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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Women’s basketball loses 5th game in a row

    In a battle of two teams going in opposite directions, the Washington women’s basketball team defeated Arizona 83-66 Thursday night in McKale Center, claiming its ninth consecutive win.

    The Wildcats returned home after losing three straight Pacific 10 Conference games, all on the road and all against ranked opponents. But the homecoming couldn’t change the Wildcats’ fortunes as they lost their fifth straight game overall.

    Washington (12-4, 5-0 Pac-10) used a balanced scoring attack that saw four Huskies finish in double figures to defeat the Wildcats (6-10, 0-4).

    Washington’s balance contrasted starkly with the impressive one-woman performance by Arizona guard Joy Hollingsworth. The Seattle native scored a career-high 31 points to keep the Wildcats within striking distance.

    “”Joy Hollingsworth played an amazing game,”” UA head coach Joan Bonvicini said.

    Hollingsworth bounced back nicely after a brutal road trip to the Bay Area. She shot 2-of-22 from the field in losses to No. 12 Stanford (86-58 Dec. 28) and No. 21 California (65-48 Saturday), including 0-of-9 from beyond the 3-point line.

    “”The confidence from my teammates and my coaches just helped me through tonight, especially coming off three tough road losses,”” Hollingsworth said.

    Hollingsworth’s effort was wasted however, as no other Wildcat managed to reach double figures.

    The Wildcats were also without their second leading scorer and assist leader, guard Ashley Whisonant. Whisonant injured her knee in practice earlier in the week and her availability for Saturday’s game against Washington State is still unknown.

    The Wildcats never led in the game, but a 7-0 run midway through the second half cut Washington’s lead to six and forced the Huskies to call a timeout. The timeout seemed to kill Arizona’s momentum, as the Wildcats did not score for over three minutes after the breather. By the time UA forward Amina Njonkou made two free throws with 5:07 left in the game the Huskies were up by 10 and the game was essentially out of reach.

    “”I thought we showed some poise, took care of the basketball, and were able to get back to executing and getting better shots,”” UW head coach June Daugherty said of her team’s response to Arizona’s run.

    The veteran Huskies have six seniors on the roster, and that experience showed down the stretch. Washington made its final eight free-throw attempts to seal the win.

    Washington was led by senior guard Cameo Hicks’ 18 points and six assists. The preseason All-American played like one in the first half, scoring eight of the Huskies first 12 points. Hicks’ quick start put Arizona behind the eight-ball from the beginning.

    Whisonant’s absence left a huge void in the Wildcat’s backcourt. Guard Jessica Arnold struggled to pick up the slack, making just 1-of-13 shots from the field to go along with one assist in the game.

    “”I need to be more consistent,”” Arnold said. “”My shot selection was not good tonight at all.

    “”I think sometimes I try too hard because I want my team to do well, so I may take a bad shot here and there, but I know this and I’m aware of it so I just need to be smarter with my shot selection.””

    The Wildcats will look to get back on track Saturday at 2 p.m. in McKale Center against Washington State (5-10, 1-4), who lost 89-44 at No. 13 ASU Thursday. Despite still being winless in conference play, Bonvicini is confident that her team is headed in the right direction.

    “”We’ve played the four top teams in the conference, three on the road, and now it is time to put it all together,”” Bonvicini said. “”And if we put it all together good things are going to happen against (Washington State).””

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