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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “‘Cats close, but still lose”

    Senior guard Joy Hollingsworth struggles between two Stanford defenders last night in McKale Center. Arizona lost their fifth-straight game, 86-76.
    Senior guard Joy Hollingsworth struggles between two Stanford defenders last night in McKale Center. Arizona lost their fifth-straight game, 86-76.

    Joan Bonvicini said she doesn’t believe in moral victories.

    But for the Arizona women’s basketball team, a moral victory might be the best words to describe last night’s 86-76 loss to No. 9 Stanford.

    “”We were so much more fired up, and it started from the get-go,”” the UA head coach said. “”I’m just really proud of the team. I’m not into any type of moral victory, but this was a game- especially a half- that we can build on and help our team, because we got better today.””

    The last time the Arizona women’s basketball team played Stanford, it was a game to forget, as it was blown out 86-58 by the national powerhouse from Palo Alto, Calif. At home this time, the result was the same, but the storyline was quite different.

    The Wildcats (7-15, 1-9 Pacific 10 Conference) gave the Cardinal (17-3, 10-0) a memorable second-half scare, after trailing 44-25 at halftime last night. They made amends, narrowing the deficit to a 6-point gap late in the game, setting a season-high 51 points in the second half.

    This time the team’s performance was a lot more convincing and even Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer noticed.

    “”Arizona came out and played really hard in the second half,”” she said. “”I think they are a lot better than their record.””

    Four Wildcats- Amina Njonkou, Jessica Arnold, Joy Hollingsworth and Kelsey Burns- finished with double figures in scoring

    Bonvicini distributed minutes throughout the game, giving sophomore guard Kelsey Burns 20 minutes of playing time, senior guard Linda Pace 15 minutes and sophomore guard Malia O’Neal 23 minutes.

    Burns scored a season high 10 points in her first major appearance since she had been out for several weeks for what the team called “”personal reasons.””

    “”It was good to be back in the court,”” Burns said. “”It’s been a long time, but to be playing again is such a great feeling. To be out there with your teammates hitting shots and getting pumped up and just seeing that spark was amazing.””

    Overall Bonvicini was impressed with her team’s performance.

    “”I liked our passion, I liked our intensity, and I thought we were good defensively,”” she said. “”But more than anything, we were aggressive, and that intensity and passion just carried through the team.””

    No. 20 Cal up next

    The schedule isn’t getting any easier for Arizona. On Saturday, No. 20 California (15-5, 6-4) will visit the Wildcats.

    Fans that show a ticket to men’s game on Saturday will get in free to the women’s game.

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