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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


W-Hoops hits the road

W-Hoops hits the road

Coming off three straight road losses, the Arizona women’s basketball team knew they needed to defend their home to maintain credibility.

And it did.

The Wildcats sent the Washington schools back home this weekend with bitter memories of Tucson and McKale Center. Now, with momentum on their side, the Wildcats head to Southern California for weekend match ups against the USC Trojans and UCLA Bruins.

With their recent home success, the Wildcats (13-5, 4-3 Pacific 10 Conference) have climbed to third in the conference standings and will take on the Trojans tonight.

After the winning weekend, head coach Niya Butts was quick to keep things in perspective.

“”I certainly think we’re headed in the right direction, but to say we’re totally back on track, I don’t know,”” she said. “”I think our time at home has certainly helped us, those three games on the road were tough for us, but I think taking care of home court was very important. Heading to LA, that’s going to be a tough two games, and we’re going to have to be ready to play.””

Despite being under the weather throughout the Wildcats’ last few games, Arizona star forward Ify Ibekwe still managed to display prowess like no other. Her double-double averages and conference-rebound numbers prove how vital she is to the team.

“”I think she’s certainly one of the most talented players in the country,”” Butts said of Ibekwe.

Despite not garnering as much national attention as she deserves, she plays every night like a top contender.

“”What she has to do every night is go out there and prove people wrong by being active and playing aggressive,”” Butts said. “”The more aggressive she is the better player she is. It’s amazing.””

Against USC, the Wildcats need to keep the pressure on the Trojans for the entire 40-minute contest if they’re hoping for a positive outcome.

The Trojans wield some solid talents of their own, especially in guard Briana Gilbreath, whose 15 points and 7 rebounds per game will test Arizona’s abilities on both sides of the ball.

If Arizona can redeem their road woes this weekend, they’ll definitely deserve to be in the discussion for the NCAA tournament.

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