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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Chance for W-hoops to split vs. ASU

The Duel in the Desert will be renewed this weekend when the Arizona women’s basketball team makes its annual trek to Tempe to take on its archrival, the Arizona State Sun Devils, in part two of the women’s hoops State Farm Territorial Cup Rivalry Series on Saturday.

With four wins in its last five games, Arizona (13-11, 6-7 Pacific 10 Conference) can have some solid confidence and momentum in trying to defeat a strong Arizona State (15-9, 7-6) team — a team that they haven’t beaten since January of 2005.

Fortunately for the Wildcats, the Sun Devils aren’t living up to their usual standards this year, as their sixth-place standing in the Pac-10 is one of the lowest conference standings for ASU.

The Sun Devils are currently coming off split results during their contests with the Oregon schools over the past weekend. With this in mind, Arizona can feel confident having won their previous two games.

In January, when the Sun Devils came to Tucson, both teams managed to keep it close until the top of the second half. With the game tied at 44, Arizona State took Arizona for a ride with an 11-0 run initiated by leading scorers Becca Tobin and Danielle Orsillo. The Wildcats, although they mounted an impressive comeback, were never able to recover.

Arizona continues to work on its rebounding, which has been the theme of practice the entire season. Rebounding can either be the team’s closest ally or its worst nightmare. When it’s able to rebound, it wins, if not, the outcome is completely up in the air.

“”(Simply) By putting one foot in front of the other and by crashing the boards, we’ll get results,”” Butts said.  “”Hopefully that continues.””

In their previous game against California State, Northridge, the Wildcats almost doubled the Matadors in rebounds. This success brings hope and confidence to the Arizona players and coaches alike.

The Sun Devils are a quick team, and the Wildcats must adjust and continue to focus on getting back to protect the basket, as well as continuing to drive the quick transition offense for the entire game.

With a steady and focused mindset, the Wildcats hope to be able to finally stifle a Sun Devil team that has been plaguing them for quite some time.

Arizona forward Ify Ibekwe had a game high 25 points and 16 rebounds against Arizona State in the last meeting, and she, along with help from her team, needs to put shooting pressure on the Sun Devil defense.

“”We have to mentally ready to play and focused,”” Ibekwe said. “”What we have to do is be disciplined offensively and defensively, and everything else takes care of itself.””

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