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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona women’s basketball earns decisive road victory against Toledo

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Jesus Barrera

Arizona guard Taryn Griffey (3) attempts a free-throw against Eastern New Mexico in McKale Center Tuesday, Nov. 10. 

In what was a hard-fought road game that went down to the wire, the Arizona Wildcats women’s basketball team pulled out a victory 62-59 against the University of Toledo Rockets in the Savage Arena in Toledo, Ohio. 

The game was almost headed to overtime, but Jay-Ann Bravo-Harriott misfired on a 3-pointer which sealed the deal for Arizona.

The Wildcats started the game out strong with a 9-4 lead with redshirt freshman Taryn Griffey and junior Malena Washington leading the way in the early minutes. It was a game of runs as Toledo closed the first quarter on an 11 to six run to lead 15-13 after one. 

The Rockets would hold a 21-17 lead in the second, before Arizona would go on a run to lead the Rockets 29-23 at the half.

Toledo would regain the lead 39-42 thanks to some prolific 3-point shooting before Arizona closed the quarter strong to tie it up at 46. 

It was an intense fourth quarter with both teams trading buckets all period and with the game tied at 57 with two minutes remaining, Arizona would come through in the clutch. 

Keyahndra Cannon and Breanna Workman scored in the final minutes to give Arizona a 62-59 lead with under 20 seconds to play. The defense held for one more possession to give the Wildcats the win.

Griffey was the Wildcats’ leading scorer with 18 points as she connected on six out of nine 3-pointers, while also adding four rebounds and four assists. It was Griffey’s first official game as a Wildcat. 

Junior Workman picked up where she left off against Eastern New Mexico with 10 points and seven rebounds to complement Griffey in the victory.

The bench also had a solid outing against the Rockets as its five reserves accounted for 27 of the Wildcats’ 62 points, after having only one reserve see action in the preseason match. 

The second unit was led by Washington, who had 10 points and four assists, while redshirt junior Lauren Evans had eight points, 10 rebounds and three steals. 

Farrin Bell, Destiny Graham and Michal Miller rounded out the reserves and their efforts and contributions made sure there was not a drop-off when the starters needed a breather.

Though the Wildcats pulled it out, the margin of victory could have been greater had they been able to perform better from the charity stripe, as they shot only 5-13 from the line. 

The UA did compensate as the Wildcats out-rebounded the Rockets 35-32 and converted on nine 3-pointers in 18 attempts.

Bravo-Harriott was the Rockets’ leading returning scorer and she was held to seven points on a ghastly 2-13 from the field to go with six rebounds and one assist. Brenae Harris led the offensive attack for the Rockets with 12 points and four assists, while Sophie Reecher and Jada Woody each scored 11.

With this win, Arizona is trying to prove that last year’s dismal season is a thing of the past, and that this year many doubters will be proven wrong. 

Picked to finish last in the conference this season after going 10-20 last season, the Wildcats return 10 players, including three starters, and will look to keep improving all season. 

Arizona has played well so far without LaBrittney Jones, its leading returner in points, rebounds and blocks, so who knows how well this team can play once she is back and healthy.

The Wildcats will try to add to their momentum as they return to McKale Center on Wednesday in what is their home opener. Arizona faces the Howard University Bison at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on KTUC AM 1400.


Follow Ivan Leonard on Twitter.


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