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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Wildcats dominate Utes, give Adia Barnes first conference win

Caelum Gay
Arizona guard LaBrittney Jones drives the ball down the court against Northern Texas on Tuesday, Nov. 22.

The Arizona women’s basketball team came into today’s contest against Utah without a conference win, and despite frigid temperatures outside the Huntsman Center, the Wildcats were red hot en route to a 81-70 win, giving head coach Adia Barnes her first conference victory as head coach.

Plagued by turnovers, sloppy play and poor shooting through the first three conference games of the season, the Wildcats snapped out in a big way against the Utes. Forward LaBrittney Jones led the team with 24 points on 11 of 18 shooting and the team shot just under 50 percent on the day connecting on 34 of 70 attempts.

After a rough start to the game that saw Utah jump out to an 8-2 lead, the Wildcats settled down and started to wear down the bigger Utes by speeding up the game and driving to the basket. Despite Utah’s height advantage, Arizona was able to outscore the Utes 48-44 in the paint. 

Utah center Emily Potter, the Utes main inside force, was hampered by foul trouble the entire game which gave Arizona more opportunities at the basket. Potter fouled out with six minutes left in the fourth quarter and 12 points, she averaged 16 on the season.

The Wildcats had four players in double figures which kept Utah from focusing on Jones too much. Malena Washington had opportunities to keep her team involved and contributed five assists along with timely baskets to keep the Utes at bay. Washington finished with 11 points on the day.

For Adia Barnes, the win gives her the first conference victory of her career. However, it doesn’t get any easier as the Wildcats now have to turnaround and face a highly ranked Washington Husky team that not only has the nation’s leading scorer and rebounder in Kelsey Plum and Chantel Osahor, but is a team that Barnes is familiar with having come from there as an assistant to take the Arizona job.

Last year the Wildcats were 1-17 in Pac-12 Conference play, the win equals last years win total with 14 games still left to play. The Wildcats improve to (10-5, 1-3) and will look to pull the upset against last years Final Four participant Washington in McKale on Friday, tip off is set for 7 p.m.

Follow Saul Bookman on Twitter.

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