Women's Basketball Plays Host to Oregon State, Oregon This Week

Jan. 29, 2002

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WHAT'S HAPPENING: This week, the University of Arizona women's basketball team (10-10 overall, 6-5 Pac-10) begins a stretch that will see it play five of its final seven regular-season games at home. The Wildcats will be seeking revenge this weekend for an earlier sweep as the play host to Oregon State on Thursday, Jan. 31, at 7 p.m., then take on Oregon on Saturday, Feb. 2, at 4 p.m. in the McKale Center.

35 - Krista Warren (F/G, 6-2, Jr., Cloverdale, CA) - 8.4 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 1.6 apg
45 - Elizabeth Pickney (F, 6-4, Sr., Houston, TX) - 16.2 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 1.3 bpg
11 - Dee-Dee Wheeler (G, 5-6, Fr., Chicago, IL) - 11.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 3.5 apg
13 - Aimee Grzyb (G, 5-7, So., San Jose, CA) - 10.4 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 3.0 apg
20 - Julie Brase (G, 5-10, Jr., Tucson, AZ) - 4.8 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 2.2 apg

4 - Candice Allen (G, 5-10, So., Ontario, CA) - 10.5 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.6 spg
50 - LaKeisha Taylor (C, 6-4, Sr., Houston, TX) - 9.3 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.1 apg
31 - Robin Roberson (G/F, 6-0, Fr., Berkeley, CA) - 5.0 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 0.9 apg
44 - Danielle Adefeso (F, 6-3, Fr., Los Angeles, CA) - 0.8 ppg, 0.8 rpg
24 - Michelle Tibbetts (G/F, 6-0, Fr., Burnsville, MN) - 0.6 ppg, 0.3 rpg

SCOUTING ARIZONA: After wrapping up a four-game road swing last weekend, the Wildcats stand at 10-10 overall and 6-5 in Pac-10 play. The Cats lost at No. 3 Stanford (76-62) last Thursday, then rebounded to beat California (76-68) on Sunday.

Arizona has won five of its last seven games and three of its last four road games, after snapping a 10-game road losing streak in conference play at USC on Jan. 17. Although the McKale Center has historically been kind to the Cats, they already have four losses at home this season, their most losses in McKale since the 1994-95 team dropped seven home games.

Averaging 16.2 points and 8.4 rebounds per game, senior forward Elizabeth Pickney is leading Arizona in both categories. Freshman guard Dee-Dee Wheeler is second in scoring with 11.5 ppg, followed by sophomore guards Candice Allen (10.5 ppg) and Aimee Grzyb (10.4 ppg).

Junior wing Krista Warren is the team's second-leading rebounder, grabbing an average of 8.1 per game. Senior center LaKeisha Taylor is third with 5.1 rpg.

As a team, Arizona leads the Pac-10 in free throw percentage (.756), is second in three-point field goal percentage (.356), third in scoring (72.8 ppg), third in overall field goal percentage (.427) and third in three-pointers made per game (5.95 pg).

Individually, Krista Warren is fifth in rebounding (8.1 rpg), and Aimee Grzyb is sixth in three-pointers made per game (1.75 pg). Elizabeth Pickney is second in free throw percentage (.856), third in blocks (1.30 bpg), fourth in rebounding (8.4 rpg) and sixth in scoring (16.2 ppg). The Cats have three players among the conference top 10 in overall field goal percentage -- Elizabeth Pickney (.479) is eighth, LaKeisha Taylor (.474) is ninth, and Krista Warren (.468) is 10th.

THAT WAS THEN, THIS IS NOW: Over the first 13 games of the season, the Wildcats averaged only 69.2 points per game and shot only 40.2 percent from the floor, including 32.9 percent from three-point range, while garnering a paltry 5-8 record. However, over their last seven games, the Cats have averaged 79.6 ppg and have been shooting 47.3 percent from the floor and 40.2 percent from beyond the arc while collecting a 5-2 mark.

SCOUTING OREGON STATE: The Beavers started the season with a 4-6 record but have gone 7-4 since and now stand at 11-10 overall and 7-4 in Pac-10 play. Oregon State is coming off a split with the L.A. schools at home last weekend, defeating UCLA (77-36) on Jan. 24, then losing to USC (60-58) on Jan. 26.

Averaging a Pac-10-best 19.9 points per game and 6.0 rebounds per game, senior guard Felicia Ragland is leading Oregon State in both categories. Sophomore forward Hollye Chapman (10.1 ppg) is the only other player averaging in double digits in scoring, but she is followed by five other Beavers who are averaging four points or more per game.

Head coach Judy Spoelstra (Oregon State, 1983) is in her seventh year with the Beavers, holding an 89-100 record. She has a career record of 187-168 in 13 years as a head coach.

THE SERIES vs. OREGON STATE: OSU has a narrow 17-16 lead in the series with Arizona, including a modest two-game win streak over the Cats. Prior to a loss in Corvallis last season, Arizona had won eight straight against Oregon State. The Wildcats are 11-5 all-time against the Beavers in Tucson and haven't lost to OSU at home since a 79-64 defeat on Jan. 28, 1995. That's a streak of six straight wins over the Beavers in McKale, including last year's 83-73 win over OSU on Feb. 3, 2001.

