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Arizona Women Fall at USC, 67-54
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 01/15/2005
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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LOS ANGELES ?- The Wildcat women’s basketball team shot just nine percent (1-of-11) from downtown and 45 percent (9-of-20) from the free throw line, and senior guard Dee-Dee Wheeler failed to score 10 points for the first time since March 23, 2003, as Arizona lost its second-straight game, a 67-54 defeat at the hands of Southern California tonight. With the loss, Arizona falls to 11-5 overall and 3-3 in Pac-10 play.

 

Wheeler, who finished with just five points, played just 21 minutes due to foul trouble. She was held under 10 points for the first time in 48 games, dating back to the Wildcats' loss to Notre Dame in the 2003 NCAA Tournament, when she finished with seven. However, Wheeler grabbed two steals on the night, giving her 261 on her career and making her Arizona's all-time leader.

 

Arizona shot just 34 percent from the field on the game, compared to the 41 percent of the Trojans. USC also made 46 percent of its three-pointers and 75 percent of its free throws. The Women of Troy out-rebounded the Wildcats 44 to 34.

 

“We got out-executed tonight,” Head Coach Joan Bonvicini said. “USC did a good job. They made their free throws down the stretch and we didn’t. We’re a lot better team than what we’re playing. It’s definitely a gut-check time.”

 

Junior Shawntinice Polk, starting for the first time since suffering a knee injury on Dec. 27, led Arizona with 18 points and nine rebounds. Freshman Ashley Whisonant was the only other Wildcat to reach double-digits scoring, finishing with 10 points. Senior Danielle Adefeso tallied nine points.

 

The first half was played very closely, with three ties, five lead changes and neither team leading by more than six points. Arizona went into the locker room up by one point, 26-25. Wheeler nabbed her 260th career steal at the 10:41 mark, tying the school record. The senior was limited to a season-low seven minutes on the half after picking up her third foul with 9:37 on the clock.

 

The Wildcats shot 41 percent from the field on the half, but managed just 33 percent from the free throw line and went 0-for-4 from three-point range. The Trojans shot 32 percent from the field, 33 percent from downtown and 73 percent from the charity stripe. USC out-rebounded Arizona 19 to 15, but committed 15 turnovers on the half compared to the Wildcats’ nine. Polk led the Wildcats with 10 points and five rebounds, while Whisonant had five points and four steals.

 

Arizona scored the first basket of the second half before the Trojans went on an 8-0 run to take a 33-28 lead. Wheeler snatched her 261st career steal with 11:08 left in the second half, giving her sole possession of the record. The Wildcats trailed by as many as eight points (40-32), but scored four in a row to make it a four-point game. USC later went on a 10-4 run to take a 10-point lead, which it maintained for the remainder of the game.

 

Arizona shot just 29 percent from the field, 14 percent from downtown and 50 percent from the free throw line on the half. The Wildcats were outscored 42 to 28 and out-rebounded 25 to 19 in the second half.

 

UP NEXT:

Arizona faces No. 19 UCLA at 2 p.m. (PST) this Sunday, Jan. 16, at Pauley Pavilion.

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