UA Women Begin New Year at Home Against Oregon Schools

Jan. 1, 2003

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WHAT'S HAPPENING: Returning to its home floor for the first time in two weeks, the 20th-ranked University of Arizona women's basketball team (7-3 overall; 1-1 Pac-10) will play host to the Oregon schools this weekend. The Wildcats will take on Oregon on Thursday, Jan. 2, at 7 p.m., then the Cats will face Oregon State on Saturday, Jan. 4, at 1 p.m. in a contest that will be broadcast live nationally on Fox Sports Net.

Head coach Joan Bonvicini will be looking for her 200th win at Arizona this weekend. She currently has 199 victories in 12 seasons as the Wildcat head coach.

TICKETS: Tickets are always available for UA women's basketball games. The cost is $6 for general admission, $4 for senior citizens, $4 for youth (high school and under) and $4 for UA faculty and staff. UA students can get into the games for free with their CatCards. Contact the UA Athletics Ticket Office at (520) 621-2287 for more information.

#35 - Krista Warren (F/G, 6-2, Sr., Cloverdale, Calif.)
#00 - Shawntinice Polk (C, 6-5, Fr., Hanford, Calif.)
#11 - Dee-Dee Wheeler (G, 5-6, So., Chicago, Ill.)
#13 - Aimee Grzyb (G, 5-7, Jr., San Jose, Calif.)
#20 - Julie Brase (G, 5-10, Sr., Tucson, Ariz.)

OFF THE BENCH: (in numerical order)
#5 - CoCoa Sanford (F, 6-0, Fr., Inglewood, Calif.)
#15 - Anna Chappell (F, 6-1, Fr., Qualicum Beach, B.C.)
#21 - Katrina Lindner (G, 5-6, Fr., Glengowrie, So. Australia)
#23 - Natalie Jones (G, 5-10, Fr., Anchorage, Alaska)
#30 - Jessica Duger (G/F, 5-10, Jr., Lake Havasu City, Ariz.) - eligibility pending
#31 - Robin Roberson (G/F, 6-0, So., Berkeley, Calif.)
#32 - Svjetlana Papcevic (F, 6-2, Jr., Sarajevo, Bosnia) - eligibility pending
#33 - Phakisha Peterson (G/F, 5-11, Fr., El Paso, Texas)
#44 - Danielle Adefeso (C, 6-2, So., Los Angeles, Calif.)

SCOUTING ARIZONA: The Wildcats split a pair of games in the Bay Area last weekend to move to 7-3 overall and 1-1 in Pac-10 play. Arizona handed Cal a sound 83-53 beating last Friday but dropped a hard-fought contest to No. 6 Stanford, 82-74, on Sunday. Two of Arizona's three losses this season have been single-digit defeats by top-10 teams.

The Cats moved up a a spot in the polls this week, now standing at No. 20 in both the Associated Press Top 25 and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll. Arizona is also No. 23 in the Top 50.

With averages of 19.1 points and 12.4 rebounds per game, freshman center Shawntinice Polk continues to lead Arizona in both categories. Sophomore guard Dee-Dee Wheeler is second in scoring, with 15.7 ppg, and is third in rebounding, with 4.6 rpg.

Senior forward Krista Warren is second in rebounding, averaging 6.9 boards per game, and is third in scoring (13.4 ppg). Junior guard Aimee Grzyb is fourth on the scoring chart (12.2 ppg), while senior guard Julie Brase leads the team with an average of 4.3 assists per game.

As a team, Arizona leads the Pac-10 in field goal percentage (.502) and is second in three-point field goal percentage (.383), assists (19.20 apg) and assist-to-turnover ratio (0.96). Individually, Shawntinice Polk leads the league in rebounding (12.4 rpg), is second in scoring (19.1 ppg) and is third in blocked shots (2.40 bpg). Krista Warren is second in field goal percentage (.648), and Julie Brase is third in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.15).

ALLEN LEAVES PROGRAM: In mutual agreement with the coaching staff, junior guard Candice Allen has left the Wildcat program for personal reasons. Allen took some time away from the team following the Wildcats' game at Pepperdine on Nov. 25, and she never returned to active status. She scored just 2 points while seeing limited action during the Cats' first two games of the season. Allen's career averages were 7.4 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.5 assists per game. She played in 55 contests as a Wildcat, starting 12.

SCOUTING OREGON: With a roster that has recently been decimated by injury, illness and the release of star Shaquala Williams, Oregon has still been holding its own this season, standing at 5-6 overall and 1-1 in Pac-10 action. The Ducks split with the L.A. schools at home last weekend, falling to UCLA (93-68) on Dec. 27 then rebounding with a win over USC (79-73) on Dec. 29.

