Every time the Arizona women’s basketball team made a run, San Diego State was there to answer with a three. In doing so, the Aztecs were able to extend the Wildcats losing streak to five games in an 78-67 loss at home in front of 1,525 fans in McKale Sunday. The loss drops Arizona to 2-5 on the year while the win improves the Aztecs record to 5-2.
No matter what the Wildcats did it never seemed to be quite enough to maintain a lead over San Diego State, their largest lead was only a point. Meanwhile San Diego State connected on 11-of-21 3-point shots, they came in averaging 36.9 percent from deep. It was the difference in the game and uncharacteristic, something Arizona head coach Adia Barnes didn’t plan for.
“That’s the best they’ve shot from the 3-point line the whole year,” Barnes said. “Every time we dug down to try to get a stop, at the very end dagger.”
The key sequence of the game was in the waining moments of the fourth quarter as Wildcat forward Destiny Graham hit a jumper to cut the SDSU deficit to two. Aztec guard McKynzie Fort attacked Arizona right away and hit a jumper to extend the lead back to four. The Wildcats would get no closer.
For the Wildcats, it was a process of trying not to repeat their mistakes from previous games where they either fell behind early or didn’t find ways to win close games. Though this one was the same result, the team feels like it is moving in the right direction.
“I know that sometimes last year or the year before it was kind of like ‘oh it is what it is’, like we just lost but whatever,” Graham said. “But this year it’s like, we lost next game what are we going to do to change it, what are we going to do to get better, so I think it is more of a positive look for the next game.”
There were several bright spots despite the loss for Arizona, beginning with freshman Sammy Fatkin, who provided a spark off the bench to the tune of a career-high 11 points on 4-for-8 shooting. Fatkin hit key 3-point shots in the third quarter to help keep Arizona in the game.
Senior JaLea Bennett also attacked the rim time after time, dropping a team-high 23 points to go along with six rebounds. In all, four Wildcats scored in double figures while the team as a unit dominated the offensive glass 17-7.
The big stat of the night was 8, as in turnovers. If you have followed women’s basketball the past couple seasons, you would know that double-digit turnovers had become a regularity. The single digit stat is something to keep an eye on as this team gathers experience moving forward.
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