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Wednesday December 6, 2000

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Women's basketball to face holiday-season challenges

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By Kamy Shaygan

Arizona Daily Wildcat

For most students, winter breaks include relaxing and taking time off from school to energize for the second semester.

This is not the case however for the Arizona women's basketball team, which will play in a series of games during winter break.

Before the team begins its series of games during the break, the Wildcats (3-1 overall) will attempt to win their fourth game of the young season when they face off against UNLV tonight at 7 in McKale Center.

The Lady Rebels (5-0) return Linda Frohlich, their top returning scorer from last season and lead the all-time series against the Wildcats, 3-1.

"UNLV is a great team," UA associate head coach Denise Dove Ianello said. "They have a very quick, explosive backcourt, and we really have to have some good practices to prepare for them so we are ready to go."

For Wildcat senior guard Reshea Bristol, it doesn't matter which team UA team faces as long as Arizona wins the ball game.

"We're excited to face them because they are like any other team," Bristol said.

Going into the break, Bristol is pleased with her team's performance so far in the season, but believes there is room for improvement.

"I think things are going along pretty smoothly but they can be better," Bristol said. "My consistency is not up to par right now, but give me a little time and as my team gets better, I too will get better."

For Arizona to be successful during the break, the Wildcats will need to improve specific aspects of their game.

"We always have things we need to work on," Dove Ianello said. "We need to rebound better. We need to shoot better from the perimeter. We just need to improve defensively."

The Wildcats will host the Arizona Classic , which begins Friday and is held at McKale Center. The tournament will feature Arizona, Bowling Green and Fresno State.

One week after the Arizona Classic, the Wildcats will battle Louisville at McKale Center before heading to San Juan, Puerto Rico on Dec. 18 for the San Juan Shootout.

While in San Juan, the Wildcats will battle No. 13 Auburn, the University of Puerto-Rico-Mayaguez and Nebraska.

UA freshman guard Aimee Grzyb said she is looking forward to the experience of playing out of the country and believes it will polish her game.

"I think I'm a little more confident and just playing games you get more experience," Grzyb said. "Game-by-game, I see myself getting more experienced and being more comfortable."

The Wildcats will have Christmas off and will return in action on Dec. 29 against Kansas held at McKale Center.

After facing the Jayhawks, Arizona will begin its Pacific 10 Conference schedule, facing off against California on Jan. 4. Two days after facing the Golden Bears, the Wildcats will battle Stanford on Jan. 6.

Kamy Shaygan can be reached at sports@wildcat.arizona.edu.