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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Ogwumike sisters too much for Arizona women’s basketball

Ogwumike sisters too much for Arizona womens basketball

LOS ANGELES – The public address announcer at Staples Center will probably being saying “”Ogwumike”” in his sleep tonight.

He said the name early and often, a result of the dominance by sisters Nnemkadi and Chiney Ogwumike, who combined to lead No. 2 Stanford in a 100-71 blow-out against Arizona in the first women’s college basketball game at Staples Center.

“”Looking at those two young ladies, you should be happy,”” said UA head coach Niya Butts. “”Because you’re in the midst of some great players all time in our game.””

The Ogwumike sisters scored more than half of the Cardinal’s 100 points, a Pacific 10 Conference tournament record. Nnemkadi and Chiney Ogwumike combined to score 53 points and pull down 23 rebounds in the game.

The Wildcat made 24 field goals as a team, the Ogwumike post combo made a combined 25 field goals, the majority coming from the paint.

There was only one time the Wildcats were able to slow down half of the Ogwumike combo. That came when Arizona forward Ify Ibekwe inadvertently chipped Chiney Ogwumike’s tooth early in the second half. But even when she sat on the bench, her sister continued her dominance, scoring a game-high 32 points.

The Wildcats best counter for the sister duo, Ibekwe, didn’t have the kind of game that could put the Wildcats in a position to at least keep the game close.

Ibekwe, who throughout the season has been a force for the Wildcats, struggled, shooting 3-for-11 from the field, scoring 15 points and only pulling down just two rebounds. She played just five minutes in the first half, went 0-for-4 from the field and recorded three turnovers before sitting because of foul trouble.

Senior Soana Lucet led all Arizona scorers with 17 points, shooting 3-for-4 from beyond the arc and 7-for-12 from the field.

But despite the struggles for the Wildcats against a superior Stanford team, Arizona (21-11) may still earn a spot in the NCAA tournament on Sunday. Butts certainly thinks her team deserves a spot.

“”I would say that if I wasn’t a coach on this team,”” Butts said.

“”We’ve won eight of our last 10 games,”” she added. “”We have won 21 games on the season; there are a couple teams that are being talked about getting into the tournament who we’ve beaten, one of them twice.””

Stanford head coach Tara Vanderveer echoed Butts’ sentiments about Arizona.

‘I’d like to see a minimum of four teams (from the Pac-10) going,”” Vanderveer said of Arizona getting into the tournament. “”I think they’d be a good pick.””

“”I think that Arizona finishing fourth in the Pac-10, getting those two wins coming into the game, they’ve got a lot of offensive weapons. Davellyn Whyte is a terrific perimeter scorer and Ify Ibekwe is a big time player,”” she added.

Now the Wildcats will sit and wait until Sunday to see if they’ll be included in the NCAA Tournament. Either way, they expect to be playing in some type of post season tournament.

“”We’re going to wait until Monday to see how everything just kind of falls into play,”” said Whyte, who added 12 points. “”Really it’s something that we knew was going to happen, and we just hope it’s the best.

“”That we do get to the big tournament.””

Butts hopes that Friday’s performance doesn’t determine her team’s NCAA Tournament fate.

“”They’ve done that to top four, top two, top one teams in the country,”” Butts said. “”So hopefully this outing has no bearing on how people view us.””

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