TUCSON, Ariz. ?- The Arizona women’s basketball team dropped its fourth-straight game, 83-59, to No. 10/12 Arizona State in its Pac-10 season opener at McKale Center tonight. With the loss, the Wildcats fall to 4-6 on the season.
Arizona shot 49 percent from the field, 20 percent from downtown and 69 percent from the free throw line on the game. Arizona State connected on 54 percent from the field, 40 percent from beyond the arc and 100 percent from the charity stripe. The Sun Devils out-rebounded the Wildcats 33 to 26 and forced Arizona into a season-high 28 turnovers while committing 16.
“Tonight was very difficult,” Head Coach Joan Bonvicini said. “I think that we need to sustain our intensity. We lose our intensity and focus in games. Twenty-eight turnovers is unacceptable. ASU’s advantage is that they are able to run and that they are able to get up and down the floor with a lot of different players.”
Sophomore Ashley Whisonant led Arizona with 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting. Junior Linda Pace added a career-high tying 10 points and a team-high six rebounds. Sophomores Ch?© Oh and Jessica Arnold finished with eight points apiece. Freshman Malia O'Neal dished out seven assists in the loss.
Arizona State scored the first eight points of the game, holding the Wildcats scoreless for 3:34. The Sun Devils maintained the eight-point lead until Arizona went on a 14-4 lead to take a 21-19 lead. ASU then rattled off seven straight points to go up 26-21 and outscored the Wildcats 11-6 over the rest of the half to go into the locker room up by 10, 37-27.
Arizona shot 50 percent from the field, 20 percent from downtown and 40 percent from the free throw line on the half, compared to the 49, 50 and 100 percent, respectively, of Arizona State. The Sun Devils edged the Wildcats on the boards, 17 to 16. Arizona also committed 15 turnovers to ASU’s eight. Whisonant paced Arizona with eight points, while Pace and senior Natalie Jones grabbed five rebounds each.
Arizona scored the first basket of the second half at the 19:45 mark, but then went scoreless for 4:22, during which time ASU scored 12 points to take a 49-29 lead and put the game out of reach for good. The Sun Devils later led by as many as 34 and cruised to the 24-point win.
After a break for the holidays, Arizona hosts Washington State for a 7 p.m. game next Thursday, Dec. 29.