CHICAGO ?- Senior point guard Dee-Dee Wheeler made her homecoming count, finishing with 20 points, six assists, five rebounds and three steals as the Arizona women’s basketball team defeated Chicago State 70-50 in front of an Arizona-dominated crowd at the Jacoby D. Dickens Center this afternoon. With the win, the Wildcats improve to 8-2 on the season.
Freshman Jessica Arnold added 16 points on 6-of-8 (.750) shooting, while freshman Ashley Whisonant tallied 12 points. Junior Shawntinice Polk finished with nine points and 11 rebounds, but was limited to just 17 minutes, as she was hampered by foul trouble early. Sophomore Shannon Hobson also pulled down 11 boards.
“We started out great, but Polkey got two early fouls, which really hurt us,” Head Coach Joan Bonvicini said. “Thankfully, we came on late and got the win. But we can still play a lot better. We put ourselves in a position to be a good team. Now we need to be consistent.”
Arizona shot 43 percent from the field on the game, compared to the 28 percent of the Cougars. The Wildcats also out-rebounded Chicago State 43 to 41 and forced 21 Cougar turnovers.
Arizona scored the first eight points of the game and quickly built a 12-point lead (16-4). The Wildcats built their lead to as many as 16, but the Cougars slowly cut it to eight and went into the locker room down by only 10 points, 35-25.
Arizona shot 36 percent from the field, 25 percent from three-point range and 83 percent from the free throw line on the half. The Wildcats edged Chicago State 24 to 23 on the boards and forced 12 Cougar turnovers. Arnold led all players with 12 points, while Wheeler and Polk had six apiece.
Chicago State scored the first four points of the second half to make it a six-point game and later made it a four-point game (44-40), but the Wildcats responded with a 26-10 run for the remainder of the game to win 70-50. The Wildcats shot 54 percent from the field, 50 percent from downtown and 67 percent from the charity stripe on the half. Wheeler led all players with 14 points, while Whisonant added nine.
Arizona opens Pacific-10 play in Seattle, Wash., with a 7 p.m. (PDT) game next Monday, Dec. 27, at Washington.