Nov. 28, 2009
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Visiting Arizona celebrated the Thanksgiving weekend by earning a 65-55 non-conference win over San Diego, Friday evening in the Jenny Craig Pavilion.
All-American Ify Ibekwe and junior forward Soana Lucet combined for 37 points, combining to hit 15-of-31 shots as Arizona worked the ball inside to the tune of 34 points in the paint. The Cats also forced 21 turnovers and tallied 26 points off those takeaways.
Despite a slow start to the game, the Wildcats slowly worked their way into a double-digit halftime lead. Lucet converted 6-of-10 attempts, all of them in the paint, and had 12 points at the break. The Wildcats also forced 12 turnovers and turned those takeaways into 17 points while not allowing any buckets for the Toreros off just five miscues.
Arizona fell behind 11-6 early on, but battled back to even the score at 18-18 midway through the half. From that point, the Cats used a 15-4 run to build their biggest lead of the half at 33-22. All-American Ify Ibekwe went to work against the smaller San Diego frontcourt and tallied six of her eight first-half points while Brooke Jackson added the exclamation point with a three-pointer.
The Cats extended their lead to 13 points in the early moments of the second half and still led 53-42 after a free throw by Lucet with 10:43 to play before the Toreros made a final charge to get back into the game. San Diego (3-3) scored 8-straight points over just 1:57, capped off by a three-pointer by Sam Child, cutting the gap to 53-50.
The Wildcats responded on the following possession with lay-up by Lucet, sparking a 10-0 run of their own to build a 13-point lead. Freshman Davellyn Whyte set up Lucet and Brooke Jackson on lay-ups as the Wildcats got out on the break while also carving up the San Diego zone.
Arizona shot 50 percent (16-of-32) in the first half and finished the game with a solid .464 shooting percentage. San Diego, meanwhile, managed a paltry 9-of-31 (.290) clip in the second half and ended up with a .339 field goal mark for the contest.
Lucet finished with a game-high 22 points on 10-of-17 shooting while Ibekwe chipped in with 15 points and a team-leading 11 rebounds to go along with 4 assists and 2 steals. Jackson added 10 points and 4 rebounds as Whyte had a solid all-around game with 7 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals.
Child led the way for San Diego with 19 points and 8 rebounds while Morgan Henderson added 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Arizona (3-1) starts a brief two-game homestand next Friday, December 4 when Nevada visits McKale Center in non-conference action with tip-off at 7:00 p.m.