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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Wildcats in Bayou to play La. Tech

    The Arizona women’s basketball team heads to Ruston, Louisiana to try and snap its two-game skid this weekend. The 1,206-mile cross-country quest pits the Wildcats against the Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters.

    The Wildcats (3-3) have spent the first part of their season trying to find their way with a young roster, while being mired with a proverbial revolving door of injuries.

    The Lady Techsters (2-4), members of the Western Athletic Conference, have struggled offensively this season as they average just 35.7 percent shooting from the floor.

    Their offensive struggles should play right into the hands of Arizona.

    “”The key to winning, as I’ve said all along, is defense and rebounding,”” said UA head coach Niya Butts.

    One problem that could interfere with Butts’ plan is Louisiana Tech forward Shanavia Dowdell. The junior is averaging nearly 14.7 points and 9.8 rebounds per game.

    The answer to that problem, as well as the Wildcats winning their second straight against the Lady Techsters after dropping their first four, is sophomore forward Ify Ibekwe.

    Ibekwe has firmly stamped herself as a premier player in this young season, as her 11.7 rebounds per game is top in the Pacific 10 Conference and 11th in the nation. She is also averaging 12.8 points per game and has three double-doubles this season.

    “”Ify has been great,”” Butts said. “”I am very proud of her effort.””

    The effort and positive signs don’t stop there, though.

    “”I’ve been impressed with everybody,”” Butts said, staying true to her team-first mentality. “”Everybody has to work together in this. We need to play as a whole to succeed.””

    And 1

    Something to keep an eye on as the season progresses is the play of freshman guard Courtney Clements. The 2008 California All-American missed the beginning of the season due to injury, but has seen significant time since returning from the injured list. Clements’ fast play should provide a spark for the offense.

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