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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Women ‘Whis’ past Oregon State

    Arizona point guard Ashley Whisonant presented a bouquet of flowers to UA head coach Joan Bonvicini, who earned her 600th career win, after last night’s game.

    But Whisonant was the one worthy of receiving flowers after her performance in the Wildcats’ 65-61 win over Oregon State in front of 1,429.

    With 4:18 left, the 5-foot-8 guard shot a trey from the left side. The ball hit the rim, bounced well above the shot clock and fell in, giving the Wildcats a 57-54 advantage.

    “”I felt that the luck was on our side,”” Whisonant said with a laugh.

    But she was all business during the game, luck or no luck.

    After Whisonant’s 3-pointer, the Wildcats (9-17, 3-11 Pacific 10 Conference) never looked back and sealed the win.

    Five minutes into the second half, Whisonant stole the ball and ran down the court. She and guard Joy Hollingsworth passed it back and forth in the lane three times before Hollingsworth made a layup for two of her game-high 20 points.

    “”Her defense is definitely the best in the Pac-10,”” Hollingsworth said of Whisonant, who had two steals. “”She’s the energy player.””

    Whisonant has finally broken out of her “”slump,”” Bonvicini said.

    Prior to last Thursday’s game against Washington State, Bonvicini started guard Malia O’Neal instead of Whisonant, saying that Whisonant “”has been inconsistent for about a month.””

    She did not start last night against the Beavers (8-14, 3-10), but she said she doesn’t mind coming off the bench behind O’Neal, who started her third-consecutive game.

    Her numbers showed her unselfishness even more than her words, dishing out a game-high six assists.

    “”The players were moving really well and I was able to find players that were open,”” she said.

    Adding icing to the cake, she found a way to score herself.

    Whisonant scored eight straight Wildcat points over 3:37 early in the first half, with the Beavers up 17-14.

    “”I just wanted to step up defensively and offensively,”” she said.

    She did just that, scoring 15 in only 27 minutes.

    The two teams stayed neck and neck for the next five minutes before OSU guard Casey Nash broke up a 23-23 tie with a jumper. Nash scored a team-high 15 points in 40 minutes for the Beavers.

    “”We did a great job defensively on Casey Nash tonight,”” Bonvicini said of the Pac-10’s leading scorer, who had 27 points against Arizona in their last meeting. “”Ashley was very intense.””

    Take out the brooms?

    Arizona looks to sweep at home for the first time this season as it takes on Oregon (13-10, 5-8), tomorrow at 2 p.m. in McKale Center. The Ducks lost to No. 10 ASU (22-3, 12-2) 61-48 last night in Tempe.

    “”Our confidence is back and we’re looking for a sweep this weekend,”” Hollingsworth said.

    And 1

    Guard Marie McGee was officially released play this week but was dressed in a protective boot and did not play. Forward Rheya Neabors returned from a stress fracture suffered on Dec. 3 and played six minutes.

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