LAST MEETING WITH OREGON STATE: A 14-0 run early in the second half gave Oregon State all the momentum it needed to pull out a 71-56 win over Arizona on Jan. 6 in Corvallis.

The Beavers jumped out to a quick nine-point (12-3) lead in the first four minutes of the game and pushed it to 10 (17-7) just two minutes later. The Cats used an 18-9 run to slice the lead to one (26-25) with 4:23 remaining in the first half, then tied the game two minutes later. OSU held on for a five-point (35-30) lead at the break.

Things looked good for the Wildcats when they opened the second half with seven unanswered points and took a two-point (37-35) lead at 16:19. That's when Oregon State rattled off 14 straight points, gaining a 12-point (49-37) lead just three minutes later. During that stretch, Arizona had three turnovers and four missed shots.

The Cats again scored seven unanswered points to get back to within five (49-44) at 9:45, but they came no closer as OSU out-scored them, 22-12, down the stretch.

Junior wing Krista Warren logged her first double-double of the season, scoring 12 points and grabbing a game-high 11 rebounds. Sophomore guard Aimee Grzyb had a team-high 15 points to go with five rebounds and four assists.

Freshman guard Dee-Dee Wheeler added nine points and three rebounds, while sophomore guard Candice Allen notched six points in her first action in more than a month.

SCOUTING OREGON: On a modest two-game win streak, the Ducks are 12-8 overall and 7-4 in Pac-10 action after sweeping USC (75-65) and UCLA (76-54) at home last weekend. Oregon will play at Arizona State on Thursday before heading to Tucson for Saturday's matchup with the Wildcats.

Junior guard Shaquala Williams leads Oregon in scoring, with 17.1 points per game, followed by senior guard Edniesha Curry with 11.6 ppg. Sophomore forward Cathrine Kraayeveld is the team's top rebounder, at 7.3 per game, although she has been posting averages of 10.8 ppg and 9.5 rpg in conference play.

First-year head coach Bev Smith (Oregon, 1982) has a 12-8 record with the Ducks.

THE SERIES vs. OREGON: Oregon has a solid 22-11 advantage in the series with Arizona and has won two in a row over the Wildcats. The series has been fairly even over the last 13 meetings, with Arizona winning six of those matchups and Oregon taking seven. Arizona is 6-10 all-time against Oregon in Tucson. The Cats beat the Ducks, 88-76, on Feb. 1 last season at home.

LAST MEETING WITH OREGON: Held to its lowest offensive output in nearly three years, Arizona fell to Oregon, 72-53, in Eugene on Jan. 4.

The Wildcats opened the game with a slender 5-2 lead, which the Ducks quickly parried with nine unanswered points to go ahead by six (11-5). Arizona got back to within two (12-10) at 13:23, only to be out-scored, 22-10, for the remainder of the half. Oregon held a solid 34-20 lead at halftime.

The Ducks began the second half with a 16-9 spurt that blew the lead open to 21 points (50-29) at 12:34. The Cats countered with a 13-3 run that sliced Oregon's lead to only 11 (53-42), but they came no closer as the Ducks dominated the remainder of the game, 19-9.

Senior forward Elizabeth Pickney led the Cats with 12 points and seven rebounds, while freshman guard Dee-Dee Wheeler was the only other Wildcat in double digits in scoring, with 11.

Junior wing Krista Warren added eight points and seven rebounds, and senior center LaKeisha Taylor had eight points and five rebounds, despite early foul trouble. Junior guard Julie Brase contributed eight points and four rebounds.

Arizona's 53 points was its lowest offensive output since scoring only 47 points at Rutgers in the second round of the NCAA tournament on Mar. 14, 1999.

ARIZONA'S LAST TIME OUT: Arizona withstood a pair of late second-half runs by California to beat the Bears, 76-68, in Berkeley on Jan. 26.

The first 15 minutes of the game featured six ties and seven lead changes, with neither team going up by more than four points. Then the Wildcats scored 10 unanswered points to take a 32-22 lead with 39 seconds left in the first half. Cal nailed a three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Cats only a seven-point (32-25) advantage at halftime.

Arizona opened the lead back up to 13 points (46-33) by beginning the second half with a 14-8 spurt. The Bears fought back and cut the lead to nine (55-46) midway through the second half before the Wildcats used a 9-2 spurt to push out to their largest lead of the game at 16 points (64-48).

The Cats then went cold from the floor, and Cal climbed back into the game with eight unanswered points, slicing Arizona's lead down to eight (64-56) with 4:23 remaining in the contest. Just 30 seconds later, Wildcat Candice Allen drained a crucial trey to stop the California run.

Arizona managed a double-digit lead for the next three minutes, until a pair of Cal three-pointers cut the deficit to only seven (75-68) with seven seconds remaining. Senior forward Elizabeth Pickney connected on one of two free throw attempts with five seconds left as the Wildcats hung on for the win.