With 16.7 points and 11.7 rebounds per game, junior forward Cathrine Kraayeveld leads the Ducks in both categories. She missed both of last weekend's games with a staph infection in her right knee and is expected to be out at least six weeks. Sophomore guard Brandi Davis is second in scoring, with 10.4 ppg, followed by sophomore center Andrea Bills' 9.1 ppg. Bills is also second in rebounding, at 6.2 per game.

Second-year head coach Bev Smith (Oregon, 1982) has a 27-19 record at the helm of her alma mater's program.

THE SERIES vs. OREGON: The Ducks have a 22-12 lead in the series with Arizona, although the Wildcats have won five of the last nine meetings with Oregon. The two teams split last season's games, each winning on its own home court. The Ducks trounced Arizona, 72-53, in Eugene on Jan. 4, 2002, but the Wildcats returned the favor with an 84-68 win in Tucson on Feb. 2, 2002. Arizona has a 7-10 record all-time when facing the Ducks in McKale Center.

LAST MEETING WITH OREGON: Scoring its final 17 points all from the free throw line, Arizona defeated Oregon, 84-68, at home on Feb. 2, 2002.

Arizona jumped out to a six-point (8-2) lead in the first four minutes of the game, which Oregon promptly answered with a 7-2 spurt that cut the lead to one (10-9) at 14:05. The Ducks tied it up less than two minutes later at 12-12, but the Cats put on a 13-2 surge to gain an 11-point (25-14) edge with 8:28 to go in the half. The Ducks got back to within seven twice, but found themselves trailing, 34-25, at halftime.

The Wildcats stretched their lead to 13 (38-25) in the first 1:30 of the second half, then Oregon scored back-to-back baskets to cut the deficit to nine (38-29) at 17:51. Arizona then took over the game with a 20-7 run that included four of its seven treys for the contest, going up by 22 points (58-36) with just over 12 minutes remaining.

The Ducks showed they weren't out of the game yet, though, as they proceeded to out-score Arizona, 21-7, over the next eight minutes. During that stretch, the Cats hit only 2-of-11 from the floor, missed four free throw attempts and committed four turnovers.

Arizona senior LaKeisha Taylor stopped the Duck run with her layup at 4:11, and that was the Cats' final field goal of the game. Shooting 17-for-22 from the charity stripe down the stretch, the Wildcats held on for the win.

Scoring 15 of her points in the second half, Elizabeth Pickney led the Wildcats with 19 points, including a 15-of-16 performance from the free throw line. Dee-Dee Wheeler shot 4-for-5 from three-point range en route to 18 points and four steals.

SCOUTING OREGON STATE: With four wins in their last six games, the Beavers are 7-4 overall and 1-1 in conference action after splitting with the L.A. schools as well last weekend. Oregon State handed USC a 63-61 loss on Dec. 27 but were edged by UCLA, 58-54, on Dec. 29. The Beavers will play at Arizona State on Thursday before heading to Tucson for Saturday's matchup.

Three OSU players are averaging in double digits in scoring, with juniors Hollye Chapman and Brina Chaney tied for the lead, averaging 10.8 points per game apiece. Junior guard Leilani Estavan is a close third, with a scoring average of 10.2 ppg. Chaney is the team's top rebounder, averaging 7.8 boards per game.

In her eighth year with her alma mater's program, head coach Judy Spoelstra (Oregon State, 1983) has a 102-109 mark. She is 200-177 in 14 seasons as a head coach.

THE SERIES vs. OREGON STATE: The Beavers have a narrow 18-16 edge in the series with Arizona, including a string of three straight wins over the Wildcats. Prior to this losing streak, the Cats had won eight in a row over OSU. Arizona hasn't defeated Oregon State since an 83-73 win over the Beavers at home on Feb. 3, 2001. Last year, OSU swept Arizona for the first time since the 1994-95 season, running over the Cats, 71-56, in Corvallis on Jan. 6, 2002, then slipping past the UA, 88-85 in overtime, on Jan. 31, 2002. Arizona has an 11-6 all-time record against Oregon State at home.

LAST MEETING WITH OREGON STATE: Oregon State hit back-to-back three-pointers early in the overtime, gaining the edge it needed to pull off an 88-85 win over Arizona in Tucson on Jan. 31, 2002.

