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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

No. 22 Arizona heads to Los Angeles to take on UCLA and USC

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Nathanial Stenchever

Kailyn Gilbert, a guard on the Arizona women’s basketball team, dribbles down the court on Jan. 29 in McKale Center. The Wildcats would lose the divisional game against Washington State University 59-70.

This weekend, the Arizona women’s basketball team heads to the Los Angeles area to face off against UCLA on Friday, Feb. 3, and USC on Sunday, Feb. 5. Arizona is looking to rebound after a rough January which saw them go 4-4 and drop from 15th to 22nd in the AP Top-25 Women’s Poll.

Last Friday, Jan. 27, Arizona defeated the University of Washington 61-54 after trailing early in that game. However, the Wildcats were unable to sweep the weekend as they fell to fell to Washington State University  70-59 on Sunday, Jan. 29.

No. 22 Arizona at No. 14 UCLA: Friday, February 3

The UCLA Bruins enter their upcoming matchup against Arizona with a record of 17-5 and 6-4 in Pac-12 play. The Bruins started the season 13-1 but have gone 4-4 since their hot start. Last weekend, UCLA suffered two heartbreaking losses in the final seconds against No. 25 University of Colorado Boulder and No. 9 University of Utah by a combined five points.

The Bruins are led by senior guard Charisma Osborne, freshman guard Kiki Rice and redshirt-sophomore forward Emily Bessoir. This season, Osborne is averaging 15.9 points per game and 5.7 rebounds per game, both of which are the most for the Bruins. Rice is not far behind her with an average of 12 points per game and 4.7 rebounds per game. In her last three games, Bessoir has averaged 14 points and 5.7 rebounds, which is significantly improved over her season average of 9 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.

The Arizona vs. UCLA matchup, historically, has been heavily one-sided in favor of UCLA, which leads the series 63-22. Since 2012, UCLA is 16-5 against Arizona, including a winning streak of 13 games between January 2013 and January 2020. However, the Wildcats have had the upper hand as of late, winning three of their last five head-to-head matchups against UCLA.

Record against AP Top 25:

The Bruins are 2-4 against Top-25 teams this season.

No. 22 Arizona at USC: Sunday, February 5

The USC Trojans are 16-5 and 6-4 in Pac-12 play. As of late, USC is playing its best basketball, going 5-1 over their last six games. The stretch has included highlight wins over No. 2 Stanford University and No. 25 Colorado, and their lone loss was on the road at No. 9 Utah last Friday, Jan. 27.

The Trojans are led by sophomore guard Rayah Marshall, graduate forward Kadi Sissoko and graduate guard Destiny Littleton. Marshall averages 14.1 points per game and her 10.8 rebounds per game are 13th-best in all of women’s college basketball. Sissoko leads the team in scoring with 15.4 points per game, while her 6.4 rebounds rank second. Littleton has been on a hot streak as of late, averaging 18.7 points over her last three games compared to her 12.8 points per game on the season. Littleton is also averaging just under four assists and four rebounds per game.

The Arizona vs. USC matchup has been dominated by USC, which leads the series 56-28. However, Arizona has taken six of the last seven matchups dating back to January 2019. This was a stretch that started with five straight wins, before losing on the road last season. However, Arizona went on to defeat the Trojans at home later in the season.

Record against AP Top 25:

The Trojans are 2-4 against Top-25 teams this season.


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