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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona WBB faces second loss of the season against UNLV

Jay Corella
Kailyn Gilbert of the Arizona women’s basketball team picks up the ball during the fourth quarter of the game against West Texas A&M University in McKale Center in Tucson on Wednesday, Oct. 25. Gilbert was named MVP for scoring 24 points during the game.

The Arizona women’s basketball team faced the University of Nevada Las Vegas on Saturday, Dec. 2, at 6:00 p.m., in the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The game concluded in an Arizona loss (72-53), bringing the Wildcats to a 6-2 season record.

UNLV has had a strong season start, now standing at 7-0. They consistently brought offensive intensity to each game, evident in their performance against Arizona. Despite the Wildcats’ determined effort, they struggled to match the Rebels’ scoring, finishing with 53 points compared to their average of 69.4 per game.

The game started with a three-point jump shot from UNLV in the first minute, setting the tone for the match. Arizona attempted to keep pace, but UNLV maintained its lead.

Although UNLV continued to lead, Arizona showed some resurgence in the third quarter, scoring 18 points compared to UNLV’s 15. However, this wasn’t enough to secure a victory, and despite impressive efforts from multiple Arizona players, the match ended in a loss.

“We had a hard time guarding them, and it wasn’t off of any plays,” said head coach Adia Barnes. “It was off pure guarding the ball, not getting into rotation, and then when you’re in a rotation, you’re vulnerable on box outs. So, I think we had a really tough time guarding the ball and staying disciplined and sticking to the game plan.”

Standout Players

Despite the unfavorable outcome, Arizona’s key players displayed offensive determination. Sophomore guard Kailyn Gilbert, a consistent performer this season, led the team with 21 points, marking her 6th double-digit scoring game. Esmery Martinez, a 5th-year forward, also stood out with a double-digit score of 14. Martinez, a team leader, has scored 99 points for the Wildcats, averaging 12.1 points per game.

Despite player efforts, the Wildcats struggled with crucial aspects of technique and mentality.

“Lack of toughness, lack of urgency, lack of fight,” observed Barnes. “Absolutely…I don’t know if it’s coming back from a long break or just, I think, surprise getting punched in the mouth first from the get-go. I don’t know, because they were smaller. I think they just really wanted it. They were super motivated. Their team has good chemistry. Has been together a long time. And I think they just got us on our heels, and we never knew how to respond.”

Looking ahead, Arizona aims to address technical issues and the team’s mindset as it prepares for its next game against UC San Diego on Thursday, Dec. 7, at 6:30 p.m.

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