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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Kelsey Plum and the Huskies dominate Wildcats at home, 90-73

Arizonas+Labrittney+Jones+%2824%29+attempts+a+shot+at+the+basket+during+the+Arizona+vs.+Washington+basketball+game+on+Jan.+13.+The+Wildcats+lost+to+Washington%2C+90-73.
Carmen Valenica

Arizona’s Labrittney Jones (24) attempts a shot at the basket during the Arizona vs. Washington basketball game on Jan. 13. The Wildcats lost to Washington, 90-73.

Arizona fell to No. 8 Washington 90-73 at home Friday night in McKale Center. Arizona head coach Adia Barnes has close ties with the Washington program, but this did not interfere with her focus on preparing her new team for the challenge.

“We knew she had a close relationship with them, but she was focused on us all week,” said Arizona senior LaBrittney Jones.

The Wildcats paid close attention to rebounding to try and keep the the Huskies off the board. However, Washington out-rebounded Arizona 39-30 in the game.

Changing up their defensive plays against the Washington offense was another Wildcat strategy. Switching between a box-and-one and 2-3 and 3-2 zone defenses, for example, allowed the team to mix up the game, but remain confident in the plays being called.

“We weren’t going to hold [Kelsey]Plum to zero points, but moving between defenses forced her to take some challenging shots,” said Arizona senior Malena Washington.

Jones is ranked as one of Arizona’s top five blocked shots leaders (No. 4) and top 20 scorers (No. 18). She contributed 11 of Arizona’s 30 total rebounds and scored 20 points against the Huskies.

Barnes played a major role in the recruitment of Kelsey Plum to Washington, and then watched as her former player scored her 3,000th career point. Plum led Washington with 36 points, in addition to 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals.

“She’s not caught up in the numbers, she worried about what’s next, and winning the next game, and those things are special,” Barnes said.

Another weapon at the Huskies disposal was forward Chantel Osahor, who picked up a technical against the Wildcats. Osahor had 14 points of her own, along with 5 assists and 10 rebounds.

The game was not easy, but Barnes is not discouraged for the future of her team.

“We play hard and we play with heart. If we keep playing like this the rest of the season, I think we’re going to surprise some people,” Barnes said.

Arizona will take on Washington State at noon this Sunday at McKale Center, before a four-game road trip to face Stanford, Cal, USC and UCLA. 


Follow MacKenzie Swaney on Twitter.


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