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No. 12 Arizona WBB’s offense can’t get it done, lose to UCLA 64-46

Head+coach+of+the+Arizona+womens+basketball+team%2C+Adia+Barnes%2C+talks+to+her+players+during+a+timeout+on+Sunday%2C+Feb.+6+in+McKale+Center.+The+Wildcats+would+lead+going+into+half+36-34.
Nathanial Stenchever

Head coach of the Arizona women’s basketball team, Adia Barnes, talks to her players during a timeout on Sunday, Feb. 6 in McKale Center. The Wildcats would lead going into half 36-34.

The Arizona women’s basketball team lost their second to last regular-season game at home to UCLA 64-46 on Thursday, Feb. 24 in McKale Center. 

In the first quarter, Arizona looked out of sync offensively in the team’s first game without Cate Reese who dislocated her shoulder against Washington State University. Bendu Yeaney and Shaina Pellington scored Arizona’s first 2 baskets but then went on a 3-minute scoring drought.

“We gotta know the plays. I think that’s the biggest thing. We got one more game left and half our team doesn’t know the plays,” Yeaney said.

UCLA capitalized by going on a 13-2 run and led 13-6 halfway through the first quarter. Arizona was able to cut the lead with improved defense and a basket from Sam Thomas and a three from Madison Conner before the quarter ended. Arizona trailed UCLA 15-11 at the end of the first quarter. 

Arizona looked stronger on both ends of the ball to start the second quarter with two steals and 2 baskets from Pellington to cut the lead to 17-15 early in the quarter. After that, Arizona started to struggle on offense and gave up a 6-0 run to go down 26-17 to UCLA. 

After a timeout, Arizona came together on defense and ended the half forcing turnovers from UCLA and holding the Bruins to an almost five-minute scoring drought to end the first half trailing UCLA 28-27. 

RELATED: Arizona WBB loses final road game of season to Washington State 72-67

Pellington led the team with 10 points, two rebounds and two steals. In her first game back since Feb. 4, Ariyah Copeland went for 6 points and five rebounds. Arizona went 11-27 (40.7%) from the field and had 16 rebounds but committed seven turnovers which let the Bruins score 11 points off of turnovers in the first half.

Arizona was able to tie the game early in the third quarter on free throws from Yeaney but was met with a 3-pointer from UCLA. Pellington followed it up with a layup, but the team struggled from the floor and was held to a 4-minute scoring drought with 3 minutes left in the third quarter.  

Yeaney ended the drought with a last-second 3-pointer which brought the game within 5 points. After that UCLA took control of the quarter and ended it with a 46-35 lead. Arizona went 3-14 from the field with Yeaney and Pellington scoring four each and all of Arizona’s eight points in the quarter. 

Arizona had work to do entering the fourth quarter with an 11 point deficit to erase. Arizona got some help from Gisela Sanchez and Conner who both hit 3-pointers as the team tried to stop UCLA’s offense but still trailed 56-44 with 4 minutes left in the game. 

The theme of Arizona going scoreless continued for the last 3 minutes of the game as UCLA won 64-46. Arizona shot 16-57 (28%) from the field and got out-rebounded 48 to 26. Pellington led the team with 14 points on 6-15 (40%) shooting with Yeaney also scoring 10 points on 2-8 (25%) shooting

“If you’re getting killed, and you’re losing because of second-chance points, then there has to be a point where you got to bury down and get the job done. and we just never did that. And so that’s my frustration because I don’t know where or why the fight isn’t there. I mean, the fight should always be there … The fight now and I mean, we can make excuses, but I don’t think it’s about that. I think it’s about getting the job done,” head coach Adia Barnes said. 

“She just kind of spoke the truth, and we realize we’ve been saying the same things for the last couple of weeks. So it’s just time to put it all together because it’s time to win,” Yeaney said on the message to the team from Barnes after the game. 

Arizona’s record now stands at 19-6 and returns to McKale Center on Saturday, Feb. 26 against the University of Southern California at 12 p.m. to finish out the regular season. 


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