TUCSON, Ariz.-With five players reaching double figures in scoring, the University of Arizona women's basketball team played its first outside competition with an impressive 88-52 win over the SBC Prerov Czech Republic team in an exhibition game Friday in McKale Center.
Arizona went on an 18-6 run in the first seven minutes of the first half and increased its lead to to 21 points at the three-minute mark. The Czech team went on a 9-5 run in the last three minutes of the half, but the Wildcats went into the lockerroom with a 16-point advantage. Arizona built its lead to 55-31 in the first five minutes of the second half after an 11-4 run. With five minutes remaining in the game, the Wildcats increased their lead to 40 points, and the UA went 9-for-12 from the charity stripe in the last six minutes.
"For this being our first game, I was very pleased," head coach Joan Bonvicini said. "I thought we definitely showed our strength, which is our depth. We have many different people who can score, and we were able to pull away in the second half because of it."
Senior forward Tatum Brown and sophomore center LaKeisha Taylor each led Arizona with 13 points, and Taylor, sophomore forward Elizabeth Pickney and junior guard Reshea Bristol each pulled down six rebounds. Both Pickney and senior guard Monika Crank added 12 points, while freshman guard Krista Warren contributed 10 points in 10 minutes.
"This year we have a legitimate 11-deep team and pose a real threat to teams by having fresh bodies on the floor at all times," senior forward Angela Lackey said. "We have the ability to wear teams down this year."
The Wildcats forced 27 Prerov turnovers and had a team total of 14 steals.
"There is still a lot for us to work on, but I'm very pleased at this point. It's very important that we continue to work hard and that we continue to focus on different aspects every day, " Bonvicini said.
Czechoslovakia's Kamila Hlavackova led all scorers and the team with 15 points and 13 rebounds.
"We allowed points off transitions, and that's one thing we don't want to allow," Willis said. "We pride ourselves in our transition defense, but that is the style of foreign teams. We'll make adjustments in practice and will be alright."
Arizona concludes exhibition action when it faces the New Zealand National team on Thursday, Nov. 11, before traveling to Hawaii to open the regular season in the Hawaiian Regent Classic on Friday, Nov. 19.