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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Women’s basketball break in review

Ify Ibekwe

The break between the fall and spring semesters was an eventful one for the Arizona women’s basketball team, which wrapped up its non-conference schedule and opened Pacific 10 Conference play during the holiday season.

The Wildcats put together a four-game winning streak to finish with a 9-2 record in non-conference action and swept the Oregon schools at home in the first weekend of conference play before being swept at California and Stanford last weekend.

High point

Winning six straight games, which included Arizona opening Pac-10 play with a weekend sweep, is a feat that Arizona accomplished twice during the 2009-10 season. The winning streak was highlighted by a 109-94 shootout victory against Oregon.

Low point

Almost by default, Arizona’s trip to Northern California was the team’s low point during the break. The Wildcats were handed their only two losses over the break by No. 4 Stanford in a 33-point beat down in Palo Alto, and California sent Arizona back to Tucson with an 80-60 loss.


Ify Ibekwe, who is second on the team in field goal percentage (50.3), 3-point percentage (40), and free throws attempted (63), has clearly been the most effective player on the court this season for Arizona.

Ibekwe, a senior from Carson, Calif., is averaging a double double with 14.7 points per game to go along with 10.5 rebounds per game, and she also adds 2.5 assists and 1.7 blocks per game.

Surprise player

Redshirt junior guard Shanita Arnold — a transfer from the University of Arkansas — has taken over the reins for point guard at Arizona.

Arnorld was expected to split time with freshman Candice Warthen at the beginning of the season. But as time went on, Arnold became the clear starter. Arizona’s up-tempo offense has seemed unstoppable at times with Arnold at the helm.

Arnold is scoring 8.3 points and tallying nearly six assists per game so far this season, and her 1.76 assists per turnover is tops for Arizona. Her 32 minutes per game also lead the team.


Senior forward Soana Lucet has been a bonus for Arizona’s post game. She’s been able to draw attention away from Ibekwe and super-sophomore Davellyn Whyte, while scoring almost 12 points per game.

Lucet’s presence inside has allowed Ibekwe to roam the floor more often, which has led to Ibekwe knocking down eight of 20 shots from long range after being only six of 17 a year ago.

She said it

“”Sometimes the only medicine for basketball is playing an actual game,”” said Head coach Niya Butts about dealing with lengthy breaks between games.

On deck

Arizona continues the 2010-2011 season on Sunday, when the Wildcats travel to Tempe to take on archrival ASU. The Sun Devils won the last meeting in Tempe by a score of 57-49 to sweep Arizona last season.

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