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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona women’s basketball: Jones and Griffey lead Wildcats to comeback victory over George Mason

Jesus Barrera

Arizona guard Taryn Griffey (3) attempts a free-throw against Eastern New Mexico in McKale Center Tuesday, Nov. 10. 

Clutch shooting from redshirt sophomore Taryn Griffey, senior Malena Washington and crucial rebounds by senior LaBrittney Jones was exactly what the Arizona women’s basketball team needed to overcome an early 13-point deficit to gather their first road win of the season at George Mason University, 81-70, on Friday night.

The win pushes the Arizona Wildcats record to 2-0 and was a nail-biter down the stretch as head coach Adia Barnes got her first road victory on the year.

“It shows we’re getting tougher mentally and physically,” said Griffey. “I feel like we would have definitely hung our head and never come back from it and that’s why this year is completely different. We’re focusing on not worrying about our mistakes and just to keep pushing and fighting and everything will work out in the end.”

The Wildcats were led in scoring by Jones but her impact was more in drawing multiple defenders to herself in order to create space for teammates Washington and Griffey, who promptly made the Patriots pay by hitting a combined 6-for-11 from behind the arc.

A key part of the game for Griffey was a bank in three which ended up giving her the confidence that the game may be in the Wildcats favor.

“So I didn’t mean to bank the three,” said Griffey. “I knew it was going to be off because it just started drifting to my left heading towards the backboard. After I hit it I just looked at my teammates and we all started just laughing.”

After battling back and forth with George Mason, the Wildcats were tied with just over seven minutes to go in the fourth quarter. The trio was responsible for the final 16 out of 22 points for Arizona, ultimately extending the lead to 11 and cementing the win.

“They just jumped on us early,” said Barnes. “The 3-2 was really extended and we weren’t attacking at all. We slowly started pushing it and at halftime we just said ‘hey we can’t play any worse, so let’s go out and play Arizona basketball’.”

Jones had a season-high 20 points to go along with eight rebounds, including several key rebounds when the game was still in doubt to give the Wildcats more opportunities to come out on top.

Defensively the Wildcats were able to create havoc and force the Patriots into 16 turnovers leading to key transition baskets, especially after the first quarter.

A contributing quietly on the evening was starting point guard Lucia Alonso, who was able to beat the George Mason press late in the game and put her team into great scoring positions. In addition, Alonso was dynamic from three, hitting three 3-pointers en route to a 13-point performance.

“We all knew she [Lucia Alonso] was a shooter and her percentage is really high,” said Griffey. “We can go back and forth, we have a nice little trio [Griffey, Alonso, Washington].”

The Wildcats will come back home for their next contest, facing North Texas at 11 a.m. next Tuesday, Nov. 22.

Follow Saul Bookman on Twitter.

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