Tempe, Ariz. ?- The Arizona women’s basketball team (6-7, 0-1 Pac-10) could not overcome a dismal first half, dropping its Pac-10 opener at No. 10 Arizona State (11-1, 1-0 Pac-10), 89-62, on Friday night before a crowd of 3,725 in Wells Fargo Arena.
The Wildcats shot 25.9 percent (7-27) from the field in the first half, its lowest mark in a half this season, but rallied to shoot 66.7 percent (18-27) from the field in the second half, its highest mark in half this season.
The Wildcats finished the game shooting 46.3 percent (25-54) from the field, compared to a 49.3 percent mark (33-67) by the Sun Devils. Arizona out-rebounded Arizona State 36-34, but committed a season-high 31 turnovers.
ASU went 21-of-30 (70.0 percent) from the free throw line off of 24 UA fouls, as the Wildcats shot 11-of-16 (68.8 percent) from the free throw line in the game.
Individually for Arizona, senior Joy Hollingsworth and sophomore Amina Njonkou each finished with 14 points and seven rebounds apiece, and junior Ashley Whisonant added seven points and seven assists.
Senior Emily Westerberg led ASU with 20 points.
Arizona and ASU both got off to slow starts to begin the game, with the teams going scoreless for the first 2:20 until a layup by ASU’s Jill Noe at the 17:40 mark. The Sun Devils climbed out to a 14-2 lead over Arizona at the 13:50 mark, as the Wildcats shot 1-of-8 from the field with seven turnovers. ASU led 26-6 at the 10:34 mark, and went up 34-12 with 5:42 left to play in the first half. Arizona trailed ASU at the half 45-21, shooting 25.9 percent (7-27) from the field, while committing 19 turnovers and 15 fouls.
The Wildcats opened the second half shooting 7-of-8 from the field (87.5 percent) but still trailed 64-37 with 11:31 left in the game. Arizona made 18 of its first 21 shots from the floor in the second half, but could never cut into the Sun Devil lead. ASU led by as many as 31 points in the second half while shooting 48.4 percent (15-31) from the field.
Arizona will next travel to Stanford for a Pac-10 matchup with the Cardinal on Thursday, Dec. 28 at 7 p.m. (PST) in Maples Pavilion.