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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    W-hoops to face No. 2 Stanford during team’s final-road trip of regular season

    W-hoops to face No. 2 Stanford during teams final-road trip of regular season

    The end of the regular season is soon approaching for the Wildcats, and with only two games left they have saved the hardest for last. Arizona finishes off its season against two top-10 ranked teams – No. 2 Stanford and No. 9 California.

    After sending UA seniors Amina Njonkou, Sarah Hays and Beatrice Bofia out at home in style last weekend, the freshmen for the Wildcats (11-16, 4-12 Pacific-10 Conference) proved that the future looks bright for Arizona women’s basketball. Without the help of injured forward Ify Ibekwe, Arizona was able to overcome a 12-point halftime deficit to complete a comeback win for the final game of the season in McKale Center.

    “”We got some great production from people off the bench who we normally don’t get much from,”” UA head coach Niya Butts said. “”You have to be ready to step up and play when your name’s called.””

    Now the toughest challenge of the year awaits the Wildcats in northern California.

    The Wildcats face the Stanford Cardinal (24-4, 15-1), a team they have not won against since Feb. 5, 2004.

    This year, Stanford has shown its dominance in the Pac-10 conference. Riding an 11-game winning streak, the Cardinal suffered its only conference loss to California back on Jan. 18. Being No. 2 in the nation comes with statistical dominance and the Cardinal leads the Pac-10 in nine statistical categories including assist-to-turnover ratio, rebounding, scoring and blocked shots, to name a few. Stanford is looking to sweep the Arizona schools and take its ninth consecutive regular-season Pac-10 title in outright fashion. Junior Jayne Appel leads the Cardinal at 15.2 points and 9.0 rebounds per game.

    In their last meeting, Stanford watched a 25-point lead diminish to just eight in less than five minutes. Although they fell short of an upset win by nine points, the Wildcats did register three players in double figures.

    Two months later, the Wildcats are getting a little extra help on the court. The freshmen on the team have given Arizona a boost in scoring production and continue to show the potential for future Wildcat teams. Previously-injured 6-foot-5 center Malia Nahinu scored 13 points in 16 minutes in Arizona’s last game against Washington.

    “”We got a big boost in the post (that day) with Malia’s help. She makes it so we aren’t forced to take the outside shot. We can feed it into her and she can finish with the layup,”” said fellow UA freshmen Courtney Clements.

    Like all the freshmen on the team, Clements has also stepped up her game – she tallied 22 points against the Huskies.

    “”Anyone on any given night can score twenty points,”” she said. “”Help can come from everyone on the team.””

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