Tucson, Ariz. ?- UCLA senior Noelle Quinn posted 23 points, 10 assists, and eight rebounds, and the Bruins held off a near comeback by Arizona at the end of the game for a 76-73 over the Wildcats on Saturday afternoon in McKale Center. The loss drops Arizona to 7-14 overall and 1-8 in the Pac-10, while UCLA improves to 10-11 and 4-5 in the Pac-10.
“This was a tough one to lose,” head coach Joan Bonvicini said. “We worked hard but we played in spurts. When we are focused we play really well, and when we lose focus, which we did in the last few minutes of the first half, that puts us down in a hole.”
Arizona shot 36.0 percent (27-75) from the field in the game, including an 8-of-26 mark (30.9 percent) from three point range, and totaled 10 steals off of 22 UCLA turnovers. UCLA finished with a 50.9 percent mark (28-55) from the floor and out-rebounded the Wildcats 40-37, while totaling 19 assists.
Individually for Arizona, senior Joy Hollingsworth posted 23 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, and three steals, and junior Ashley Whisonant finished with 16 points four rebounds, three assists, and three steals. Sophomore Amina Njonkou added nine points and seven rebounds, and junior Suzy Bofia posted eight points and six rebounds.
Junior forward Lindsey Pluimer added 23 points for UCLA.
Arizona and UCLA battled close in the first half, as a jumper by Hollingsworth gave Arizona a 17-14 lead at the 12:47 mark. A three by Pluimer at the 8:46 mark gave UCLA a 22-19 lead, but the Wildcats responded with six-straight points to lead 25-22 with 5:55 left in the first. A jumper by sophomore Malia O’Neal gave Arizona a 27-24 advantage with 2:34 left in the first, but UCLA ended the half on a 10-0 scoring run to lead 34-27 at halftime. Arizona shot 27.8 percent (10-36) from the floor in the first half, as UCLA posted a 45.5 percent (15-33) mark.
The Wildcats cut the UCLA lead to 38-34 at the 17:15 mark in the second half on a jumper by Bofia, but the Bruins rallied with six-consecutive points for a 44-34 lead with 15:38 left. Arizona cut the deficit to 49-46 at the 11:36 mark on a Whisonant lay in, but UCLA went on an 8-0 run in the next 1:49 to go up 57-46.
Arizona trailed by 13 points with 4:50 left in the game, but rallied with a 17-5 run to cut the Bruin lead to 69-68 on a three by junior Jessica Arnold with 1:20 left to play. The Wildcats would not get any closer, as the Bruins sealed the victory down the stretch at the free throw line.
Arizona will next host Stanford on Thursday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. in McKale Center.