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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Wildcats clip Ducks to finish regular season

For any sort of confidence going into the Pacific 10 Conference Tournament, the Arizona women’s basketball team needed to come ready to play this past weekend during its trip to the Oregon schools.

And play they did.

The Wildcats capped off the regular season on Saturday with a dominating 88-65 victory against the Oregon Ducks, giving Arizona its 10th Pac-10 conference win — the first Wildcat team to accomplish that since the 2004-05 season.

In her final regular season game, Arizona’s senior star Ify Ibekwe didn’t even give the Ducks a fighting chance.

The forward’s 31 points and 15 rebounds not only allowed her to pick up her 12th double-double on the season, but was the grand finale to the fireworks that she has displayed in her four years as a Wildcat.

“”She surely was an animal, on both ends of the floor,”” said head coach Niya Butts. “”When she’s shooting 5-of-7 from 3, you’re not going to get a better offensive production from her.””

Ibekwe wasn’t the only one hitting the 3-pointers. The Wildcats were 17-for-20 from beyond the arc — an unthinkable 85 percent.

Junior Brooke Jackson was one of three Wildcats to score in double digits, shooting for 16 points.

Senior forward Soana Lucet was the third, adding 22 points to the Arizona total.

Not everything was perfect, though. If there was one thing that the Wildcats didn’t do all game, it was hold on to the ball.

“”The turnovers were probably a sore spot,”” Butts said.

The defense, however, was a different story.

“”Our team really played well defensively,”” Butts said. “”We got stops when we needed to, and we made plays when we needed to.””

The Arizona defense held the Ducks to 26.9 percent from the field, and kept Oregon’s Ariel Thomas in check with just 12 points.

Arizona heads to Southern California’s Galen Center on Wednesday to begin its quest for the Pac-10 Tournament title and it couldn’t be a better scenario for the Wildcats.

With its fourth road win in a row, and six out of its last seven games, Arizona’s confidence will need to carry through to make a tournament run.

“”All of the credit goes to the girls,”” Butts said. “”We understood what we have to do to finish the season off. They’re all committed to doing that.

“”I’m really happy right now to be their coach, and to be the coach at Arizona.””

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