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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Women fall in Pac-10 semis

    Stanford center Jayne Appel, left, and guard Candice Wiggins, right, defend Arizona guard Ashley Whisonant during the first half of a quarterfinals game in the Pac-10 Tournament in San Jose, Calif., Saturday. No. 1 seed Stanford beat No. 9 seed Arizona 65-55 to end the Wildcats season.
    Stanford center Jayne Appel, left, and guard Candice Wiggins, right, defend Arizona guard Ashley Whisonant during the first half of a quarterfinals game in the Pac-10 Tournament in San Jose, Calif., Saturday. No. 1 seed Stanford beat No. 9 seed Arizona 65-55 to end the Wildcats’ season.

    After the Arizona women’s basketball team defeated Oregon State on Friday and learned it would play No. 1 seed Stanford, UA head coach Joan Bonvicini told her team it would have to be perfect to advance to the Pacific 10 Conference Tournament semifinals.

    Perfect or not, the No. 9 seed Wildcats could not overcome the height disparity the Cardinal imposed from tipoff. Their season ended in a 65-55 loss in San Jose, Calif.

    “”I thought we really actually played pretty well. We battled. Stanford is just huge,”” Bonvicini said. “”They’re real big, and they used all their height today.””

    Stanford’s 6-foot-4 center Jayne Appel, the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, led the Cardinal (26-4, 18-1) with 18 points and 13 rebounds in only 25 minutes.

    Guard Candice Wiggins came back for the tournament despite missing the last two games with a sore hamstring. She added 16 points in 35 minutes.

    Bonvicini said the team’s game plan revolved around containing Wiggins, an All-Pac-10 performer, whom they expected to play.

    “”We went in to win,”” Bonvicini said. “”We had a good game plan. They were just too big inside, and they played very well.

    “”We went to a 2-3 set, and they were killing us, so we went man-to-man, and they were still killing us. It was hard for us to match up. They just wanted to pound it in.””

    It was Stanford’s seventh-straight win and ninth-consecutive victory over Arizona (11-21, 5-14). Eight of the wins have come by double-digit points.

    It was also the fourth time in the last five years the Wildcats were bounced out of the tournament by a No. 1-seeded Stanford team.

    “”We went in to win.We had a good game plan. They were just too big inside, and they played very well.””
    – Joan Bonvicini,
    UA head coach

    “”We’re definitely disappointed,”” said guard Joy Hollingsworth, who played her last game in an Arizona uniform. “”We knew we could have done it. Our motto was to go hard. We were just too short in size.””

    In the two meetings this year, Stanford defeated Arizona 86-58 Dec. 28 in Palo Alto, Calif., and 86-76 Jan. 25 in Tucson.

    Arizona trailed Stanford by only two at halftime Saturday and even led at some points during the game.

    “”We wanted to play perfect, and at halftime we were about perfect,”” Hollingsworth said. “”We just came up short. We played hard to tie the game, but there were defensive lapses. Playing a team like Stanford, you can’t slip up on mistakes like that.””

    The Wildcats committed 15 turnovers, including five by guard Ashley Whisonant, who also tallied 18 points in 28 minutes off the bench.

    “”We played tough, but it wasn’t perfect,”” Whisonant said. “”They just had a lot more strength inside.

    “”We’re very proud. No one even expected us to be down by two at halftime.””

    On Friday, Arizona defeated No. 8 seed Oregon State 69-54 to advance to the quarterfinals.

    The team had a 12-0 scoring run late in the second half to distance themselves from the Beavers (9-19, 4-15). Whisonant led the Wildcats with a career-high 23 points.

    Going into Saturday’s matchup, Bonvicini said she thought the team had a lot of momentum.

    “”We played our hearts out,”” she said. “”We played very hard. I thought we made adjustments, but it was tough to counter Stanford’s height.””

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