EUGENE, Ore. ?- The Arizona women’s basketball team dropped to third place in the Pac-10 standings with a 69-51 defeat at the hands of Oregon in the battle of second-place teams at McArthur Court this afternoon. With the loss, the Wildcats fall to 18-9 overall and 10-6 in Pac-10 play.
Arizona shot just 33 percent from the field and 17 percent from downtown on the game, while Oregon connected on 36 percent from the field and 42 percent from beyond the arc. The Ducks also out-rebounded the Wildcats 44 to 37. Both teams committed 15 turnovers on the game.
“We played a disjointed game, and that’s a credit to Oregon,” Head Coach Joan Bonvicini said. “We really needed to hit more jumpers and we allowed them to get to the boards. Oregon played with a purpose. We need to learn from tonight and improve on it.”
Senior Dee-Dee Wheeler led Arizona with 20 points, while senior Danielle Adefeso added 10. Junior Shawntinice Polk pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds. Junior Natalie Jones dished out five assists and nabbed three steals, while freshman Jessica Arnold added four assists.
The Wildcats jumped out to a 10-3 lead to start the game, while Oregon made just one of its first eight shots. The Ducks then used a 5-0 run to even the game at 12 apiece. Wheeler immediately completed a four-point play to put Arizona up 16-12. Oregon took its first lead of the game, 20-18, on a pair of free throws at the 6:21 mark. It was part of an 11-2 run that gave the Ducks a 29-20 advantage. Oregon went in to the locker room at halftime up by 10, 33-23.
Arizona shot 32 percent from the field, 20 percent from downtown and 80 percent from the free throw line on the half, compared to the 31, 39 and 83 percent, respectively, of the Ducks. Oregon dominated the boards, pulling down 22 to the Wildcats’ 15. Wheeler led Arizona with 12 points, while Jones pulled down a team-high four rebounds.
Oregon opened the second half with treys on three consecutive trips down the court to quickly jump to out to a 42-25 lead. Arizona used an 8-0 run midway through the half to cut the Duck lead to seven, 48-41, but that was as close as it would get. The Wildcats cut it to eight on two occasions, but Oregon used a 9-0 run to extend its lead to 17 points, 62-45, and went on to win by 18.
Arizona closes out the regular season with a pair of home games next weekend against the Washington schools. The Wildcats host the Cougars at 7 p.m. next Thursday, Feb. 24, and the Huskies at 4 p.m. next Saturday, Feb. 26.
“We’ve got two home games left,” Bonvicini noted. “We have got to finish strong. We’re in control of our own destiny.”