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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona women’s basketball breezes to win in first road test

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Ian Green
Arizona senior forward Kat Wright (11) is defended by Iona’s Tilasha Okey-Williams (34) on Nov. 10 in McKale Center. Wright scored 13 points in the game.

The Arizona women’s basketball team went on the road for the first time with their young team and showcased a solid defensive performance on their way to a 65-49 victory over Utah State at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum Friday in Logan, Utah.

The win improves the Wildcats to 2-0 on the season as they prepare to spend Thanksgiving away from home, beginning with Loyola Marymount next Tuesday in Los Angeles.

Arizona forced 17 Aggie turnovers and capitalized with 14 points on the other end along with out-redounding Utah State 44-34. The combination of senior Kat Wright, freshman Sam Thomas and junior Destiny Graham led to 23 of the teams total rebounds.

“I thought Sam (Thomas), Lucia (Alonso) and everyone really played solid,” head coach Adia Barnes said. “…I was really impressed with how we were trying to find Kat (Wright) when she was hot and it helped slow them down.”

For Wright, the shooting stroke from downtown, which had been spotty early in the season, came back in a big way as she led the Wildcats in the first half going 4-for-7 from three. The Florida Atlantic transfer was quiet for the remainder of the game offensively, but her spark was key for a young team on the road in their first hostile environment.

“It is tough to go on the road and the conditions with the weather, but I thought they (the freshman) played very well,” point guard Lucia Alonso said.

Thomas continued to play solid and fill up the stat sheet for Arizona. The freshman filled the stat sheet recording a final stat line of nine points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Her play was vital down the stretch as the Aggies continued to try and claw their way back into the game.

“Sam Thomas was awesome, her stat line was amazing…she really made some big plays when we needed it,” Barnes said. “Just when you thought maybe we were out of position, Sam would come up with a big defensive play or block.”

Turnovers didn’t rear their ugly head in the game in terms of a loss, but the Wildcats committed a season high 20, something head coach Adia Barnes was not satisfied with. Alonso was responsible for seven of those but was solid otherwise in leading Arizona to the win.

“They were running at her, jumping, double-teaming Lucia,” Barnes said. “She played a lot of minutes but I trust her with the ball and she played very well.”

Despite the turnovers, Alonso hit key shots to keep the Aggies at bay, shooting 4-for-5 from three. Her 15 points led all scorers as she seems to be Barnes’ chief ball handler down the stretch. 

The Wildcats next home game is after the Thanksgiving break when they take on Long Beach State on Nov. 28.


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