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011-09-2007 Arizona Falls to Penn State, 87-78
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 11/09/2007
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University Park , Pa. ?C Penn State (1-0) used a late 16-6 second half scoring run to break a 69-69 tie and run away with an 87-78 win over Arizona (0-1) in the season opener for both teams on Friday night in the Bryce Jordan Center before a crowd of 4,629 fans.

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ˇ?This was a hard fought game, but we needed to find a way to stay in the game at the end,ˇ± head coach Joan Bonvicini said.? ˇ?I thought we played well in a lot of areas, but we need to work on taking care of the ball better and hitting our outside shots to be successful.? Ashley (Whisonant) played outstanding for us at point guard, and Amina (Njonkou) did a great job in the paint.? Now we have to build from this and get ready to play a good Pitt team tomorrow.ˇ±

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Individually for Arizona, senior Ashley Whisonant scored a career-high 26 points to go with seven assists, and junior Amina Njonkou posted the fifth double-double of her career with 17 points and 10 rebounds.? Junior Beatrice Bofia and freshman Tasha Dickey added eight points apiece, and junior Sarah Hays finished with six points and eight rebounds.

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Senior Kam Gissendanner led Penn State with 23 points.

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As a team, Arizona shot 47.7 percent from the field (31-65), but only managed a 2-of-15 mark (13.3 percent) from three point range.? The Wildcats held Penn State to a 41.3 percent shooting percentage (26-63) for the game, but the Lady Lions connected on 25-of-28 free throws, and hit 10 three pointers on 22 attempts.?

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Arizona started off the game with some solid shooting, going 4-of-7 from the field to take a 9-6 lead at the 16:08 mark.? Penn State scored its first six points all from the free throw line.? The Lady Lions responded with a 7-2 scoring run over the next 1:32 to take a 13-11 lead, but Arizona countered with three-straight baskets to go up 17-13 at the 12:51 mark.?

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Arizona held a 22-21 lead at the 9:09 mark after a layup by Bofia, but PSU rallied with an 8-0 scoring run over the next 3:02 to take a 29-22 lead, taking advantage of eight-straight missed shots by the Wildcats.?

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Arizona finished the first half shooting just 5-of-18 from the field (27.8 percent), as Penn State built a 44-34 halftime lead.? PSU shot 51.6 percent (16-31) from the field in the first half to Arizonaˇ?s 40.6 percent (13-32), and Whisonant led all scorers with 13 first half points.

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The Wildcats opened the second half with four quick points on two layups in the first 46 seconds to cut the PSU lead to 44-38.? Another UA lay in by Dickey at the 17:40 mark cut the deficit to 44-40.? The Wildcats trailed 46-44 at the 16:01 mark after a layup by Njonkou, but PSU scored 10 unanswered points over the next 1:45 to go up 56-44.

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Arizona didnˇ?t quit, rallying with a 13-1 run of its own over 3:19 to cut the PSU lead to 58-57 capped by a Njonkou layup.? The Wildcats then took the lead at 64-63 on a trey by senior Erin Oˇ?Bryan with 8:44 left in the game.

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UA tied the game up at 69-69 with 5:05 left to play, but PSU answered with two three pointers in 29 seconds to go up 75-69 at the 4:19 mark.? The Lady Lions then stretched its lead to 83-73 on a three by Gissendanner with 2:05 left to play.? That lead proved to be enough down the stretch, as Penn State sealed the win from the free throw line.

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Arizona will next play No. 20 Pittsburgh tomorrow afternoon at 4 p.m. (EST) in the Bryce Jordan Center.

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