COLUMBUS, Ohio ?- The No. 21/22 Arizona women’s basketball team fell to 2-1 on the young season with a 78-45 loss at No. 9/10 Ohio State in the semifinals of the Sportsview.tv Preseason WNIT at Value City Arena this evening.
Arizona shot a season-low 34 percent from the field on the game and was 0-for-7 from three-point range, while the Buckeyes connected on 52 percent of their shots, including 55 percent from downtown and 90 percent from the charity stripe Ohio State also out-rebounded the Wildcats 34 to 29 and won the turnover battle 19 to 23.
Junior center Shawntinice Polk led the Wildcats with 16 points and eight rebounds, while senior point guard Dee-Dee Wheeler added 13 points.
“We’re a better team than we showed tonight,” Head Coach Joan Bonvicini said. “We didn’t execute well on offense. Our freshmen showed their age in their first road game of the season.
“Ohio State is a real fine team,” she continued. “They execute very well. After the early tie, they came out after the time out with a new level of energy and we didn’t react. They played smart.”
Arizona jumped out to a 4-2 lead early in the game, but Ohio State used a 9-0 run to go up by seven, 11-4. The Wildcats then scored nine straight points, all by Wheeler, to take a 13-11 lead. However, for the remainder of the half, the Buckeyes outscored Arizona 25-10 and went into the locker room up by 13 points, 36-23.
Arizona shot 35 percent from the field on the half and was 0-for-4 from downtown. Meanwhile, Ohio State connected on 46 percent of its shots from the field, 33 percent from beyond the arc and 91 percent from the free throw line. The Buckeyes out-rebounded the Wildcats 19 to 11 and both teams committed 11 turnovers on the half. Wheeler paced Arizona with 11 points, while Polk had eight points and six rebounds.
Ohio State scored the first seven points of the second half and never looked back, building its lead to as many as 39 points, and outscoring the Wildcats 42-22 on the half. Arizona shot just 33 percent from the field on the half, while the Buckeyes shot 58 percent.
Arizona travels to Provo, Utah, to take on Brigham Young at 2 p.m. next Saturday, Nov. 27.