from the free throw line than the opponent... 2-7 when trailing at halftime... 2-6 when making fewer three-pointers than the opponent... 4-9 when shooting less than 80% from the line... 1-6 when scoring 69 points or less... 4-6 when three or fewer players reach double digits in scoring... 2-6 when shooting under 40% from the floor.

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