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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Sun Devils to challenge W-hoops

Arizona women’s basketball has shown itself to be a team with two faces – one that can produce offensively and one that cannot.

Against Pacific-10 Conference-leader UCLA, Arizona (10-14, 3-10 Pac-10) shot a season-low 22 percent from the field and only scored 39 points. The next day against USC, the Wildcats shot a season-high 60.5 percent from the field and scored their second-highest point total of the season with 74. The question this weekend for Arizona is which team will show up to the court.

And the main difference in the Wildcats’ play was easy to spot for members of the team.

“”I think it was our aggressiveness,”” said UA head coach Niya Butts. “”I think when you are aggressive it hides some of the mistakes you make.””

Against USC, Ify Ibekwe recorded a career-high 27 points. Junior Ashley Frazier and senior Amina Njonkou also scored in double figures. Switching Njonkou from a starter to a bench player has improved her production in recent games.

“”Anytime we can get production like this, we’re going to bring her off the bench,”” Butts said.

Quality offensive scoring is something the Wildcats will need to be ready for in the second matchup of the season against in-state rival ASU (19-6, 11-2).

The Wildcats open a three-game home stand before heading to the Bay Area schools to finish out the season. They start off their final homes games against ASU, which is riding an impressive 11-game winning streak in the Pac-10 play, on Saturday afternoon at 2.

The Sun Devils are ending a three-game road trip in Tucson, and hope for another dominating game. They will be led by three key players – seniors Sybil Dosty and Briann January and junior Dymond Simon.

In their game against UCLA, January racked up 21 points and Simon scored 19.

ASU’s defense is also a force to be reckoned with. In the last contest, the Sun Devils held Arizona to the lowest point total of the season – just 38 points – and forced 23 turnovers, including 15 steals.

Arizona’s style of play will determine their fate. If the Wildcats come out flat, ASU will surely take advantage and hand the Wildcats another conference loss.

The outcome of the women’s basketball second Duel in the Desert depends on which Wildcat team shows up in McKale Center on Saturday.

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