Tucson, Ariz. ?- Arizona (6-5) held Long Beach State (1-9) to 26.7 percent shooting from the field, including a 12.0 percent mark in the second half to cruise to a 77-39 win over the 49ers on Tuesday night in McKale Center.
The Wildcats limited Long Beach State to 12 field goals and 39 points in the game, totals that rank as the second-lowest opponent marks in school history.
“This was a much needed win for the team,” head coach Joan Bonvicini said. “We needed to set the tone defensively, and that was our best half court game. Our schedule is so tough at home and on the road, so it was good to get everyone in and see them play hard and have fun again.”
Arizona shot a season-high 47.8 percent (32-67) from the field in the game, and forced a season-best 32 turnovers for a season-high 15 steals, converting those turnovers into 37 points.
Individually for Arizona, senior Joy Hollingsworth scored a season-high 23 points on 10-of-17 shooting from the field, and junior Jessica Arnold finished with 13 points. Junior Ashley Whisonant posted nine points, five rebounds, six assists, and five steals, and junior Suzy Bofia added nine points, nine rebounds, and three blocked shots.
Arizona opened the game with a 14-4 scoring run capped by a three by Hollingsworth at the 12:37 mark. Long Beach State cut the deficit to 16-10 with 9:35 left to play but would get no closer after that, as Arizona used a 9-2 run to take a 25-12 lead at the 6:28 mark. The Wildcats shot 44.1 percent (15-34) in the first half, and led 37-25 at halftime. Hollingsworth had 17 points in the first half alone.
The Wildcats raced out with a 10-0 run at the start of the second half to take a commanding 47-35 lead, holding Long Beach State scoreless for the first five minutes of the second half. Arizona led by as many as 40 in the second half, limiting the 49ers to just 3-of-25 shooting from the field. UA posted a 51.5 (17-33) mark from the field in the second half.
Arizona will next host Fresno State on Monday, Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. in McKale Center.