Dec. 7, 2003
Tucson, Ariz. (Dec. 7) - Holding Massachusetts to just 27 percent shooting for the game, the University of Arizona women's basketball team (5-2) handed the Minutewomen (3-5) a 74-42 loss in the championship game of the Fiesta Bowl Classic at home on Sunday. The victory was Arizona's 16th consecutive win on its home floor, setting a new school record for the longest home win streak in the history of the program.
The Wildcats got off to a slow start and were leading by just three points (8-5) six minutes into the game. A 17-6 spurt opened the Cats' lead up to 14 points (25-11) at 6:10, but UMass scored seven unanswered points to get back to within seven (25-18) with just over four minutes left in the half. The Minutewomen didn't score again in the period, though, as Arizona finished the half on an 8-0 run. The Cats led, 33-18, at the break, after holding UMass to a miserable 25 percent (6-24) shooting from the floor in the first.
UMass was still within 15 points (36-21) early in the second half, when Arizona blasted the game open with a 27-12 run that gave the Cats a 30-point (63-33) advantage at 7:40. The Minutewomen came no closer than 26 points for the remainder of the game, as Arizona won its own tournament for the ninth time in 13 years.
The 42 points scored by Massachusetts is the lowest point total the Wildcats have allowed a Division I team to score since Arizona State registered just 42 points on Feb. 8, 1997, in Tempe.
"We are trying to be more consistent with our play. Polkey (Shawntinice Polk) is playing better right now, and we are getting the ball to her more," said Arizona head coach Joan Bonvicini. "We are forcing some turnovers and getting everyone involved. I still think we can rebound better, but overall, I am pleased with our team's play."
Finishing with a game-high 18 points, sophomore All-America candidate Shawntinice Polk was named the tournament Most Valuable Player. Junior guard Dee-Dee Wheeler contributed 13 points, six rebounds and a game-high seven assists while receiving All-Tournament Team honors. Earning the first start of her career, junior post Danielle Adefeso added 10 points and was also named to the All-Tournament Team.
For UMass, senior forward Glamora Maeweather came off the bench to lead the Minutewomen with 13 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Guard Brooke Campbell had nine points and nine rebounds and was named to the All-Tournament Team as well.
During the consolation game earlier in the day, American University drilled Utah State, 60-41, to finish third in the tournament.
Arizona remains at home for a pair of games next weekend. The Wildcats will take on Brigham Young on Friday, Dec. 12, at 7 p.m., then the Cats face Texas State on Sunday, Dec. 14, at 1 p.m.
TOURNAMENT MOST VALUABLE PLAYER - Shawntinice Polk (Arizona)