Wildcats snap six-game losing streak
It took seven games but the Arizona women’s basketball team finally managed to shake off the bad fourth quarter bug and win their first conference game of the season against visiting Colorado, 72-63, in McKale Center Friday.
The win improves the Wildcats record to 5-13 overall and was in large part due to the fast start by senior JaLea Bennett. Bennett connected on her first six shots en route to a 23 point, six rebound performance for the Wildcats. That burst enabled Arizona to play from ahead the entire game, trailing only once in the opening minutes of the game.
“It feels great,” Bennett said when asked about getting their first win in the league.
Senior Kat Wright was key down the stretch, hitting two 3-pointers within minutes of each other to keep the Buffaloes at bay, particularly Colorado guard Alexis Robinson. Robinson would lead a comeback attempt in the fourth with 15 points, including three 3-pointers, but fell short, never getting the ‘Buffs closer than two. Wright finished with 16 points to aid the Arizona cause.
“We’re playing hard, we’re not quitting, it’s not perfect, it’s not beautiful but we’re just finding a way,” Arizona head coach Adia Barnes said. “…When we’re lacking in one area we improve in another.”
Colorado is in the midst of a downward spiral itself, losers of three straight in the conference as they head up to Tempe for a matchup with ASU.
For all that went right for Arizona, there were two stats that were cause for concern for Barnes, rebounding and shot attempts. Colorado out-rebounded Arizona 48-34 which included 23 offensive rebounds leading to multiple second shot opportunities. The Buffaloes attempted 76 shots on the night, 23 more than Arizona.
“If we rebound like that against Utah we’ll lose by 40,” Barnes said.
The Wildcats take on Utah on Sunday at 2 p.m. in a rematch of the conference opener for both schools. In that game the Wildcats were pounded down low in a size mismatch losing by a wide margin.
“I think we kind of owe them one,” Wright said. “That was our first conference game and it did not go the way we wanted it to…I think this will give us a confidence boost and it will also give us something to work on.”
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