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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Women’s hoops notebook: Wildcats split Los Angeles trip

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Munir Tufail
Arizona women’s basketball coach Niya Butts stares at the jumbotron in disbelief during Arizona’s 63-56 win against USC on Feb. 5. Butts and the Wildcats defeated USC this Sunday in Los Angeles to gain momentum heading into the Pac-12 Conference Tournament.

Losing streak is snapped: The Arizona women’s basketball team has had a nightmare finish to its season, coming into the Los Angeles road trip on a 10-game losing streak. But with two regular season games left to play, the hope was to at least finish strong.

In the first game of the weekend against the No. 14 UCLA Bruins on Friday night, Arizona didn’t buck its losing trend. The Bruins used an 18-2 run and a 15-2 run on their way to an 80-53 rout of the Wildcats. Six different Bruins scored in double figures, though Arizona did have the game’s leading scorer in JaLea Bennett, who scored a season-high of 15 points.

Two days later, however, Arizona finally snapped its lengthy losing streak against USC. LaBrittney Jones led all scorers with 18 points and helped fuel a 15-2 Arizona run in the second quarter, which put the Wildcats up by 16 at halftime.

The Trojans cut into the Wildcats’ lead in the second half and made it a two-point game midway through the fourth quarter. But, ultimately, the Wildcats would hold on and win by a score of 63-56.

Senior Keyahndra Cannon hits clutch free throws in final regular season game: Down by three points with 18 seconds left in regulation, USC was forced to foul to try to extend the game against Arizona. The Trojans would foul Cannon, and she headed to the free throw line with a chance to put the game out of reach.

Arizona’s lone senior delivered, sinking both free throws to seal a win in the final regular season game of her collegiate career.

Cannon finished the game with 10 points, three rebounds and three assists in one of her better performances of the season.

Pac-12 Tournament awaits: The Wildcats concluded the regular season with a 12-18 overall record and a 3-15 Pac-12 Conference record. That puts them 11th in the final conference standings, meaning they’ll face the sixth-place Oregon Ducks in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament.

The Ducks and the Wildcats faced each other just once in the regular season, and the Ducks came away with a 76-54 win in Eugene, Oregon.

The rematch is set for Thursday, March 3 in the KeyArena in Seattle. Game time is scheduled for 3 p.m. and it will be televised on the Pac-12 Network.


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