TEMPE, Ariz. ?- The Arizona women’s basketball team suffered its worst loss of the season, its ninth-straight, in an 81-45 defeat at No. 11/13 Arizona State at Wells Fargo Arena this afternoon. With the loss, the Wildcats fall to 7-21 overall and 3-15 in Pac-10 play. With the win, the Sun Devils swept the season series for the first time since the 2000-01 season.
Arizona shot a season-low 24 percent from the field, 12 percent from three-point range and 52 percent from the free throw line on the game, compared to the 52, 42 and 75 percent, respectively, of Arizona State. The Sun Devils out-rebounded the Wildcats 52 to 31. Arizona won the turnover battle 13 to 17.
“I didn’t like this game ?- it wasn’t a good reflection of Arizona basketball,” Head Coach Joan Bonvicini said. “It’s tough losing like this. It might be called a rivalry game, but today it wasn’t. We don’t have an inside game, so it’s tough.”
Junior Joy Hollingsworth, who was held scoreless in the first meeting between the two teams last December, led the Wildcats with 14 points and seven rebounds. Senior Natalie Jones added 13 points. Sophomore Ashley Whisonant tallied six points, but was held to just 16 minutes due to an ankle injury suffered in the first half.
Arizona started the game out slow, making just three of its first 19 shots, which allowed ASU to take a 17-8 lead. The Sun Devils later led by 12, 22-10, but the Wildcats drained back-to-back threes to make it a six-point game. ASU responded with a 13-1 run to take its biggest lead of the game, 35-17, and went into the locker room at halftime up by 20, 39-19. The 19 points tied a season-low for points in a half by the Wildcats.
Arizona shot 21 percent from the field, 25 percent from three-point range and 50 percent from the free throw line on the half. ASU shot 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from beyond the arc and 69 percent from the charity stripe. The Sun Devils out-rebounded the Wildcats 25 to 15 on the half. Both teams committed nine turnovers on the half.
In the second half, Arizona used a 6-0 run to cut the Sun Devil lead to 16 (45-29), but ASU then scored nine straight points to take a 25-point lead and put the game out of reach for good. The Sun Devils went on to the 36-point win.
Ninth-seeded Arizona will face eighth-seeded Oregon at 8:15 p.m. (PST) next Friday, March 3, at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.