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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Wildcats host Louisiana Tech, hope to continue winning streak

Arizona+guard+Farrin+Bell+%2820%29+prepares+to+execute+a+play+in+McKale+Center+against+Pacific+on+Saturday%2C+Dec.+5.+The+Wildcats+potent+offense+will+look+to+keep+things+rolling+against+Louisiana+Tech.
Courtney Talak
Arizona guard Farrin Bell (20) prepares to execute a play in McKale Center against Pacific on Saturday, Dec. 5. The Wildcats potent offense will look to keep things rolling against Louisiana Tech.

The Arizona women’s basketball team, winner of four straight games, is set to host Louisiana Tech Thursday night in McKale Center. It is the Wildcats’ last game before heading to San Juan for the Puerto Rico Classic.

The Wildcats (6-1) are coming off a 69-56 home win against Pacific on Saturday.

“It feels great to be 6-1, 7-0 would be better, but 6-1 feels outstanding as well,” Arizona head coach Niya Butts said. “We’ve been in some tight ballgames this year already and to stick together as a team and handle that adversity, … I can’t say enough about this team.”

Malena Washington led Arizona with 21 points off the bench after scoring 17 points the game before.

“She’s huge for us, coming off the bench and giving us instant offense as well as that spark and leadership on the floor,” Butts said.

Washington and company will try to extend their winning streak against Louisiana Tech, a team with a coaching staff Butts knows well.

“I haven’t watched a whole lot of film on them yet, but they have some people on their staff that I’m very familiar with,” Butts said. “[Head coach] Tyler Summitt, [associate head coach] Mickie DeMoss and [assistant coach] Amber Smith, who I recruited at Kentucky as a player. So I’m [really] familiar with them and I have a good idea of what they’re going to try to do.“

Brandi Wingate leads Louisiana Tech (4-3) with 15 points and eight rebounds per game while shooting 57.1 percent from the field. Brooklyn Pumroy, who is shooting 37.3 percent from 3-point range, also leads the offense.

The Wildcats’ defense is holding opponents to a 34.8 field goal percentage, but Butts said she wasn’t happy with the way the team allowed Pacific’s Desire Finnie to score 18 points on just 11 shots.

Wingate, a 6-foot-3 forward, may be able to find the same type of success in the paint that Finnie had.

The Wildcats, on the other hand, will look to continue to shoot the ball well. They shot 6-for-13 from behind the arc against Pacific and the team has made a staggering 47.7 percent of its 3-point attempts this season.

Guards Washington and Taryn Griffey are the team’s main sharpshooters, shooting 41 and 50 percent from 3, respectively.

Perimeter shooting has certainly been Arizona’s strength, but defending the 3-ball is one of Louisiana Tech’s strengths, holding opponents to just 26.4 percent from 3-point land.

The Wildcats have had trouble getting baskets in the paint this season and they’re actually shooting a better percentage from beyond the arc than they are from the field. Plus, their free throw shooting has left a lot to be desired, as they’re hitting just 56.2 percent from the charity stripe.

If Louisiana Tech can slow Arizona’s perimeter game, it may have the upper hand. If not, the Wildcats will have a great chance of picking up their seventh win of the season.

Tipoff is at 7 p.m. in McKale Center with a live stream on Arizona Athletics.


Follow Ryan Kelapire on Twitter.


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