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Arizona Women?s Basketball Squeaks Past Marghera, 80-78
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 05/17/2007
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Marghera, Italy ?- Sophomore Amina Njonkou made a break-away layup as time expired to give Arizona a thrilling 80-78 victory over the Marghera-Venezia Sernavimar Giants on Wednesday night.  The Wildcats squandered a 17-point halftime lead, but escaped down the stretch to improve to 2-0 on their tour of Italy.

 

With the score tied at 78-78 and three seconds left in the game, freshman Marie McGee caught an inbounds pass at half court and found a streaking Njonkou wide open for the game-winning lay in.

 

Njonkou led Arizona with 25 points and 10 rebounds.  Junior Ashley Whisonant added 21 points, six rebounds and five assists, and junior Suzy Bofia finished with 11 points, 12 rebounds and two blocked shots.  Freshman Rhaya Neabors posted eight points, four rebounds, and three steals, and sophomore Malia O’Neal added seven points and four assists.

 

After a long day of traveling on a bus, Arizona showed no signs of fatigue early, jumping out to a 24-19 lead at the end of the first quarter against a very efficient three-point shooting Marghera team.

 

The Wildcats blew the game wide open in the second quarter, outscoring the Giants 20-8 in the quarter to lead 44-27 at halftime.

 

The Giants then caught fire in the third quarter, using a 12-0 scoring run on some hot three-point shooting to cut the deficit to 55-50 with 2:10 left in the third.  Marghera outscored Arizona 29-16 in the third and trailed 60-56 going into the final quarter.

 

The Giants cut the UA lead to 64-63 at the 7:36 mark in the fourth, and regained the lead for the first time since early in the first quarter at 65-64 with 6:56 left in the game.

 

Marghera led 69-66 with 6:08 left, but Arizona fought back to tie the game at 72-72 with 1:50 left to play.  The Wildcats received a huge three-point play by Njonkou with 29 seconds left in the game to take a 77-74 lead. 

 

The Giants cut the lead to 77-76 on a quick lay in, and sent O’Neal to the free throw line with seven seconds left who then hit the back end of two attempts to give the Wildcats a 78-76 lead.

 

Two Marghera free throws with three seconds left tied the game to set up the thrilling and improbable finish.

 

McGee posted three points, eight rebounds and two assists, and junior Shannon Hobson had five points and six rebounds.

 

Arizona will next play on Friday, May 18 in Venice, Italy.
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