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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

“Wildcats finish eighth, look ahead to Pac-10 Tournament”

The Arizona women’s basketball team was burned again by its inability to finish in Saturday’s loss against the No. 25 UCLA Bruins, 70-61, in Los Angeles.

The Wildcats, (13-16, 6-12 Pacific 10 Conference) now plagued with a five-game losing streak, were unable to shake the Bruins’ (22-7, 15-3) late-game shooting and offensive penetration.

At tip off, Arizona was firing on all cylinders.

Freshman guard Davellyn Whyte kick-started Arizona’s offensive production with two early three-pointers that led to a 29-21 Arizona lead with 5:45 remaining in the first half.

UCLA responded quickly, and headed into the locker room on a 16-4 run, resulting in a 35-31 Bruins lead at the break.

The Bruins battled to maintain the lead after the second half began. A pair of baskets by forward Jasmine Dixon gave UCLA a 41-35 advantage early on in the second half.

At 8:42, the Bruins took their first double-digit lead of the game, 52-42, on another Dixon score.

Arizona got into foul trouble with 6:21 left as forward Soana Lucet, who had tallied up nine points and nine rebounds, fouled out, leaving the Wildcats with limited speed and power in the low post.

Despite the loss of Lucet, the Wildcats were able to fight back with a 13-4 run and got within three on a basket by Whyte with three-and-a-half minutes left in the game.

The Wildcats’ shooting faltered as they missed three out of their next four shots. Attempts to foul the Bruins were deemed futile as UCLA hit their last 10 free throws.

With their precision free-throw shooting, the Bruins stretched their lead to seven and held off the Wildcats until the end, winning 70-61.

Arizona guard Reiko Thomas led the Wildcats with a season-high 20 points on the day. Senior guard Ashley Frazier helped her team with six assists in her last regular season game donning the cardinal and navy.

The nonstop practice focus on rebounding paid off as Arizona almost managed to tie the Bruins on the boards, 42-41.

Arizona commences its conference tournament play on Thursday against Washington State as the No. 8-seed after failing to qualify for the sixth place spot and first round bye that comes with it.

Saddled with a heavy loss column, Arizona will need all the momentum that it can stir up going into the tournament.

The Wildcats however, will be able to maintain confidence knowing that their regular season sweep of Washington State gives them a mental advantage going into Thursday’s contest.

— Dan Koehler

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