Tucson, Ariz. ?- Sophomore Amina Njonkou finished with team-highs of 17 points and 11 rebounds to lead Arizona (1-0) to a win over Nicholls State (0-1), 83-41, in the season opener on Tuesday night in McKale Center before a crowd of 2,290.
Njonkou was one of five Wildcats to score in double-figures. Senior Joy Hollingsworth posted 12 points and eight rebounds, and junior Jessica Arnold tallied 11 points. Sophomore Whitney Fields and freshman Rheya Neabors chipped in with 10 points apiece.
“I’m very pleased that we won our first game and our home opener,” head coach Joan Bonvicini said. “I think we showed that we have a lot of weapons and a lot of different lineups that we can use.”
Arizona shot 45 percent from the field (34-76), including a 4-of-13 mark from three-point land, and shot 55 percent (11-20) from the free throw line. The Wildcats out-rebounded the Colonels 56-22, and collected 21 assists, and 11 steals off of 25 Nicholls State turnovers.
Senior Claire Barry led a depleted Nicholls State lineup of just seven players with 14 points.
The Wildcats opened the game shooting 3-of-9 from the field, and led NSU 9-7 at the 15:39 mark. Arizona built a 20-10 lead on a layup by junior Suzy Bofia at 12:32, before finishing the first half on a 22-6 run to lead 42-16 at halftime.
Arizona shot 50 percent from the field in the first half (19-38), while limiting Nicholls State to just 6-of-22 shooting (27 percent) from the floor.
UA scored the first five points of the second half to take a 47-16 lead at 18:19, and finished the half with a 9-3 run to win by 42 points, the Wildcats’ biggest advantage of the game.
Arizona will next travel to College Park, Md., to play in the BTI Classic hosted by the University of Maryland. The Wildcats will play three games in three days, starting Friday, Nov. 17 against George Washington. UA will then play defending champion Maryland on Saturday, Nov. 18, and TCU on Sunday, Nov. 19.