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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona women’s basketball loses its final two regular-season games at home to No. 7 USC and No. 8 UCLA

Arizonas+Isis+Beh+dribbling+the+ball+to+shoot+during+game+against+USC+Trojans+February+29th+in+Mckale+Center.+Wildcats+taking+the+loss+with+a+final+score+of+95-93.
Danielle Main
Arizona’s Isis Beh dribbling the ball to shoot during game against USC Trojans February 29th in Mckale Center. Wildcats taking the loss with a final score of 95-93.

The Arizona women’s basketball team faced No. 7 USC on Thursday, Feb. 29, at 6 p.m. and No. 8 UCLA on Saturday, March 2, at 6 p.m. in McKale Center. These games marked the second meeting between these teams and the final regular-season games before the Pac-12 Tournament. In their previous encounter, the Wildcats were unable to defeat either team, and that did not change this round, with them losing both games once again.

USC defeated Arizona 95-93, and UCLA defeated Arizona 61-41. Arizona (16-14, 8-10) ended its season two games above .500 and finished in the 7th place of the conference standings. 

Game 1: Arizona vs. No. 7 USC — Thursday, Feb. 29

McKale Center was packed as the Wildcats carried their energy from the previous victorious weekend. There were no changes to the starting lineup, maintaining the usual seven-player rotation. The Wildcats began strongly, securing the first points and applying early pressure. JuJu Watkins posed a threat, but the Wildcats made her work for everything. Full-court pressure was Arizona’s primary tactic in the first half, resulting in a 2-point lead going into the second half.

The excitement continued as Arizona held the Trojans down, leading by 10 with 7 minutes remaining — the largest lead in the game. The Wildcats maintained the intensity, hustling to lay in shots and defend their home court. Watkins fouled out with 1 minute and 42 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Kayla Padilla took over, sinking a 3-pointer to force the game into overtime. The second overtime proved to be a dogfight. Despite two starters fouling out on each side, the Trojans secured the lead late and were able to outlast the Wildcats, winning the game 95-93.

Helena Pueyo led Arizona with 21 points, and Skylar Jones scored 19.

Game 2: Arizona vs. No. 8 UCLA — Saturday, March 2

This was a special game for the team as they celebrated Senior Night against No. 8 UCLA. The Wildcats started the game slowly, allowing the Bruins to take control of their offense. UCLA scored 9 points early on, preventing the Wildcats from scoring until halfway through the first period. Arizona picked up momentum, but the Bruins continued to dominate. Early foul trouble plagued the Wildcats, with Jones accumulating three fouls by halftime. UCLA led by 15 going into halftime.

Arizona performed well on defense, but fouls and turnovers allowed the Bruins to easily extend their lead. The Wildcats hustled, but UCLA maintained its momentum. Unfortunately, the Wildcats couldn’t catch up, resulting in a final score of 61-41.

“This was not our best basketball,” said Pueyo.

Lauren Betts led UCLA with 11 points and 12 rebounds, while Londynn Jones scored 16 points. It was a low-scoring night for the Wildcats, with Pueyo as their top scorer with 16 points and six steals.

Looking ahead:

The next time you’ll see the Arizona women’s basketball team in action will be starting on Wednesday, March 6, through March 10. The Wildcats will be playing in the Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada. Their first game will be on Wednesday against the University of Washington. The Wildcats have been seeded No. 7 for the tournament.


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