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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Evans career-high sends Wildcats to Pac-12 play with win

Steven Spooner
Arizona women’s basketball assosciate head coach Sunny Smallwood coaches Arizona guard Lauren Evans during Arizona’s 74-59 win against Alcorn State on Sunday, Nov. 13 in McKale Center.

Senior Lauren Evans hit the first three of her career en route to a career-high 13 points on 6-of-6 shooting as the Arizona Wildcats women’s basketball team ended their non-conference schedule with a 75-52 win over Portland State Tuesday in McKale Center.

Evans, in her final year as a Wildcat, was all over the court and set the tone by hitting several key shots and getting her hands on several steals to lead Arizona to the win and a 9-2 record as they get set for their Pac-12 opener against Cal-Berkeley on Thursday.

“After I hit the second shot I felt good,” Evans said. “I just feel like I am a senior and I need to step it up.”

Evans was among a trio of Wildcats who scored in double figures, joining Malena Washington and Breanna Workman who both had 10 points a piece. 

“[Evans] played some great basketball tonight,” said Arizona head coach Aida Barnes. “What I love about what Lauren is doing whether she is starting, whether she is playing 30 minutes, whether she plays five, is that she is consistent. I know what she is going to bring day in and day out. She has done a great job for us.”

Workman was a presence herself, especially in the first half as her physical play opened up opportunities from the outside for Arizona. The Wildcats in turn connected on 8 of 15 3-point shots to go along with 30 points in the paint.

“I think in general that is my identity, to be aggressive,” Workman said. “I don’t think I was playing up to my potential at the beginning of the season and I just thought I needed to step it up.”

With the non-conference portion of the schedule now over the Wildcats will head into a Pac-12 conference that is loaded with seven teams ranked in the top 25 nationally between the AP and Coaches poll. One of those teams is California, ranked No. 21 in the AP poll. It is a start to a season the Wildcats hopes comes with plenty of redemption.

“Even though we’re not expected to come out and do big things we’re still going to do it,” Workman said. “I’m ready for the conference. When we get to Pac-12 you’re playing against people that are at your level or better, so you’re either going to step up or not.”

“I think every team is beatable, you just have to come ready to play.” Evans said.

Arizona takes on Cal Thursday at 7 p.m. in McKale Center.

Follow Saul Bookman on Twitter.

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