The game was tight through the early part of the first half, until Arizona went on a 10-0 run to go ahead by 10 points (26-16) at the 8:33 mark. Oregon State answered with an 8-1 spurt to pull back to within three (27-24) just three minutes later. The Wildcats stretched their lead to as much as seven through the remainder of the period and held a 39-34 edge at halftime.

OSU jumped on the Cats right away in the second half, opening with an 8-2 run to gain a one-point (42-41) edge just two minutes into the period. Arizona used a 16-6 spurt to go back up by nine (57-48) with 11 minutes left in regulation. Using a run that included draining four 3-pointers, the Beavers out-scored Arizona, 16-4, over the next three-and-a-half minutes and went up by three (64-61) at the 7:25 mark.

Arizona scrapped back once again to gain a six-point advantage (75-69) off an Aimee Grzyb trey with 1:08 remaining, but things seemed to fall apart from there for the Wildcats. They committed three fouls and missed the front ends of two one-and-one opportunities down the stretch, while Oregon State shot 4-for-5 from the line and collected seven rebounds. A layup by OSU with two seconds left tied the game, and the teams took a 77-77 score into overtime.

Oregon State hit the back end of a two-shot attempt at the line at the 4:04 mark to begin the scoring in the overtime period. Arizona answered with a LaKeisha Taylor field goal, taking the only lead it would have for the overtime, 79-78, at 3:42. The Beavers then hit back-to-back threes and a short jumper to go up by five (86-81) with 2:07 left. Elizabeth Pickney went 4-for-4 from the line for the Cats to bring them to within one (86-85) at 1:02, but OSU connected on a pair of free throws with 16 seconds left to ice the win.

Elizabeth Pickney shot 8-for-14 from the floor on her way to a team-high 24 points and six rebounds. LaKeisha Taylor finished the game with 19 points and a career-high 13 rebounds for her second double-double of the season. The Wildcats were without the services of Krista Warren, who was out for an indefinite period with a severe ankle sprain.

RECAPPING LAST WEEKEND: The Wildcats began Pac-10 play with a split in the Bay Area last weekend. Arizona overcame 26 turnovers with 64.3 percent shooting from the field when it drilled California, 83-53, in Berkeley on Dec. 27. The win was Arizona's biggest spread ever at Cal, and the shooting performance tied the school record for best single-game field goal percentage.

Dee-Dee Wheeler shot 13-for-16 from the floor on her way to a new career high of 29 points to go along with five rebounds, four steals and a trio of assists. Aimee Grzyb was 8-for-9 from the field, tallying a season-high 18 points with four assists.

Shawntinice Polk, who was fighting an upper respiratory infection, was held to just six rebounds to go with 17 points, ending her school-record double-double streak at eight. Julie Brase added seven points and five assists, and Robin Roberson logged a career-high nine rebounds and six points.

On Dec. 29, the Cats let a double-digit lead slip away late in the game as they lost to No. 6 Stanford, 82-74, in Palo Alto. A 31-11 run over the final 10 minutes of the second half sent the Cardinal to their 23rd straight regular-season Pac-10 victory.

Krista Warren had a career- and game-high 25 points on 12-of-18 shooting and pulled down six rebounds for the Cats. Shawntinice Polk just missed a double-double with 18 points and nine rebounds, and she was also credited with a team-high six assists. Dee-Dee Wheeler was the only other Wildcat in double figures, tallying 15 points and six rebounds.

ARIZONA 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 her previous 11 seasons at the helm of the Arizona program, Bonvicini guided the Wildcats to six post-season appearances, including four NCAA tournament berths and two in the WNIT.

Now in her 12th season with the Wildcats, Bonvicini holds a 199-133 (.599) mark at Arizona and is 524-204 (.720) 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.

BONVICINI MISSES FIRST GAMES OF HER CAREER: Poised to gain win number 200 at Arizona, head coach Joan Bonvicini missed both of last weekend's games in the Bay Area. Her brother passed away on Wednesday, Dec. 25, and she remained in Connecticut with her family until Tuesday, Dec. 31. Associate head coach Denise Dove Ianello ran the team in Bonvicini's absence.

LOOKING AHEAD: Next weekend, the Cats begin a stretch that will see them play six of their next eight contests on the road. Arizona will play at Washington State on Thursday, Jan. 9, at 7 p.m. PST, then the Cats will take on Washington on Saturday, Jan. 11, at 8 p.m. PST in a contest that will be broadcast on Fox Sports Northwest.

The Wildcats return home briefly to face USC on Thursday, Jan. 16, at 7 p.m. and UCLA on Saturday, Jan. 18, at 2 p.m.

