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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    No. 1 Maryland awaits Cats

    The Arizona women’s basketball team is in for its biggest test of the season, and it comes in just the second game of the year.

    The Wildcats play defending champion and unanimous No. 1 Maryland in the BTI Classic tomorrow, part of a three-day tournament.

    The Wildcats will also take on No. 25 George Washington today and Texas Christian for the series finale on Sunday.

    “”This is a big tournament,”” said UA head coach Joan Bonvicini. “”We’re playing three quality teams, and we want to come back with some victories.””

    Although results may not show up in the win column, the team is looking forward to the overall competition it will face after spending two weeks playing less challenging teams.

    “”It is super exciting,

    because they (Maryland) are the No. 1 team in the country with a target on their backs,”” guard Joy Hollingsworth said. “”We want to go out and compete, but we don’t want to overlook George Washington. We want to go out in that game and send a message and set the tone so we can propel ourselves into Saturday’s game.””

    In Arizona’s meeting with Maryland last year, the team sent only seven players. Despite such a small roster, the game was competitive until the second half, when the Terrapins won 92-67.

    With a 14-player roster now, the Wildcats not only have more height and depth, they also have confidence.

    Bonvicini said after Tuesday night’s opening win against Nicholls State that the team has to work on its defense, as well as controlling the ball better on offense.

    “”We also need to do a much better job from the free-throw line,”” she added.

    On Tuesday the Wildcats shot only 11-of-20 (55 percent) on free throws, and center Suzy Bofia made only 3-of-9 (33 percent).

    “”We’re going back this year with a brand-new team and a whole new outlook,”” said guard Ashley Whisonant. “”Last year we went and played Maryland with only seven players. We didn’t really have anyone taller than 6-1. This year we have more height and a deep bench. It’s going to be a closer game.””

    Whisonant, a native of Bowie, Md., is excited to go home for the first time this season.

    “”I’m always looking forward to going home, even if it’s for a vacation,”” Whisonant said. “”It’s fun to be able to play in front of my family.””

    Bonvicini said all three opponents in the tournament will help Arizona’s progress for later in the season.

    “”All three teams we are playing are NCAA Tournament teams,”” she said. “”That’s where we want to get back to, so we’ve got to earn it, and we’re going to be tested from the get-go.””

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