El Paso, Texas ?- The University of Arizona women’s basketball team (4-2) saw a 20-point lead vanish in the final minutes of the game, but held on to defeat UTEP (4-1), 72-68, on Sunday afternoon in the Don Haskins Center.
“I thought we played very good basketball for the first 34 minutes of the game,” head coach Joan Bonvicini said. “We dominated the boards early, we were good on defense, but then we lost our intensity and focus at the end and allowed UTEP back into the game.”
UTEP’s Timika Williams scored a game-high 24 points, all in the second half, shooting 9-of-11 from the field, with a 4-of-5 mark from behind the arc.
Arizona shot 52.9 percent (18-34) from the field in the first half, including a 5-of-11 mark from three-point territory, as Hollingsworth scored 15 points, and Njonkou added nine points in the first half alone. UTEP shot 37 percent (10-27) from the field in the first half, as UA out-rebounded UTEP 22-12.
Arizona cruised in the first seven minutes of the second half, but UTEP fought back using an 8-0 scoring run to cut Arizona’s lead to 51-38 with 12:24 left. The Wildcats responded with four-straight field goals capped by a Hollingsworth trey and led 60-38 at the 8:36 mark.
UA led 66-43 with 5:48 left, and seemed to be in total control of the game, until UTEP caught fire down the stretch. The Miners scored 12-unanswered points in 2:32 and trailed 68-62 with 34 seconds left to play. A trey by Williams cut the deficit to 70-65 with 14 seconds left, and a three by Ana Valtierra cut the UA lead to 71-68 with one second left on the clock, but Arizona was able to hold the Miners off from the free throw line to claim the four-point win.
Arizona will next travel to No. 12/13 Texas A&M on Tuesday, Nov. 28 at 7 p.m.