Jan. 2, 2011
TUCSON - University of Arizona Wildcat women's basketball won its second-straight Pac-10 game and its sixth-straight game overall with a close victory over the Oregon State Beavers, 67-65, on Sunday. The Wildcats move to 11-2 overall and 2-0 in the Pac-10 while the Beavers fall to 7-6 overall and 0-2 in the Pac-10.
For the first time since the 2003-04 season, the Wildcats are 11-2 to start the season. For the first time since the 2004-05 season, Arizona has opened the conference slate with two-straight victories.
"Well, it was a win, we're 2-0 in the Pac-10 and took care of home court," head coach Niya Butts said. "We certainly want to celebrate that. It's not a pretty win but sometimes they won't be. They played zone the entire time and that's something we haven't seen all year. I think it was combination of us taking quick shots and just not making shots. I come into this press conference all the time and say that sometimes you're not going to hit them like you normally hit them and tonight was one of those nights."
"It was one of those types of games for us on offense," Butts said. "I wasn't disappointed with our looks. We worked the ball around and worked the shot clock and got ourselves good shots but we just didn't knock them down. Some nights the ball is just not going into that rim. You're going to have some of those nights."
For the second-straight game, junior guard Shanita Arnold led the Wildcats in scoring. She racked up 17 points while handing out seven assists. She was one of three Wildcats to score in double digits: Arnold (17), senior forward Ify Ibekwe (16) and sophomore guard Davellyn Whyte (12). Ibekwe picked up her fourth double-double of the season and her second straight. She added 10 rebounds to her 16 points scored. Whyte also grabbed four steals and three rebounds.
"It comes with working the offense," Arnold said of her offensive stats. "Like I said before, any given night we balance out the score, whether it's me or my teammates. These last two games, they have been sagging back a little on me and I've just been patient and taken my shots when I had them."
For Oregon State, Sage Indendi was the leading scorer with 17 points, including five three-point baskets. El Sara Greer led at the glass with eight rebounds. The Beavers had four players score in double digits and shot 47.1 percent (24-51) from the field, including 12 three pointers.
Arizona's usual starting five again got the nod on Sunday: Arnold, Ibekwe, junior guard Brooke Jackson, senior forward Soana Lucet and Whyte. Junior guard Reiko Thomas saw the most minutes of the bench with 21. She pitched in with six points and two steals.
Arizona will make its first Pac-10 road trip of the season Jan. 6-8 to play at Stanford on Thursday and at California on Saturday.
Niya Butts postgame Oregon State