PALO ALTO, Calif. ?- Playing the first half without senior All-America candidate Dee-Dee Wheeler due to a violation of team rules, the Arizona women’s basketball team fell 91-74 to No. 2/4 Stanford at Maples Pavilion tonight. With the loss, the Wildcats fall to 15-7 overall and 7-4 in Pac-10 play.
Arizona shot 48 percent from the field, 43 percent from three-point range and 81 percent the free throw line on the game, compared to the 53, 39 and 71 percent, respectively, of the Cardinal. The Wildcats out-rebounded Stanford 36 to 29, but committed 25 turnovers to the 14 of the Cardinal.
“The first half was tough,” Head Coach Joan Bonvicini said. “We had a lack of confidence, turned the ball over and were back on our heels. In the second half, we executed well. We got a lot of players involved and went to the free throw line.”
“[Dee-Dee’s absence] had a big impact,” she continued. “She’s our point guard, the team leader. She was great on the bench, but that’s not where we wanted her. A lot of lessons were learned tonight.”
Junior center Shawntinice Polk led Arizona with a season-high 20 points. She also pulled down 10 boards for her sixth double-double of the season. Senior Danielle Adefeso added 13 points, while junior Natalie Jones finished with 12. Wheeler scored 11 points in 19 minutes of play.
The start of the game was not a good one for the Wildcats, as they committed turnovers on 10 of their first 13 possessions. Stanford built its lead to as many as 24 points and went into the locker room up by 22, 46-24. Adefeso led Arizona with eight points and six rebounds, followed by Polk with six points and seven boards.
Arizona shot just 36 percent from the field and 50 percent from the line on the half. Meanwhile, the Cardinal connected on 54 percent from the field, 46 percent from three-point range and 73 percent from the charity stripe. The Wildcats out-rebounded Stanford 24 to 13, but committed 18 turnovers. Fouls were also decidedly in Stanford’s favor, as Arizona was called for 12 on the half, compared to the three of the Cardinal.
Stanford maintained its 20-plus lead for the majority of the second half, leading by as many as 28. The Wildcats used a 7-0 run late to cut it to 20 and later made it a 17-point game. Arizona outscored the Cardinal 50-45 on the half. The Wildcats shot 64 percent from the field, 100 percent from beyond the arc and 88 percent from the free throw line on the half.
Arizona travels to Berkeley, Calif., for a 2 p.m. game at California this Saturday, Feb. 5.