Senior center LaKeisha Taylor came off the bench for a game-high 19 points, including 13 in the second half alone, and grabbed seven rebounds. Elizabeth Pickney finished with 15 points and a career- and game-high 14 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season. Sophomore guard Aimee Grzyb drained a trio of three-pointers on her way to 15 points, and fellow sophomore Candice Allen had another across-the-board game with 10 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals.

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 189-127 (.598) mark at Arizona and is 514-198 (.722) 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 99-90 against Pac-10 teams, although they have a 65-35 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.

LOOKING AHEAD: Arizona heads to Washington next weekend for its final regular-season road games. The Wildcats will play at Washington on Thursday, Feb. 7, at 7 p.m. PST, then Arizona takes on Washington State on Saturday, Feb. 9, at 1 p.m. PST in Pullman. That contest will be broadcast live nationally on Fox Sports Net.

The Cats wrap up conference play with three straight home games against UCLA (Feb. 14), USC (Feb. 16) and Arizona State (Feb. 23). After that, Arizona will compete in the inaugural Pac-10 Women's Basketball Conference Tournament on Mar. 1-4 in Eugene, Ore.

STEPPING UP: Sophomore guard Aimee Grzyb has averaged 14.0 points per game over the last five contests, including a career-high 19 points at UCLA on Jan. 19. She has hit 51.1 percent (24-47) from the floor over the last five games, including 50 percent (15-30) from three-point range. She has also averaged three 3-pointers made per game during that stretch.

PUT UP SOME POINTS: The Cats are 5-1 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 11.4 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.1 steals per game in the eight contests since coming back. She has been shooting 44.9 percent (31-69) from the floor, 45 percent (9-20) from three-point range and 74.1 percent (20-27) from the line.

Before her injury, Allen was averaging only 9.0 points, 2.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game over the first five contests of the season. During that stretch, she shot just 37 percent (17-46) from the floor, 31.3 percent (5-16) from beyond the arc and 66.7 percent (6-9) at the stripe.

The Wildcats have had a 5-3 mark with Allen back in action, versus the 2-5 record they compiled with her out.

NOTING THE PAC-10: Stanford (20-1 overall) continues to dominate the league and has a perfect 10-0 mark in conference action. There is a four-way tie for second place between Arizona State (16-6 overall), Oregon (12-8), USC (11-9) and Oregon State (11-10), each owning a 7-4 conference mark. Washington (11-8 overall) has a narrow hold over sixth place with a 6-4 mark, followed closely by Arizona (10-10) at 6-5 in league play. UCLA (2-9 Pac-10), California (1-9) and Washington State (0-10) round out the conference 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 31.6 mpg, followed by Aimee Grzyb's 30.3 mpg and Krista Warren's 30.2 mpg.

CLEANING THE GLASS: Junior wing Krista Warren has had seven double-digit rebounding performances already this year, with five coming in her last 11 contests. In Pac-10 play, she is averaging 8.5 rpg.

Teammate Elizabeth Pickney has been hitting the boards lately too. She is averaging a team-best 9.2 boards per game in conference play, including a career-high 14 rebounds at California on Jan. 26.

CLOSE BUT...: Ten of Arizona's 20 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 remains at No. 3. Arizona State, Notre Dame, USC, Pepperdine and New Mexico all received votes for ranking.

In the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll, Stanford is the only opponent ranked, still standing at No. 3. Arizona State, 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 139. Pickney is second in career scoring (1493), second in free throws made (421), second in free throws attempted (550), third in total rebounds (681), third in field goals made (532), third in career rebounding average (6.0 rpg), tied for third in games started (104), fourth in scoring average (13.2 ppg), fourth in double-doubles (11), fifth in free throw percentage (.765) and fifth in field goals attempted (1068).

Junior guard Julie Brase is third in career three-point percentage (.364), seventh in career three-pointers made (72) and seventh in three-pointers attempted (198). Sophomore guard Aimee Grzyb is fourth in three-point percentage (.363), fifth in three-pointers made (86) and tied for fifth in three-pointers attempted (237).

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 14 of this season's 20 games... Arizona has had 15 or more assists in 11 games... The Cats have had 10 or more steals in eight games... Arizona has forced its opponent into 20 or more turnovers in nine 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... 4-3 when forcing more turnovers than it commits... 7-1 when leading at halftime... 9-3 when scoring 70 points or more... 8-3 when shooting better than its opponent from the free throw line... 10-5 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... 2-7 when shooting worse from the free throw line than the opponent... 2-8 when trailing at halftime... 3-7 when making fewer three-pointers than the opponent... 5-10 when shooting less than 80% from the line... 1-7 when scoring 69 points or less... 4-7 when three or fewer players reach double digits in scoring... 2-7 when shooting under 40% from the floor.

ON LOCATION: This year, Arizona is 6-4 at home, 4-6 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.

RANKED OPPONENTS: Standing at No. 3 when the Wildcats played the Cardinal on Jan. 24, Stanford was 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 was the highest-ranked regular season opponent the Cats have faced since then-No. 2 Louisiana Tech on Dec. 6, 1998.

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