TUCSON, Ariz. ?- In a very competitive game where it said goodbye to its seniors and retired the jersey of fallen star Shawntinice Polk, the Arizona women’s basketball team fell 87-76 to No. 11 Stanford at McKale Center this afternoon. With the loss, the Wildcats fall to 7-20 overall and 3-14 in the Pac-10.
Arizona shot 38 percent from the field, 38 percent from three-point range and 68 percent from the free throw line on the game. The Wildcats’ 11 treys was a season-high for Arizona. Stanford shot 51 percent from the field, 41 percent from beyond the arc and 72 percent from the charity stripe on the game. The Cardinal out-rebounded the Wildcats 41 to 36. Both teams committed 15 turnovers.
“We definitely played with a lot of emotion during the game,” Head Coach Joan Bonvicini said. “We played extremely hard. I thought we played good defense. Stanford is a good team. I can’t fault anyone. We always talk about playing for Polkey, but we didn’t say that before the game. We wanted to play for ?'us’ and we played great.”
Senior Natalie Jones led all players with 27 points, 14 rebounds, four assists and two steals. Junior Joy Hollingsworth added 12 points and six boards, while sophomore Ashley Whisonant and freshman Kelsey Burns each finished with 10 points.
Stanford jumped out to a 5-0 lead to start the game, but the Wildcats answered with seven straight points to go up 7-5 at the 16:52 mark. The game then remained close for the rest of the half, with neither team leading by more than four points.
Arizona shot 43 percent from the field, 50 percent (8-of-16) from beyond the arc and 75 percent from the free throw line on the half. Stanford connected on 52 percent from the field, 46 percent from three-point range and 86 percent from the charity stripe. Both teams pulled down 17 boards and had seven turnovers on the half. Jones and Hollingsworth had 10 points apiece to lead the Wildcats.
Stanford quickly built its lead to six (49-43) early in the second half, but Arizona cut it to two, 51-49, on four straight points by Jones. The Cardinal then rattled off seven in a row to take its biggest lead of the game at nine points (58-49).
Stanford later went on a 6-0 run to go up by 13 points, 64-51 and led by as many as 16 (72-56). Arizona was able to cut it to seven twice, but that was as close as it would get, as Stanford went on to the 11-point win.
Arizona travels heads north to Tempe for a 4 p.m. game at No. 15 Arizona State next Saturday, Feb. 25.