PULLMAN, Wash. ?- For the first time in nearly five years, the Arizona women’s basketball team fell to Washington State, losing 84-76 at Friel Court this afternoon. With the loss, the Wildcats fall to 7-14 overall and 3-8 in the Pac-10.
Late in the game, senior Natalie Jones scored her 1,000th career point, making her just the 14th Wildcat ever to do so.
“Their post players combined for 52 points, and that’s where we lost the game,” Head Coach Joan Bonvicini said. “Ch?© went out early, and it showed. We’re not very tall and that makes it tough.”
Arizona shot 39 percent from the field, 26 percent from beyond the arc and 88 percent from the free throw line on the game. Washington State connected on 52 percent from the field, 27 percent from downtown and 77 percent from the charity stripe on the game. The Cougars also out-rebounded the Wildcats 42 to 32. The only statistic Arizona won was the turnover battle, as the Wildcats forced WSU into 20 miscues while committing just 10.
Jones led Arizona with 28 points, 19 of which came in the second half. She also added 10 rebounds for her second double-double of the season. “Natalie played her heart out,” Bonvicini said. “I can’t ask her to do any more.”
Arizona started out slow, making just one of its first 10 shots, which allowed the Cougars to take an 11-2 lead. The Wildcats clawed back, going on a 13-4 run to tie the game at 15. Washington State responded with a 6-0 run to go up 21-15. Arizona then went on a 12-0 run to take a 27-21 lead.
The Cougars answered with a 10-2 run to take the lead back, 31-29 and went into the locker room at halftime up by five, 38-33.
Arizona shot 41 percent from the field, 33 percent from three-point range and 75 percent from the free throw line on the half, compared to the 50, 43 and 64 percent, respectively, of the Cougars. Washington State also out-rebounded the Wildcats 19 to 16. Hollingsworth paced Arizona with 12 points, while Jones had nine points and a team-high five boards.
In the second half, Washington State quickly extended its lead to 13 (50-37), but Arizona wouldn’t give up, using a 10-2 run to cut it to five, 52-47. The Cougars moved the lead back to 10 (61-51), but the Wildcats kept fighting, cutting it to six on four occasions.
Late in the game, Arizona scored five straight points to make it a five-point game, 78-73, but that was as close as they would get, as the Cougars went on to the seven-point win.
Arizona returns to McKale to host USC at 7 p.m. next Thursday, Feb. 2.