TUCSON, Ariz. ?- The No. 24 Arizona women’s basketball team easily handled Baden Sports 77-45 in a foul-filled final exhibition game of the season at McKale Center tonight. The Wildcats were called for 27 personal fouls, which accounted for nearly half (22) of Baden’s points.
The Wildcats shot 48 percent from the field and 29 percent from downtown on the game, while holding Baden to just 24 percent from the field and 23 percent from beyond the arc. Arizona also out-rebounded Baden 38-34 and forced 29 Baden turnovers, while committing 15 of its own.
“I thought our starting lineup was okay,” Head Coach Joan Bonvicini said. “It started slow but we got better. I’m happy we won, but I think we could do a better job defensively and do a better job on offensive execution. We can’t put them on the line as much as we did.”
Junior center Shawntinice Polk finished with a team-high 13 points and 11 rebounds, while freshman Jessica Arnold had 12 points. Freshman Ashley Whisonant and senior Dee-Dee Wheeler rounded out the group of Wildcats in double-figure scoring with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Whisonant dished out a game-high six assists, while sophomore Linda Pace nabbed a game-high three steals.
“Ashley had a great game off the bench,” Bonvicini noted. “She made great passes and really set up her teammates to score. She really reads the floor very well.”
Arizona slowly built its lead in the first half and went into the locker room up by 23, 41-18. The Wildcats shot 47 percent from the field, compared to the 21 percent of Baden Sports. Arizona also out-rebounded Baden 19-17.
Arnold paced the Wildcats with seven points, followed by Polk, Wheeler and Whisonant with six points apiece. Polk also pulled down seven rebounds.
The Wildcats scored the first 10 points of the second half to take a 33-point lead (51-18), but Baden outscored Arizona 14-1 to make it a 20-point game (52-32). The Wildcats later used a 13-0 run to go up by 34 points and went on to win 77-45. Whisonant and Polk had seven points apiece to lead Arizona, which shot 50 percent from the field on the half.
Arizona opens regular-season play with a 7 p.m. game against Saint Mary’s this Friday, Nov. 12, in the Sportsview.tv Preseason WNIT.