Brette Ulsaker and the Utes host Arizona Saturday.
Dec. 7, 2006
Utes Play Host to Arizona Saturday
The University of Utah women's basketball team faces the University of Arizona Wildcats Saturday afternoon at the Jon M. Huntsman Center. Tipoff is slated for 3:05 p.m.
Utah enters the contest on a three-game winning streak and is 4-4 on the season. The Utes have wins over Weber State, Long Beach State and Southern California in their current streak. Saturday's game marks the third consecutive home game for Utah. Arizona brings a 5-4 record into the Huntsman Center. The Wildcats dropped a 76-63 contest to New Mexico Tuesday night in their last outing. Arizona holds victories over Nicholls State, TCU, North Carolina State, UTEP and Louisiana Tech. The Wildcats' four losses all came to teams that were nationally-ranked at the time: George Washington, Maryland, Texas A&M and New Mexico.
Saturday's game will be televised on the mtn.
Utah Fast Breaks
Utah has scored 66 points or more in its last three games. The Utes hadn't scored more than 55 in regulation prior to the current three-game win streak.
Utah is above the .400 mark in field-goal percentage for the first time this season at .406.
Utah has been strong on the offensive glass this season. The Utes are averaging 12.5 offensive boards per game, compared to 10.1 for the opposition.
Saturday's game wraps up a three-game homestand. Utah has two more three-game home stretches remaining this season.
Saturday's game marks the second of three straight against Pac-10 opponents.
Saturday's contest will mark the 11th time Utah and Arizona have met on the women's basketball hardwood.
Utah holds a 9-2 advantage in the all-time series. Arizona won the first meeting in 1975. The Utes rattled off six straight between 1975 and 1983. The Wildcats' other win was in 1985. Utah picked up two more in 1986 and 1990, before resuming the series last year.
Arizona is led by Joy Hollingsworth, who averages 15.1 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. Ashley Whisonant makes the offense go with 3.1 assists per game. She is also second in scoring, with 12.3 points per contest. Veteran coach Joan Bonvicini leads the Wildcats in her 28th season as a head coach.
Last Time vs. Arizona
TUCSON, Ariz. (Nov. 26, 2005) -- Kim Smith recorded her first double-double of the season and Julie Larsen delivered timely, clutch shooting off the bench. Along with Marie Warner's 14-point effort, that trio of Utah players led their team to a 66-63 victory.
Utah trailed 27-24 at halftime. Arizona increased its advantage to seven early in the second half. Five minutes into the second half, Utah still trailed by seven, 41-34.
Shauna Brouillard scored with 14:58 remaining to pull Utah within five. One minute later, Larsen hit a three-pointer to pull the Utes within two, 41-39. Smith tied the game with 13 minutes left.
Utah had a three-point advantage, 66-63, with less than 15 seconds remaining. Warner missed a free throw, giving Arizona one last chance. But Larsen got a finger on Jessica Arnold's last-second three-point attempt from the right corner and preserved the Utah victory. It was Larsen's first-ever blocked shot and one of just two in her career.
While Utah has struggled at times on offense this season, the Utes are statistically still one of the top teams in the Mountain West Conference on defense. Utah also boasts high national rankings in the NCAA's team defensive statistics. The Utes are limiting opponents to just 55.9 points per game, which ranks second in the MWC and 27th in the nation. Utah's opponents are converting field-goal opportunities at a clip of just .348, which is also second in the MWC and is 28th in NCAA Division I statistics.