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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Women’s hoops falls short again

    It’s as if a cookie cutter has been made for the Arizona women’s basketball team: have a sub-par first half followed by a stellar second. And lose.

    The Wildcats followed the same trend Saturday night, falling 69-62 to Oregon State in Corvallis, Ore.

    Arizona (7-12, 1-6 Pacific 10 Conference) could not take advantage of a second-half rally in which they shot 16-of-34 (.471) from the field.

    The Beavers overshadowed that performance, shooting 14-of-22 (.633).

    The Wildcats have trailed at halftime in all seven conference games.

    “”We play with a sense of urgency from being down at halftime,”” said Arizona guard Joy Hollingsworth of her team after practice yesterday. “”But we need to be a 40-minute team.””

    After being down by as many as 13 points in the second half, the Wildcats got within 66-62 when guard Jessica Arnold scored three of her 16 points with 1:01 left.

    But the Beavers sealed the win thereafter with a lay-up and a free throw.

    Trailing 31-24, Arizona started off hot in the second half, sinking three of its first four shot attempts to cut OSU’s lead to 31-30, resulting in a Beaver time out.

    “”Our goal in the second half is to make the other team call timeouts,”” said Hollingsworth, who had 17 points, six boards and five assists. “”That means that we’re making a run or doing something where they have to regroup.””

    OSU (7-8, 2-4) responded with a 6-0 run of its own in the next 1:24 to go up 37-30. Arizona cut the Beaver lead to 39-35 on a Hollingsworth jumper, but OSU scored six straight points again to go up 45-35 with 13:34 left to play.

    The Wildcats’ play has improved statistically, despite their record.

    Although OSU out-rebounded Arizona 36-32, the Wildcats had a season-low 12 turnovers and a season-high 21 assists.

    Eleven of the assists belonged to guard Ashley Whisonant, a career high to go along with her six points.

    Freshman forward Rhaya Neabors shared the limelight, posting career highs of 11 points and seven rebounds.

    “”Rhaya is a smart player,”” said UA head coach Joan Bonvicini after practice yesterday. “”She’s a very good defender, and she’s getting to be a better scorer.””

    Both teams started the game sluggish, as the Wildcats hit on only two of their first 13 shots with five turnovers. The Beavers used an 11-2 scoring run to take a 15-6 lead at the 11:03 mark.

    OSU extended its lead to 23-14 on a 3 by guard Casey Nash with 4:28 left to play in the first.

    Nash put up game highs of 27 points and 13 boards. Guard Cedes Fox-Griffin had a double-double for the Beavers with 13 points and 15 assists.

    Nash hit a jumper in the paint with eight seconds left in the first half to put OSU up 31-21, but Arnold hit a three as time expired.

    “”Most of the time we come out a lot stronger in the second half because in the first half we learn what we need to do,”” Whisonant said after practice yesterday. “”It takes us a while to adjust to the game. We need to make those adjustments during the first half and not wait until the second.””

    Arizona shot 33.3 percent (10-of-30) from the field in the first, with a 1-of-8 mark from behind the arc. OSU shot 37.0 percent (10-of-27) from the field before halftime, as Nash posted 13 points and nine rebounds.

    “”It’s good to be a second-half team, but we don’t want to be in a catch-up mode all the time,”” Bonvicini said. “”We put too much energy into trying to catch up, and that’s what hurt us.””

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