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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Women’s basketball looks to build winning streak against Oregon schools

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Angeline Carbajal

Arizona women’s basketball guard Candice Warthen (1) shoots over Stanford forward Kaylee Johnson’s (5) reach during Arizona’s 60-57 win against Stanford in McKale Center on Feb. 8. Warthen and the Wildcats take on Oregon and Oregon State this weekend.

Coming off a defining victory over Stanford, Arizona women’s basketball will try to build a winning streak this weekend when it travels to take on Oregon and Oregon State.

The home defeat over Stanford gave the Wildcats a win over a top-15 team for the second consecutive season. Yet, like last year, Arizona has struggled to match up to the competition in the Pac-12 Conference. 

The UA currently sits at 2-10 in league play and 11th place in the conference. 

“For us to be where we are right now in the position we’re in, [the Stanford win] is a huge eye opener,” Arizona guard Candice Warthen said. “We just have to take the momentum and move forward in a positive way.”

With the Pac-12 Tournament inching closer, the Wildcats could desperately use at least one win on this trip to boost their chances of earning a higher seed. 

The more manageable of the two games comes on Friday night when Arizona travels to Eugene, Ore., to face an Oregon team it already beat in Tucson last month. 

The overtime win against the Ducks, fueled by a game-clinching 3-pointer from freshman Charise Holloway, gave the Wildcats their first victory against a conference opponent.

For Arizona to complete the season sweep, it will need to do a better job of crashing the boards than it has the past couple weeks. By not coming down with defensive boards in particular, opponents continue to burn the Wildcats on second-chance opportunities. 

On an encouraging note, it was against Oregon that Arizona had perhaps its best rebounding performance of the season, grabbing 53 boards led by 11 from Warthen. 

Despite being 5-foot-5, the senior ranks second on the team in rebounds, behind forward LaBrittney Jones. Warthen is also getting it done on the offensive side — she made the game-winning shot versus Stanford — and was rewarded with Pac-12 Player of the Week on Monday. 

Warthen currently ranks No. 17 on Arizona’s all-time career scoring list and is eight points shy of tying Kim Conway (1,060) for 16th on the list.

On Sunday afternoon, the UA has another opportunity to take down an elite team as it plays No. 8 Oregon State in Corvallis, Ore. The Beavers, who sit atop the Pac-12 standings, have not lost a home game all season.

For the Wildcats to pull the stunning upset, it would likely require their best offensive performance of the season. Considering that Arizona is shooting 35 percent from the field against conference opponents, a hot streak on the road sounds unlikely.

When the two teams faced off in McKale Center, Oregon State handled the Wildcats without much trouble, winning by 18 points. In that game, the Beavers hit 10 of their 20 3-point attempts and shot 53 percent overall.

While a win over Oregon State is unlikely, Arizona proved it could hang with the conference’s best by beating Stanford. If the Wildcats can carry over the momentum from the Cardinal win, a victory over the Beavers may be plausible. 

“Everybody on our team should have so much confidence,” said Arizona forward Breanna Workman. “I think it will do so much more for us in the games to come.”

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Follow Ezra Amacher on Twitter.

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