Wildcats out rebounded, outsized in 63-39 loss against California
The Arizona women’s basketball team was routed 63-39 in Berkeley, California against no. 23 Cal Golden Bears, on Friday, Jan 26. The Wildcats suffered yet another conference loss, not due to lack of talent, or drive, but because of two things that have been out of Arizona’s control all season – size and depth.
The Wildcats had around the same shooting percentage, more three pointers, and more turnovers than the Golden Bears, but were demolished in the paint by the larger California team. They were outrebounded by over twenty rebounds, and had only six points in the paint in comparison to Cal’s 42.
Two of Cal’s top three scorers, Penina Davidson and Kristine Anigwe are both over 6’3. Anigwe finished with fifteen rebounds herself.
Arizona’s short bench, which has been problematic from the get-go this season, also led to some of the team’s struggles - five players played thirty minutes or more.
The Golden Bears’ effort in the second quarter also caused a huge scoring deficit by the half. Their defense held Arizona to just three points in the second; this gave Cal a twenty-point lead before the second half, which they kept for the rest of the game.
Despite being beat overall off the glass, there was a silver lining in the Wildcats’ post play on Friday.
Junior Destiny Graham, with ten points and eleven rebounds, finished the game with her second double double of the season. The 6’3 forward is having her best season yet, and is averaging eight points and six rebounds a game.
However, the team’s leading scorer, senior JaLea Bennett hardly made an impact for the Wildcats all game. The shooting guard recently came off a nine-point game (lower than her 15 points per game average) against Utah, where she drew five personals and fouled out, which is uncharacteristic for the seasoned veteran. On Friday versus Cal, JaLea performed worse, went 0-5 in the field, and didn’t make a bucket for the Wildcats.
Arizona looks to bounce back from two huge conference against another tough team in the Bay area, when they play Stanford on Sunday. Tip-off is at 6pm in the Maples Pavilion.