TUCSON, Ariz. ?- The Arizona women’s basketball team suffered its seventh straight loss, falling 73-56 to California at McKale Center tonight. With the defeat, the Wildcats fall to 7-19 overall and 3-13 in Pac-10 play.
Arizona shot 32 percent from the field, 28 percent from three-point range and 64 percent from the free throw line on the game. Cal shot 51 percent from the field, 33 percent from downtown and 68 percent from the charity stripe on the game. The Golden Bears also out-rebounded the Wildcats 40 to 35. Arizona had 19 turnovers on the game, compared to the 22 of Cal.
“I expect a lot more effort, intensity and pride than we showed tonight,” Head Coach Joan Bonvicini said. “I thought a couple people played hard for us. Natalie didn’t shoot well, but she played hard. I thought Ashley and Jessica played hard, as well, but overall I am disappointed.”
“I don’t know why we didn’t play well,” she continued. “I expect more mental toughness and grit out of our team. We’ve had a lot of adversity this year, and I’ve never made excuses. I just expect more out of the team, and rightly so.”
Junior Joy Hollingsworth and sophomore Ashley Whisonant led Arizona with 13 points apiece. Senior Natalie Jones and sophomore Jessica Arnold add 12 points each. Jones also pulled down a team-best six boards and nabbed three steals.
The game started out close, until Cal rattled off nine straight points to take a 21-12 lead. The Wildcats cut it to five (22-17), but the Golden Bears closed out the half with a 9-0 run to take a 16-point lead, 35-19. It was the Wildcats’ lowest point total in a half all season.
Arizona shot 28 percent from the field, 14 percent from three-point range and 50 percent from the free throw line on the half. Cal connected on 50 percent from the field, and 60 percent from both beyond the arc and from the charity stripe. The Golden Bears also out-rebounded the Wildcats 20 to 17. Arizona committed 13 turnovers on the half, compared to Cal’s 11. Hollingsworth led the Wildcats with five points on the half.
Cal opened the second half on a 9-2 run to extend its lead to 21 points, 44-23, and never looked back, leading by as many as 27. Arizona was able to cut it to 17, but that was as close as it would get.
Arizona closes out its home schedule with a 2 p.m. game against Stanford on Saturday, Feb. 18. As is custom at the last home game each season, Arizona’s three seniors - Phakisha Peterson, Anna Chappell and Natalie Jones - will be honored after the game. In addition, the jersey of Shawntinice Polk will be retired.