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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Wildcats suffer first loss of season to San Diego 59-54

Photo+Courtesy+of+Arizona+Athletics

Photo Courtesy of Arizona Athletics

The Arizona women’s basketball team opened its season with two wins, but its winning streak was snapped on Saturday night as the Wildcats suffered their first loss on the road to the University of San Diego, 59-54.

The Wildcats, who didn’t have a lead all game, got off to a slow start and were simply unable to recover.

The Toreros started the game on an 8-0 run, and the Wildcats didn’t get on the scoreboard until Malena Washington hit a jump shot with less than five minutes left in the first quarter to make it 9-2. A jumper by Lauren Evans would then make it 9-4.

San Diego’s Malina Hood would counter with a bucket and two free throws to push the Toreros’ lead up to nine, however.

But with the help of three-pointer by Taryn Griffey and two free throws by Brianna Workman, the Wildcats found themselves down by just six after one quarter. Griffey finished with five points, three rebounds, and two assists, while Workman added ten points and seven rebounds.

In the second quarter, the Toreros were able to get their lead up to eight at one point, but Arizona again countered with a run of their own.

Keyahndra Cannon hit a baseline jumper to put the Wildcats within two, and then a layup by Dezja James would tie the game at 21 with 1:31 left in the half.

San Diego’s Aubrey Ward-El would respond with two jumpers, however, and San Diego would hold a 25-21 lead at halftime.

The second half would prove to be similar. The Wildcats would make it close at times, but just couldn’t get over the hump.

Workman had four quick points to start third quarter for the Wildcats, but they would then go on a four-minute scoring drought in the middle of the quarter. The Toreros took advantage and were able extend their lead to as much as ten.

Arizona made a late run at the end of the period though, and a buzzer-beating layup by Dejza James off of an assist from Malena Washington would make it a 49-44 game heading into the final quarter of play. Washington finished with ten points and four assists, while James had eight points and a team-high ten rebounds.

Down five with a quarter left to play, the Wildcats would need one final run to steal one on the road, but Malina and Maya Hood would take over the game for San Diego.

The duo scored 12 of San Diego’s 15 fourth quarter points, and an and-one by Maya Hood put the Toreros up by ten with 3:55 left in regulation. The sisters combined for 32 points and 19 rebounds, and were a thorn in the Wildcats’ side all game.

The Wildcats did manage to make things interesting at the end, though, when a jumper by Keyahndra Cannon would cut the Toreros’ lead to just four with 55 seconds. Fittingly, Malina Hood would ice the game with a pair of free throws, and San Diego would ultimately win 59-54.

The loss drops the Wildcats to 2-1 on the season. They will return to action on Monday against Kansas at McKale Center for an early 11 a.m. game.

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