LOOKING AT THE TRENDS: The Wildcats are 6-0 this season when out-rebounding their opponents... They are 0-3 when being out-rebounded... The Cats are 7-0 when holding their opponents to 73 points or less... They gave up 78 points or more in all three of the season's losses... Arizona is 5-0 when scoring 75 or more points... The Cats are 7-1 when shooting better than their opponent from the floor but are 0-2 when shooting worse.

POLKEY RACKS UP THE DOUBLE-DOUBLES: Shawntinice Polk registered a double-double in each of the season's first eight games, becoming the first player in UA history to have eight double-doubles in a row. The previous high was four in a row by Adia Barnes midway through the 1996-97 season. Polk's streak came to an end on Dec. 27 at California, when she scored 17 points but was held to just six rebounds.

Polk has also become the first player since Reshea Bristol in 2001 to register eight double-doubles in one season.

DUALLY SUCCESSFUL: Nine schools have both their men's and women's basketball teams ranked in this week's Associated Press Top 25. Arizona, Duke, Connecticut, Notre Dame, Texas, Mississippi State, Oklahoma, LSU and Texas Tech all have both their men and women nationally ranked.

FREE THROW WOES: The Wildcats have really struggled from the free throw line this season. They are shooting a paltry 57.8 percent (89-154) from the stripe and have shot better than 59 percent in only two games so far.

This is unusual for a Bonvicini-coached team at Arizona. No UA team has ever shot below 65 percent since Bonvicini's arrival in 1991-92, and the Cats hit 70 percent or better from the line in three of the last four seasons. Last year's team drained a sizzling 74.0 percent of its charity shots.

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 31-year history of UA women's basketball, the Cats have posted a 144-21 record when scoring 80 points or more in a game. Under Bonvicini, the Wildcats have gone 104-14 when topping that 80-point plateau.

DOUBLING UP: As a team, the Cats have tallied 11 double-doubles already this season. Last year's team had just 12 double-doubles for the entire season.

CHECKING THE RPIs: In the Dec. 29 WBCA/Summerville RPI listings, Arizona's RPI rank was No. 6, and its strength of schedule rank was No. 15. Six of the Cats' opponents this season were in the top 50 in the RPI rankings -- Illinois (No. 8), Stanford (No. 10), Ohio State (No. 28), Georgia (No. 39), USC (No. 44) and LSU (No. 46).

GOING POLLING: Nine of the 18 opponents on the Cats' 2002-03 schedule were either ranked or received votes for ranking in this week's polls.

In this week's Associated Press Top 25, LSU is ranked No. 2 and Stanford is No. 6. Washington, Ohio State, Georgia and New Mexico were all among teams that received votes for ranking.

In the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll, LSU is No. 3 and Stanford is No. 7. Washington, Georgia, Ohio State, Illinois, Arizona State and New Mexico all received votes for ranking.

LOVE THOSE TV GAMES: Dating back to last season, Arizona has won seven of its last nine televised contests. The Wildcats were 6-0 in televised games last season. Over the last four seasons, the Cats have a 10-9 record in games that are broadcast on TV.

CURRENT CATS ON THE UA CAREER LISTS: Wildcat senior Julie Brase is fourth in on the UA career list in three-point percentage (.376), fifth in career three-pointers made (97) and is sixth in three-pointers attempted (258).

Senior forward Krista Warren is tied for fifth in career rebounding average (5.3 rpg), is eighth in field goal percentage (.499) and is tied for ninth in double-doubles (8).

Junior guard Aimee Grzyb is third in career three-pointers attempted (319), third in three-pointers made (116), fourth in minutes-played average (30.6 mpg) and fifth in career three-point percentage (.364).

Sophomore guard Dee-Dee Wheeler is currently the career leader in three-point percentage (.414) and is sixth in career minutes-played average (29.5 mpg). She recently broke into the career top 10 in three-point field goals made, standing at No. 10 with 58.

THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME: The Wildcats have won 33 of their last 43 home games and are 55-15 on their home court over the last five seasons combined. During Joan Bonvicini's 12 seasons at Arizona, the Wildcats have posted a 120-50 mark in McKale Center. Arizona has an all-time record of 186-158 on its home court since the 1976-77 season.

CAT SCRATCHES: The Arizona women's basketball program has a 359-422 (.460) all-time record, however it is 163-86 (.655) from 1994 to present... Joan Bonvicini has a 194-107 career record against Pac-10 teams.

ON LOCATION: The Wildcats are 4-1 in home games, 3-2 on the road and 0-0 in neutral contests this season. Last year, Arizona was 9-6 at home, 5-7 on the road and 0-1 in neutral games.

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