Arizona WBB goes down to UCLA in the Pac-12 Tournament


Nathanial Stenchever

Shaina Pellington, a guard on the Arizona woman’s basketball team, holds her head in her hands while sitting on the bench on Dec. 8, in McKale Center. The Wildcats would lose to the University of Kansas 50-77.

Delaney Penn

It’s go time for all Pac-12 teams.

Arizona women’s basketball competed in the Pac-12 Tournament this week. The tournament started on Wednesday, March 1, and the finals will take place on Sunday, March 5. It’s a fast, action-packed week of some of the top basketball teams in the country.

The Wildcats lost to UCLA 73-59 in the second round of the tournament on Thursday, March 2, in the Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas. The Wildcats were given a bye for the first round of games. UCLA beat ASU on Wednesday, March 1, allowing them to advance in the bracket. Arizona’s starting lineup consisted of Shaina Pellington, Lauren Fields, Jade Loville, Esmery Martinez and Cate Reese.

First Quarter

The Bruins won the jump ball and made a jumper in the paint to put the first points on the board. The quarter was back and forth between the teams, but ended 19-18 Arizona. The Wildcats had 8 points in the paint while the Bruins had 12 points in the paint.

Second Quarter

The second quarter started off with UCLA taking the ball down the court for a driving layup. Arizona was then fouled less than a minute later, so Maya Nnaji took two free throws and made both.

With 8:11 left in the second quarter, Pellington made a fast break layup off of an opponent turnover. A minute later, she made a nice jump shot, extending the Arizona lead to 25-20.

A personal foul was called on Martinez that resulted in two free throws for UCLA. The Bruins tied up the game after a free throw and layup both from Charisma Osborne. At the media timeout with 3:51 left in the quarter, the score was 29-25 Bruins.

Arizona head coach Adia Barnes made multiple substitutions in the final minutes of the second quarter. Paris Clark took the ball from the Bruins and made a massive 3-pointer with 52 seconds left in the half. Going into halftime, the score was 33-31 UCLA.

Third Quarter

The third quarter started with the UCLA offense on fire, sinking a jump shot and two free throws. Bruins player Gina Conti sank a 3-pointer to put UCLA ahead 40-31 with 8:29 left in the quarter. Clark responded with a layup in the paint just 11 seconds later.

Osborne, the game’s leading scorer, made a driving layup on a fast break. Arizona took the ball back and scored a jump shot. Barnes subbed out Pellington, Loville and Nnaji for Helena Pueyo, Fields and Reese. At the media timeout with 4:58 left in the third quarter, the score was 47-35 Bruins.

Reese then made two second-chance free throws off of an opponent turnover, cutting UCLA’s lead to 10. The score at the end of the third quarter was 55-43 Bruins.

Fourth Quarter

The Bruins made a second chance 3-point shot to start the fourth quarter. The game then went scoreless for almost two and a half minutes until Reese made two free throws with 3:20 left in the game. After that, UCLA just held onto their lead.

The final score was 73-59 UCLA.

Key Stats

Once Arizona was behind, they couldn’t keep up with UCLA’s fierce offensive attack. The leading scorers for the Bruins were Osborne and Emily Bessoir, who each had 18 points. UCLA had 26 points in the paint and 11 points off the bench.

The Bruins officially knocked Arizona out of the tournament and will go on to play No. 1 seed Stanford University on Friday, March 3, at 7 p.m.

Arizona will return to Tucson and refocus for March Madness.

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