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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Women’s hoops rolls in exhibition opener

    The Arizona women’s basketball team showed that it is ready for the season, as it defeated Colorado State University-Pueblo 87-54 in an exhibition game on Friday night in McKale Center.

    “”This was a good test for us,”” said UA head coach Joan Bonvicini, who is going into her 16th season with the Wildcats. “”That was a good Division II tournament team.””

    Junior center Suzy Bofia and freshman forward Rheya Neabors each recorded a double-double, tallying 16 points and 12 rebounds, and 15 and 11, respectively.

    Just as they did in their first exhibition game last year against Cal Poly Pomona – which they won – the Wildcats started the game with an 8-0 run on Friday. They surrendered the lead to the Thunderwolves only once the entire game and even at that, it was a two-point lead that lasted less than 30 seconds.

    Arizona dominated the boards, collecting 46 rebounds to CSU-Pueblo’s 23.

    “”We were really focusing on rebounding in practice (on Thursday),”” said forward Amina Njonkou, who had eight herself, six on the offensive end.

    The practice paid off, seeing as the winning team in last Wednesday’s Red/Blue game only had 35 boards.

    “”When you play other teams, you get to work on other things,”” Neabors said. “”You get to see things that you aren’t used to seeing yet.””

    Dressed in knee-high white socks, white sleeves, and a matching headband to go with her white jersey, Njonkou posted a team-high 18 points, four assists, and four steals.

    “”Amina is a bull in a china closet,”” Bonvicini said. “”She’s lost weight, she’s in good shape, she’s very focused and she’s as strong as an ox. She’s only 6-1, but she plays a lot bigger.””

    Still, the humble Njonkou said that she needs to get into better shape.

    “”I get tired easy,”” she said. “”I felt horrible missing easy layups. I was getting tired.””

    The Wildcats showed true depth in their lineup, with 6-7 junior center Beatrice Bofia out due to a sprained a lateral ligament in her leg suffered last Wednesday.

    “”Her swelling went way down,”” Bonvicini said. “”I’ll know more as time goes on, but she’s in good spirits.””

    Beatrice’s twin sister, Suzy, said that her sister inspired her to play well, even if she couldn’t play.

    “”I came in with the mindset that I was going to play for myself and for my sister,”” Bofia said. “”I miss my sister a lot. She’s doing good, though. She was on the bench (on Friday) telling me ‘good job, good job.’ She is still part of the team.””

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