Feb. 13, 2011
TUCSON - For the first time since Jan. 26, 2005, the University of Arizona Wildcat women's basketball team got a win against the Arizona State Sun Devils in women's basketball action. In front of a crowd of 3,310 fans, the Wildcats beat the Sun Devils, 73-61.
The Wildcats move to 14-9 overall and 5-7 in Pac-10 play. With Sunday's win over the Sun Devils, Arizona has matched its win total from last season with at least six games left to play in the season. Additionally, head coach Niya Butts picked up her 40th win at the helm of the Arizona program.
"Obviously, it's good to get a win against ASU but it's also good to get a win against any team we haven't beat in five years," Butts said. "I'm very proud of our girls. We prepared well all week and we didn't get down when we made mistakes. I'll certainly enjoy the rest of my Sunday but come Monday it's going to be back to work, getting ready for the trip up to Washington. Our season isn't defined by if we beat Arizona State and we know that we have to continue with this mentality for the rest of the season."
Senior forward Ify Ibekwe was nothing short of spectacular in her first win over ASU in her Wildcat career. She put up 22 points and 22 rebounds for her ninth double-double of the season, achieved in the first half with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Her 22 boards match her career best from the Iona game in 2009. She scored a 20-20 for the first time since the Boise State game on 12/29/08 where she had 26 points and 20 rebounds. She also had a blocked shot and two steals.
"Ify (Ibekwe) did an incredible job today," Butts said. "She played like one of the best players in the country and got those 22 rebounds because she boxed out and didn't just rely on her athletic ability like usual. I'm very happy for Ify. This was her last chance to take on ASU in the regular season and to go head-to-head against her rival at home. We are definitely going to challenge her to keep that same mentality for the rest of our games. This is definitely one of the all-time great performances I've seen."
Sophomore guard Davellyn Whyte chipped in with 14 points, her ninth-straight game in double-figure scoring. She has scored in double digits in 21 of 23 games this season, with nine points in both the remaining games. Junior guard Shanita Arnold matched her career best with nine assists. She also had three steals and two rebounds. Junior guard Brooke Jackson came off the bench with 10 points.
Senior Soana Lucet led the squad with four steals while pitching in with nine points and two rebounds. Freshman forward Erica Barnes was perfect in today's game, going four-of-four from the field and one-of-one from the free throw line.
For the first time since March 12, 2010, junior guard Reiko Thomas got the start for Arizona. Joining her in the line-up were Arnold, Ibekwe, Lucet and Whyte. Jackson got the most minutes off the bench with 21. She had 10 points, including two threes.
For the Sun Devils, Dymond Simon was the leading scorer with 21 points. Becca Tobin paced ASU at the glass with nine boards.
Arizona will play next at Washington State on Feb. 17 and at Washington on Feb. 19.
Niya Butts postgame ASU.
Davellyn Whyte postgame ASU.
Ify Ibekwe postgame ASU.