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Women's basketball hopes to capture Pac-10 crown

Arizona Summer Wildcat
July 28, 1999
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Wildcat File Photo
Arizona Summer Wildcat

UA senior forward Angela Lackey glides to the hoop for an easy lay-up during a game against San Diego State last season. Lackey was a member of the All-Pac-10 team last season as she led the UA to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

With the core of last year's squad returning, the UA women's basketball team is ready to make a run deep into the NCAA Tournament this spring.

Last year's team, which finished second in the Pacific 10 Conference, is also adding a top notch recruit as well as two redshirts who should give the Wildcats some additional strength.

"Because of our depth, we are going to press and sub a lot more," said UA head coach Joan Bonvicini. "We will play press a lot more like (Rick) Pitino's Kentucky team a couple of years back."

Look for the Wildcats, who showed their youth and inexperience at times last year, to make an honest push for the conference title this season.

The backcourt returns senior leader Felicity Willis, who averaged 12.1 points per game and junior Lisa Griffith (9.7 ppg, 4.8 apg).

Joining Willis and Griffith in the backcourt will be redshirt senior Monika Crank, who missed all of last season with an injury, as well as sophomores Julie Brase (6.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg) and Tysell Bozeman.

The Wildcats figure to inflict the most damage in the front court this season, with talent and depth at all three positions.

Leading the way are two forwards - senior Angela Lackey (14.4 ppg, 5.4 rpg) and sophomore Elizabeth Pickney (11.4 ppg, 5.8 rpg). Lackey was chosen for the All-Pac-10 team last season, while Pickney was a member of the Pac-10 All-Freshmen team.

Bonvicini is looking this season for a strong showing from freshman guard Krista Warren who was the California Division IV Player of the Year, averaging over 30 points per game.

"Krista is definitely going to get an opportunity to play," Bonvicini said.

Bonvicini said her goal for next season is to assure the UA of its fate, come NCAA Tournament time.

"We don't want to be watching television on 'Selection Sunday', wondering where we will be," she said. "We want to get an automatic bid and in order to do that you have to win the Pac-10."

-Joshua McClain