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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Malena Washington’s 26 points lift Arizona women’s basketball to OT victory at New Mexico State

Caelum Gay

Arizona women’s basketball guard Malena Washington charges past a North Texas point guard in McKale Center on Tuesday, Nov. 22. Washington scored a career high 26 points against New Mexico State on Sunday.

Malena Washington scored a career-high 26 points as the Arizona women’s basketball team picked up its third win in a row on Sunday, defeating New Mexico State 74-63 in overtime in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Washington scored 22 of her points in the second half, including 14 points in the overtime period to lift the Wildcats, who are now 5-1, to their third road win of the season. Arizona forward Breanna Workman recorded her first career double-double, posting 12 points and 10 rebounds.

The Aggies erased a seven-point Arizona lead midway through the fourth quarter to force overtime, where the Wildcats took control and outscored New Mexico State, 18-7.

A jumper by Washington put the Wildcats up 51-44 with 4:45 left in the fourth quarter, but the Aggies stormed back to take a 54-53 lead, using a scoring outburst from Tamera William, who finished the game with 17 points.

Workman answered with a bucket to give the Wildcats the lead, but a jumper by Moriah Mack put the Aggies back on top 56-55 with 1:21 to play.

Washington got to the free-throw line with a chance to give Arizona the lead, and she split the pair of free throws to tie the game at 56-56 with 36 seconds remaining. Both teams had a chance for a go-ahead score, but neither would be successful, sending the game to overtime.

Arizona scored the first six points in the overtime period, jumping out to a 62-56 lead. The Aggies never cut the lead to under three points after that, as Washington and the Wildcats spoiled New Mexico State’s comeback attempt.

The Wildcats shot 44.1 percent as a team, but were just 2-of-18 from 3-point range. Arizona held New Mexico State to a 36.8 field goal percentage and out-rebounded the Aggies 45-37. The Wildcats also had a 30-14 edge in points in the paint.

Arizona made six of its 10 shots in the first quarter, and wound up taking a 10-point lead early in the second quarter when a layup by LaBrittney Jones made it 20-10. That was Arizona’s largest lead of the game until two late free throws by Washington pushed Arizona’s lead to 74-63 in overtime.

Washington shot 7-of-14 from the field, 10-of-14 from the free-throw line, and made Arizona’s only two 3s of the contest. Jones scored nine points and nine rebounds and Lucia Alonso added 11 points for the Wildcats. JaLea Bennett scored eight points and recorded six rebounds.

Arizona returns to action Wednesday when it hosts San Diego. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. Arizona Athletics will have a live stream of the game.

Follow Ryan Kelapire on Twitter.

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