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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    ‘Cats battle to escape conference basement

    UA guard Ashley Whisonant cuts to the basket in the Wildcats 66-45 loss to No. 8 California in McKale Center last Seaturday. Arizona and Washington State square up tonight with both teams carrying an 0-7 conference record.
    UA guard Ashley Whisonant cuts to the basket in the Wildcats’ 66-45 loss to No. 8 California in McKale Center last Seaturday. Arizona and Washington State square up tonight with both teams carrying an 0-7 conference record.

    As all good things must come to an end, so must the bad.

    And when the Arizona and Washington State women’s basketball teams collide tonight at 7 in Pullman, Wash., one of their winless Pacific 10 Conference records (0-14 combined) and 17-game combined losing streaks will also conclude.

    The Cougars

    I think really we’re just going to try to play through (the losing streak), come out hard and play with a lot of effort.

    – Tasha Dickey,
    UA guard

    (3-15, 0-7 Pac-10) host an Arizona (6-12, 0-7) team that aims to end an eight-game losing streak – the longest since its 2005-06 season.

    The Wildcats’ issues, though, go beyond the conference standings. UA head coach Joan Bonvicini doubled as both Arizona’s coach and psychologist during this week’s practices, focusing on positive reinforcement and motivation.

    “”I think a lot of the practice was getting the confidence back as a team,”” said guard Tasha Dickey. “”(Bonvicini) still believes in us and practice is really crucial.

    “”I think really we’re just going to try to play through (the losing streak), come out hard and play with a lot of effort.””

    With a brand new coaching staff headed by June Daugherty, Washington State poses a tough battle with good perimeter shooters, Bonvicini said. Cougars guard Katie Appleton averages a team-leading 11.8 points per game while Colleen Betteridge scores 6.2 ppg.

    After allowing 10 3-pointers in its last game against California – due to the lack of ability to double on Cal’s deep post – Arizona plans to step up and put more pressure on the perimeter, Bonvicini said.

    In addition to supporting the team, Bonvicini had her team scrimmage often this week, and will tweak the lineup by starting forward Rheya Neabors and guard Marie McGee.

    Rather than dwelling on the losing streak, Bonvicini aims to keep a fun and loose atmosphere within the team nucleus.

    “”I think winning solves a lot of things, (but) instead of talking about that, we’re talking about fundamentals and playing good defense,”” she said.

    And 1

    Arizona won its last game 40 days ago (Dec. 15) on the road at New Mexico, and Washington State is winless in the past 39 days (Dec. 14). … Arizona made school history against California on Jan. 19 by shooting a record-low 24.1 percent from the field and making only 4-26 field goals in the second half.

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