May 31, 2001
CHIETI, Italy - With a resounding 103-51 victory over the Villa Pini Cus Chieti club team on Wednesday, the Arizona women's basketball team returned to its winning ways in game five of its Italy tour.
The contest was close early on, with the Cats holding only a three-point (13-10) lead through the first six minutes of the game. The Wildcats then ended the first quarter on a 14-5 run, gaining a 12-point (27-15) advantage at the close of that period. The Cats out-scored Chieti, 30-14, for the second quarter, blowing the game open to own a 28-point lead (57-29) at halftime.
Chieti managed to stay somewhat even with the Wildcats during the third quarter, allowing the UA to out-score them by only one point through the period. But the damage was already done, and Arizona punctuated the win by out-scoring Chieti, 30-7, in the final 10 minutes of the game.
Junior forward Elizabeth Pickney led all scorers with 25 points that included a 12-for-14 performance from the free throw line. Freshman forward Veranda James continued to dominate, racking up 22 points and a tour-high 22 rebounds. Draining four 3-pointers, junior guard Julie Brase racked up 14 points, nine assists and five rebounds.
Freshman guard Candice Allen tallied 12 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals before having to leave the game with a bruised rib. She was taken to the hospital post-game for x-rays to rule out a broken rib and is questionable for Thursday's contest.
Junior center LaKeisha Taylor contributed 12 points and 12 rebounds, while freshman guard Aimee Grzyb had 10 points and two steals. Freshman guard Jen Chesney crashed the boards during the contest, grabbing a tour-high nine and adding eight points and two assists.
"I thought we played a great game, considering we had to drive three hours to get here today. This is the most aggressively we've played all trip, we really pushed the ball up the court well," said head coach Joan Bonvicini. "Julie really opened the court up by hitting her threes, then we had Veranda, Liz and LaKeisha all doing damage down low. Candice really attacked the basket, and this was definitely Jen Chesney's best game of the trip so far."
"This was a very physical game, and we came out to play as a team," said Pickney. "The physical play and the other team's attitude really got me fired-up to play more aggressively."
On tap for Thursday during the day is a tour of the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain and the Roman Forum. The Cats play their final game of the tour on Thursday, May 31, against the Palestrina club team at 6:30 p.m.