Jan. 12, 2002
Tucson, Ariz. (Jan. 12) - With a career-high 25 points from sophomore guard Candice Allen, the University of Arizona women's basketball team won its first back-to-back games since November, downing Washington, 83-69, at home on Sunday. The Wildcats up their record to 7-8 overall and 3-4 in Pac-10 play, while the Huskies, who were swept this weekend, slipped to 9-7 overall and 4-3 in conference action.
The game was even through the first five-and-a-half minutes, with both teams tied, 12-12, at the 14:33 mark. Then Washington capitalized on six straight Arizona turnovers and scored six unanswered points to go ahead, 18-12, just over a minute later. The Huskies pushed their lead to seven (24-17) at the 8:29 mark, and that was when Arizona turned up the heat.
The Wildcats forced six Washington turnovers, and the Huskies missed three straight shots, as Arizona put on a 14-2 run to take a five-point (31-26) lead with just under four minutes left in the first. Washington's only points during that stretch came from the free throw line. UW regained control of the game, though, and ended the half on an 8-2 spurt to hold a one-point lead at halftime, 34-33.
Both teams were tied at 39-39 three minutes into the second half, then Arizona, fueled by six points from senior forward Elizabeth Pickney, went on an 11-2 run to gain a nine-point (50-41) advantage at 11:37. Washington cut the Cats' lead down to three (55-52) barely three minutes later, which Arizona answered with a 9-2 spurt to gain a 10-point (64-54) spread with just under six minutes left in the game. The Huskies got to within seven points twice after that but were never able to get back into the game as the Wildcats finished the contest by out-scoring UW, 19-15.
"Our defense was much better in this game," said head coach Joan Bonvicini. "We were tracking, and we went to full-court press at times. Our team did better at talking to each other than they usually do, too. We need to cut down on the turnovers, but besides that, we controlled the tempo of the game. This win will give us some much-needed confidence."
In addition to Allen's 25 points, the Wildcats got 24 points and nine rebounds from Pickney and 18 points from freshman guard Dee-Dee Wheeler. Junior wing Krista Warren grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds, her sixth double-digit rebounding performance of the season. Sophomore guard Aimee Grzyb contributed seven points and a game-high six assists.
Five Huskies scored in double digits, with junior forward Emily Autrey racking up team-bests of 14 points and eight rebounds off the bench. Sophomore forward Andrea Lalum and freshman guard Kristen O'Neill had 11 points each, and guards Giuliana Mendiola and Loree Payne tallied 10 points apiece.
Arizona wraps up a three-game homestand on Monday, Jan. 12, against UC Santa Barbara at 7 p.m. in the Cats' final non-conference contest of the season.