Feb. 2, 2002
Tucson, Ariz. (Feb. 2) - Scoring its final 17 points all from the free throw line, the Arizona women's basketball team defeated Oregon, 84-68, at home on Saturday. The Wildcats are now 11-11 overall and 7-6 in Pac-10 play, and Oregon slips to 12-10 overall and 7-6 in conference action.
Arizona jumped out to a six-point (8-2) lead in the first four minutes of the game, which Oregon promptly answered with a 7-2 spurt that cut the lead to one (10-9) at 14:05. The Ducks tied it up less than two minutes later at 12-12, but the Cats put on a 13-2 surge to gain an 11-point (25-14) edge with 8:28 to go in the half. The Ducks got back to within seven twice, but found themselves trailing, 34-25, at halftime.
The Wildcats stretched their lead to 13 (38-25) in the first 1:30 of the second half, then Oregon scored back-to-back baskets to cut the deficit to nine (38-29) at 17:51. Arizona then took over the game with a 20-7 run that included four of its seven treys for the contest, going up by 22 points (58-36) with just over 12 minutes remaining.
The Ducks showed they weren't out of the game yet, though, as they proceeded to out-score Arizona, 21-7, over the next eight minutes. During that stretch, the Cats hit only 2-of-11 from the floor, missed four free throw attempts and committed four turnovers.
Arizona senior LaKeisha Taylor stopped the Duck run with her layup at 4:11, and that was the Cats' final field goal of the game. Shooting 17-for-22 from the charity stripe down the stretch, the Wildcats held on for the win. The Cats were 33-for-43 from the line for the game.
"This was a big game for us, and it was a character test after the loss to Oregon State. We had every opportunity to win that game the other night, so this game was a must-win," said head coach Joan Bonvicini. "Our post players are really coming together. We needed our guards to play defense and rebound, and they did that tonight."
Scoring 15 of her points in the second half, senior forward Elizabeth Pickney led the Wildcats with a team-high 19 points, including a 15-of-16 performance from the free throw line. Her 15 free throws made ties the school record of 15 set by Angela Lackey in 2000.
Freshman guard Dee-Dee Wheeler shot 4-for-5 from three-point range en route to 18 points and four steals. LaKeisha Taylor racked up 16 points and six rebounds before fouling out, and sophomore guard Aimee Grzyb tallied 13 points and a career-high eight rebounds. Fellow guard Julie Brase added seven points and six rebounds.
Oregon junior guard Shaquala Williams led all scorers with 21 points, and sophomore forward Cathrine Kraayeveld collected her fifth double-double of the season with 12 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. That was also her seventh double-digit rebounding game of the year. Senior guard Edniesha Curry contributed nine points and five boards, and junior guard Alissa Edwards came off the bench for five points and a game-high five assists.
Arizona hits the road again next weekend, playing at Washington on Thursday, Feb. 7, at 7 p.m. PST, then taking on Washington State on Saturday, Feb. 9, at 1 p.m. PST in Pullman.