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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    ‘Cats split LA trip

    As head coach Niya Butts puts it, “”It’s amazing what you can do when you hustle and do the things you’re supposed to do.””

    The Arizona women’s basketball did that and then some during Sunday’s 74-61 victory over USC in the Galen Center.

    The Wildcats (10-14, 3-10 Pacific 10 Conference) shot 26-for-43 from the field, shooting a season-high 60.5 percent – quite a contrast to Thursday’s loss at UCLA when Arizona shot 22 percent. In addition to their offensive prowess, the defense was stout, as the Wildcats held the Trojans (12-11, 6-6) to just 29.3 percent from the floor.

    “”We made shots tonight,”” Butts said. “”(Thursday’s game) against UCLA, it was rough when you shoot just 11.4 percent in the second half and only 11 field goals for the game. (Saturday) we did a much better job knocking down shots and that made all the difference.””

    The star of the game, as has been the case all season, was sophomore forward Ify Ibekwe. After making just 2-of-14 field goals Thursday, the sophomore shot 10-for-14 en route to a career-high 27 points.

    “”I thought (Ibekwe) would bounce back,”” Butts said. “”But we talked a little bit in practice about some of the different struggles she was having. She acknowledges that and knows she has to play better for this team to win and she came out tonight and responded.””

    Arizona had three others score in double-figures, including senior forward Amina Njonkou, who came off the bench for the third straight game, but still scored 12 points and grabbed 6 rebounds.

    Junior guard Ashley Frazier and freshman guard Courtney Clements also contributed 12 points each. Clements, who is becoming the team’s premier 3-point shooter – who is 18-for-73 from beyond the arc – was 2-for-4 from long range against the Trojans.

    With a win over Oregon on Feb. 7, the Wildcats have now won two of their last three games for the first time since mid-December. The two were arguably the best all-around games that the team has played all season.

    “”I think we have played some aggressive basketball in the wins we’ve been able to get,”” Butts said. “”More importantly, during those games we’ve had a balanced attack. The players have stepped up and made plays and that’s given us a great chance to win.””

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