SEATTLE ?- Two of Arizona’s starters left the game with injuries, yet the Wildcat women’s basketball team persevered to open Pacific-10 play with a 67-63 win over Washington at Bank of America Arena tonight. With the win, Arizona improves to 9-2 overall and 1-0 in Pac-10 play.
Freshman Jessica Arnold left the game late in the first half after injuring her left shoulder, while junior All-America candidate Shawntinice Polk exited with just over five minutes left in the game with a knee injury.
"We didn't always look great, but this is a big win," Head Coach Joan Bonvicini said. "People picked it up when we needed it. We started Pac-10 play on the road in a tough environment with a win. I'm very proud of this team."
Arizona shot 46 percent from the field on the game, but just 11 percent from beyond the arc and 52 percent from the charity stripe. Washington connected on 35 percent of its shots, including 30 percent from three-point range. The Wildcats edged the Huskies in rebounds, 44 to 40, but committed 17 turnovers.
Senior Dee-Dee Wheeler, who was scoreless in the first half, led all players with 18 points. Polk recorded her fourth double-double of the season with 15 points and 12 rebounds. She also dished out a game-high six assists, nabbed a game-high three steals and blocked two shots. Freshman Ch?© Oh rounded out the group of Wildcats in double-figure scoring with a career-high 12 points on 4-for-4 shooting. She also pulled down six boards.
The first half was a story of runs. After trailing early, Arizona used a 9-0 run to take an 11-4 lead. Later, after a 6-0 run, the Wildcats took a 10-point lead (17-7). Washington then used runs of 5-0 and 8-0 to tie the game at 23. Arizona scored the final two baskets of the half to go into the locker room up by four, 27-23.
Arizona shot 43 percent from the field, but just 17 percent from three-point range on the half. The Wildcats also went 0-for-2 from the free throw line. Meanwhile, Washington connected on just 22 percent of its shots from the field, 17 percent from downtown and 63 percent from the charity stripe. The Huskies also out-rebounded Arizona 26 to 22. Polk led all players with eight points and eight rebounds.
Arizona scored the first four points of the second half and led by as many as 10 points twice, but the Huskies got hot from three-point range, scoring four treys in a span of 2:32. Washington then tied the game at 51 apiece with 7:45 remaining. The Wildcats scored the next six points to go up 57-51. Though the Huskies cut it to two on two occasions, Oh hit three free throws down the stretch to seal the win.
The Wildcats shot 48 percent from the field on the half, compared to the 50 percent of Washington, but Arizona out-rebounded the Huskies 22 to 14.
The Wildcats travel to Pullman, Wash., for a 7 p.m. game at Washington State this Wednesday, Dec. 29.