No. 8 Arizona WBB overcomes double digit deficit to beat UCLA on the road by 11 points

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Claudio Cerrillo | The Daily Wildcat

Arizona forward Cate Reese (25) shots the ball in the second half of the Arizona-UCLA game on Sunday, Jan. 27, 2018, in McKale Center. 

Arizona women’s basketball beat UCLA 74-63 in Pauley Pavilion for the first time since 2007 on Wednesday, Jan. 26. 

Arizona started the game off poorly. They found themselves in a 10-0 hole against UCLA early. Forward Cate Reese had an injury scare early in the game after rolling her ankle but returned in the quarter. Shaina Pellington and Gisela Sanchez scored all the teams eight points. The team shot 3-18 as opposed to UCLA’s 8-14 shooting. At the end of the quarter UCLA led 19-8. 

The second quarter was a stronger showing for Arizona as they played better on both sides of the ball. Reese put up a team-high nine points in the quarter. Pellington and Thomas scored six points in the quarter. Thomas also made two threes, giving her over 200 made career three-pointers. Arizona cut UCLA’s lead to four points and went into the half down 36-32. 

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Arizona started the second half well with a steal and bucket from Koi Love to bring the game within two points. Bendu Yeaney hit a huge three as the shot clock expired and had it followed up by a Thomas three to tie the game at 42-42. Arizona continued to stay hot and extended the lead with baskets from Reese and Thomas. UCLA would not go away though and kept the game close throughout the third quarter and held Arizona scoreless for the last four minutes of the quarter. Arizona led going into the fourth quarter 50-47.

The fourth quarter was close with Arizona maintaining a three-point lead for most of it but was unable to put UCLA away. UCLA continued to make shots to keep themselves in the game, playing a hard game against Arizona. 

The game was tied with four minutes left but Arizona made their shots and a three-pointer from Thomas extended Arizona’s lead. Thomas and Pellington continued to be a large part of the reason Arizona won the game down the stretch, hitting shot after shot. Pellington scored 12 and Thomas scored seven in the quarter.  

“I feel like I'm finally giving everybody what they wanted. Everyone's always been telling me to shoot. So finally I'm shooting the ball and it's working out well,” Thomas said. 

“Great game tonight, well it wasn't a great game but we found a way to win. I think we started off really slow, just with a lack of intensity, lack of execution. But then, the thing that I'm proud about is that we showed some character, we dug ourselves a hole, but we didn't give up and lay down and die,” Head coach Adia Barnes said. “We found a way and fought back with intensity and defense and found a way to win. But the learning lesson from this game is we can't, go down eight to 19 and think we're going to win games." 

Pellington had back-to-back 20-point games, Thomas had 19 points and Reese scored 12 and had a double-double with 10 rebounds. Arizona improves to 15-2 on the season and will play No. 2 Stanford at Maples Pavilion on Sunday at 2:00 PM.


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