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The Daily Wildcat

Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Late rally proves futile for women’s hoops

    While the rest of the Arizona women’s basketball team headed towards the locker room, guard Ashley Whisonant stood at midcourt holding her jersey of her face.

    This gesture came minutes after the senior missed a desperation shot as time expired sending the Wildcats to a heartbreaking 60-58 defeat to Washington.

    “”This was a difficult loss for us,”” said head coach Joan Bonvicini.

    For much of the first half, Washington appeared to be the stronger team as they followed five first-half three pointers to a six-point advantage late in the half. But Arizona managed to capture their momentum at the end of the first half by erasing the deficit in a two-minute span. The comeback came as a result of tight defense by the Wildcats who implemented a full-court press prior to the six-point surge.

    Arizona then went into the half tied with what appeared to be control of the momentumA strong effort by the Huskies in the opening minutes of the second half, however, silenced Arizona.

    Washington used a 19-4 second half run to open a large advantage over Arizona.

    “”It was tough because we had to catch up a lot,”” forward Ify Ibekwe said. “”Sometimes as a team when teams are ahead of us, we kind of hang our heads in. But we shouldn’t.””

    Another important clash with Washington State on schedule for Saturday

    Last time the Arizona women’s basketball team battled Washington State, both teams were in search of their first Pacific 10 Conference wins.

    Arizona prevailed 73-63, leaving the Cougars winless and in the proverbial conference cellar. The loss eventually cultivated into a 14-game losing streak for Washington State – snapped by a 56-52 win over Oregon State on Feb. 15.

    Though Arizona (9-17, 3-12 Pac-10) has picked up two other conference wins since the two clashed, Saturday’s 1 p.m. game at McKale Center with Washington State (4-12, 1-13) could still bring big implications to the Wildcats.

    Unlike last night’s shortfall comeback against Washington, Arizona completed to erase a 12-point deficit in the Wildcats’ last meeting with Washington State – a 73-63 win.

    With a 59-30 loss to ASU last night, the Cougars tout the Pac-10’s 3-point field goal percentage leader (.416) in guard Katie Appleton.

    Saturday also signifies more than standings, but also the Wildcats’ final game at McKale Center this season. Four seniors – Ashley

    Whisonant, Ashley Gilpin, Shannon Hobson and Jessica Arnold – will be honored immediately following the game.

    “”It hit me right after the game – I realized that was my second to last game here,”” Whisonant said. “”I’m getting sad … but you can’t play forever. I just hope we get a win on Saturday.””

    – Bryan Roy contributed to this report

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