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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


W-Hoops continues road trip

The Arizona women’s basketball team finally wraps up its four-game road trip tonight when the Wildcats (5-2) travel to take on the New Mexico Lobos in Albuquerque, N.M.

New Mexico “”is very balanced. They have two kids that average in double figures,”” said assistant coach Sue Darling. “”They all score a little bit, and they all do everything pretty well. It’ll be a good team game. They’re going to try to play New Mexico basketball.””

The challenge for Arizona is going to be not letting New Mexico (6-3) dictate the pace of the game. So far this year, the Wildcats have been pushing tempo and playing pressure defense, leading to Arizona scoring just under 79 points and forcing over 21 turnovers per game in 2010.

Dictating the tempo of the game isn’t the only challenge facing UA. The Wildcats also have to go into New Mexico’s “”The Pit,”” which is famed for its raucous crowds.

“”It’s a true road game in front of a great crowd,”” Darling said. “”We’re really going to see what we’re made of going into that environment.””

Playing four straight games on the road is tough regardless what the environment is like, and junior guard Brooke Jackson said that it’s starting to wear on the players.

“”We’re so not used to it,”” Jackson said. “”We go from airport to airport, and it wears and tears on us, but we’re almost to the end of it.””

The imbalance of home and road games to start the season isn’t something that the Arizona coaching staff tried to set up for its players, but it’s just how things lined up.

“”We wanted to get out somewhere for Thanksgiving, but we also wanted to be home around Christmas,”” Darling said. “”In order to be home for Christmas, you have to be out on the road before Christmas. We have to get through this swing and get through it well, then we have a few home games, which we’re looking forward to.””

Darling also said that the early season schedule is doing a good job of preparing Arizona for what lies ahead on the Pac-10 schedule but that this is a game Arizona needs to win in order to get a little bit of a break during finals.

Arizona has fared well against teams that are similar to the New Mexico squad that the Wildcats will face in Albuquerque.

Earlier this month, Arizona beat Bradley, a team that has drawn many comparisons to New Mexico by Arizona players and coaches, by 23 in the Cancun Thanksgiving Classic.

“”We’ve played balanced teams so far this season,”” Darling said. “”We’ve played well against those teams, so this will be one more chance to do it.””


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