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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Whoops coming together

    UA forwards Ify Ibekwe (3) and Sarah Hays (4) swarm an Oregon player during a 68-44 Arizona win Saturday in McKale Center. The Wildcats win was theirsecond win in Pacific 10 Conference play this season, and the first league-win at home.
    UA forwards Ify Ibekwe (3) and Sarah Hays (4) swarm an Oregon player during a 68-44 Arizona win Saturday in McKale Center. The Wildcats’ win was theirsecond win in Pacific 10 Conference play this season, and the first league-win at home.

    Finally, both the offense and defense clicked for the Wildcats. The lucky bounces rolled in their favor and finally, Arizona recorded their first home victory against the Pacific-10 Conference, defeating Oregon 68-44 Saturday in McKale Center.

    In what was easily the most complete game of the season, the Wildcats (9-13, 2-9 Pac-10) had everything going for them from the opening tip all the way through the final buzzer.

    “”I’m extremely proud of the way we played today,”” head coach Niya Butts said after the game. “”We came out aggressive and played very hard on both ends of the floor. Again I’m very proud; I just can’t say enough about our performance.””

    The UA set the tone early in the game, forcing four-straight Oregon turnovers and converting each of them into fast-break layups. The 8-0 run helped build an early lead and was a harbinger of things to come.

    “”It’s amazing what being active can do for you,”” Butts said of her team’s defense. “”When you do what you’re supposed to do, good things happen and they learned that today.””

    They were supposed to be active defensively and create turnovers. The Wildcats did just that, grabbing 13 steals and scoring 25 points off of Oregon miscues.

    In addition to creating the season-high 13 turnovers, Arizona managed to limit its own turnovers, thanks in large part to junior point guard Ashley Frazier.

    Frazier scored 10 points and had a game-high eight assists, but more importantly committed just one turnover.

    “”I was more relaxed,”” Frazier said after what she called the team’s best game of the season. “”I ran the team like the coaches have been telling me to do and we came out with a win.””

    Frazier’s 10 points were part of Arizona’s most evenly-distributed offensive outputs. Five players scored in double-figures, led by senior Amina Njonkou’s 16 points.

    Sophomore forward Ify Ibekwe, who had 12 points and seven rebounds, went down with an ankle injury in the middle of the second half and did not return. With the team’s best player out of the game, the Wildcats had to rely on others to produce, and they did just that.

    “”When Ify went down we knew we all had to step up,”” Njonkou said.

    Freshmen guards Reiko Thomas and Courtney Clements added 10 points apiece.

    Extra Minutes

    One of the great things about women’s college basketball is the national effort to promote awareness of breast cancer. Breast cancer is one of the deadliest diseases for women, and it recently claimed the life of North Carolina State head coach Kay Yow.

    In honor of the victims and survivors, Oregon wore pink uniforms and Arizona wore pink warm-ups.

    The disease hits close to home for the Wildcat family as assistant coach Sue Darling is a survivor.

    “”I know people who’ve had the disease,”” Njonkou said. “”When you hear them talk about it it’s so hard, because you know it can be a fatal disease. They know there’s no way to cure it completely so you just need to be with them and appreciate them and their fight.””

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